Arcade Fire were the musical guests for Saturday’s SNL. Bill Hader was the host and it was easily one of the best episodes of the season. This was their fifth appearance as musical guests, and they played two tracks from their newest album, Everything Now.
Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
My favorite of the two was their futuristic performance of Creature Comfort. Arcade Fire always brings the funk with them to SNL, and this performance was no different. They even got in on the sketch comedy with a cameo in CBC Report.
Natalie Portman stopped by 8H to host SNL for the second time last Saturday night. This was the 4th SNL in a row for the cast and writers, and you could tell they were a little worn out. It was a tough situation to avoid with the Olympics starting tomorrow and taking over NBC. SNL had to run a bunch of episodes in a row since they’ll be off until March 3rd. The show started off strong with Revolutionary War and another classic Portman rap. It got a little wacky towards the end with Alien Lover & Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, but overall I enjoyed it. The funniest sketch for me was Stranger Things 3.
Natalie Portman – SNL
I enjoyed everyone’s role here. Mikey Day as the horny version of Mike was great. Portman as Eleven trying to explain ‘momma’ and her nose bleeds was funny. I legitimately laughed out loud when Beck Bennett’s Fourteen started a small fire and threw up in his mouth. Ditto for Cecily Strong’s Nine reading people’s minds and then farting. I’m not sure if it’s worrying that people throwing up in their mouth and farting is a guaranteed laugh for me, but that’s a battle for another day. Also, whoever came up with the character that cooks great chili but gets a brain bleed should win some type of award.
Will Ferrell returned to host SNL for the fourth time on Saturday. Simply put, he showed why he’s one of the greatest sketch comedians of all time. He was in literally every sketch (and Weekend Update) and gave SNL it’s highest ratings of the season. Fighter Pilots, Dinner Discussion & Reality Stars were all great. As was Next: For Men, which should absolutely be a real product. Commercial Shoot starring Ferrell and Kate McKinnon was my personal favorite, though.
Will Ferrell & Kate McKinnon – Commercial Shoot
This sketch is based on outtakes from an actual commercial from 2012 for a restaurant in Maine. The sketch starts funny and somehow keeps upping the funny until I was genuinely almost in tears. Ferrell’s mumbling delivery is perfect, as is the deer in the headlights stare from McKinnon. Ferrell’s character comes close at first but things shortly go off the rails. Nobody beats The Wiz was my personal favorite mess up. I love a lot of what SNL does, but my parent’s generation are used to a completely different kind of comedy. I knew this sketch was a hit when I went over to their house this week and they asked me if I saw this sketch. Will Ferrell – bridging generational comedy gaps.
Jessica Chastain hosted SNL for the first time Saturday night. This isn’t the first time I’ve typed that, as Chastain is the 7th first time host this season. It was a solid episode (not as good as Sam Rockwell) with highlight sketch Taco Math & great Weekend Update. The best part of show was easily ‘Fresh Prince’, which re-imagined a dark extended cut of the opening theme song.
Fresh Prince – SNL
The last two years have been some of the strongest for new cast members. Mikey Day and Alex Moffat consistently kill it. Heidi Gardner has nailed every role she’s been given. Chris Redd is also fantastic, and this was his shining moment. This story was woven so tightly and everything they added worked flawlessly. Kenan as Uncle Phil, Method Man as the head thug & Leslie Jones as Will’s mom were all perfect. Watch this, and then watch it again.
Sam Rockwell hosted SNL for the first time Saturday night, and he was wonderful. Rockwell is one of those under the radar actors who excel at SNL (see Chris Pine) and there wasn’t a false sketch on the night. If you’re looking for the most news worthy story from this show, it’s Rockwell dropping a F bomb during the Science Show sketch. In fact, that’s about the only thing you get when you search ‘Sam Rockwell SNL”:
While the F bomb was accidental, Rockwell didn’t let it affect him. Science Show, Captain Hook and Marcus Comes To Dinner were all hysterical. Pre-taped sketches My Drunk Boyfriend and ATM were also really good. The sketch with the most absurd premise and my personal favorite was Genetics Lab.
Sam Rockwell and Mikey Day play scientists working on their latest project. The project seems a little too crazy for potential investors, played by Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant and Kenan Thompson. It’s tough to blame them when we find out the project is a ‘dog head guy’. The $35 million project involves Rockwell’s character’s dead brother’s body and the head of his dog. As the sketch progresses, the cast can barely keep it together. Also, that dog is as cute as it gets.
Overall, a great return episode for SNL who was off for the holidays for the past few weeks. We even got Bill Murray as Steve Bannon! This week, Jessica Chastain hosts with musical guest Troye Sivan.
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.