He may play 007 on the big screen, but Daniel Craig only needed one of those digits — a giant zero — to sum up his hosting gig on this week’s Saturday Night Live. Combined with Seth MacFarlane’s fantastic season premire, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s uninspiring followup, SNL now sports a 1-2 record for Season 38.
Craig started off on a decent note with an opening monologue that featured an “In Memoriam”-style tribute to all the characters he’s killed on screen. Still, it would’ve been a lot funnier had it been more comprehensive. From there, though, the any comedic chops the British actor may or may not possess got buried under the weight of lame ideas and lazy writing.
If there was one bright spot, it was a second straight episode featuring standout work by Kate McKinnon, who’s showing genuine potential to be the show’s next big breakout star. Either way, here are my picks for the week’s best and worst sketches:
Best: Lesser-Known Bond Girls
McKinnon’s impersonations of Jodie Foster and Ellen DeGeneres were the highlights of this well-executed short focusing on outtakes from a new James Bond DVD collection, although Vanessa Bayer’s Diane Keaton was pretty amusing, too.
Best: Cecilia Gimenez on Weekend Update
McKinnon was wonderfully loopy as the elderly Spanish woman who “touched up” a 19th-century fresco of Jesus at her church, adding “dead black eyes” and “a little round expressionless face” in the process. By the time Ceclila moved on from her conversation with J.C. himself to talk of her followup portrait of Seth Meyers, I was howling with laughter.
Worst: Construction-Site Hecklers
Craig adopted a dopey-guy accent in a bit about the new guy at the construction site who freaks out his coworkers with off-target cat calls about female passersby having “two big, breasty squish rags” and “a big bowl of butt soup with extra nipples.” The comedic equivalent of a giant crane falling into a skyscraper.
Worst: MSNBC Debate Coverage
Surely, there were fresher ways to wring laughs from the panic of left-leaning MSNBC’s commentators in the wake of President Obama’s widely criticized debate-performance. Cecily Strong had the right idea when her Rachel Maddow began harping on a little stumble in Romney’s delivery, smugly pointing out how it didn’t seem very presidential, but Kenan Thompson’s Al Sharpton was, as always, too broad to really be scathing.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? Did Craig make you laugh, or just wince? Hit the comments with your thoughts!