Last night’s installment of Saturday Night Live, hosted by The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg (with musical guest Nicki Minaj), featured a number of skits that would’ve been funnier at half the running time. In particular, Kristen Wiig’s cold open, “Michele Bachmann experiencing technical difficulties,” and a Mr. Wizard’s World spoof with young teens learning about the joys of heavy petting via a static electricity lesson, featured moderately funny setups that suffered from diminishing returns as the scenarios droned on without the benefit of unexpected twists or any true escalation.
The night’s two best skits came in the second half of the episode: A spoof of MTV’s Skins and a preposterous blaxploitation bit focusing on a Turner Classic Movies airing of The Bride of Blackenstein. The former featured Andy Samberg as the loutish head of MTV’s programming department, defending the network’s racy teen drama Skins, and explaining how low-rent product placement was taking the place of the show’s fleeing advertisers. Samberg reveled in his asinine portrayal, referring to L’oreal as “French Oreos” and explaining the ‘M’ in MTV stands for “Mwaaaaagghhhhh!”; the Skins parody itself, meanwhile, hit its best moments when spoofing the show’s “shock” tactics (i.e. “slutty mashed potatoes,” “I’m 12.”)
The Bride of Blackenstein, meanwhile, got a major upgrade from the addition of musical guest Minaj, who got her brain from a DMV worker, nails from a Walgreen’s cashier, and mouth from “a ho who didn’t know her place.” The recurring punchline — that the bride’s shapely booty made up for her host of personality flaws — was as threadbare as her gown, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. (Yeah, it looked like Minaj was relying pretty heavily on cue cards, but she still managed to steal the scene from her more experienced costars.) Bonus points for that final zinger about the bride’s visiting auntie with the bad foot.
Worst skit of the night? A flat-tire reenactment of Don’t Forget the Lyrics, with Eisenberg injecting sexually awkward/outrageous zingers into the choruses of “Doctor Doctor” and “It’s Not Unusual.” You could practically see the ghost of SNL‘s vastly superior Jeopardy parodies standing stage left, hanging its head in shame. Note to the the show’s writing staff: You can’t save every non-starter of a joke by inserting the words “boner” or “testicle” into the mix, not unless your target demo is 11-year-old boys. And even then, I feel like that last point is an insult to my fifth-grader nephew. (NBC didn’t make available an embeddable version of this skit, so perhaps even the network itself is embarrassed? I’ll sub in another stinker, “Spa Talk,” which should come with a “watch at your own peril” warning.)
What did you think of last night’s SNL? Which skit was your favorite? Which one should’ve been left on the writers’ room floor? And how awesome was Minaj’s wardrobe? Sound off below!