You knew it was going to be a rough outing for Saturday Night Live when — less than a week after the Presidential Election — the cold open was wasted on an extended (and not remotely funny) riff about Mitt Romney drinking massive amounts of milk. If I’d been in host Anne Hathaway’s shoes, I’d have been looking for a much stronger beverage after slogging through a variety of sketches that proved dubious in both concept and execution.
Before I weigh in on the week’s best and worst moments, a little fodder for debate. My colleagues Michael Ausiello and Matt Mitovich insist that SNL‘s Homeland parody was a good’un, but to me, it was a missed opportunity. Hathaway’s waaaayyy over-the-top rendition of Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison came across as merely desperate for laughs, and the writing felt like a lazy riff on the “Carrie is crazy!” theme you could pick up from watching a Homeland trailer or talking to someone at a cocktail party. Only Bill Hader’s Saul — and those jokes about Brody not opening his mouth — got me chuckling.
With that out of the way…
BEST: Drunk Uncle
This wasn’t even Bobby Moynihan’s best outing as the cantankerous boozehound, but his typical befuddlement with/disgust for Internet terminology (“Can I vote with a Groupon?”) never fails to score a laugh, and the out-of-left field “Yeah, I’m a hoarder” was the night’s second-funniest zinger — ranked only behind the followup punchline about stockpiling “1950s Playboys and dignity.”
BEST: Rihanna’s “Diamonds”
Girlfriend was aiming for the funnybone with those ludicrous green-screen images of dolphins, pillars, palm trees, and marble busts, right? Well, even if she wasn’t, she actually sounded pretty good live for a change.
WORST: Cold Open
I’ll admit I laughed at Mitt’s son telling him to come see Paul Ryan doing feats of strength in the living room, and the dejected Republican candidate replying “I’d like to see him carry Wisconsin.” But aside from that, the sketch had no teeth — and worse still, not one joke that couldn’t have worked at any other point in the election cycle. Wasting Kate McKinnon’s terrific Ann Romney impersonation with a few throwaway lines made the situation all the more dire. A total fail.
WORST: The Legend of Mokiki
I suspect SNL was hoping to recapture the magic of “Sad Mouse,” but this idiotic short with Kenan Thompson singing about “a really stupid dance created by a crazy person” was aggressively awful.
What were your picks for the week’s best and worst sketches? How did you feel about Hathaway’s hosting performance? Sound off in the comments!