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:
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.
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.
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 he's less "bizarre" and more "kinda weird" to mainstream audiences thanks to a ton of exposure since the first time he hosted Saturday Night Live, Zach Galifianakis was able to pull off more experimental gags this week on SNL -- and they were less totally inaccessible than they were the second time he hosted. The former half of the episode was tight, funny and definitely a success by current SNL standards... the latter, not so much. Let's focus on the sketches worth watching:
It was yet another nostalgic outing for Saturday Night Live this weekend, as Justin Timberlake gained membership into the "Five Timers Club" for quintuple hosting gigs and the writers celebrated by raiding the show's back catalogue for (vaguely) fresh material. Some of these reunions with old friends were welcome, while others were... well, really kind of cringe-inducing. Here were the best and worst callbacks from an overall uneven episode.
This was a great week for Saturday Night Live, in no small part thanks to host Christoph Waltz's energy and stage presence (and you could say the same for Django Unchained). Unlike his recent costar Jamie Foxx, Waltz was actually allowed to play more than just one character -- and thank God for that, because "wacky Austrian" sounds worse than watching Quentin Tarantino try to act. They weren't all winners, but let's take a look at the scenes that Waltz and the SNL gang actually shone in. (And not for nothing, Alabama Shakes put on a great show, too.):
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:
MOST RECENT POSTS