SNL With Jimmy Fallon: Best and Worst Skits?

Jimmy Fallon took the reins of Saturday Night Live this week, and with a team of special guests — Jude Law, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Chris Kattan, and Horatio Sanz among them — delivered a fun, funny episode in which even the jokes that didn’t work were buoyed by an innate zaniness and a willingness to try something fresh and unexpected. [Update: The show scored its best overnight ratings since last May’s season finale.]

Here are my picks for the night’s best — hard to narrow it to just two — and worst sketches:

Best: Weekend Update Joke-Off
In a stroke of comic genius, Poehler, Fey, and Fallon got behind the anchor’s desk with Seth Meyers and lobbed punch line after punch line about a strip club offering free lap dances to patrons who donate gifts for needy children. (The buzzer sound-effects were pretty amazing, too.) SNL should be required to wrangle guests for a joke-off every single week, no? My personal fave (from Fallon): “Unlike the strippers, the toys must not be damaged.”

Best: Today Show With Regis Philbin
Kristen Wiig was hilarious as usual as Kathie Lee Gifford in the fourth hour and 45th minute of NBC’s boozy morning-fest, brutally mocking costar Hoda Kotb’s sex life — “We need a price check on Double-A batteries! Winning!” shouted Kathie Lee (who followed with a self-amused, whispered “Charlie Sheen”), speculating that Hoda’s new beau was strictly mechanical. Things only got better when Fallon’s spot-on Regis Philbin joined the action, and ended long before the jokes had run out of steam. That’s winning, indeed.

Honorable Mention: Jimmy’s Mirror
Fallon looking into a mirror and speaking to his younger, more toussled self (Andy Samberg). I loved the way Fallon gamely mocked his talk-show persona and the way that gig requires him to be a fan of everything from Steven Segal to loaves of bread, and the “Rainbow Connection” duet was pure magic.

Worst: 1920s Holiday Party
Hey, they can’t all be winners, right? And this bit about a married couple tormenting their party guests with their “singing” and “dancing” skills was a dual failure of concept and execution. Luckily for SNL, Fallon’s sheer gameness helped elevate the similarly weak setup in the War Horse sketch.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? What are your picks for best and worst skit? And how would you grade Fallon as host? Sound off below, and for all my TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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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  1. Engbunny says:

    I LOVED this show. Jimmy Fallon was hysterical and I loved that Rachel Dratch came back for the opening sketch (The Boston Teens all grown up). However. I have to be one of the few people who loathes Kristin Wiig. All of her characters seem the same. Anyway, the best of the night for me was The opener, the Joke off and Michael Buble’ Duets.

  2. Lisa says:

    My absolute favorite was the Christmas song with Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan and Horatio Sanz. I look forward to that jam every year.

  3. Lisa says:

    I like Kristen Wiig but it’s too bad all of her characters suck and are stupid and annoying.

  4. Mary says:

    First time in a long time I did not switch over from SNL to Dr. Who…(O.K., maybe just during commercials…)

  5. Redway says:

    Michael Buble sketch the best and singing lady the worst. I really can’t take Kristin Wiig , she sounds exactly the same in every sketch, why oh why is she the female they always keep.

  6. Ursula Grace says:

    The gentleman’s club is the Admiral Theatre in Chicago, IL.

  7. Matt says:

    What was wrong with Chris Kattan?

  8. Ursula Grace says:

    The gentleman’s club mentioned in Weekend Update is the Admiral Theatre in Chicago, IL.

  9. Craig Smather says:

    I thought the “Don’t make me sing and dance” skit was one of the funniest. It’s been posted by a lot of my friends.