Following Melissa McCarthy’s dazzling effort last month, How I Met Your Mother‘s Jason Segel led a super-strong collection of skits this week — with perfectly pitched support from his costars in the upcoming big-screen feature The Muppets.
But before we go crazy with an online petition to get Lorne Michaels to reach out to Neil Patrick Harris, Conchata Ferrell, and Alex O’Loughlin for future hosting duties, let’s review the best and worst skits from Segel’s episode:
Best: Opening Monologue
One of the funniest SNL monologues in recent memory found Segel’s Muppets costars joining him on a ditty about the excitement of hosting the show, and mistakenly thinking that the gig was a group effort. From Kermit observing Segel’s “bouncy B-flat” intro to Miss Piggy declaring “first class!” over Segel’s lyric “I believe that pigs can fly,” this one was chock full of cheeky goodness — right down to Statler and Waldorf’s brilliantly sour closing notes.
Best: Regis Philbin Auditions
Not every segment of this skit worked — least of all Nasim Pedrad’s woeful Kelly Ripa impersonation — but when it was good, it was brilliant. Bill Hader’s Garrison Keillor, Bobby Moynihan’s Rosie O’Donnell (“I will absorb you!”), Segel’s on-the-prowl Antonio Banderas (“Then we’re committing adultery,” he gasped after learning Regis hadn’t died), Abby Elliott’s Zoey Deschanel, Jay Pharoah’s absurdist Denzel Washington, and Jason Sudeikis’ obnoxious Ricky Gervais had me howling. And best of all, none of the impersonations dragged on too long.
Best: Really!?! With Seth and Kermit
Bask in Kermit’s outrage about Congress labeling Twizzlers and a grape soda as fruit salad. I gave this one the slightest edge over Segel’s raunchy/amusing mattress ad.
Worst: Retirement Party
I briefly considered the cold open about a “raw and unleashed” Mitt Romney as worst of the week, but the length and wasted potential of this no-joke pony about unseemly behavior at a company retirement party was the bottom of the barrel. Jason Segel tried gamely as a drunk partygoer promising to spill a secret that would make his cohorts “crap so loud,” but in the end, it was just crap.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and for all my TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!