SNL With Zach Galifianakis: What Were the Best and Worst Skits?

From Movieline.com‘s tube-obsessed Louis Virtel….

BREAKING: Zach Galifianakis is much funnier than Miley Cyrus. Nice recovery, SNL. The Hangover star returned to Studio 8H for a second hosting stint last night, gifting us with plenty of fine characters and skits. He also burdened us with the most cliched final sketch in recent memory, and that’s something of an accomplishment. Prepare to cross your eyes and whine like musical guest Jessie J!

Best Sketch: Monologue
Behold, the most freeform monologue in SNL history: Galifianakis transitioned from standup jokes and impersonations (my favorite was “Guy from Queens Who’s Obsessed with Cargo Shorts”) to an Andrea McArdle lip-sync and a cue-card gag. Bizarre? Indeed. Hilarious? From beginning to end. I’ve watched it three times now, and I’ve concluded that it’s also performance art. We’re all smarter now!

Best Sketch: Family Dog
Turns out there are plenty of hysterical ways for the family dog to die, and one involves a copy of PUGGS magazine. To say more about this (disturbingly) great sketch would be unthinkable — although I wish it hadn’t ended with Kenan Thompson’s unfunny voiceover bit. (We’ll add the embedded version once NBC makes it available.)

Worst Sketch: Titanic Lifeboat
Maybe producers nicknamed this sketch “Dead in the Water” during rehearsals, knowing it would fail. I can’t even decide which of its hackneyed ideas made me frown hardest: The repeated wails of “Shut your mouth”? The outdated Titanic conceit? The ever-hilarious scrolling epilogue? It’s a cavalcade of SNL cliches! A jamboree of jank! A funhouse of funlessness. Just all wrong. I turn my nose up at this sinkable nonsense like Rose DeWitt-Bukater.

What did you think of Zach’s second time on SNL? Was it better than his first? Is Bill Hader’s Charlie Sheen impression growing on you? And did that uneven skewering of CBS’s The Talk make you long for SNL‘s great parodies of The View with Cheri Oteri and Tracy Morgan? Leave it in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel.

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34 Comments
  1. Buffy Freak says:

    The biggest problem with The Talk sketch was that most people haven’t seen the real show. The View is a much easier target because even if you haven’t seen the show you are familiar with the hosts and/or have seen clips of it on so many other shows because it makes headlines. I think if The Talk had any kind of buzz, the sketch probably would have gone over much better.

    Zach’s monologue was great…he’s a terrific host for sure.

  2. CAR says:

    Love how far Zach goes for a laugh when he came out with the mohawk at the end of the show. “We ran out of time for the Mr. T sketch.” Funnier than Miley’s run, but still not the funny SNL of old.

  3. James Firkind says:

    Aww, my comment got removed :( It wasnt even offencive, well cept towards Sheen’s sanity.

  4. AprilD says:

    I had no idea that The Talk was a real show until I read these comments. Still, I think it wasn’t a very strong sketch until Hader kind of saved it as Steven Tyler. Best part of the show besides the Monologue was Zach interviewing for child assistants. It was adorable AND funny!

  5. Adam says:

    The talk sketch was hilarious! It seemed bad because the show is bad, i don’t know why I watch it but I do and the parody of it last night was so dead on as to how the real show runs, it would have been identical if the Leah character would have made fun of the Sarah character for being vegan…I know most people think the sketch was rough but it was really spot on..

    • Em says:

      You’re right – it was totally spot on. Especially how awkward Julie Chen is. Perhaps one of the worst talk show hosts ever. She seems completely uncomfortable on that show and of course the only reason she is on it is because she is married to Les Moonves.
      And I like how they put in that they are all different people from different walks of life. More like different people from different areas of entertainment.

      • Tammy says:

        What was missing is all the comments about how this is a show for mothers… that’s what differentiates it from the View (in their minds) is they are talking about issues that concern Mom’s. But yes the skit was pretty spot on and all the needed was Leah to scream more. I watched The Talk for about 8 episodes and quit… horrible, horrible, horrible.

  6. D says:

    Miley was funnier for younger people like me. I’m 20. I don’t find bizarre funny. Snl used to be funny without doing things that make no sense. I like comedy that you laugh at because it makes you look at things a different way. Since Tina and Amy left, everything has gone downhill. It’s just a bunch of bizarre skits, few laughs and me thinking of snls of yesteryear. The season right before jimmy left was the best. Can’t they try to be like them. Also zach sucked.

    • Kris says:

      Miley was funny to no one! I’m 19, she was awkward and awful. It’s ridiculous to say that Miley is funnier to young people because she’s young. You’re the reason everyone thinks we’re stupid.

  7. chloe says:

    I didn’t think any of it was funny. SNL is consistently disappointing. I’m not sure why I bother to watch it anymore.

    • Corinne says:

      I’m with you. The only funny thing was the monologue and that cause Zach Galifianakis is amazing. It shows how bad the writing has become that they could make it funny with him at the helm.

    • Meredith says:

      I agree about the show not being funny. I actually thought the before titles piece “World Madness Tourney Selection” was really funny and the guys were spot on. I was hoping it meant a good show was on the way but I was wrong. The Zach G pieces all fell apart. Does he have to go to the gutter for all his humor? I understand that some enjoy that but to have it shoved down your throat the entire show?

      Jessie J’s first song was much better than the second. Couldn’t understand what she was saying.

  8. Linda says:

    I too loved the monolouge! You could see Zach still had glitter in his beard in the Talk sketch. Haha :)
    Least favorite skit: The Talk.. Enough with Abby Elliot already! Why did she get promoted to regular over Jenny Slate? She does not have comedic timing! It drives me nuts. Kristen Wiig saved her with her comebacks. I’m starting to like Nasim Pedrad more and more, hope she’ll stick around, the same with Vanessa Bayer. I would love to see more of Jay Pharoah, he had only one apperance on the show last night, that I remember… And also, weekend update is not as funny anymore.. I miss Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.. But I love Parks & Rec and 30 Rock, so I can’t really complain.. Zach was a teriffic host. Now I wanna see Aziz Ansari host! or anyone from the Parks and Rec cast, or the 30 Rock cast. Jack McBrayer ftw! :)

    • adam says:

      again, i’m not sure if you watch the actual “the talk” but i’m guessing you don’t because this skit was awesome if you do watch…the actresses may have seemed off on their timing and everything, but they were imitating the terrible timing and chemistry between the hosts of that show…

    • Jenny says:

      Abby Elliott did a perfect Leah Remini, so spot on I thought it was her for a minute. The TALK IS so awkward!

  9. Kris says:

    Didn’t think it was funny at all. The only decent sketches weren’t even mentioned. Also, the monologue was just ok.

  10. jay says:

    The entire show was pretty funny last night, the opening monologue was hilarious! If there was one sketch that I hated, it was the “kings of catchphrase comedy” bit. That was just painful to watch. It was probably one of the 10 worst bits that I’ve seen over the last few years. I can’t believe SNL even greenlighted it. The audience was totally silent and it looked like a 13 year old, wrote it. It was so bad, I can’t even put into words, how bad it was. As for the entertainment, I love Jessie J., but she got too “cutesy” on stage and over-sang her songs. Why can’t entertainers sing the same way live, that they sing on the radio and videos? It’s so annoying.

    • hs says:

      kings of catchphrase comedy is the funniest sketch I can remember in years. It’s brilliant/genius. I’ve watched it at least 15 times online. Dead-on skewering parody of everything that’s wrong with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour/Branson, MO/Yakov Smirnoff type of stand-up.

      Different strokes I suppose!

  11. QD says:

    I thought it was awful and unfunny, I turned it off midway through because it was so lame. Bad writing is bad writing. I feel for the poor saps who get conned into hosting. Thanks SNL for freeing up an hour and a half of my time. Buh-bye.

  12. Lauren says:

    I was pretty disappointed in the monologue….mainly because this is the second time Zach has hosted and the SECOND time he has basically used jokes from his stand up (including the orphan annie bit) as his monologue. He’s been making the same stand up jokes since 2007 and while they had me in stitches then, I don’t appreciate trying to pass them off as new material, especially on SNL.

  13. Michael says:

    They nailed the Talk IMHO.

  14. abc123 says:

    The opening monologue was great and was, together with Kristen Wiig’s appearance on Weekend Update, the strongest part of the night. The dog sketch was funny in a disturbing way but pretty much everything else fell flat. I didn’t hate the Titanic sketch as much as the author but I sure didn’t like it. The lowest point of the night: the Canadian gossip sketch. Wiig was the only one capable of doing a decent Canadian accent.

    Wiig actually carried the show this week. The awkward “The Talk” parody was saved by her Julie Chen and she pretty much shone in every skit she appeared in last night.

  15. SNL loyal says:

    I can say without a doubt that this was the best show of the season so far and i’m a bit disappointed that some people on this forum disagreed. It was crazy funny in almost every sketch and COME ON!, you can even compare Zach Galifanakis with Miley Cyrus, he’s one of the funniest people at this moment. I agree that the “kings of catchphrase” skit was a little off but the rest of them were top notch.
    And REALLY? You thought that the “Titanic safeboat” was the worst sketch? Cause’ I burst into laughter and almost fell of my chair; couldn’t even breathe when Kristen said “I think I’ll blast over that sucker”:)))…REALLY!!!
    The show overall was hilarious and Kristen’s appearence on Weekend Update was brilliant as was her performance in every sketch. I truly support Kristen’s big screen career, she’s an amazing actress but I always feel a little bitter when I think that on day she’ll leave SNL…

  16. Anthony says:

    I have been looking forward to this show all week because I knew Zach was hosting, and the best part was the monologue. I barely laughed beyond that point, not until Bill Hader showed up as Sheen. I have been so dissapointed with this show all year. They have good talent in Hader, Sandberg, Sudekis, and Wiig, but I’m guessing the writers are mostly to blame. They are getting dumber and dumber every week, and I feel like I wasted time hoping one of my favorite comedians would turn things around.

    This show has had some good moments, but it’s just not as funny as it was in the past. Writers used to play to the actors strengths, now they take a shot in the dark and hope it pans out, but it’s not. I’m not watching another episode for a couple years

  17. Jim McD says:

    I wonder if the Talk sketch is the kind of thing that will get funnier the more they do it. With its awkward silences and robo-Chen, seemed like a devastating critique. For me, the Leah Remini bit could have been dialed down a little, or varied. They sort of beat that joke to death.

    • Michael says:

      Jim, I think Leah could be dialed down a bit; her incredulous remarks at topics is a tad over the top. I’ve read a lot of criticisms of the Talk sketch, saying it had awkward silences and forced girlfriend chemistry, but, to me, that’s the show.

  18. hannah says:

    This week’s show had me in stitches. I watched the monologue at least 5 times… best monologue in a long time!!! But I agree… the show hasn’t been quite as funny as it used to be… bring back Justin timberlake as a host… or betty white… best hosts ever

  19. Will says:

    Not sure if you’ve been to Canada, but it sounded like Wiig was doing a North Dakota or Minnesota accent…never heard a Canadian talk remotely like that.

  20. Martin says:

    I liked the show, but hated the celebrity scoop skit. Worst Canadian accents ever eh. But as a Canadian I will politely smile, and appreciate their effort. Oh, and the car mat advice is sound.

  21. Arianne says:

    Am i the only one who noticed what looked like an altercation between fred armisen and zach? What their interaction as the credits are rolling.

    • Ashleigh says:

      I saw that!! Zach gave a decent shove to Fred, nudged him away and continued to hug the rest of the SNL cast. Can’t seem to think why there would of been that sort of display.

      • Art says:

        I noticed it as well. Fred looked like he was taken aback by it. I would like to know what exactly that was about.

  22. Hannah says:

    One of my first times watching the show and my friend got me hooked. :) I thought most of the sketches were really funny. The Talk skit was really funny, because I have seen that show before and it is pretty awful. The dog skit was funny, too. I didn’t watch the Celebrity Scoop skit, but I saw the Weekend Update one. We were laughing at Liam (the teenager who just woke up). :) As for the Comedy Kings, that sketch was horrible! I didn’t think it was funny at all, because it bored me. As for Jessie J, that performance was also terrible. I remember saying at the end, “What is she saying?” (“It’s not about the m-m-m-m-money m-money, forget about your m-m-m-m-money”, what?!) The monologue was also funny. Overall, my favorite skit was definitely the talk sketch.

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