Emma Stone can do no wrong, right? Well, you might be inclined to answer in the negative after watching her second-time hosting gig on Saturday Night Live this week — a sophomore slump if ever there was one.
Then again, it doesn’t seem quite fair to blame the star of The Help and Easy A for failing to score laughs when the writing relegated her to poorly sketched extra (in an otherwise amusing Herb Welch bit), a human prop (during Andy Samberg’s woeful digital short), and a lesser version of the creepy outsider that Melissa McCarthy nailed so brilliantly on the show last month (during that too-long bridal-shower skit). Plus, the opening monologue (with Samberg lobbying for the role of Spider-Man to Stone’s Gwen Stacy) gave her almost nothing to do.
Here’s my take on the week’s best and worst skits:
Best: GOP Debate
I had my doubts when things kicked off with Kenan Thompson’s lazy Herman Cain, and then followed up with a close-to-verbatim reenactment of Rick Perry’s recent memory-lapse gaffe, but midway through, things took a delightful turn for the absurd: Bill Hader’s overheated Perry ripping off his jacket to reveal a dickey; Jason Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney preparing to take Perry out to a field full of bunnies where he wouldn’t have to talk ever again; Paul Brittain’s Ron Paul ogling Perry’s notes and shouting “All his cards are blank!” I won’t lie: This one reduced me to a pile of giggles.
Worst: Technology Hump
Another wretched sketch to carry on SNL‘s dubious tradition of saving the worst for last — and giving you the feeling that even the show’s writers have stopped trying when it comes to filling the last five minutes of the telecast with something worthwhile. Watching two people as funny as Stone and Samberg hosting a random show about iPads and curling irons enacting porn scenes made me wish the duo had just been thrown onto a bare soundstage and asked to improvise the first scenario that came to mind. Surely, it couldn’t have been worse than this?
Worst: Wish It Would Rain
Okay, maybe this wasn’t worse than Garth & Kat or that so-random-I-almost-laughed-but-then-didn’t Les Jeunes de Paris, but it was certainly more disappointing. Samberg’s ’80s-style video about a singer seeking precipitation started out promisingly enough, but quickly devolved into “ha-ha! I’m making this up on the fly!” drek that might’ve played better in a middle-school cafeteria than a major network sketch-comedy show.
Background MVP of the Week
He didn’t have much to do this week, but Bobby Moynihan scored big laughs with his sullen French face and new-wave dance moves during Les Jeunes de Paris and as a weeping window washer in “Someone Like You.” Maybe next week someone can give the guy a line or two?
What did you think of this week’s SNL? How did Stone stack up for you? And does anyone else wish we could get through one week without a game-show parody of some sort? Sound off in the comments!