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.
Now that Election Day is finally upon us, we are at a turning point in history. Who will SNL get to mock for the next four years? Will Jason Sudeikis be forced to stay because of Mitt Romney or because of Joe Biden? (Or, perish the thought, in the event of an Electoral College tie, both?) Will Jay Pharaoh continue to have something to do beside occasional Denzel Washington impressions? These are the vital questions that will be answered tonight. In honor of the occasion, here are some of the best political sketches from the post-Palin seasons. Of course, SNL couldn't help but to include their favorite Alaskan at least once -- though a little untraditionally. Recent standouts have also included Pharaoh's superior Obama, especially in a particularly tense debate. Sudeikis also deserves credit for pulling double duty on both sides of the party line, and helping to bring back an old favorite. Still, the best sketch overall came from a Weekend Update Thursday, and didn't even feature the candidates. Watch and laugh at the mockery of people who could run the country, and try not to get too emotional over the sight of the dearly departed Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig.
It's been quite some time since I was actually still thinking about an SNL episode two days after it aired. Not just one funny sketch, but a whole episode. And while I'm not going to say that every sketch was a winner, there were some pretty amusing things, and even the lame sketches weren't as bad as some of the ones earlier this season, so good for SNL. Way to end the year on a high note, though I presume this means that the next three episodes will suck since they used all the good material here. Whatever, I'll take the funny where I can get it. I could have lived without the general store (though Jeff Bridges' hair made up for a lot of lame jokes), Jeff's prank show (though again, Bridges' enthusiasm helped), the Hanukkah It's a Wonderful Life (not as funny as the Vincent Price sketches) and Brad Pitt doing the weather. But there was Stefon, a catchy Lonely Island song, Miley and Julian Assange and bonus Cookie Monster!
How you already felt about Lena Dunham going into this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live more than likely dictated how you watched and, thus, felt about the episode as a whole. If you're cool with Dunham, you probably got a kick out of the episode, but if you're not -- what appeared to be the entirety of the Internet -- you couldn't stand it. Even though I've had some issues with Girls this season, I tend to lean closer to Team Dunham, so I thought overall this was a pretty damn good episode. (Though, maybe compared to last week's Jim Parsons disaster, everything seems like a damn good episode.) Still, there were overwhelmingly better sketches than weak ones, and after a shaky monologue, Dunham settled in as the night went on. Sure, the SNL writers kind of went the obvious route with her (nudity!) but it was, overall, one of the stronger showings in 2014 so far. Here are the best and worst moments from Lena Dunham's debut as SNL host, with a little help from Liam Neeson and Jon Hamm:
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:
That sound you heard around 11:40 PM ET on Saturday night was the sound of every 20 and/or 30-something woman in America screaming with jealousy that Jonah Hill got to reenact the famous bough scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio. That's right, his Wolf of Wall Street co-star showed up during his opening monologue and dreamed to say the words we all wished we could as Leo cradled us from behind, "Am I flying, Jack?!" Sigh, who knew you could giggle, sigh, and seethe with envy all at once? Unfortunately for Jonah -- and viewers -- his third stint as SNL host peaked with the Leo appearance (really, it could only go down from there anyway), as most of the other sketches depending on the actor yelling at the top of his lungs. Though, it did have the strongest "Weekend Update" of the season yet and a few other highlights, so here are the best and worst moments from Hill's episode featuring musical guests Bastille, who were also there:
If Drake's New Year's resolution was to serve double duty as host and musical guest for the first episode of Saturday Night Live of 2014 and set the bar so high for the rest of the year for any other hosts/musical guests, well then he definitely hit his goal by January 18, 2014. Mazel Tov, Dracob! Drake was not only willing to poke fun at himself and acknowledge his humble beginnings on Degrassi, but the music star gave it all whether he was performing his own songs or being the best part of just about every sketch he appeared in (like when he fit in effortlessly to "Mornin' Miami" or was the saving grace of "Poetry Teacher.") It may be a little too early to tell fellow charming song-and-dance man Justin Timberlake to step aside, but Drake's presence feels fresh and funny and honestly I wouldn't mind seeing him back again…and again…and again. Here, now, is the best and worst of Drake's SNL:
If you asked for another chapter in Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's giggly, fawning bromance that included an onslaught of celebrity cameos and celebrity impressions, well then Merry Christmas to you.
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:
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