SNL With Host Jesse Eisenberg: What Were the Best and Worst Skits?

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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Terry says:

    Everything sucked. Total garbage, can’t believe I watched this.

    • Dee says:

      For future reference:
      Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Julian Morris, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Marla Sokoloff, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Adam Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabriel Macht, Halston Sage, Seth Gabel, Alden Ehrenreich.

      Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Connelly, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan, Joel Kinnaman.

      Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Andrew Garfield, Ezra Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Ben Foster, Nikki Reed, Zac Efron, Jonathan Keltz.

      Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

  2. randyfitzimmons says:

    Maybe one day NBC will allow Canadians to see their online videos, which are inexplicably blocked from view, even though we get the American feed of their television shows. Then I will be able to respond.

  3. Tim says:

    The Bride of Blackenstein was clearly the high-point.

    • Lee Harvey says:

      “Bride of Blackenstein” was the best (was Jay Pharoah doing Bootsy?). “MTV Skins” was probably the worst. Jason saved “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” with his Mark McGrath, but just barely.

    • Richard says:

      I didn’t think it was that funny. I mean, I’m not going to laugh just because a woman turns around and shows her fat ass.

  4. Christine says:

    I enjoyed it. I love Jesse Eisenberg though, plus it only had 3 skits that Kristen Wigg showed up in that was the best part of the whole show for me. That and the digital short, Creeper, that had me laughing the whole time!

  5. Samuel says:

    Bride of blackenstein was obviously the best sketch but the Skins parody? Honestly that didn’t even make me smile once, it was definitely the worst sketch of the evening.

  6. Nicole says:

    The opposite is true for me. I think the best skits were the ones you said were worst and vise versa.

  7. a says:

    Weekend Update was great this week!

  8. Nick says:

    No mention of the awkward, yet amazing, “Ice-berg” (Eisenberg/Zuckerberg/Sandberg) in the opening monologue?

  9. AprilD says:

    The news skit featuring Bill Hader was the best for me, but then I didn’t stick around the rest of the night after the Digital Short.

  10. sal says:

    i thought the monologues was funny in the beginning, “those guys are dorks, i invented poking!”…. AWKBERG!!! it could have been hilarious, like jewish boy jokes and more facebook jokes, like wouldnt it have been great if they brought vback horatio sans and jimmy fallon to do that college dorm room thing about being high and somehow incorporated facebook or facemash

  11. maren says:

    i thought the dont forget the lyrics thing was hilarious. :) but i am 13 lmao. so i guess that means it wasn’t funny at all

  12. Monie says:

    Definitely not one of SNL’s finest. Didn’t really laugh at anything. Tyler Perry parody on Weekend Update was stretched too long and the Don’t Forget the Lyrics parody was even worse. Nicki Minaj tried to save it with the Bride of Blackenstein bit. It might have been cliche to have a skit about Facebook, but it may have worked. Very disappointed.

  13. ErixN says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but I enjoyed most of the show. I did not think most skits were too long. The one with the massage therapy was dumb and long, but that was the only skit I did not like.

    • metal2000 says:

      You’re not alone, ErixN. Any follower of the show and fan of comedy knows that they were hitting on (mostly) all cylinders last night, which isn’t something SNL can usually say (even on their best days). Nearly every sketch was well-crafted, didn’t overstay their welcome, and included the right amount of contribution from Eisenberg (who was a very funny host).

      Last night’s SNL proved that, if they want to, the show can still put in a solid 90-minute outing. Just wish they had more of those this season.

      • const says:

        I am a fan of comedy and what was shown on Saturday was not comedy. It was lazy writing. That was probably the worst episode of the year.

      • ErixN says:

        Sometimes I wonder what people are watching because for the most part SNL still makes me laugh. Maybe when they say this is the worst episode of the year they mean 2011… but there have only been 3 episodes so far so that’s not saying much. I loved the Jim Carey episode. Love Gwenyth Paltrow, but thought this episode was better than Gwen’s episode.

  14. Hope says:

    Paid very little attention to the skits; too busy staring at Jesse Eisenberg’s face.

    Like many, I’m in agreement that Bride of Blackenstein was by far the best of the night. While the Mark Zuckerberg bit was slightly amusing, they would have done well to cut it shorter. He kind of sucks at acting. And by “kind of”, I mean “painfully”.

    The Skins thing was hilarious thought.

    • Bandit says:

      Ditto at the “busy staring at Jesse Eisenberg’s face” part.

      I think the worse for me was the spa talk. And even though Zuckerberg “kind of” sucks at acting, he still managed to make me laugh when he did that awk-berg smile after he said, “Come on. I invented poking! *big smile*”

  15. flutiefan says:

    i loved the Mr Wizard skit! you’re way off base there.
    Bride of Blackenstein was obviously well-liked. Nicki was hilarious!
    i didn’t mind Don’t Forget the Lyrics, i thought Eisenberg did fine in it and Jason made it funny. (and i’m a woman in my mid-30s, not a teenage boy)
    El Shrinko made me laugh as such a bad basic cable commercial parody, which is exactly what it was, so it served its purpose perfectly!

    the skit that went on too long was the old news guy, but it had its moments.

  16. Mikey says:


  17. Sabrina says:

    This has been the problem with SNL for the last decade, they beat every idea to death and most of the time it is not even that funny. I only watched the monologue on YouTube and that was painful enough for me to pass on the show.

  18. Jared says:

    i personally thought it was one of the funniest episodes in a long time. i thought jesse did a great job and was laughing through most of the show…

  19. Erica says:

    I thought the Herb Welch Reporter skit was really funny. That was the one that really had me laughing.

  20. Yangus says:

    did anyone else listen to the audience… barely anyone was laughing at the two of your favorite “skits”… they where terrible… just like your opinions…

  21. Willy says:

    How is SNL still on the air, and for 90 minutes yet? If they get 30 minutes of good material a week I am shocked. Weekend Update is the only consistent thing. So I DVR and fastforward to it and the bye bye. If there is any buzz about a specific clip I catch it online.
    How does SNL maintain sponsors for the whole show?

    What is even more amazing it the laughter in studio at nothing! Are they pumping laughing gas in there?

    Time to put this dog to sleep.

  22. wendeeloo says:

    SNL has been terrible for such a long time – It’s stunning that it continues to get people to watch. Sketches always go on and on – stretching one unfunny sophomoric idea into mind-numbing boredom. It seems only when Tina Fey writes the occasional opening sketch – that’s when it’s funny. It’s sad that the good comedy writers – and you know they are out there – don’t get a chance to get their stuff heard.

  23. xwiseguyx says:

    Best to watch with a DVR so you can skip the bad ones..I skipped through the old man news segment half way through. TCM was the best – news not bad either. The digital short gave me the Creeps…

  24. Janie says:

    Any sketch with Jason Sudeikis is hilarious.. LOVE HIM!!!

    but as far as the Don’t forget the lyrics sketch.. think about it.. what if you were watching that show and a contestant came on that just said completely random things instead of the lyrics.. wouldnt that be hilarious? thats what i thought of when i saw the sketch.. Then again i watch Dont forget the lyrics every now and then.. maybe the problem is people probably do not even realize that show is still on.

    the Mr wizard sketch was hilarious!! the look on Jesse’s face when he discovered what rubbing did was just too much! the only one that i thought was bad was the Spa Talk.. the rest of the show was hilarious!

  25. dee says:

    Another gratuitous, random reference to Jesse Eisenberg being Jewish? I’m pretty sure that, at this point in the game, every such reference should be accompanied by a mention of the fact that Natalie Portman, Logan Lerman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Paul Rudd and Mila Kunis are also all Jewish. That’s for starters.