Saturday Night Live With Charlie Day Hits Season-
High Ratings: What Were the Best/Worst Skits?

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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!



Comments (26)

  • The KARDASHIAN bit was glorious, with props to Nasim Pedrad and Taran Killam (As Bruce Jenner). And within WEEKEND UPDATE, I’d say that “A Closer Look at Europe” was one of the more epic riffs Seth Meyers has ever gone on alone.

    Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – November 6, 2011 06:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I may be the minority here, but Charlie being the trainer while doing the scene had me laughing

    Comment by Jessica – November 6, 2011 06:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I pretty much agree with your assessment Louis. The Kardashian bit was one of the best things they’ve done on a long time. And last night’s was one of the best Weekend Updates in recent memory. But while I apprciate the talent it takes to perform the Judy Grimes character it just wasn’t funny and went on too long. I’d also nominate Kenen Thompson’s Cee Lo Green bit as one of the night’s worst. And while Bill Hader’s Dr. Oz impression was great the sketch itslef was kind of a bore…

    Comment by Buffy Freak – November 6, 2011 06:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Kardashian divorce was so funny & Kristin Wigg’s Kris Jenner impression was dead on as was the Bruce! hahaha I laughed out loud at the Dr.Oz sketch just because it is the very reason I don’t watch his show…the ridiculous skits he puts on to “help” us understand what he is talking about. So funny and validating because now I know, if it made it to SNL other people notice it too. :)
    The dolphin, CeeLo & the Greek god bits were not that great for me. Weekend Update was fantastic thought, especially because of Seth’s Closer Look at Europe rant. Excellently done. :)

    Comment by Kim R – November 6, 2011 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Kardashian skit was one of the funniest things I have seen on SNL in years. SNL is always at its best when it does parodies. I wish the writers would lean more in that direction than trotting out the same tired characters or skits week after week. Kristen Wiig was at her best as Kris Jenner…and then at her worst as Judy Grimes. Stick to the parodies!

    Comment by David – November 6, 2011 06:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was pleasantly surprised when the last skit of the night was actually a rare gem, the Seinfeld apartment skit, and the guy not knowing any pop culture references, but of course he watches CSI. I thought that was unwisely placed at the end for some reason, when it should have been toward the beginning. The Kardashian wedding was also pretty great. Weekend Update went on for way too long. Also, Maroon 5 sucks. Such a vacant live band. Agree that the dolphin skit was horrible. It felt extremely amateur. Charlie Day is just okay. Seems to play the same thing over and over. But I do applaud him for actually not being stiff at all and really getting into his characters.

    Comment by GaysWithOpinions – November 6, 2011 07:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to say, I was pretty psyched, being a huge Charlie Day fan. So, I expected to be disappointed. And I totally wasn’t. He brought the kind of silly hilarity with him to every scene, while not boring me with just being himself, or Charlie from IASIP. I feel like his thing is going over the top and he did that. For some reason, when it’s him, it doesn’t bother me.
    I hate that Judy Grimes thing and that also was way too long and stupid. Rick Perry was hilarious, no surprise from Hader. The Kardashian thing was so on and such a great way to get the show going. I even liked the cold open and the monologue, honestly in shock. Cannot get into Maroon 5 and their soullessness (vacant is right), so saved some time FF’ing through that. Loved the ending Seinfeld skit. I totally like Sudeikis and Charlie together. Real House Mice would be so much more watchable than any of the housewives franchises. I even thought the stupid dolphin thing was funny, because I always wondered how they do that with the trainers for real.

    Comment by kat – November 6, 2011 07:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It seemed to me like Bill Hader was about to break into Stephan a couple of times during the WU.

      Comment by Amanda – November 6, 2011 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The “hola” instead of “aloha” was hilarious!

        Comment by Amanda – November 6, 2011 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You called out Kenan Thompson for making the sketch too much like “The Amanda Show,” but he wasn’t the cast member in the sketch from “The Amanda Show.” Taran Killam, the dolphin trainer in the sketch, actually had a recurring role on “The Amanda Show,” whereas Kenan only made one appearance during the run of the show. Kenan was from “All That.” As a child of the 90s, I felt it was necessary to point that out.

    Comment by Todd – November 6, 2011 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Tell us about Doug E Doug now.

      Comment by TigerNightmare – November 6, 2011 10:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I actually loved the Greek Gods sketch because everyone was in it! That doesn’t happen too often!

    Comment by Dwayne – November 6, 2011 10:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOVED Adam Levine as the greek god of music

      and of course Jason sudeikis as Zeus!

      Comment by Janie – November 7, 2011 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think people that don’t get Judy Grimes aren’t catching half of the things she is saying. I watched it 3 times and laughed harder every time. Wiig is genius.

    Comment by Brandy – November 6, 2011 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That may be true…but seeing as it’s a live show it really shouldn’t be necessary to rewatch it 3 times to understand what she’s saying so you can get the jokes. It’s impressive that she can spout out all that dialogue especially when it seems like the hosts and other castmates have to read all their dialogue from the cue cards or teleprompter but if you can’t understand what she’s saying in the moment then what’s the point?

      Comment by Z – November 6, 2011 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that the show was okay but I may be in the minority but I thought Maroon 5 sounded great. They always sound amazing live and it was the highlight of the show for me. That and the Kim Kardashian skit.

    Comment by TayMads – November 6, 2011 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I also loved me some Maroon 5. Anytime Adam is on my screen, it’s a good night!

      Comment by Nichole – November 6, 2011 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so sick of Wiig being in every sketch. When I see her doing something solo on WU I hit the fast forward. I wish she’d “retire” and move on to other projects. The only time I enjoy her is when she’s playing the Target Lady.

    Comment by Emkay – November 6, 2011 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree about 99%. Most of the time her characters are just variations on characters she’s done already so that gets old, but her Kris Jenner was dead on, Judy Grimes (while too long this time) is funny, as is the good standby – the Target lady. Other than that, I’d like to see her used less. They have some very talents newer members of the cast that just aren’t getting enough bits written for them.

      Comment by rowan – November 6, 2011 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen to too much Kristin Wiig. I hate all of her original characters. They all seem the same to me. I do like her when she does celebrities and I have like her in the movies she’s been in. I FF’d the WU part with her in it too.

      Comment by Katie – November 7, 2011 07:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really thought Charlie Day would excel in a Digital Short. I was very sad not to have one, especially after Adam Lavigne’s video with the Lonely Island “Iran So Far”

    Comment by Kristen – November 6, 2011 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Go Taran !

    Comment by João Amaral – November 6, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So many bad skits. The “A Closer Look at Europe” was probably the best. I was disappointed because, Sunny aside, I could see how Day could do wrong. – John

    Comment by John – November 6, 2011 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My friend and I nearly passed out from laughter during the Kardashian sketch. We rewound it about 16 times, couldn’t get over how funny it was.

    Kristen Wiig just nailed Kris Jenner, my oh my, “I know right, four sisters!” Hahaha

    I know it was only shown for about 5 seconds but how hilarious was the dance floor shot, Kristen’s dancing and OMG face. At the end when they showed the Khloe, Kim and Kourtney shot and Kristen comes out of no where and completely blocks out Nasim! Ahahahahaha.

    Comment by Kaitlyn – November 6, 2011 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not so sure about this one. Usually I jump up and defend the SNL creating staff because I’m kind of familiar with the process of developing a live show like this one, but this week I don’t have any other choice but to blame the writting. I felt that they were stalling when the Weekend Update ran so long, even though it was quite enjoyable, but my doubts were cleared when they aired the rerun of the doll commercial in the end. I thought after two weeks of hiatus the writers will be able to come up with enough material to put on a decent show. I guess I was wrong. I agree with the choices for best and worst skit, the “greek Gods” were pretty funny too, but the “kings of catch phrases” sketch was as bad as the first time it aired. Charlie Day played all of his characters in the same note and the only players that stood out were Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig with her Kris Jenner spot-on impression and Judy Grimes which was the best part of W.U. After all being said, better luck next time…

    Comment by SNL loyal – November 7, 2011 03:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved Maroon 5 but they are one of my favorite bands so I’m biased.

    Bill Hader as Rick Perry was fantastic.

    There should have been more Sudekis and Charlie Day together ala Horrible Bosses. That Seinfeld sketch was one of the better skits Charlie had to work with.

    The Kardashian thing was spot on and hilarious.

    Comment by Katie – November 7, 2011 07:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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