Sofia Vergara Hosts SNL: Best and Worst Skits

sofia vergara snlLike a football team trying to integrate a golfer into its game plan, Saturday Night Live struggled mightily to utilize Modern Family star Sofia Vergara’s broad and boisterous brand of comedy this week. Things started out promisingly with a short but amusing opening monologue and Vergara’s not-quite-accurate but still funny Fran Drescher impression, but went steadily downhill thereafter. Here’s my take on the best and worst sketches:

Best: Drunk Uncle
The acerbic randomness of Bobby Moynihan’s soused holiday memories and rage against the new-age-iness of a younger generation never fails to amuse me. “Is this wi-fi organic? Can I get some raw almonds on my yoga class?” was second only to Drunk Uncle’s speculation that there’s now an app to color one’s eggs.

Best: Bein’ Quirky With Zooey Deschanel
It’s the little details in Abby Elliott’s impersonation that make me chuckle: Her comment about collecting vintage typewriters, the dancing and winking to Billie Holiday songs, her penchant for flip-flopping human and pet names. Plus, Kristen Wiig’s Drew Barrymore was amazing, especially the bit about the Joseph Gordon Levitt singing telegram.

Worst: News Promo
Someone please explain to me what was supposed to be funny about this repetitive non-joke of Fred Armisen’s traffic helicopter guy not being able to turn to camera. Unless excruciating is the new funny?

Worst: Manuel Ortiz Show
A double fail for Armisen-fronted sketches. The problem with this recurring spoof of Latin talk-show culture is that it never strives for anything unexpected or outrageous, and instead lazily relies on a formula that gets less funny each time it airs: Bring out a guest with shocking family secret, watch guest and Manuel dance ridiculously, pray that Bill Hader pops up so you’ll at least get a chuckle from his maniacally committed facial expressions.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? What were your picks for best and worst sketch? Sound off 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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69 Comments
  1. Marianne says:

    Wait!! I loved the Hunger Games spoof/skit!! “It’s UNCRRUSTABLEEEES!”

  2. JN says:

    Yeah, the hunger games sketch was a lot better than Drunk Uncle…

  3. LizLong says:

    Seriously, Hunger Games skit! That was one of the best skits and no mention? When she screamed “Hunger Games!!!” with that shimmy, I died laughing. She was great, given some of the poorly written material for her from the staff.

  4. Emily says:

    yep Hunger Games was the best sketch and Gilly was the worst (makes me ok that Kristen Wiig might leave)

    • Michelle says:

      I don’t like Kristen Wiig. There is something about her that is annoying and not funny. Yesterday, my family is watching Bridesmaids, which I have never seen. They’re telling me how it’s HYSTERICAL! Did I laugh at some parts, yes. Hysterical? No. I don’t like SNL humor, Kristen Wiig is not funny and Maya Rudolf is equally as annoying. I walked away at the bridesmaids dress part and was yelled at for leaving at the “best part”. Really? I would hate to have seen the worst part then.

  5. Ali says:

    Liked the Zooey skit and the “just friends” booty shorts ad made me laugh too. How many commercials is Vergara actually in? Couldn’t always tell when it was commercial break or part of the show. Anyone else distracted by the bird’s nest hair of the boy-banders?

  6. KenBud says:

    ALMOST PIZZA commercial with Wiig and Hader rocked it!!! and the Shampoo commercial was hilarious with Vergara and the new girl …. (Drunk Uncle was #1 though)

  7. The shampoo commercial skit was hilarious. As was the Watch What Happens Live parody. Taran Killam wasn’t at his best with the Andy Cohen impersonation, but that skit was awesome.

  8. Tammy says:

    Drunk Uncle was the best of the night…… it was pretty funny. Overall it wasn’t bad. Considering The Hunger Game skit was last, it finished rather strong too.

  9. TD says:

    Was Seth Myers drunk on Weekend Update? He seemed to be slurring sometimes and his timing was off.

  10. John Grose says:

    I liked the shampoo commercial. Didn’t care for the boy band. I thought those disappeared in the late 90s. – John

  11. Lori says:

    Could someone please kill Gilly!!

  12. raftrap says:

    Come on Mike! the Pantene Commercial was the funniest thing of the night.

  13. TimeForNewWriters says:

    Interesting fact about the ACTION NEWS PROMO skit –

    I went to the 12/05/09 SNL dress rehearsal.

    The dress rehearsals run about 2 hrs and a few sketches are reworked or cut altogether for timing to get the live show down to 1.5 hrs.

    THAT skit was part of my rehearsal! As it did last night, the sketch included Jason and Fred — but with then-host Blake Lively in the Sofia role.

    So here it is — nearly 1.5 years later — and the skit makes the live show. It just proves how stale things are. With all the recycled skits — GILLY? Manny Ortiz? and upteen running of the faux commercials — it reveals how there’s such a lack of originality. No new ideas.

    It’s time for NEW writers! Please!

  14. Lauren says:

    Drunk Uncle is always quality. The Watch What Happens skit was pretty good, too, but mostly for Taran Killam being amazing and Kate McKinnon’s debut with her spot on Tabitha impersonation!

    • cj says:

      Tabatha and the Pantene commercial – McKinnon did very well her first time outta the gun. hope to see more of her…

    • R says:

      Agree … the way she did that Penelope Cruz Pantene skit was a really good job for an SNL newbie – hope she keeps up!

      Taran Killam has been amazing through out the season, must be promoted to regular cast!

      • raftrap says:

        Him and Vanessa Bayer have to be promoted, Lorne has been taking too long with them, I think that’s why we lost Paul Brittain.

      • tripoli says:

        Killam is horrendous. Bout time he got the boot. His impressions are terrible, and he’s juts not funny. He ruins every sketch he’s in.

  15. Chad Kuhns says:

    At this point, the guest stars rarely get move to work with, let a lone shine. SNL obviously wasn’t keen on Ms. Vergara’s style of comedy. However, as always, you can count on Kristen Wiig and Abby Elliott to at least make one or two skits worth watching. Elliott is quickly becoming one the funniest people on the show, and her impersonations are always dead on.

    • dude says:

      The problem is the fact that Sofia Vergara has a very specific brand of humour. They can only write so many loud columbian characters.

  16. ben says:

    i love the shampoo commerical, drunk uncle just wasn’t that funny..maybe because it was too close to home for me. the worse was gilly, jilly girl with the afro.

  17. dude says:

    The Hunger Games sketch was the best. Probably one of the few times I’ve seen the show save their best sketch for last.

  18. Ruby says:

    The Taran Killam skit was terrible. I liked the Hunger Games skit though.

  19. Babybop says:

    I LOVED the Watch What Happens Live sketch but I think you’ll only get it if you watch Bravo. The Tabitha impression was awesome, and Tarren Killam’s Andy Cohen was hilarious! I loved drunk uncle too, but my favorite sketch of the night was the Almost Pizza commercial.

    • CJ says:

      I have to agree with you–as someone who’s never seen the show they were parodying, it seemed extremely bizarre. The Hunger Games bit was obvious (but funny), and I also liked the shampoo commercial and Kristen Wiig doing Drew Barrymore. I would never have figured her to do that good an impression, but it was amazing.

  20. Kimm says:

    Here opening was the best I’ve seen all season. Great Zooey, Drew, Fran Drescher skit, loved the just friends shorts, and loved the Hunger Games skit too. No Jay Pharoah this week, huh? I hope he gets more screen time next season.

  21. bad kevin says:

    The Hunger Games skit and the Pantene commercial spoof was great and I give kudos for Kate McKinnon on her amazing debut on SNL. Hope she’ll be back next season.

  22. Jack says:

    “Saturday Night Live struggled mightily to utilize Modern Family star Sofia Vergara’s broad and boisterous brand of comedy…” Wait, what? Since when did SNL become subtle and sophisticated? Vergara made me smile in everything she did, including her sex ed teacher until Gilly appeared. The Almost Pizza commercial was hysterical. Agree with you on the Manuel Ortiz Show. It’s so five shows ago.

  23. Victoria says:

    Snoozer night overall. Quirky girl sketch was the only memorable one for me.

  24. Nicole says:

    I thought Kristen retired Gilly.. weird.

  25. Van says:

    um… the watch what happens, the pantene commerical, hunger games, zooey deschannel, and the opening monologue. were all HIGH-larious. Drunk Uncle was ok. I find your critiques bias and really off base and I am not a HUGE Sofia Vergara fan. I find you way too negative.

  26. S says:

    Hunger Games!!! But, honestly, I get a head ache hearing her scream lol

  27. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I were almost in tears laughing at fred trying to turn his head as the helicopter news guy…..we thought it was hilarious!!! So, definately not worst for us. Also loved the quirky skit, hunger games and booty shorts. Definitely didn’t use Sofia enough though….

  28. Forwarddad says:

    So So So sick of Gilly. Not funny let it go.

  29. Nadine says:

    Sofia is fantastic with her timing, I enjoyed the show. Loved Zooey Show, Hunger Games, and the shampoo commercial. Drunk uncle was way too long, plus I think Bobby Moynihan may have really been drunk.

  30. The Squatch says:

    I remember her retiring the Gilly character as well, but I think she did this as sort of a more official last appearance. At least, I kind of got the feeling, personally, because of the way the character was not only readily admitting to everything, but was doing so in a more “harsh” way right up until she sort of “broke character” at the end and said she had gone too far. The whole thing just seemed “off” somehow, even for a Gilly skit.

    • The Squatch says:

      Also, on a different subject, I was almost driven to distraction by how attractive the new girl, Kate McKinnon, was. Don’t get me wrong, there have been other attractive SNL cast members. I just found her to be quite lovely and had no idea who she was when she first appeared. I didn’t know they had added a new cast member. Looking forward to seeing more of what she can do since I am unfamiliar with her work. Very nice first outing though.

    • Emma says:

      I thought the same thing. the ending was really abrupt, they cut to the band for a few seconds and everything… but no one said anything about it, so I didn’t think it was out of the ordinary.

  31. brandy says:

    This was one of my favorite episodes of the season! The Watch What Happens parody, Gillie, Hunger Games, Drunk Uncle, Bein’ Quirky, the Pantene commercial. They all had me rolling.

  32. Jo says:

    Was that calista flockhart in line at the coffe shop??

  33. Walrus says:

    It was a great episode. I actually re-watched the entire thing (well, skipping the boy ”band”. How refreshing was it that Sophia actually knew her lines, and with the exception of one false start (the sex ed skit) was actually acting instead of reading cue cards?

  34. The Pantene commercial was the funniest of the night! I was dying with laughter at Kate McKinnon, great first show for her! Looking forward to seeing more from her.

  35. xwiseguyx says:

    Kate McKinnon (sp?) was very funny as Tabitha and in the Pantene commercial.. we laughed out loud … Fred Armison helicopter sketch wasn’t funny but Fred is so good it was watchable. I liked Manual Ortiz sketch better than the Being Quirky one – which i don’t get the humor of.. except the Drew Barrymore impression was great…Drunk Uncle went on a little too long for my taste…Gilly needs to come back for one last sketch where she gets blown to bits… sorry -:)

  36. xwiseguyx says:

    PS – Just Friends booty shorts was very hysterical as well…

  37. Maria Alers says:

    I liked the show but not the drunk uncle, it was stupid but the rest was good, the really thing that makes sofia funny is her accent. OH my God, she knows how to work with it. Keep the good work Sofia and ARRIBA LATINOS.

  38. M says:

    The Pantene commercial was the best! Sophia rocked the night. Drunk uncle and the News promo were stupid.

  39. Todd says:

    I miss when SNL was funny… Gilly’s gotta go, drunk uncle… gotta pass (out) and any time they do one of their central american talk show skits is a bad time. the zooey deschannel kit was good, and Sofia was funny as Fran.

  40. Hilary says:

    I thought the whole Bravo sketch was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing and it had me in tears. I’m shocked that wasn’t on the list. Taran Killam was fantastic on Saturday.

  41. Carmichael says:

    I do dig the Being QUirky sketch mostly, but, they’ve got to get rid of Mickey Mouse…I mean Michael Cera

  42. Leigh says:

    Not a very funny episode. I was just okay.

  43. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I had a feeling she would fail miserably as host. I didn’t watch it, I can’t stand Sofia Vergara, especially when she’s being herself. I kind of expected the entire monologue she would talk about her dumb K-Mart clothing line since that’s all she can talk about on talk shows.

  44. The Just Friends Commercial was the funniest thing all night!! Laughed so hard.

  45. studiopaiir says:

    The only part worth watching was the Pantene commercial. It was the only part I caught during the live feed and was excited about seeing the rest of the episode. Was quite disappointed. Love Sophia and the new cast member Kate did a great job. I thought the Gilly skit was going to be a great skit until Gilly showed up. It started off with great potential as an original skit. I really wish they utilized Nasim Pedrad more. The other two girls are not that great. Bobby and killam have a lot of underutilized potential, though the Andy Cohen was not too great.

  46. Sarabi says:

    Her Fran Drescher impression was horrible. The Pantene commercial was funny, though.

  47. Alex Bevac says:

    I thought this was a wonderful episode. Tr only part I didn’t enjoy was the gilly skit. I feel as though Kristen wiig is too talented for that role. I loved drunk uncle it had me in tears, the Manuel Ortiz show was great, I liked the hunger games skit. Tarren killam was hysterical.

  48. Ed Craft says:

    Frankly the best skits are any of the BRONX BEAT with Rudolph and Pohler.