SNL With Katy Perry: Best and Worst Sketches?

It’s unfortunate, but entirely fitting, that Katy Perry’s final moment hosting this week’s Saturday Night Live found her plummeting to her death down an empty elevator shaft. After all, Perry may not exactly be a threat to, say, Melissa McCarthy or Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Maya Rudolph among the nation’s leading comic actresses, but the show’s writers essentially pulled the floor out from under her — saddling her with bland roles in several woeful sketches, and allowing her only a few seconds to shine in the skits that actually worked.

Perry was particularly funny channeling Florence and the Machine singing “The Dog Trial Is Over” in a commercial for the Doggie Duty soundtrack, and mocking Christina Aguilera’s overwrought mannerisms in an amusing trailer for the New Year’s Eve spoof The Apocalypse. I just wish the “Teenage Dream” singer had gotten a few more chances to let her wacky flag fly, as opposed to being relegated to blinking reaction shots to Kenan Thompson’s woeful Al Sharpton, or playing a mildly uncomfortable version of herself on Kristen Wiig’s Finnish talk show Kalle.

With that said, here are my picks for the week’s best and worst:

Best: Stefon
I was roaring with laughter from the punch line about a bulldog who looks like Wilford Brimley (“the password is dia-beatus”) to Menorah the Explorer and all the way to that genius/random mention of a CVS employee (“don’t bother her, because she is on break!”). Bonus: Bill Hader almost losing it on the second mention of “Spud Webb.”

Best: Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”
Normally, I limit my best and worst picks to the comedy bits, but Robyn was so totally sublime delivering her stellar dance hit, I’ve got no choice but to make an exception.

Worst: Politics Nation With Al Sharpton
Kenan Thompson really needs to learn that you shouldn’t break into a self-satisfied grin if all you’re getting from the audience is the occasional chuckle of sympathy. What a total waste of Perry and Taran Killam, too.

Worst: The Royal Family
Okay, this one scored more laughs that the starcrossed lovers of the episode’s final sketch, but it was also more unforgivable for squandering what’s usually a great setup — the Queen of England as a lowbrow beast with a secret Cockney accent, demanding Kate Middleton deliver an heir to the throne — with plodding execution and weak punch lines.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? Share your picks for best and worst skits 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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45 Comments
  1. Michael says:

    I thought last night’s episode was actually pretty good. The scene at the bar where she fell down the elevator shaft was also quite funny to me. And Katy Perry’s Florence and the Machine impersonation was SPOT ON. Too bad they made her more of the straight man than giving her more than 2 funny lines.

  2. Daniel says:

    For being labeled best/worst sketches, I’m surprised that the first thing listed is commentary on Weekend Update, which is a category in its own right.

    I thought J Pop was one of the worst.

    And where the hell were Abby and Nasim last night. Nasim was not even there and Abby lost valuable screen time.

  3. Kendal says:

    It was so/so. Some great sketches and some that fell flat. Enjoyed Katy as a host but Robyn wasn’t good at all.

  4. Princess Adora says:

    I <3 Robyn!! Thank you for including her ^_^

  5. George says:

    The only good thing about last night’s SNL was Robyn. That, and Weekend Update (In addition to Stefon, I also like Kristen Wiig’s “flirt instructor”)

  6. Bartleby says:

    So the two best “sketches” were Weekend Update and a musical performance? Way to go out on a limb there…I thought the Best Friends sketch with Matt Damon and Val Kilmer was absurdly awesome.

  7. Tina says:

    The best part was Alec Baldwin on Weekend Update. What a genius!

  8. Jason C says:

    I don’t even see why they had Perry host. They didn’t want Jason Segal to host until he had established himself as a comedian and a star. She’s known as nothing more than a pop singer, the only acting job she’s had is as a smurf in a crap movie.

    As for last night, Stefon and the digital short stole the night. The best thing Perry did was the Florence + the Machines bit. Al Sharpton was definitely worst of the night though.

    • Carrie says:

      I agree. She was a little bland and she’s not an actress or a comedian, so I don’t know why they asked her to host. A lot of people don’t even take her seriously as a singer. For most of the skits, she seemed to think that acting equals using an innocent little girl voice and giving wide-eyed looks.

      • Captain says:

        Why did they ask Michael Phelps to host? Why did they ask Britney Spears to host? They don’t ONLY ask actors even though actors make up the majority of the hosts. Katy Perry is one of the biggest names in pop music and she has a larger-than-life personality so I don’t think it’s that inconcievable that she was asked to host SNL and lets not even pretend that Jason Segel is on the same level of fame as Katy Perry. I love the guy but most people don’t even know his name and pretty much everyone knows who Katy Perry is.

        • watch n learn says:

          She’s one of the biggest names in pop music right for the moment (not that she has much competition)… but larger than life personality? I beg to differ. Shooting whip cream from the girls, wearing fruit on your head, and singing about getting wasted on a Friday night does not a personality make.

  9. Steph says:

    Best: Weekend Update and the Digital Short; Worst: Everything Else

  10. Ben says:

    This week’s weekend update obviously stole the spotlight, with guests such as Stefon and Kristen Wiig’s flirt instructor. I thought the New Year’s Eve spoof, The Apocalypse was also one of the best for one reason: Taran Killam’s impersonation of Ashton Kutcher. I have a feeling Taran Killam is the next Bill Hader for SNL.

    • tripoli says:

      Taran Killam is painfully unfunny. His Kutcher is fairly good, but still rather weak when you compare it to the other impressions. He will never be anywhere near the level of awesome that is Bill Hader.

  11. brett says:

    This was one of the most painful episodes of SNL to sit through. I chuckled at Alec Baldwin and when KP fell down the elevator shaft. Digital Short was funny. It was so unfunny, I thought about sticking my head in the oven to end my misery. That was until I realized it was electric.

  12. Sev says:

    Lets see the digital short was ok, the J-pop skit was painful and if I never see them try it again i will be ok with that. The royal family sketch is usually funny but this one was by far the worst. Im surprised Robyn was even on,she had one not even a hit over a decade ago and now she looks like Draco Malfoy. weekend update was definitely the best part of the show even wiig was funny playing a slightly different character then i usually have to watch and Bill Hader seems to be the most consistently funny person on the show, Perry was mostly worthless, one of the funniest skits with her was one where she was herself

    • Mel says:

      Robyn is nominated for several Grammys this year, shes huge in Europe and is also a very popular cult/indie/dance star over here. Her last few records are amazing. Plus Katy has taken her own tour and obviously was able to hand select her own musical guest, which is a great honor.

  13. brandy says:

    I thought the episode was pretty good, too. Why do weekly recaps if you just seem so let down after every episode?

  14. Ari says:

    Robyn’s performances (both of them) made me feel kind of uncomfortable, that moving/dancing was weird.

    They actually reminded me of the behind the scenes videos from The Lonely Island’s Youtube account where Jorm dances to different musical guests.

  15. Ruby says:

    I thought it was a fun episode. But Stefon (Bill Hader) is always the best. And I love the J-pop skit.

  16. kat says:

    i was personally offended by the j-pop skit. the new year’s eve:apocalypse skit was pretty funny…kristen wiig’s impression of drew barrymore was dead-on. stefon is hilarious as usual. i was initially surprised and confused about robyn being the musical guest, but i thought she did a good job.

  17. Frankio says:

    Oh wow… I couldn’t decide if I liked this or not…can you IMAGINE if I had decided to line it? How embarrassing would it have been to wake up and come here to find out that I was wrong?? I’m SO glad I have random Internet journalists to do my thinking for me…

  18. Forrest K. Wagg says:

    Did it bother anyone else that Robyn was lip-synching her voice? At first I thought it was a mistake with her mic but her recorded voice did most of the singing. Otherwise great show. Alec baldwin was awesome

  19. Matthew S says:

    great and true to the core article. It seems every ep of SNL these dayds is filled with a lot of well thought up awkwardly executed bits. I did love Bill Hader’s “Oi oi oi oi…” at the end of that very clash-like Christmas song.

  20. PFitzDC says:

    I really don’t care for the Stefon character as a rule–too creepy. But watching Bill Hader come close to losing it…not just the example Slezak cites above, but again and again and again made the entire show for me last night!

  21. Captain says:

    I didn’t think it was the worst episode but it wasn’t great. I thought Katy would be a great host because she seems like such a wacky person but she was given really limiting roles and her performances weren’t always the best. Her Florence + The Machine impersonation was great and I also really enjoyed her in the digital short. Although her accent was terrible, I thought her attitude/energy was great in the royals sketch as well and she was good in the JPOP sketch. I don’t know why we needed a second J-POP sketch though since it’s a pretty one-note joke but the line “If there’s a form of loving racism, I think you found it” made it almost worthwhile.

  22. John Grose says:

    Meh. Someone needs to fire a room full of writers. – John

  23. deb says:

    I liked Stefan and I thought the dog soundtrack was really funny. I have to say I wish more Stefan and less Al Sharpton.

  24. jaded says:

    I could appreciate the jpop sketch because I’ve been to anime cons and dealt with fanboys and fangirls and while I won’t call it loving racism because the Japanese have that same limited view of American culture, I can say the portrayals of fangirls and fanboys were spot on. I also loved the digital short and always love Stefon. I love Robyn too, though “Dancin’ On My Own” isn’t exactly “new.” Loved the Apocalypse ad too, that’s kind of how I feel about the “New Year’s Eve” movie….

  25. Katy J. says:

    We all know that Katy Perry can act better than that. She was fantastic the last time she was on SNL. And I loved her character in HIMYM. I also saw her in concert and she had both scripted and impromptu parts of her performance, and she was a shining star during those. I was really disappointed in the roles that she was given this time around, because she does best in roles where she gets to be more sassy.

    Out of this episode, Stefon was by far the best part. Even my freakishly stuck-up parents were giggling at Bill Hader. The Flo impression by KP was awesome, and I loved Kristen Wiig’s Drew Barrymore impression and her flirting segment. Overall, this episode kind of fell flat…. I blame the writers.

  26. Jason says:

    When are they gonna eliminate this show? It’s been 10 Years since it was worth watching. No will Ferrell. No spade. Or norm. Or Farley. Tim Allen. It’s just Filler after filler. I Would watch it to fall asleep rather than enjoy

  27. Betty says:

    I thought the entire show was just blah EXCEPT for the flirting skit. This, I thought, was hilarious! Maybe it was just me, but it was the first time I actually laughed out loud during the whole show…

  28. readmyblipps says:

    I agree that Stefon and Robyn’s 2nd song were the best things about that show. I would also add Kristin Wiig for her segment on Update, but use her flirting coach sparingly – it could get old fast.

    I was hoping for an Elmo parody, with Kevin Clashes documentary out and Elmo toys are always hot holiday toys. Oh well.
    I liked Matt Damon’s cameo on the digital short, but as usual they let the gag run too long.

    I totally get and love J-POP!

  29. Lisa says:

    Love Weekend Update with Seth Meyers and Stefon is always a crack-up.

  30. Lisa says:

    Does anyone remember the ‘Appalachian Emergency room” skits? Man, they were funny as hell.

  31. SRMC5150 says:

    The only reason why Katy Perry is Popular?
    Is because the younger Generation doesn’t know what good music is ….. They are the ones buying her crap…
    She sucks as an artist and can’t act for S%#t…
    Robyn was a joke has no talent what so ever and couldn’t Lip Sync to her own song. It was hilarious.
    Funniest thing on the Show was Alec Baldwin..
    American Airlines sucks…….hahahaha.

    • joe says:

      Dude, Robyn was using a backing track, she sings her own backing vocals on the albums so they have to do that live. Don’t be an idiot, she was singing live. Unfortunately, she was singing live and dancing like crazy, so she sounded out of breath the whole time.

  32. Volcfom says:

    I’d like to give some props to Val Kilmer as well. The Digital Short was definitely one of my favorites of the night.

  33. SNL loyal says:

    First of all, this was really unexpectedly a much funnier show that I would’ve imagined. I enjoyed the previous sketch appearences of Katy Perry when she was a musical guest, but I never imagined her ass a full lenght host. I was clearly wrong.
    The cold open was predictable, but still amusing, then it started strong with the monologue and ended even stronger. Sudeikis’s line from J Pop “lovable racism” really defined the skit. Then there was the “New Year’s eve” spoof in which they nailed the impressions. The Digital Short was hilarious with Val Kilmer and Matt Daemon blowing his brains off.
    The rest of the sketches were funny too, except for the “Royal family” skit which got a little old, but the highlight of the show was without a doubt Weekend Update. The great set of jokes put by Seth Meyers was complemented by the appearence of Alec Baldwin disguised as an AA pilot, the always amasing Stefon, which sooner or later will be made into a movie, and Kristen Wiig’s hillarious flirt instructor character.
    Overall this was one of the best shows this season so far, the writers did their job well, proved by the fact that even the last sketch was one of the funniest. The only things that bothered me a bit were Robyn using backtrack through the entire first song, lack of presence from Nasim Pedrad and the fact that Katy Perry and Kristen Wiig didn’t kiss at the end of the monologue…man, that really would’ve made my day. Can’t wait for Fallon next week, it’s gonna be a blast. See you!

  34. Monique says:

    I actually enjoyed the Al Sharpton skit.