James Franco hosted SNL for the fourth time this past Saturday, and it was a wild episode. The cold open featured a slew of children on live television, which is a recipe for insanity. Some of the kids were great, some of them froze, but I’ll take it over another Donald Trump sketch any day. Franco brings a lot of smiles and positivity everywhere he goes, and I enjoyed the episode overall. Here are the three best sketches from Saturday night.
One of the main themes running through this episode was James Franco playing James Franco. He did it in Christmas Charity, and he did it in the final sketch of the night, Reunion. The reason I picked Reunion over Christmas Charity was Heidi Gardner, who played Pretty Mandy. This is Gardner’s first season on SNL but she’s getting a lot of screen time and more importantly, she’s delivering. Angel from Weekend Update was dynamite, and Pretty Mandy’s odd accent and fixation on darts and bull’s-eyes killed me. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pretty Mandy show up again, preferably when Davey Franco hosts (that needs to happen ASAP).
2. Gift Wrap
Gift Wrap is one those over the top sketches that Will Ferrell perfected during his time on SNL, and it really set the tone for Franco’s show. The cold open was off the rails due to some of the children forgetting their lines, and this was sketch was off the rails because of the excessive fake blood. Franco played an overexcited gift wrapper who wasn’t go to let some missing, bloody appendages stop him from wrapping customer’s gifts. The gag got funnier and funnier, and if you’re wondering why Leslie Jones couldn’t get out her lines, it’s because she almost threw up in her mouth. Franco also confirmed this was his favorite sketch from the show, and you could tell he was having a blast.
1. Spelling Bee
My favorite type of SNL sketches are when they take normal scenarios and turn them on their head. That’s why Spelling Bee was the top sketch for me. James Franco plays the moderator who decides to make the words, definitions and usage a little too personal. Franco nails it too, until Little Pig Boy. It’s tough to blame him for breaking when his character has to deliver the definition and usage of Little Pig Boy with a straight face. I’ve watched this sketch four times and it just gets better.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) November 4, 2016
I must say, this choice came out of left field, but now Dave Chappelle is the host I never knew I needed. The master of sketch comedy from his days creating/writing/starring on Chappelle’s show should help him out a lot during his first ever hosting stint, but what I’m most excited for is some Dave Chappelle standup during his monologue. He’s one of the most beloved yet most mysterious stand up’s out there, and I’m very excited to see him host next weekend. Charlie Murphy’s E True Hollywood Stories sketch or we riot.
This Saturday’s SNL will be different than most SNL’s, and it’s not because a former cast member is hosting. That has happened many times before, but I can’t remember a more beloved former cast member hosting so soon after a life altering moment, but that’s what happening this Saturday when Tracy Morgan takes the stage. He was involved in an almost fatal car accident that killed one of his friends, and a man who was a source of so much joy on both SNL and 30 Rock was fighting for his life. He’s made a remarkable physical recovery, and I’m so glad Lorne Michaels brought him back to host, because you know it’s going to be great for both him and the audience. Saturday night should be special.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) October 13, 2015
SNL is live for it’s third straight episode this Saturday with host and SNL alum Tracy Morgan, but the big news of the day is that Donald Trump will host the next episode after that, airing on November 7th. Having a person who is currently running for President is big enough to begin with, but add in the fact that it’s DONALD TRUMP and you have some major news. The SNL writing team must be licking their chops right now because they have to have so much ammo ready for him. Trump has a big ego, but he also strikes me as someone who would be able to make fun of himself, especially if it means it would help his campaign. This episode is going to be bonkers.
— WWE (@WWE) August 17, 2015
Big ol’ news ahead of the ‘biggest party of the summer’ this Sunday: former ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart is going to step back into a WWE ring to host Summerslam. Stewart briefly feuded with WWE Champion Seth Rollins a few months ago, and is fresh off his final ‘Daily Show’. Between this and ESPN/Jonathan Coachman doing a Summerslam themed Sportscenter segment, it almost feels like WrestleMania season all over again. It’s easy to complain about how wrestling isn’t what it used to be, but the current WWE has more mainstream appeal than any other era sans the mid 80s. It’s pure entertainment mixed with a roster of men and women who are ready to steal the show. This weekend should be out of this world.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) August 17, 2015
The end of summer signifies a lot of beautiful things (football!) but my personal favorite might be that SNL returns. A weekend filled with SNL on Saturday night and football all day Sunday is the only weekend there should be, but unfortunately the summer robs us of both. Well the summer is almost over, and SNL is coming back with a bang. One of the most talented two way performers in Miley Cyrus is hosting the season debut, followed by the red hot Amy Schumer, who will be followed by former cast member Tracy Morgan. That is a murderers row of talented people to start a season. Cyrus is the only one who doesn’t have sketch comedy experience, but she’s hosted before and is always down to do whatever is asked. Schumer has her own sketch show, and while it’s not in front of a live audience, she clearly knows comedy and is going to kill it. Tracy Morgan is the most surprising name on the list, but after his accident, it’s awesome to see Lorne invite him back to the stage that made him a household name. October 3rd can’t come soon enough.
I can’t remember the last time I actually watched the VMA’s, but I have to imagine this kind of big news for people who do. MTV’s target audience probably isn’t a 27 year old male who watches wrestling, but for Miley Cyrus fans, she has now multiple chances to be as weird as possible. What I’d like is for some web site to get some prop bets going on this. 5/2 odds that she comes out with a broomstick up her ass or 6/4 odds that she just comes out naked. I’d take the shit out of those odds. Maybe she’ll sing, too? That seems like it’s a little too normal for her but I guess you never know with Miley. She’s an enigma.
Reese Witherspoon stopped by SNL this weekend to pull off the hosting duties, and she was delightful. The show started with a Republican sketch that never really hit, but every sketch Witherspoon was involved in I enjoyed, especially the two times she paired up with Cecily Strong (the LA talk show sketch and Weekend Update). My favorite sketch was actually a Hallmark spoof, with Bobby Moynihan playing the office boss, Mr. Westerberg. All the employees are doing impressions of him in his peculiar voice until Beck Bennett’s character shares a little too much information. The reaction faces from Vanessa Bayer, Reese and Kenan were great, and SNL continues to nail these strange sketches. Louis CK hosts the season 40 finale (!) this Saturday, in what should be an awesome episode.