John Goodman deserved so much better than this. The veteran actor and Saturday Night Live host (this weekend marked his 13th time as emcee at Studio 8H) was subjected to a mediocre episode that felt dated, at best. In fact, most of the sketches (with the exception of the exceptional H&M commercial and the uproarious Guy Fieri commercial) looked like they could have been on SNL during the heyday of Roseanne. I'm tawkin' to you, "Three Wise Guys" sketch featuring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone that bummed me out even more than the trailers for Grudge Match. (Wait, that's not true). While I'll always love Goodman (who doesn't?!) and Kings of Leon made for pretty decent musical guests, this episode felt like as depressing as grown-ups regretting their decision to dance around as snowflakes in a Christmas pageant. Here are the best and worst moments from this weekend's ep.
Whether you're a fan of Paul Rudd (present!) or One Direction or Paul Rudd and One Direction, you were probably as satisfied a customer as Dan Charles with this week's Saturday Night Live. While the episode wasn't consistently great (nor was it Rudd's best outing as host) it was still the most entertaining, if not funniest episode so far this season. I mean, it definitely doesn't hurt when you have someone as naturally comedically gifted as Rudd on board (plus, he danced a whole bunch! 1D didn't even do that!), a boatload of awesome special guests, two solid musical performances, and the long-awaited return of Bill Brasky. To Bill Brasky! Here are the best and worst moments of this weekend's SNL:
Aw shucks. Has there ever been an SNL host as adorable as Josh Hutcherson was this weekend? The Catching Fire star sure had a good sense of humor about himself and his small stature, making it nearly impossible not to like the guy (even if you are on Team Gale). Hutcherson may not have the most natural comic timing, but he certainly gave it his all. It was a feat all the more impressive given it was a very mixed-bag episode. For everything that did work (an '80s lip synch to The Outfield's classic "Your Love"), there was just as much that really didn't (Hutcherson bringing his turkey girlfriend home for Thanksgiving dinner). Seriously, aside from the rather mediocre opening monologue, why weren't there more Hunger Games sketches? Either way, here are the best and worst moments from Hutcherson's episode of SNL:
Lady Gaga and her giant, unblinking eyes served as both host and musical guest on this weekend's Saturday Night Live. The main themes of the episode seemed to be Gaga poking fun of herself poking fun at other celebrities, and who could forget (no, really, just try and scrub it from your memory), simulating sex with R. Kelly on live television. She was, unsurprisingly, an enthusiastic performer and gave her first hosting effort her best (she's appeared as a musical guest and had cameos on the show before), but the episode still provided way more moments of discomfort than actual laughs, not to mention all the mixed messages. Was she actually showing us her true colors, or as she suggested in the opening monologue, just pandering to all of us? Either way, it worked, because Gaga earned season-high ratings. Here are the best and worst moments from her episode:
Kerry Washington is the leader of a ring of gladiators on Scandal and she proved to be something of a gladiator herself during her Saturday Night Live hosting stint this past weekend, appearing in a whopping eight skits that called for almost as many wardrobe changes as she typically goes through on an episode her hit ABC series. So it's only appropriate that we're judging Washington's sketches like the emperors of Rome passed life-and-death judgment on their gladiators: with a simple Thumps Up or Thumbs Down.
No one could quite figure out why Edward Norton hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend. Not because he isn't talented enough to (in fact, he's better at impressions than SNL's in-house impression guy Jay Pharoah) or that he isn't easy on the eyes (seriously, that guy is getting better looking the older he gets), but because he had absolutely nothing to promote. (Recent host Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, hijacked his opening monologue to announce that she'd be going on tour). But unlike last week's host Bruce Willis, who also had nothing to pimp except himself, Norton gave the material his all and helped turn out a halfway decent episode. That said, a lot of credit has to be given to musical guest Janelle Monae, a wildly entertaining performer who proves you can have style and substance.
If you had been one of the people eagerly awaiting Bruce Willis' return to Saturday Night Live as host for the first time since 1989, then I am….so sorry. When the actor wasn't playing the harmonica (he's still doing that?), he was going through the paces of each sketch with little to no emoting, or doing terrible imitations of Michael Kors. In other words, there was no reason to shout "yippee ki-yay!" While the decidedly unfunny evening was overwhelmingly lackluster, the episode did have a few standout moments (you should be watching "Boy Dance Party" by about the millionth time by now) as well as Katy Perry in jungle attire, so not all was lost. Check out the best (yep, there were a few and they were mostly without Willis) and worst moments from this weekend's SNL below. You know it's a weak one when they rely on popular segments from a few weeks ago (like that awesome E-Meth commercial featuring Aaron Paul) to fill the time.
Just in case Miley Cyrus hasn't had enough exposure as of late, the headline-grabbing 20-year-old served as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend. While you have to give the singer/actress credit for being so willing to poke fun at herself (including her tongue, which she can't seem to keep in her head) her persona as a Spring Breakers cautionary tale come to life was still on full display. While Cyrus' comic timing hasn't matured past her work on Hannah Montana, she was as only as good as the material she was given. (That weak cold open and her opening monologue tried -- and failed -- to have anything funny or new to say about that infamous VMA performance, though the cracks at Robin Thicke and Will Smith's easily shocked children were amusing and warranted). If you're a Cyrus apologist, the episode was likely a favorite (she appeared on screen more than last week's host Tina Fey did), but if you're exhausted by the star and her whole wild-child shtick, you probably felt, well, exhausted by the whole production. Here are our picks for the best and worst moments from the mercifully twerk-free episode:
You know it's an eventful episode of Saturday Night Live when one of the all-time great alums Tina Fey returns to host… and she's overshadowed. A ton of stuff happened in the Season 39 premiere of SNL, including the introduction of six new cast members (hey, guy from those delightful AT&T commercials!), a truly bizarre, but memorable post-show performance by Arcade Fire and not one, not two, but three cameos by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. It's not to say that the always brilliant Tina Fey wasn't good in her own right. After all, she totally killed it as the new Albanian character Blerta in the spot-on and hilarious Girls spoof and her opening number was a delight, but Saturday night…hell, the whole entire weekend belonged to Aaron Paul, didn't it?
In hindsight, 1990 was a particularly momentous year for the cast of Grown Ups 2. That was the season that Lorne Michaels made Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and David Spade regular cast members on Saturday Night Live, the show that launched each of their careers and made them household names. Rob Schneider was also cast that season, but since he doesn't appear to be in this sequel, we are more than comfortable forgetting about him.
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