SNL Scorecard: Zach Galifianakis Does His Best to Save a Mediocre Show
Sparked by his "anything can happen" vibe and another brilliant monologue, I had high expectations early on in Zach Galifianakis's return to hosting Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, the staff around Galifianakis didn't seem to know what to do with him -- and there was a lot of show left for things to go wrong.
It did occur to me along the way that Galifianakis is probably not the easiest guy to write for as a host. When left on his own, as he showed in the monologue, the guy is great at being "Zach Galifianakis." After that (for the most part), it was a crap shoot, and a baffling one to boot: "So you want to shave your head to resemble Mr. T? OK, well, how about right before the good nights?" Seriously, the guy would have done anything, and that stunt is saved for the good nights? Anyway, on to the scorecard...
Sketch of the Night
"Zach Galifianakis Monologue" (Galifianakis): A couple of weeks ago on the SNL: Backstage documentary that aired on NBC, Seth Meyers admitted that the monologue was by far the hardest thing to write -- pretty much having to choose between "questions from the audience" or "surprise walk on." But Galifianakis offered his a one-of-a-kind solution: a steady diet of non sequiturs and an Andy Kaufman-esque lip-sync rendition of "Tomorrow" from Annie to give the best SNL monologue since... well, the last time Galifianakis hosted.
"Comedy Tour" (Galifianakis, Brittain, Moynihan, Thompson): "Ooooo, Funky Boy!" David "Beef Jelly" Winfield, Goran "Funky Boy" Bogdan, Slappy Pappy and Pete "Airhorn" Shultz are the Kings of Catchphrase Comedy and they're back on tour. Somehow, some way, pretty much every single catchphrase that has ever been attempted in the last 30 years of comedy makes an appearance in this sketch. Brittain and Moynihan absolutely kill it here.
"Noodles" (Galifianakis, Pedrad, Moynihan, Elliott): Not on Hulu, sadly, this sketch definitely gets the award for oddest of the evening. Two parents try to explain to their kids what has happened to their dog, Noodles, who has died. But every excuse -- like "upstate on a farm" -- has huge holes in the story that the kids point out. Eventually the parents have to admit that Noodles died from autoerotic asphyxiation. (Update: There is a not the greatest YouTube clip available posted below.)
"Corn Syrup Commercial" (Pedrad, Wiig): Is it just me or did this one just kind of come out of nowhere? In the sense that it was a commercial parody and it was the second to last sketch of the night, I wanted to dismiss it just because it didn't air in its usual spot after the monologue. Regardless, after a second viewing, it's got a biting, multi-layered message that was a shame to see aired so late in the evening.
"March Madness Cold Open" (Thompson, Sudeikis, Pedrad, Hader, Armisen, Samberg, Wiig): Honestly this wasn't a very good sketch. It was almost just a cheap answer to the question, "Hey, how do we get Charlie Sheen into the cold open again?" Two things push it into the good: A (better late than never) Melissa Leo impression and Sudeikis's line about Nicolas Cage's last three films, "That's just an epic run of nonsense."
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