The nice thing about Kristen Wiig's return to Saturday Night Live this weekend? Because they brought back all her most obnoxious characters -- Gilly, the Target Lady and Denise among them -- we were able to fast-forward through majority of the show, turning a 90-minute sit into a quick, painless three minutes. (Closer to ten minutes with the not-bad monologue).
This second appearance of Melissa McCarthy wasn't the worst episode of SNL that we've seen this season, but that's not really saying much. It mostly relied on putting McCarthy in ridiculous wigs and having her do really broad physical comedy. Having watched more of Mike & Molly than we'd normally care to admit, we know that McCarthy is capable of slightly subtler humor that doesn't rely on her wearing gigantic high heels and bad wigs or falling on her face... but the show went for the easiest common denominator. They also went a really long way with a North Korea joke in the cold open solely so they could have Dennis Rodman butcher the "live from New York" intro. We've ranked the bad hair that McCarthy sported, from best to worst:
In case you were wondering why Ben Affleck was randomly tapped to host the season finale of Saturday Night Live despite the post-Oscar glow of his Argo victory having long since worn off, the almost immediate disappearance of his Terrence Malick adventure To the Wonder from theaters and the absence of any new projects in his career pipeline, the answer lies in the fact that this episode marked the departure of Bill Hader and his popular Stefon alter ego from Studio 8H. (Also Fred Armisen, but c'mon... he shoulda left three seasons ago.)
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's been some time since Vince Vaughn has actually been in a movie that anybody gave a damn about, so seeing him hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend was kind of like falling down the rabbit hole and emerging in the year 2005, when Wedding Crashers was the biggest thing in comedy. Not coincidentally, Vaughn's newest movie, The Internship (due in theaters in June) re-teams him with his now similarly irrelevant Crashers co-star, Owen Wilson, who surprisingly didn't stop by for a cameo appearance. In fact, there were no special guest stars at all, leaving Vaughn to be one of the few hosts this season who has had to carry the show all by his lonesome. And boy did he really suck at it. You know, as much as the stunt cameo thing can hurt SNL, this week's crop of sketches were so clunky and painfully protracted, they would actually have benefitted from a celebrity drive-by or two if only to liven things up and distract from the host's clearly disinterested presence. Here were the Vaughn-centric sketches most in need of a celebrity cameo.
Is this what bringing sexy back looks like?
Jennifer Lawrence -- newly minted A-list star of The Hunger Games and current Oscar nominee for Silver Linings Playbook -- made her first appearance in the battle arena known as Saturday Night Live over the weekend. And just like her alter ego, Katniss Everdeen, she didn't get off to the smoothest start, botching her opening monologue (the Best Actress smackdown was a decent idea, but Lawrence seemed too nervous to really execute it) and struggling through the first few (admittedly terribly written) sketches. But around the halfway mark, she found her groove and finished strong with some pretty funny material. Here's a rundown on Lawrence's losers and winners:
Hell hath no fury like an angry former child actor who hates his own show.
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: