When I first heard Melissa McCarthy was going to host Saturday Night Live I was completely excited to see how she fared. McCarthy was one of the breakout stars in Bridesmaids this summer and demonstrated her ability to hang with others with serious comedy chops. Then less than a week before he SNL rookie debut, she wins an Emmy award for her work on the sitcom Mike & Molly. So the stakes were high and people would be watching so let’s see how McCarthy fared.
COLD OPENING: LAWRENCE WELK
Nice addition of McCarthy to the sister act with one of Kristen Wiig’s biggest laugh-getting bits. This bit in general is 50/50 for me depending on my mood, its an excuse to put some of the Bridesmaids together so I’ll give it a 60%.
Well there’s definitely no mistaking that McCarthy was excited to be there. Hell, I would be too. Hosting SNL is a dream for most comedians and will top a pretty monster year she’s having. The monologue did have its moments but did once again, seemed like be it was an excuse to put Wiig and McCarthy on screen again more than anything else. But we should never use the monologue as the barometer for the show.
COMMERCIAL: LIL’ POUNDCAKE
SNL is great at their commercials, last week’s Red Flag was terrific and here’s another strong contender. Every little girl should get a Lil’ Poundcake doll this Christmas. Future teenage boys and Rick Perry will thank you.
McCarthy’s Arlene wants to have relations with Jason Sudekis’ Tim and away we go. At first I thought this was going to be a retread of a Rob Schneider bit, then I realized it was a retread of a Rob Schneider and Chris Farley bit. I do have to give props to McCarthy, she carried the sketch with her physicality, turning it into something fun with her commitment, rather than just middle of the road. In lesser hands, it might have been a forgettable moment, but McCarthy pulls the victory and hilarity ensues.
DIGITAL SHORT: STOMP
Can we all agree to to just forget this Digital Short? Like all of us just sorta wipe it from our collective memory? Great! Let’s also agree The Blue Man Group deserve better. I’m usually down for the zainy Digital Shorts but this one seemed about 15 years too late on everything, from Stomp, to The Blue Man Group, to Cop Rock references.
THE COMMENTS SECTION
I really do like this idea for a bit, haul out the random anonymous posters and confront them. There’s social commentary here about cyberbullying right? Like a better version of the show H8r because random Bill Hader is the awesomest of the Haders.
CHRIS ROCK ON BROADWAY
Chris Rock was on Broadway, no seriously he was the play was called The Motherfucker With The Hat. So the point of this sketch was? Not sure, and I’m not one that feels bits need beginnings, middles, and ends, or a reason, I just need those things to be fun and here we have a general excuse for Jay Pharoah to do a great impression so there’s that.
If you like Lady Antebellum, then watch, if you don’t, fast forward away. Feel free to guess which one I did.
I don’t know what it is about Weekend Updates this season so far, but they’ve been pretty meh. Which is weird since they are usually a highlight for me. Perhaps it’s because the sketches have been strong so they don’t tentpole the episodes as much. It could also be because I’m quietly waiting for the return of Stefon before I have anything good to say about Weekend Update. You hear me Seth Meyers? Ya do, ya do.
This sketch elicited chuckles, I will say that. But again, I don’t believe it was because of a funny premise, rather McCarthy was able to pull it off with great panache simply by totally going for it with the physical humor. This character wasn’t much different than the other “kooky lady” character we got earlier in the episode but hey, if it worked once…
I’m kinda surprised at this sketch… it just seemed mean at the expense of the host. I’m all for doing what works in your wheelhouse of physical comedy but a “hey, let’s watch the large lady fall down over and over,” sketch is just a simple note as,”fat guy farting.”
This bit was well-written but the twist at the end seemed like there wasn’t a clever way to wrap it up. And everyone who wasn’t the principles had a big problem with their cue card reading, even Kristen Wiig, who usually does not have these problems.
Well, that’s a wrap everyone. Bad sketches or not, last night’s episode was a great showcase of Melissa McCarthy’s comedic talent. I can’t immediately think of another host as willing to commit to the physical humor as often as she did. She was pretty fearless for not just a newbie host but for all hosts. There’s not much doubt she’ll get asked to host again and who knows? Maybe she’ll ascend to the the ranks of Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, and Justin Timberlake as sure fire grand slams when they host.
Other things of note:
- Do people really care about Lady Antebellum? I ask because to this day I still have no idea how to gauge modern country music.
- Taran Killam was all over this episode, in fact I think he was only missing from maybe two sketches. Colbie Smulders’ baby-daddy is becoming more and more valuable.
- Is Fred Armisen only doing cold openings at this point?
Can they keep it up next week when Ben Stiller and Foster The People invade studio 8H? We’ll have to wait and see.