Sofia Vergara Hosted SNL: 90 Minutes And The Return of Gilly?!
Welcome back! It seems like its been ages since we’ve gathered for an SNL recap. The cast and crew has taken most of March off for an extended Spring Break. It wasn’t an uneventful break as they hired a new featured player Kate McKinnon as the rumor mill went crazy about some cast members potentially departing.
Sofia Vergara was tapped to handle the hosting duties for the night. It’s her first time hosting the show and what I think is a good call for a few reasons – 1) she’s pretty damn popular as a cast member of the red-hot Modern Family 2) she’s attractive and who would have issues watching her on TV for a spell and 3) despite these two factors, she seems to be completely willing to make fun of herself to sell a joke.
Granted, it’s a given we’re going to have to endure more than a few jokes about Vergara’s thick accent and the case of not understanding it. But let’s hope the weeks off helped prime the writer’s creative juices (as it usually does) and we get ourselves an episode worth talking about.
COLD OPENING: MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGN
I see three weeks off and the “Mitt Romney is not like us” jokes just keep on coming. While I understand the coverage of the GOP primaries is necessary, I do believe there has to be new way to tackle this topic. With that being said, this was a funnier than most Romney cold openings but like Mitt Romney himself, it doesn’t mean he’s the ideal cold opening.
Vergara delivers us a fairly straightforward monologue that didn’t rely on a lot of cast interaction. Vergara made a few solid jokes about her accent, Al Bundy, New Jerseee!!! and South American heritage. She then made a promise to us, in no few words, forgave us for staring at her chest for the whole night.
WE’RE JUST FRIENDS
This commercial could’ve very well been a Digital Short, it also explained the photo of Andy Samberg and Jason Sudekis that circulated around the web earlier this week. It’s the first of three pre-recorded sketches we’ll get in the night.
Now is also the moment of the night when I realize that Sofia is in every commercial that’s currently airing in between the show. So we’re probably going to get the full 90 minutes of Vergara-ness.
BEIN’ QUIRKY WITH ZOOEY DESCHANEL
I’m glad this has become a return sketch, if not for any other reason than Taran Killam’s take on Michael Cera’s awkwardness. The first time around it wasn’t as tight as it was time around. Tying in Vergara as Fran Drescher was perfect (even though I wouldn’t define Fran as quirky). Kristen Wiig also does a great Drew Barrymore impression and the desk of typewriters just worked. Alas, once we get to Andy Samberg as Mayim Bialik the sketch is just the right amount of over the top. One of the best of the night.
Almost pizza, eat some… or die! Bill Hader, you are one of my favs!
NEWS TEAM PROMO
Vergara takes on a bit of an English accent in this sketch that mirrored the FOX sports sketch that was done back when Channing Tatum hosted the show. Fred Armisen’s goofy anchorman was funny but this sketch coulda benefited from being shorter. This is our weakest sketch of the night in my opinion, hopefully the others are better.
GILLY IN SEX ED
For the last year or so we were under the impression that Kristen Wiig had retired the Gilly character and for good reason. Then like a bad cold, Gilly is back, hooray? This entire sketch seemed like it was resurrected either because the writers wanted to hear Vergara say “Giiiiilllly” with her accent or they had no other great sketch ideas that could incorporate her as a Sex Ed teacher that could draw a realistic image of her vagina. I like and dislike this Gilly sketch for all the same reasons I dislike/like all previous Gilly sketches and in the end, it shoulda stayed in retirement.
ONE DIRECTION: “WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL”
The X-Factor approved One Direction performed on a different show last night as well, it was on iCarly which is probably where they belonged more. I’m not 100% sure them performing on SNL at midnight on a Saturday is the prime demographic to get the tween girls screaming. Looking at this on the bright side, they all have Bieber-like hair but at least the synchronized dancing is at a minimum.
I’m always excited about Bobby Moynihan’s drunk uncle appearances on Weekend Update. In fact, I’m glad SNL finally figured out how to properly use Bobby on the show, it took a while but his appearances on Weekend Update are now only rivaled by Bill Hader at this point. And I do too want to keep my wi-fi organic.
MANUEL ORTIZ SHOW
This sketch has never made me laugh, and I’m nearly positive it was dusted off tonight was because a bonafide Latino was available to add some legitimate dance spice. I would also reckon that had I possessed some personal interest in One Direction, their drop in woulda made me laugh a bit more. We need to retire this sketch and keep it retired.
And we have ourselves a rehash of the Lil’ Poundcake commercial.
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE
Taran Killam is the future of SNL and I’d love to see him bumped up to a regular as soon as possible. His injection of new character like Bravo head honcho/host Andy Cohen are funny and solid. This sketch also marked the first speaking role of Kate McKinnon with a great turn as Tabatha Coffey, the feisty blonde taker-over.
ONE DIRECTION “ONE THING”
About 20 seconds into this performance, my girlfriend made the declaration “If I were 13, I’d love these kids!” so they got that going for them.
This might be the most meta moment of the night since Vergara served in every sketch then was in nearly every actual commercial in between. So why not write a sketch that blends both of these elements? It was also a great moment for McKinnon to shine as a great Penelope Cruz foil for Vergara (as herself) to play off of. McKinnon’s Cruz wasn’t perfect but it was witty because it didn’t simply say “look we have weird accents” but made one of the two players with an accent struggle with difficult words. Refrigerator.
HUNGER GAMES REPORTER
As someone who hasn’t really given much notice or care to The Hunger Games phenomenon I did find this idea somewhat interesting. Though it fell apart kinda quickly I must admit, Vergara declaring “They should be called Fun-ger Games because I’m having so much fun!” and “Booom! Hunger Games!” generated bigger chuckles from me than they probably should’ve. Though I would like to see a sketch of The Hunger Games Puppy Bowl after that screenshot.
There were few sketches that weren’t great, and while I wasn’t timing it, I’m nearly certain Vergara was just as heavily featured in the ads that ran in between the show as during the show itself. She seems to be part of a bottomless well of endorsement deals. And though it would’ve been fairly easy to reduce her just a host with a large chest and heavy accent, the show decided to harness her enthusiasm instead, resulting in a great episode. It’s very easy to tell when the cast and the host are having a good time with the show. And Vergara’s eagerness to jump into the night payed off big.
What were your thoughts on the night? Until then, let’s mark the calendars to do this all again next week when Josh Brolin hosts again and Gotye drops in as the musical guest.