As It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia powers through its seventh season, it’s no surprise that star Charlie Day was as polished as a urethane bowling ball in his SNL hosting debut. The winsome actor played deadpan and delirious at just the right moments, and he was well served by an above-average stack of skits — except for that nonsense Dolphin Tale send-up, which struck fear into sea creatures everywhere (including naughty seahorse Adam Levine). All in all, an admirable episode — and one that in fact netted SNL its best 18-49 demo rating of the season, since its May finale.
Here are my picks for the best two skits, along with one hopelessly waterlogged loser.
BEST: Kim’s Fairytale Divorce
This week, Kim Kardashian received the last item on her wedding registry — a divorce — and it’s America’s job to be outraged. This pre-taped sketch was obligatory, unsurprising, and so, so very funny. Special props go to Taran Killam, whose Bruce Jenner impersonation deserves a gold medal in the DecathLOL.
BEST: Weekend Update
Controversial pick? Yes, W.U. ran a bit long this week, but that doesn’t mean Bill Hader’s Rick Perry impression was less than sensational (“I’m so bad at talking, Seth.”), or that Seth Meyers’s joke about The Real House Mice of Avenue A wasn’t a triumph. And just when I thought Judy Grimes needed to buy an inhaler and disappear for good, Kristen Wiig rides again with a nervous streak so chirpy and skittish, it could’ve been the lost verse to “Moves Like Jagger.”
WORST: Dolphin Movie
Dolphin-themed movies are ripe for parody, but this sketch took an odd angle on the genre by mocking the loudness of animal training. As a rule, it’s a problem when the the funniest line in a sketch is, “I just got hit in the face with a fish!” What is this, The Amanda Show? Kenan, your SNICK past is showing.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? Was the Cee Lo sketch worthier of Top 2 inclusion? Did that vaguely pretentious ode to Greek gods thrill you? Most importantly, did musical guest Maroon 5 provide you with a sufficient amount of pop-rock dorkiness for the winter? I’m fully satisfied. Be sure to read me regularly at Movieline and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel!