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.
Saoirse Ronan’s SNL – The Race
Fun fact: this is how I run around my house from room to room.
Saoirse Ronan stopped by studio 8H to host SNL last Saturday, and she was delightful. My favorite sketch was a pre taped gem titled The Race, starring Ronan, Kyle Mooney & Beck Bennett. Whenever a Mooney & Bennett sketch make it to air you can guarantee two things: it’ll be weird and I’ll love it. The Race is basically an office feud centered around who can run around the office faster.
The wardrobe and scenery are straight out of the 80s, and in this world, holes in your pants are the worst thing that can happen to you. Bennett’s character has the natural ability and confidence, while Mooney succeeds with some help from Ronan’s Lindsay. It has a bizarrely funny ending and the music is pitch perfect, plus there’s a cameo from Ronan’s Lady Bird co-star Greta Gerwig as the boss.
It’s so funny and odd and trying to explain it is pretty much impossible. Take 5 minutes out of your day to watch this sketch and appreciate the absurdity of Bennett’s and Mooney’s friendship. Don’t forget: James Franco & Sza are your host and musical guest this Saturday night!
Saoirse Ronan, James Franco & Kevin Hart To Host December SNL Eps.
SNL has had an interesting start to it’s 43rd season. They’re still stuck in Trump mode (although Alec Baldwin has not appeared on the last two shows) and they’ve utilized a lot of first time hosts. That trend will continue Saturday when Saoirse Ronan makes her SNL debut, but 2017 will end with a few familiar faces. Franco has hosted three times while Hart has hosted twice, and they’re more household names than the Haddish’s and Ronan’s of the world. With everything happening in Hollywood, having fresh faces host is probably a smart move, but I do enjoy when some old favorites return.
Kevin Hart had one of my favorite monologues of season 41 and Franco is always down to get weird, which usually makes the best hosts. The other thing to look for this weekend and moving forward is how SNL responds to the Al Franken sexual misconducts news. Franken is a former writer and cast member, so I’d expect Jost and Che to have something to say about him during Weekend Update.
Sports Announcer – SNL
Chance The Rapper took his talents to SNL & studio 8H on Saturday night, and he did not disappoint. Season 43 has featured four first time hosts in the first six episodes, and I’d rank Kumail Nanjiani and Mr. Rapper as my top two. Chance was great in every sketch (especially the Family Feud one), but his best performance was in Sports Announcer. Hockey has to be a wild sport for anybody not familiar with the atmosphere and the rules, and Chance nailed his role here. Hopefully this is the first of many more hosting duties in the future.
If you’re looking for a highlight of this episode not featuring Chance The Rapper, check out Pete Davidson’s hilarious rant on Staten Island from Weekend Update.
SNL’s Line Up For November
SNL on Twitter.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) October 30, 2017
We already knew Larry David & Miley Cyrus would be the host/musical guest for this Saturday’s show, but now Saturday Night Live has announced the hosts and musical guests for the next two shows as well. Tiffany Haddish (The Carmichael Show, Girls Trip) & Chance The Rapper will be making their hosting debuts, and they’re accompanied by some power house musical guests. Taylor Swift & Eminem are as big time as it gets for musical guests, and might even appear in a sketch or two. With Haddish and Chance The Rapper making their hosting debuts, 4 out of the first 6 hosts for season 43 will have been first timers.
Kumail Nanjiani hosted SNL this past weekend and continued the trend of stand up comics being some of the best hosts. Stand up comedy seems to be a good pre cursor for hosts of SNL, and most of them have great stage presence which always helps when you’re doing live TV. Nanjiani was a great first time host, and my favorite sketch was Bank Breakers. The reveal of Cecily Strong’s character being a veteran with a sick child was great, as was Nanjiani’s reaction. Jackets and jeans, baby.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please watch his monologue as well.
Gal Gadot hosted SNL for the first time last Saturday, and it seemed like the writers weren’t sure what to do with her. Most of the sketches revolved around how gorgeous she was, but I think if she hosts again it would ideally be a more well rounded show. With that said, there were some highlights from her show on Saturday, including my favorite sketch: First Date. This sketch worked so well because Kenan doesn’t look exactly like OJ, but once the joke kicked in he looked enough like him to pull it off. Great stuff.
Ryan Gosling and his handsome, giggly self hosted SNL for the second time Saturday night. It was a great episode, and similar to his first stint, Gosling excelled at the pre taped sketches, including my favorite one from Saturday: Papyrus. The premise of the sketch is Ryan Gosling’s character can’t understand why the marketing machine behind the Avatar movie used Papyrus font for the movie title. That’s it. It’s so simple and random but Gosling is so damn good that he makes it all work. His delivery of the line ‘they’re making more?’ might have been my favorite part of the whole episode. Enjoy!