As someone who very much enjoyed Lindsay Lohan’s work in Mean Girls and Freaky Friday, I was genuinely hoping she’d score some big laughs as host of this week’s Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately for the troubled actress, however, there’s only so much one can do with setups built around prison-rape jokes or the sight of Fred Armisen in drag getting repeatedly hit by a car.
It was a harbinger of bad things to come when the opening monologue focused almost entirely on various SNL cast members “surreptitiously” scoping out Lohan for signs of her notorious erratic behavior — a segment so red-dog lazy it didn’t include a single fresh twist on her public persona and myriad legal and professional problems.
And what’s more, the tepid punch lines and underdeveloped sketches whipped up on this week’s show make it inconclusive in determining whether or not Lohan still has the power to entertain.
With that said, here are my picks for the week’s best and worst skteches.
Best: James Carville on Weekend Update
Bill Hader gets episode MVP for a night that included this scathingly funny, and wonderfully absurdist, take on the Democratic political adviser. (His Shepard Smith impersonation was fantastic, too.) I laughed from the beginning (Carville’s childhood game of The Patchelor featuring a bunch of kids hoping to marry a gussied-up watermelon) to that amazingly insane tale of luring Newt Gingrich into an affair with a personal ad (“I love it when a guy is just a big blob of gray”), dressing up as a woman, taking him for a Paddleboat ride, and then shocking him with a reveal of his “Harry Connick Jr.” (which looks exactly like Carville’s face — without glasses).
Best: B108 FM Morning Show
Taran Killem and Bobby Moynihan’s exhausted-to-the-point-of-collapse DJs were hilarious with their stupid hip-hop wannabe shout-outs — “It’s dark as hell! — but they got great support from Lohan as their sidekick Illiterate Lisa, and Vanessa Bayer as news reader “MC Jiggle Butt.” This sketch also scored Lohan her best line of the night, responding to a list of local school closings: “Those Eagle Creek bitches are lazy!”
Worst: Bicycle Thieves Scared Straight
Kenan “One Expression” Thompson and Lohan headlined this sketch, in which they played “Scared Straight” counselors named Lorenzo MacIntosh and “Lindsay Lohan,” respectively. Need I say any more about the stupefying awfulness of a sketch that featured not just one but two renditions of of the Kay jewelers’ them, reimagined as “every kiss begins with rape”? To quote Jason Sudeikis’ sheriff character, “I should’ve stopped you after ‘discharge,’ but I zoned out for a second.”
Worst: Delinquent Girl Teen Gang
Is there anything worse on SNL than a sketch that clings to a single punchline or sight gag — one that happens not to be remotely amusing — and plays it over and over and over, without any kind of variation or escalation? That was the case with this late-night movie parody, where Lohan and Armisen-in-drag played the leaders of a group of tough girls who rebelled by dancing in the streets — at least until Armisen’s “Babette” got struck down by a vehicle again and again and again. If the writers wanted to get Lohan into hot pants, surely there were funnier methods than this.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Lohan as host? Sound off in the comments!