SNL Scorecard: Were Three Mark Zuckerbergs a Charm?

A "cocky" Jesse Eisenberg hosted last night's edition of Saturday Night Live, though his performance was a bit lost in the excitement from the worst kept secret of the week: The actor's first (OK, maybe second, considering that they most likely caught up during dress rehearsal) face-to-face meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whom Eisenberg portrayed in The Social Network. But, stunt cameos aside, how did the recent Oscar nominee fare?

Honestly, it almost felt like one of those weeks when so much attention is centered around one event that not only does the audience in general forget about the rest of the show, so do the writers. Anyway... on to the scorecard!

Sketch of the Night

"Mister Wizard" (Hader, Eisenberg, Pedrad, Elliott, Thompson): For those who remember Mr. Wizard, Hader (not surprisingly) does a very good impression of him. In this version, Mr. Wizard is none too happy when two of his students start inappropriately rubbing each other with balloons.

Score: 8.0

The Good

"El Shrinko" (Samberg, Eisenberg): "Arthur, your penis is huge. I hate that." The last sketch of the night -- and another headscratcher (no pun intended!) on why it wasn't aired earlier -- finds two young men who try to convince the world that their small penises were by choice, hence the large bottle of El Shrinko on display in their bedrooms.

Score: 7.5

"Don't Forget the Lyrics " (Sudeikis, Eisenberg): This was reasonably amusing. Not on Hulu, but Eisenberg plays a game show contestant who is shockingly bad at remembering easy lyrics.

Score: 7.0

"Jesse Eisenberg Monologue" (Eisenberg, Samberg, Zuckerberg): Before Zuckerberg and his bizarre overacting showed up onscreen, I was digging Eisenberg's "cocky" shtick. Unfortunately, it was lost in the proceedings considering that everyone knew Zuckerberg was going to show up at any second. All in all, sure: It was culturally significant. But anytime the real person shows up on SNL, they no longer are the joke, they become part of the joke and, unfortunately, something is always lost. But, hey, including Samberg, three Mark Zuckerbergs on stage!

Score: 7.0

"Herb Welch" (Hader, Sudeikis): Hey, Herb Welch is officially a recurring sketch! I know, not everyone likes Herb Welch: it's fairly straightforward, easy, and very one note. But it is fun to watch Hader try not to break character as a crusty old reporter who doesn't fully understand what story he's covering.

Score: 7.0

"Bride of Blackenstein" (Pharoah, Eisenberg, Thompson, Minaj): Wait a second! Is it? Is that Jay Pharoah doing a character and not an impression? Actually, it is, and his timing as a mad scientist who's not happy to find out that his new creation has the ability to speak and is a former DMV employee is pretty on the mark. Unfortunately, Nicki Minaj's timing is, well, not.

Score: 6.5

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  • Paolo says:

    The score for Skins and Spa talk must be higher, maybe because this episode finally got me a crush on Eisenberg.

  • Christopher Rosen says:

    Exactly right about The Creep. That was too forced, not good. "Hey, Nicki Minaj wants to do a verse on our song? Go for it!"

  • Bob says:

    Why can't SNL be funny again? =(

  • Geoff says:

    I thought this was maybe the best episode of the year. Seth was on fire during WU (though the commentaries weren't the best), and I liked Spa Talk because Wiig was playing a subtly eccentric character rather than over-the-top crazy and annoying. Eisenberg was better than I expected. Only Don't Forget the Lyrics fell flat for me.

  • Mike Ryan says:

    See, I think that's why I'm disappointed. I agree, Eisenberg was good and seemed up for anything. It seemed they didn't think of much for him to do other than "meet Mark Zuckerberg." I liked "Don't Forget the Lyrics" because it let Jesse be the focus of the sketch.
    Also, Meyers was good but both segments killed "Update" for me.

  • anon says:

    mike ryan, you have absolutely high expectations!

  • Scraps says:

    1. I didn't know that Zuckerberg would be on, nor do I care.
    2. Last new episode I asked who the hell is Cee Lo Green. Now I ask who the hell is Nikki Minaj? What's up with all the crappy musical guests getting sketch time?
    3. Off topic in terms of this week, but DeNiro's two line cameo on 30 Rock this week was light years better than anything he had to work with in a 90 minute show on SNL a couple of weeks ago.

  • topsyturvy says:

    This was one of the better episodes of the season. They wrote skits to the host's strengths. (El Shrinko, Spa Talk, and the opening were the worst of the night). The numbering system is flawed when the Hamm, Paltrow, Rudd, Stone and DeNiro episodes are ranked higher than this one.

  • Al says:

    Worst of the night was definitely Estro-maxx. It just went nowhere at all. The Digital Short at least had John Waters's bookends going for it; similarly 'Skins' had Samberg's excellent bookends. Heck, even Spa Talk made me laugh more than Estro-maxx did.
    And I actually liked every moment of this week's Update. It was nice not to have any tabloid characters or Garth & Kat for a change.
    When I saw the Mr. Wizard graphic, I somehow knew there would be some kind of sex joke, & it was a huge relief to see that it wasn't Mr. Wizard himself doing it. I don't think my lingering traces of childhood could've taken that hit.

  • cecille says:

    The "Don't Forget the Lyrics" and Herb Welch segments should at least score an 8. They were hilarious!!! "Do the Creep" was OK too, at least a 6!!!
    I was preparing for a train wreck but Jesse really impressed me. Loved how game and enthusiastic he was. He seemed like seconds away from laughing in the Herb Welch skit, he was having fun and that's the important thing. Nicki was awesome too. Kudos to everyone for a great show!

  • Mike says:

    Eisenberg, Zuckerberg, Samberg, Michaels... That's one glaringly obvious yet assuredly coincidental all-Jewish name roster in the cold-opener.
    Is it just me, or does Samberg look more like Zuckerberg than Zuckerberg himself does?

  • Kristen says:

    This was arguably one of the better episodes this season. I was pleasantly surprised by Eisenberg.

  • epochd says:

    why is the U.S. map completely different in close-up on Fred during close-ups? they are obviously cutting together different takes. how is this possible in a live show?

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