How do you turn a versatile, gifted comic actress into a one-note sight gag? Apparently by having her host SNL for her third time. It's not that the Mike & Molly star didn't give it her all this weekend on SNL, but for whatever reason, the writers insisted on making the beautiful, hilarious actress dumpy and/or vulgar in just about every single sketch. After the third or fourth time, it wasn't funny. Just in case that wasn't enough to bum you out, there was also Imagine Dragons. Kidding, it's because the episode also marked Seth Meyers' final appearance on SNL before he takes over Late Night, and the long-running player/writer got an amazing, guest-filled, lump-in-the-throat farewell. Here now are the best and worst of Melissa McCarthy (and Seth Meyers!) SNL:
Best: Opening Monologue
McCarthy is an incredible physical comedian (see: The Heat) and her talents were put to good use during the opening monologue. McCarthy squared off with her "nemesis" Bobby Moynihan for a high-flying wire-fu battle that also included throwing stars and baseball bats. To the surprise of no one, McCarthy kicked some serious ass. McCarthy can do whatever the hell she wants, including stealing a llama.
Worst: Super Bowl Cold Open
The punchline -- that a bunch of playing-to-the-cheap-seats Broadway veterans became the Super Bowl halftime entertainment -- got old almost immediately. It was somewhat worth it for Jay Pharoah's overly enthusiastic Michael Strahan imitation, but only somewhat.
Best: Valentine's Day Commercial
For any woman who has ever received a crappy, thoughtless, last-minute gift from a drugstore like, say, CVS, this one hurt so good.
Worst: Summer in a Day
As I mentioned before, pretty much every sketch insisted on making the always-game McCarthy look as unflattering as possible, but none was it more apparent than the pointless, mocking "Summer in a Day" bit. While it was mercifully shorter than other duds like "Girlfriends Talk Show" and "Guess That Phrase," this one still left a taste in my mouth worse than ribs on a hot summer day.
Best: Women's Group
Of course, it's not to say that McCarthy can't play outrageous unbelievably well (see: Bridesmaids.) In addition to reviving her short-tempered Shelia Kelly (who moved on from coaching women's basketball to politics since we last saw her), she gave us a hilarious newcomer named P.J. who seriously brought down the vibe of a silly, frivolous women's discussion group with her lust for murder. I don't know what was funnier: McCarthy's death-avenging vision board ("I also have yogurt") or her well-executed window pratfall, I'm just happy that something made me laugh as hard as this one did.
Worst: Art Exhibit
Pointless in every sense of the word, this was an affront to art and comedy.
Best: 28 Reasons
In keeping with the season as a whole, SNL had some really strong taped segments this weekend. And while "Super Champions" made me chuckle as hard as I cringed, "28 Reasons" pulled off that very same feat even more impressively. You don't a reason to re-watch this, except for maybe reasons no. 2-28:
Bittersweet Bonus: Farewell, Sethery!
Parting is such sweet sorrow and never is that truer than when we bid a beloved SNL member adieu. Seth Meyers got a proper, wonderful goodbye with a little help from his friends Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg, Cecily Strong and of course, his husband Stefon Meyers. It was hilarious ("Japanese daredevil YOLO Ono"), sweet and damn near impossible not to cry when Meyers got a little verklempt over his lovely send-off and reflecting on his 12 years with the show. Be sure to stay until the end of the segment for one more very special surprise guest:
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