SNL Scorecard: Anne Hathaway Leads a Spirited Comeback
Anne Hathaway did more than bring Saturday Night Live back to form last night -- she hosted the most consistent episode from start to finish this season. Hathaway, when she hosted two years ago, was surprisingly game for just about anything, and her second stint as host -- often a letdown for most hosts not names Jon Hamm -- proved to be a winner. To the Scorecard!
Even the sketches that made the "bad" column this week had some saving graces; most featured good concepts that just didn't come to fruition, as opposed to the "I really want to turn this off" quality seen last week. Well, except "Penelope" (hold that thought).
Sketch of the Night
"Black Friday" (Moynihan): As the coked up rooster told you, this Friday is Black Friday at Mega Mart. Which means you need to line up early for 12 minute madness -- iPads for $39.00, 3D televisions for $71. And there are only seven copies of the new secret Harry Potter and the Treacherous Crawl Space left for only $6 (and stay tuned for next week's live blog). Very reminiscent of last year's brilliant "Kick Spit Underground Festival," only Moynihan isn't playing Ass Dan this time (I think).
"Message From TSA" (Moynihan, Hader, Thompson, Wiig, Pedrad, Elliott): This one was the sketch of the night until "Black Friday" came along near the end of the show. Set up to look like a late-night, "I'm lonely and horny" call-in line, it turns out to be a special message from the TSA. "Do you want to feel contact in certain special places?" "Then why not go through security at an airport?"
"The Wizard of Oz Deleted Scenes" (Armisen, Ensemble): Armisen plays "New York actor" Lon Donson whose rooster weather vane character was cut from The Wizard of Oz. While the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion wanted a brain, heart and nerve -- the weather vane wanted his own apartment. Also, he wasn't a fan of Dorothy's singing. This is the kind of sketch that reminds me of why I like Armisen. (Please bring back Nicholas Fehn soon.)
"Herb Welch" (Hader, Sudeikis): Hader plays WXPD's aging news reporter Herb Welch -- who demands on-air to be referred to as "Mr. Welch." He also has a tendency to strike his interview subjects in the head with his microphone. A pretty one note sketch, but somehow it worked.
"Rachel Maddow Show Cold Open" (Armisen, Ensemble): Abby Elliott is a serviceable Maddow, but what's important is SNL went away from Armisen's tired Obama impression for a different slant on political humor. Last night's victims were Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner -- the American people have spoken; the American people were vague on the details -- and Charlie Rangel. There was something actually quite biting and fresh about this week's cold open that had been missing the last few weeks.
"Weekend Update" (Meyers, Moynihan, Sudeikis, Pharoah): My favorite moment of this week's "Update" was the Seth Meyers' new feature, "Come On, Dictionary"
I'm not a huge fan of Moynihan's Guy Fieri, considering it's almost impossible to parody someone who already is a parody. But, admittedly, Moynihan's manic laugh as Fieri gets me every time. Sudeikis played the founder of Four Loko who introduces his new product, Organ Blaster. Then there was Jay Pharoah borrowing a page from Adam Sandler with his "Thanksgiving Rap." They were fine -- none of them will be the next "Thanksgiving Song" -- but Pharoah loses a point for wearing a shirt that said "Jay Pharoah." He gains a point back for assuming that all white people sing the Golden Girls theme, "Thank You For Being a Friend," at every Thanksgiving.
"Anne Hathaway Monologue" (Hathaway, Ensemble): Hathaway surprised me the first time she hosted because she has an unexpected "Hey, I'm up for anything" attitude that is perfect for hosting SNL. This time around, she explains the reasoning for he nude scenes in Love and Other Drugs -- as the male cast members convince her that every upcoming sketch requires her to be nude. Nothing really special, but it doesn't work at all without Hathaway selling the hell out of it.
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