SNL With Anna Faris: Best and Worst Skits?

Saturday Night Live‘s 2011 Halloween episode was the equivalent of that dude who shows up at a costume party in his street clothes and announces he’s dressed as himself. Whether there’s a lack of effort or merely a misguided sense of what’s hilarious, it’s just not funny.

Host Anna Faris, meanwhile, was stuck in poor Charlie Brown mode, holding out her trick-or-treat bag looking for a decent skit, but getting rock after rock after rock. Here are my picks for best (barely) and worst (a deep and contentious field) skits:

Best: Lord Wyndemere
Faris brings home a new beau to meet the family, and he turns out to be a tights-wearing, footman-employing dandy named Lord Wyndemere (Paul Brittain). An utterly stupid concept, made stupidly funny by Brittain’s twee, tee-hee efforts, as well as Jason Sudeikis’ turn as a dad delighted by Wyndemere’s dancing and giggling, and enraged by his bratty son’s (Andy Samberg) very existence.

Worst: “Tell Him”
Four gals in an old-fashoned diner counsel their lovelorn pal about how to lie to a man to get him to commit to a relationship. Proof that just because you’ve set a skit to the tune of the Exciters’ “Tell Him” doesn’t make your clichéd “battle of the sexes” jokes any less stale or threadbare. Is it any wonder NBC doesn’t have this skit available for embedding?

Worst: Manuel Ortiz Show
Okay, so maybe the inexplicable closing skit with Faris and Kristen Wiig as Porsche calendar aficionados was worse, and maybe another missed opportunity to score laughs via the GOP debate was more infuriating, but I feel like Fred Armisen deserves special negative attention this week thanks to his incompetent, show-opening imitation of NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, followed by another interminable Manuel Ortiz installment rescued only briefly by Bill Hader’s maniacal reaction shots. Too bad the fire alarm didn’t go off before the first guest arrived, no?

What did you think of this week’s SNL? What are your picks for best and worst skit? Sound off in the comments!

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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72 Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Worst episode in awhile. Was Anna Farris even promoting anything? Paled in comparison to last year’s Halloween episode with Jon Hamm.
    The next new episode with Charlie Day and Maroon 5 has me sl

  2. Nick says:

    Worst ep of the season.

    More importantly, what was up with Anna Faris’ face? Maybe it’s that awful haircut, but she looked like Goldie Hawn circa five years and 12 plastic surgeries from now.

  3. Amanda says:

    The only good part of this episode was finding out Charlie Day is hosting next with Maroon 5.

  4. Captain says:

    It definitely wasn’t a great episode. Anna tried but the writing simply couldn’t be saved.

  5. Wes Bevans says:

    The whole show was awful. Even the news segment sucked, and it usually is a highlight. I recorded it like I always do so I can zip through the boring parts, If I had know it was all bad I could have avoided it entirely. We need a Preview site!

  6. David says:

    Ms. Google says this here “TV Line” is one if very few to deliver a clear, easy to find, no muss, no fuss, overnight episode recap and review. So way to go. I did an “Occupy” last night and missed SNL, looks like I did not miss much. I love that Lorne Michaels encourages so many young adults for everything at SNL: writing, performing, musicians. So when will this comedy genius realize that ought to apply to his OWN job? I appreciate his legacy so much, but it is beyond just him. Example: I think we’d see more scathing political zingers if a ‘non-one-percenter’ young adult could get behind captain’s wheel. A successor would prove Lorne’s gift to us all is enduring. Let go Lorne! And thanks again TV Line, I am impressed!

  7. Liz says:

    I’d switch around your best and worst tbh. Loved Tell Him…HATED Lord Wyndemere.

    • Denise says:

      I agree. I loved Tell Him- I watched it more than once. I thought Lord Wyndemere was stupid though.

      • Elaine says:

        Overall not a great show for me either. But…….

        Really enjoyed “Tell him” ….bored out of my mind with the dany Lord skit.

        Part of the candidates skit was funny ..in the arking lot.

    • Johnny says:

      I agree. Tell Him was funny enough – but more importantly, a lot of fun. We watched it twice at our home as well. Sure it’s been said before in many ways but the delivery, hooky tune and commitment of the players sold it for me. It was a nice classic sort of sketch, a good break from some of the more absurd bits of late.

    • corey says:

      i actually consistently disagree with michael’s best and worst…in fact i always tihnk while watcihng snl, i like this. michael will have it as the worst. and then the next morning i come here and find it is true once again. lord whatevermere was funny? i thought it was stupid. go tell him!

    • wait-til-87 says:

      agreed. Loved “Tell him.” It had some fun energy to it. What’s so wrong with having a little “sweetness” in a skit once in a while?

  8. TheFinalMan says:

    It’s weird that this has been my favorite episode of the season even though all the previous comments have said the exact opposite. I’m so happy for newbie-player Paul Brittain for finally doing something good. And the hosts have dragged down the skits this season, but Anna Faris was a true asset to this episode.

  9. Taylor says:

    My favorite moment was the bit with Abby and Anna during her monologue. I was hoping they’d break out Abby’s impression, and they did :D
    My favorite was the anime club sketch. It was so crazy, but Taran and Vanessa were hilarious in it!! Jason’s dry humor just made it even better.
    Paul Brittain is always a treat. He always impresses me.
    I will give Bobby Moynahan. I usually find Anthony Crispino stupid, but he scored some laughs with me this time.
    Even the Digital Short was pretty funny. It was cheesy, but that last second had me laughing my butt off!
    Anna had a tough spot. The past 2 episodes have been some of the best in recent years.

    • cj says:

      i wouldnt say the anime club was the best sketch, nor one of my favorite, but it was nice to see two featured players work together and get some laughs.

    • eb says:

      I actually enjoyed the anime sketch too… if only because I actually know some people like that.

  10. Pam says:

    Anna Faris seemed inconsequential to the show. Drake would’ve worked better as both host and musical guest.

  11. Amanda says:

    I really wish SNL would spend more time doing political skits and ones based on whats going on in the news. Thats what they are best at Also on nights when they know that they don’t have the best skits prepared they should give weekend update more airtime.

  12. Mark S says:

    I like the japanese show with the wannabe japanese and Sensei Mark. Manuel Ortiz should have been retired the first or second time they had done it. It was not a good episode but Jason Sudeikis was great as Sensei Mark and the dad in the Lord Wyndemere sketch.

  13. emmitwest says:

    Wow… I disagreed with everything in the review. Overall it was the funniest episode this season. The funniest skit (after the Japanese send up) was Tell Him and the prancing guy was the worst.

    There is a chance I was still on an ALCS high (Rangers!). There’s a chance that the professional critic is wrong.

  14. Cornfield says:

    The best part of the episode was Drake’s interviews with Samberg. Faris wasn’t in ‘wowing’ mode. Manuel Ortiz felt like a skit SNL did some years ago.

    • Elaine says:

      I don’t think anyone could have “wowed” ith the material Anna was presented with.

      Forgot about the interviews sketch. That was funny too, for the most part.

  15. Brandy says:

    I just want Melissa McCarthy every week. Is that too much to ask?

    Also, one of the few good parts of the show was the fact we got a whole lot of Vanessa Bayer. My favorite castmember after Wiig and Hader.

    • cj says:

      i couldnt agree more. although we seriously need to do something about her constant line flubbing.

      besides maybe kenan thompson, i thought everybody got a pretty good amount of screen time, vets and newbies.

  16. BRETT says:

    I’m sorry, but was this advertised as the Halloween episode? Cause it wasn’t in Canada, where I am, I’m pretty sure. They have a new show next week that’s closer to Halloween… Anyways, I enjoyed it. It was what I expect from Anna Faris – stupid fun! The Japanese skit I found humerous (everyone, jump down my throat… NOW) and I actually liked “Tell Him”. Especially the “Tell him that you’re pregnant and that it’s his kid!” There was a lot of singing in this episode, and I didn’t mind it. I also liked the Lord Wyndemere skit – he reminds me of someone but I can’t place it…

    • Amanda says:

      Next week is the repeat of the season premiere.

    • Elaine says:

      There sure wasn’t much that played out as a Haloween show. I want witches, werewolves, vamiresm magic, big kids stealing ittle kids’ bags of candy (oh yeah, they did cover that); Borish Karloff, The Raven, succubus and so on and so on. This just seemed like any other episode with a couple of mentions of Haloween inn it. That was disappointing. The Simosns would never disappint us with their Halloween episode like this. :(

  17. Erin says:

    I thought last nights episode was pretty funny. I thought the “Tell Him” skit was soo funny.One of the best of the night. I thought the Lord Wyndemere skit was kind of stupid. All and all I thought it was funny. Good job Anna Farris!

  18. John says:

    There definitely seemed to be something wrong with Faris, especially during the monologue. I agree – not a great episode. And I agree – Wyndemere was the best. But the SNL folks still can finish a skit – they just end. There’s more resolution to most 30 TV commercials. – John

  19. mags says:

    I thought Paul Brittain was funny as Lord Wyndemere. Loved Abby Elliot doing her impression of Anna Faris.
    Faris tried hard, but they didn’t give her much. The writing was really bad.
    Where was the Vincent Price sketch?

  20. Sam says:

    This was the best episode in a LONG time. Mike, I love you recapping Idol and X-Factor, but you should leave the SNLs to Ken Tucker and the like.

  21. corey says:

    horrible horrible horrible

    i actually liked “tell him”. it was the only thing i did like, actually. it was’nt particularly FUNNY but it was cute and nice and a nice relief from the horrendous episode

  22. Kmac says:

    Am I the only one who is concerned about Anna Faris and her health. She looked thinner than Geoff Peterson, the robot skeleton. Especially in that last skit with Kristin Wiig, it can’t be healthy to be that thin. I think she even weighs less than Karen Carpenter at the end. Anna, save yourself and have a couple of cheeseburgers.

  23. Davey says:

    I felt bad for Anna Faris. Not much for her to do. I actually like the Tell Him skit. But why wasn’t Anna the featured role? The Lord W. skit was silly but at least it was vulgar and crass. Anna did not look overly thin to me as someone posted above.

  24. jill says:

    I can’t even believe you found a “best” sketch. That 1 sketch was ok. She had an uphill battle following Melissa McCarthy!

  25. davey says:

    Also the Japanese pop skit was pointless. They knew it was offensive and had to have a professor character tell us how offensive it was. Weird.

  26. Adriana says:

    NO way “lord Wyndemere” the best NO WAY!! I felt so stupid watching it, what makes a great joke the lie it’s telling. I thought it was the best because it was making fun of everyone. The best part is when kisten wigg explains about not going to the bathroom on her date and he guys thinks she’s really chill, but he never called her back. Soo funny. Sorry to say tho, drake almost stole the show. Loved the two teenagers stealing candy.

  27. Cindy says:

    Well I thought the show stunk! Anna Faris just didn’t seem like she was all there, she didn’t commit to any of the skits…watching grass grow is more fun than this show was. Sorry, but it’s true. Drake was the only bright spot on the worst SNL in show I’ve seen in the past few years.

  28. brad says:

    From the opening monologue Anna just didn’t seem excited to be there, she was ho-hum boring!!! For the halloween episode they need Jon Hamm, JT, or for crying out loud bring Adam Sandler back…ugh, 90 minutes of my life I wish I could erase!!!!!!!!!

  29. Annabelle says:

    Is it just me or in Anna Faris totally over-rated? I think she is cute and funny in a supporting actress kind of way, but by no means is she worthy of a halloween SNL gig! I’d rather have seen a bunch of old halloween clips from years past put into a nice, hilarious show…maybe next year????? Worst episode in years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. WhiteWolf says:

    They should always keep Halloween for Jon Hamm. I mean that guy is so good with hosting duties. Anna Faris, sorry ma’am, you’re just not cut out for the SNL business.

  31. Mel says:

    Hated Lord W… so annoyingly bad. Can’t believe nobody has mentioned the Lifetime game show. That was the only thing I laughed out loud at the entire night.

  32. Shilpa says:

    How was weekend up date with Seth Meyers?? I luvvvv him so much<3333

  33. bob says:

    i thought anna faris seemed like she was drugged or drunk, but there was definitely something off about her on last night’s episode. in fact, this was the first episode since last year’s horrendous january jones debacle where i can’t say “well, at least the host did her/his best with the material.” i was genuinely surprised because i find anna faris really funny, and she BOMBED. also–was it just me or was it even more obvious this week than usual that an actor on the show (in this case, faris) was reading from the cue cards. i’m not naive, and you can usually see that they’re glancing at something beyond the camera, but i found very distracting this episode, especially during the last sketch when she was “looking at the calendar” but clearly staring at the camera. dissapointed.

  34. Amya says:

    Didn’t think last night was the worst but still wasn’t great. I think the Ben Stiller episode had less to offer honestly. I don’t get why people are saying the hosts have been dragging this season down. The hosts have been one of the strong points this season. They’re actually getting good comedic actors so far. Not one athlete or reality star yet wasting space. Someone mentioned they didn’t think Faris was promoting anything, she does have a new movie out. But who cares if she didn’t? SNL needs to start getting hosts because they’d be good hosts not because they have their 800th romantic comedy coming out and a new crappy reality show just announced. A good host can save a bad episode if the writing is lackluster. They have done great with host selections so far and continuing it with Charlie Day. I thought Anna Faris did good though. She didn’t seem nervous, looked comfortable, and although she relied on the cue cards heavily it was never awkward until that last skit which was awful anyways. But I think overall she was good and fit in with the cast easily. The lord sketch, tell me, and lifetime game show were probably my favorites. Fred gets the boot from me too though. He’s past his time there, his impressions are no good anymore and hasn’t had a strong character in a couple years. Let Jay take over Obama, I’ve always hated Fred’s impression for him. Him and Kenan need to go. I never understood why Kenan has been there this long. He’s been awful since day one I don’t think he contributes anything worth seeing. Awful impressions, annoying characters, and the same voice for everything he does. Ready for him to go. Excited for Charlie Day next though! Hopefully writers will come through for him.

  35. Blank Slate says:

    Awful from start to finish. They keep using the same game show or interview talk show framework. It’s just NOT going to work. NOT funny. Those stopped being funny seasons and seasons ago.

    I’m troubled because my favorite segment– Weekend Update– has been completely OFF so far this season. What’s up, Seth?

    Anna Faris. NOT funny. Not natural. Not interesting. Who cares?

    The TELL HIM skit was embarrassing. Not the slightest funny. Condescending to boot but I won’t go there.

    The GOP debate skit was a disaster. Have to blame it on the comedians, not just the writing.

    Free Jay Pharoh. Why is he even on the show? I hope he gets paid handsomely getting paid to sit around watching less talented, less funny cast members bomb. Seriously. Vanessa Bayer? Same schtick every time. Kristin Wiig. Sane schtick every time. Bill Hader is the only stand out of late. It’s a sad day when even Fred Armisen is fading into the woodwork.

    I’m tired of looking forward to watching the show and then get smacked by utter disappointment. Depressing!

  36. corey says:

    Anna Farris was terrible, it was so obvious she was reading the teleprompter for all her lines.

  37. Bonnie says:

    I agree with the dissenters. Tell Him is the only sketch I remembered on Monday morning. I miss the snappy news and pls pls stop bringing stupid guests on the news. Except Stefan. Stefan rocks

  38. b2quared says:

    So two bad episodes and two good episodes so far this season. That’s better than last year, which spent 3/4 of a seasons trying to find the funny. Of course, there were like 6 amazing episodes in a row at the end of the season.

    And there’s a reason Lord W took the 5 til 1 spot. It sucked. To be honest, the only solid work of the night came from Jason Sudeikis and the digital short. Although Seth had some good one-liners. And I think Tarryn Killam should definitely get bumped up to series star. The rest of his featured player team is just nowhere in his league.

  39. Max says:

    I thought Lord Wyndemere was okay, most due to Sudakis’s over-the-top reaction to the guy prancing around. Really liked Tell Him. The best, though, had to be “What’s Wrong with Tanya?”. Turning all of the horrible Lifetime movies into a game show is brilliant. The worst? Manuel Ortiz is played out, but was redeemed by Hader’s character/entrance. I gotta go with the Ferrari calendar as the worst of the bunch.

  40. Jonathan says:

    It was a Ferrari calendar, but I’m embarrassed to even suggest that this detail should be corrected.

    I actually thought the Lifetime gameshow bit was one of the funniest things I’ve seen on SNL in awhile, I can’t believe no one thought of this before. I agree that “Tell Him” was horrid and Lord Wyndemere was pretty great. The J Pop thing was okay in concept but it needed to be workshopped or somehow refined, less singing would’ve helped (yes, I realize they throw these things together in a week).

  41. Lisa says:

    SNL with Anna Faris was awful. Wow, haven’t seen this bad an epi in a long time. Her opening monologue was really bad and all the skits were bad. Even Weekend Update sucked and like Seth Meyers and usually get chuckles out of that segment. Also, it seemed like there were way more commercials than usual. However, since the show was so unfunny the commercials were actually a relief.

  42. han says:

    Here are all the good parts fit into 90 seconds, from “The Morning After” on Hulu: http://asm.ly/1AL

  43. Blank Slate says:

    I should note that Bobby Moynihan (spelling?) does seem to be a rising star and is totally marking his place on the show. He needs better skits but the guy is naturally funny– no matter what the script tells him to say. That’s the difference. Vanessa B or Anna Faris could be given comedy GOLD and they are just NOT funny. Is this not obvious??! When the cast does it rehearsals and readings, do they NOT get it? Do the writers, etc not hear something is NOT funny? If these are the creme de la creme skits chosen from the writing staff, what could be left on the cutting room floor? And again. It’s not just the writers. I have to say many of the cast members are ACTING. They are not FUNNY PEOPLE. Big difference.

  44. SNL loyal says:

    Whomever did this review is clearly living in some kind of parallel universe in which the concept of funny is reversed. I belive this review to be inaccurate and misleading. Overall the episode was pretty decent. The cold opening was enjoyable, as well as the monolougue. Abby Elliot was hillarious delivering a spot-on impression of Faris. Then, the rest of the sketches were quite good, even the japanesse anime one (I always find racism funny). Seth Meyers’s jokes were amusing even though the Anthony Crispino segment is kind of getting old…Regardless the review, “Tell Him” was the best sketch of the season so far, it cracked me up so badly. I really don’t understand why aren’t they trying more often, cause from what i’ve seen the “all women cast with Kristen Wiig in the lead” formula always works wonders. Finally, the worst sketch was the one with Lord whatshisname…it made no sense, so stupid and i think it ended earlier than supposed to (thank god for that). Quite a good episode after all, keep it on, yours truely…

  45. RookieMom Heather says:

    Agreed. Tell Him was v. funny. It’s the only thing I shared or watched a second time.

    • DBair says:

      Tell Him started slow but was amazingly funny after the first minute. You said you shared it. This skit was cut from the full episodes on the NBC site which I found unusual. What site where you able to share this skit. Many thanks. Rest of the show was weak.

  46. J says:

    Drake was funny. He should host..

  47. Jackie Bennett says:

    SNL is a telerompter show. They’re all reading from it.

  48. that gurl says:

    so far this season from best to worst IMO:
    1. Melissa McCarty
    2. Alec Baldwin
    3. Ben Stiller
    4. Anna Faris – the writer’s totally phoned it in – they could’ve gone the obvious route and done the “dumb blonde” skits all night like they did the “awkward lady” skits with Melissa and it probably would have been an okay episode.

    How dare they have a ‘Halloween show’ without Hader’s Vincent Price!
    While I liked Jay’s flow, The bag-jack song itself was awful! (once again, Jay Pharoh has to play the bad-ass black guy, *yawn*)In this anti-bullying PC age, I’m amazed that that was allowed to air!

    Best skits: J-Pop and What’s Wrong with Tanya?
    Worst: Lord Wyndemere – interesting premise though, I predict he is going to be a recurring character – It might play well in other situations, like a corporate board room.

    I’d rather have recurring Lord Wyndemere than recurring Shana – although I do appreciate the social commentary/satire on ‘sex symbols’

    Promising but then tanked: Bloomberg cold open, Ferrari Calendar

    The writer’s need a serious tune-up.

    Can’t wait for Jason Segel

  49. Michael says:

    When sketches aren’t available post-live edition it is almost always because of the cost of the rights for a song used in the sketch. This always happens, and then online reviewers constantly make snide comments about a sketch being unavailable because they think it stunk when there has not been one single iota of consensus concerning the quality of SNL since Reagan’s second term.

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