SNL With Will Ferrell: Best and Worst Skits

This season of Saturday Night Live has been full of reunions. Unfortunately, one of the most anticipated — the return of three-time host Will Ferrell — didn’t take Studio 8H by storm like previous SNL grads Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph. But while Ferrell’s opening monologue and a number of skits failed to highlight his usual comedic style, we did, however, see him bring back a few favorite characters and surprise guests. Here are my picks for best and worst of the night.

Best: Cold Open
To kick off the night, Ferrell reprised his role of George W. Bush in one of the best political cold opens we’ve seen this season. The scene opened with Jason Sudeikis’ Joe Biden (as a pouty teenager) getting upset with Fred Armisen’s President Obama (as an understanding father) for stealing his idea about gay marriage. This led to meeting Biden’s “imaginary friend” George, the man who actually lives in his closet because he got lost chasing a butterfly. Ferrell’s Bush played well off of Sudeikis’ Biden, and the pair ranting about how “politics aren’t fair” was a nice way to kick off the show.

Best: Alternative Prom
Ferrell was two for two as he brought back another fan favorite — Marty Culp. Performing at a high school’s LGBT event alongside his wife Bobbie (Ana Gasteyer), the pair jumped right back into their usual banter, which included Glee and Hunger Games jokes. And then they did what they do best by launching into a painfully hip medley of Adele’s “Rumor Has It”, One Direction (“you are gay and beautiful!”), Nicki Minaj (“super gay!”), Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”, LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”, and finally, “YMCA” — or as they put it, “LGBT”.

Best: 100th Digital Short
The Lonely Island sure knows how to celebrate. Justin Bieber joined Jorma and Andy in a fun combination of their best digital shorts. Justin Timberlake (box included) and Natalie Portman (rapping about her baby) were the most notable returns, but we also saw Jon Hamm, Michael Bolton, Julian Casablancas, Usher and Will Ferrell pop up — all of whom annoyed Justin Bieber by singing about self-administered oral sex.

Worst: Broadway Sizzle
The basic premise of the sketch was aspiring Broadway stars auditioning for a quarreling divorced couple (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), but neither the auditions nor the commentary from the “judges” was chuckle-worthy. Kenan Thompson made train noises, Ferrell got embarrassed when he realized he was singing songs meant for women and Bobby Moynihan’s audition was bumped so Ferrell could sing again. Let’s just say this: Smash‘s Ellis would have poisoned all of them by now.

Worst: Happy 25th Anniversary
Apparently this sketch was a follow-up to 2009’s “Wedding Toast,” with Sudekis trying to stop a chain of bizarre, unrelated guests. While the couple unfortunately wasn’t the same — which would have made this outdated skit more relevant — we did see a few encores: Fred Armisen making uncomfortable sexual advances, Wiig with an oxygen tank, Moynahan dropping the mic and Will Forte — who also reprised his role of Greg Stink earlier in the show — whispering anti-Obama comments. Ferrell’s addition of a chef-turned-psychic looking to solve crimes and Taran Killam’s flamboyant model bit weren’t enough to save it though, ending the night on a flat note.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? Which of Ferrell’s characters were you most excited to see return? And what were your picks for best and worst sketches? 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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  1. Jodi says:

    Spot on for both best and worst, though I would add Usher’s two performances to the best and that ESPN disaster to the worst of the worst. Good thing the writers couldn’t come up with any more maxi pad slogans otherwise that skit would have gone longer.
    Seems the only decent sketches featured Ferrell doing his old shtick or that featured Usher. Not a hardcore Usher fan but he also made Funkytown worth watching as he completely worked his costume and had fun with it.

  2. It went downhill after Weekend Update. All the sketches prior to and including Update were hilarious and awesome. The rest was blah.

    • Princess Adora says:

      It always goes downhill after Weekend Update. It’s like after that sketch, they’ve used up all their funny points and have to settle for awkward and uncomfortable!
      Michael, I agree Broadway Sizzle was awful, but I DID love Bill Hader when he was mouthing along to Kristen singing the first song! The talented do what they can I suppose ;)

  3. anthonynewhall says:

    Agree with everything.

  4. bad kevin says:

    Very disappointed SNL didn’t bring back the Celebrity Jeopardy! skit. :-( but I like how Will Ferrell brought back his impersonation of George W. Bush and the return of another Will, Forte that is and I’m so excited for the season finale next week with Mick Jagger :-) After the season is over, I really don’t know on what the future holds for cast members Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig & Andy Samberg. As for next season, Lorne Michaels better cast more female players into the mix if Wiig gets departed.

  5. Lauren says:

    The show’s latter half was nothing in comparison to its first half. Thought weekend update was kind of short, even with Andy’s “Get In the Cage.” Can’t begin to explain how happy I was with the cameos. Damn near fainted when Natalie reprised her rap in the digital short. I mean, overall I’d give the episode a B/B+. Not phenomenal/enough to bring me tears of joy, but my no means horrible.

    And though some will disagree…I just think that while they did bring back a few of Ferrell’s old characters, the writers still brought in new material to make them fresh. Yes, a lot of the funny came from Ferrell’s execution, but still.

  6. Emgee says:

    Wish they had brought Darrell Hammond back and done a Celebrity Jeopardy

  7. Jay says:

    Just watch the 100th Digital short on you tube and don’t bother with the rest. I am a fan of Ferrell, and i still think this was by far the worst episode of the season.

  8. amy says:

    The 100th Digital short was only thing that I found hilarious. The rest was disappointing.

  9. don says:

    i had to shut it off after about 5 minutes. mick jagger may signal the end of snl…at least for me

  10. cjeffery7 says:

    nat port cameo in 100th digital short was the best. YEAH I HAD A BABY BUT I’M STILL CRAZY. and then throws her baby over the balcony.

  11. Nora Boyle says:

    Well if half the sketches didn’t stink, it wouldn’t be SN-Live! But, Will F as George, and JSudekis as Joe B, are freakin’ hilarious.

  12. The Squatch says:

    Towards the end of the digital short it mentions that Lorne wrote all of them. Is that true? I always thought Andy Samberg, possibly with the help of his Lonely Island pals, wrote all of the digital shorts for the show. I just kind of thought that was his “thing”.

  13. Clarrissa says:

    Will Ferrell’s wasnt very good. How the heck was Eli Manning a thousand times funnier on SNL than Will Ferrell? Eli’s SNL is one of my favorites of the year.

  14. Jenn says:

    Also, wasn’t the couple a little old to be celebrating their 25th anniversary? 40th maybe but not 25th

  15. NoChrisParnell says:

    I’m surprised no Chris Parnell in the 100th DIgital Short.