It's hard to follow Louis C.K.'s hosting debut on SNL, and while Anne Hathaway couldn't quite top him, her third time was still a success. She was a team player, and except for one particularly great sketch (we'll get to that later), she let the regular cast stand out, giving some of its newest members more screen time than usual (looking at you, Aidy). There's no better proof than her monologue, which besides showing that she really does have the voice to star in Les Miserables, was more of a fun ensemble performance -- except, doesn't The Lonely Island own Sundays? Still, after a weak cold open, Hathaway lifted our spirits and brought enough entertaining sketches to distract us from whatever was going on with Rihanna.
In today's news of things nobody asked for...
I felt nervous watching Louis CK on Saturday Night Live up until the moment he spoke with a slightly different, high-pitched voice on the Fox and Friends sketch. CK isn't exactly a character actor -- at best, he's basically a heightened version of himself on Louie -- and the chances of him mucking up his SNL debut felt pretty high. Fortunately, CK proved he does in fact have versatility as an actor, and this week's episode ended up being pretty fun and will not go down in the SNL history books as a particularly awful installment... I'm telling you, my expectations were low. (Need I remind you about the "Dave Returns" episode of Parks and Recreation?) Rather than pick on the more underwhelming sketches of the night -- the aforementioned Fox and Friends, Kourtney Barnes and the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party bits from Weekend Update, Mountain Pass, Hotel Fees -- let's focus on the highlights:
Let's be honest, whenever a host pulls double duty as the musical guest, everyone's expectations are pretty low. It's a tough thing to do for anyone who isn't Justin Timberlake -- who got a little shout out from Bruno Mars in his monologue. Lucky for us, after the mandatory debate cold open and an impressive if not very funny monologue, Mars lead a solid episode. Besides being Mars' debut as a host, this episode marked a few firsts. It was the first time new featured player Aidy Bryant was given more than one line and featured the season's first appearance of Stefon, who, of course, didn't disappoint. Here's a look at some of this week's best sketches that would make Justin proud.
This week Christina Applegate hosted SNL, and in case you didn't hear from all of the promos and interviews about it, the last time she hosted was in 1993. As she
bragged about mentioned in her monologue, that episode featured the first appearance of the classic Chris Farley sketch "Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker." While none of the sketches from this episode were quite that memorable, there were a few worth watching again. Lucky for Applegate, she was in all of them and steered clear of an especially boring "Weekend Update." Overall, it was a successful night for the up-for-anything host, even if she had a bad case of raccoon eyes in all of her host portraits.
It's no surprise that this weekend's Saturday Night Live was on political overload. Always a fan of debates--even the most boring, apparently, SNL spent much of the episode mocking this year's first presidential showdown. Somewhere between the debate cold open, the MSNBC analysis and Weekend Update, they managed to squeeze host Daniel Craig in to a few sketches, too. Maybe they shouldn't have. Craig's sketches weren't this episode's best. The few that actually warranted a laugh were those that showcased the female cast. Last season's sudden addition, Kate McKinnon, was definitely the MVP of the girls this week, but they all left the guys, even James Bond himself, trailing far behind.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt returned to host Saturday Night Live for the second time, and while it wasn't the most consistent episode, the sketches featuring the loveable host tended to be the best. Of course, there were a few exceptions, like Kate McKinnon's Beyonce-loving Ann Romney during Weekend Update. Here are some of this week's strongest sketches, all brought to you by the charming smile of Jo Go-Lev.
SNL kicked off its 38th season with host Seth MacFarlane and quite a few of his signature voices. Despite the absence of Kristin Wiig, Abby Elliott and Andy Samberg, it was a pretty good start to the season. The premiere also featured the debut of three new featured players and while Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong seem to have some potential, the six seconds that Aidy Bryant was onscreen weren't really enough to judge her skills. Only a few sketches missed the mark this time (can we just retire Fred Armisen's replacement talk show host please?), so here are some of the night's best.
If, like us, you've spent your summer eagerly waiting for the second season of Homeland, you're in luck.
There's truly no escaping the guido-pocalypse.
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