In case Daniel Craig hadn't proved it enough this season, sometimes action stars should just stick to action. This weekend, Jeremy Renner hosted Saturday Night Live and in all honesty, we were rooting for him. He's pretty adorable for someone who plays a badass all the time, and seeing a comedic side would have been great. Unfortunately, that side doesn't seem to exist. The opening monologue was awkward, especially with a technical issue just a few minutes in, and it pretty much set the tone for the rest of the episode. It wasn't completely Renner's fault, though; most of the sketches didn't have promise to begin with. The worst of the night barely included him. It was the third installment of "The Californians," a sketch that was funny the first time, a little less so the second and this time, sort of uncomfortable. With much of the cast breaking when there wasn't anything to laugh at, it seemed like the painful sketch would never end. Here are the few sketches that may be worth watching, or were at least better by comparison:
"The Stand Off"
One of two pre-taped bits, both of which beat many of the live sketches, this worked because it let Renner do what he does best. The parody of the tense standoffs found in most action movies was funny and just the right length. Seeing Renner read Goodnight Moon to an adorable kid and a quick cameo from Adam Levine made it even better.
"Weekend Update: Chris Christie"
It was a bit of a surprise to see the actual governor of New Jersey show up, and he did pretty well. Christie was able to poke fun at himself, and his now infamous fleece, while also making fun of his state. And who doesn't enjoy watching him yell at Jersey mayors? Throw in a lovely verse from the patron saint of New Jersey, and Christie just got himself on the good sides of the SNL writers. That might come in handy in 2016.
This sketch would have worked much better if it had come out around May -- you know, when The Avengers was topical? But the idea behind it was funny enough, and who doesn't love Hunger Games jokes mixed with The Avengers? Still, the parody wasn't without is problems. Was Jason Sudeikis' Iron Man costume supposed to look like a Snuggie with plastic taped to it? At least Taran Killam pulled off a good Captain America.
"Dress Rehearsal: Thanksgiving"
The only sketch with a goofy Renner that actually worked was cut from the live show, but luckily the dress rehearsal is online. Kate McKinnon has had some hilarious moments since she started late last season, and her playing crazy coworker Harriet can be added to the list. Renner as her completely insane husband, complete with matching Thanksgiving sweatshirts, was legitimately funny. There's no explanation for this getting cut when we were forced to watch the "Movie Set" sketch.
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