Adam Levine Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

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adam levine shirtless snlAdam Levine got a little help from Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and Andy Samberg to kick off his first Saturday Night Live hosting gig, but things might’ve worked out better had those bold-faced names mentored the show’s writers instead.

Indeed, the setups this week were so unimaginative, the Maroon 5 frontman wound up playing himself not once, but twice, and even worse, other sketches (the firehouse meltdown, The Sopranos Diaries, even that “YOLO” short) relegated him to nothing more than a bit player with little to no chance of scoring a laugh.

Below are my picks for the week’s best and worst sketches:

BEST: Biden Bash
The week’s final skit was (surprisingly) the funniest, as Jason Sudeikis’ Vice President Biden kicked off his second term at the Dover Motor Speedway in hilariously low-rent fashion. Levine’s Neil Diamond…Impersonator of the Year…Contest Participant was great, and “As the saying goes, ‘What happens in Delaware.’” A nice reminder that sometimes shorter = better.

BEST: Opening Monologue
Okay, it wasn’t fall-down funny — and the show’s writers missed a chance at a great joke by making Levine’s shirt removal completely random instead of the final act in choosing Samberg or Diaz as mentor over Seinfeld — but I’m gonna give this a slight edge over Nasim Pedrad’s fine Arianna Huffington and that goofy Levine-vs.-Pat Monahan bar fight (with Sudeikis’ amazing Jason Mraz). Best parts had to be Levine’s joke about carrying on the tradition of singers overreaching into acting; Diaz and Samberg’s gross-funny stuff about Ben Stiller’s bodily fluids; and especially Samberg’s recounting of having been in “100 digital shorts as well as three live sketches” during his SNL tenure.

WORST: Martin Luther King, Jr. visits President Obama
Jay Pharoah didn’t attempt a single punch line as the newly inaugurated POTUS, content instead to play the straight man to Kenan Thompson’s Dr. King. That put all the weight of the Cold Open on the latter character, making tired pop-cultural observations (“Did you see that girl Beyoncé?” Thompson-as-King crowed, “‘Cause I was like whaaaaat?”) that could’ve plopped out of any historical figure with equally stilted results. Depressing stuff.

WORST: Circle Work on The Gay Network
Thompson and Levine starred as Tracy Allstar and Todd Anthony, hosts of this groan-inducingly titled talk show trying to solve straight people’s problems but ultimately concluding that every heterosexual man with issues is secretly “gay as pastry bags filled with lemon creams.” Nothing about the sketch was outrageous enough to elicit shock or guffaws, nor sharp enough to make any observations on the rise of metrosexuality or the continued existence of down-low culture. The average episode of NBC’s sweetly earnest The New Normal is 50 times edgier, and that airs on Tuesdays before 10 p.m.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Levine as host? What did you think were the best and worst sketches? Sound off in the comments!



Comments (45)

  • To me it looked like Adam wasn’t available enough this week for rehearsals. He screwed up a few times in that opening skit and talked over Kenan. He also was relying on the prompters too much. Adam did much better in the pre-recorded segments. The Yolo one looked like it was filmed in LA, not NYC so maybe there was an issue with Adam’s schedule. Was he on all the usual talk shows this week promoting the show like other host?

    I do agree the material was very weak. I didn’t think they could get worse than last week but they did. You are right, not much imagination in the skits and the writing was poor. As usual the weekend update was the highlight and that isn’t even living up to it’s normal standard.

    Comment by Tammy – January 27, 2013 08:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought The Sopranos Diaries video was excellent. Also, the firehouse meltdown sketch and the Catfish spoof were pretty good.

    An above average episode, and I honestly wouldn’t say that Biden Bash was the best of the night.

    Kenan Thompson needs to go, BTW. His “impersonations” are painful to watch.

    Comment by Marin Kuharić (@Prkan_708) – January 27, 2013 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Kenan is really awkward on SNL and I’ve really started to dislike him when I learned he was treating his old partner/friend Kel poorly. Kel was always the funnier one in my opinion.

      Comment by kavyn – January 27, 2013 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • VERY disappointed in this episode, even more than last week’s. The season started off with some promising shows, but the past 2 weeks, when they had weeks to prepare have been 2 of the WORST. Jennifer Lawrence at least caused me a few laughs, this week was awful. The 2 unfunny sketches in a row with bad gay stereotypes were just hideous. That rumble sketch? What the heck? Was Jason Mraz supposed to be gay in that? Aside from Arianna Huffington and Kate McKinnon as Carmela, I had pretty much zero smiles. They parodied Catfish but didn’t include Manti Te’o? For this overall writing effort the past 2 weeks, Seth Meyers should be punished by having to watch his movie New Year’s Eve about 10 times in a row. And Bieber on the 9th? At least I won’t have to watch that.

    Comment by BamaEd – January 27, 2013 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Was so excited to see Adam Levine hosting! What a let down. Poor use of the very talented Adam. Best part of the night was YOLO. and weekend update, esp Ariana Huffington who is always entertaining and spot on! Should have had Adam for the musical guest as well. Most of the skits were unbearably awful and quite strange.

    Comment by Lanie – January 27, 2013 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I surprised people were dissapointed in Adam. Like did people honeslty expect him to good? I don’t think he is a horiible actor but this is Saturday Night LIVE, meaning you only get one shot.

      Comment by Russ – January 27, 2013 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After watching the promos, I wondered if Adam Levine would be as charmless in the actual show. He was. The writing was mostly awful, but Levine definitely overreached.

    Comment by eds – January 27, 2013 09:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t even focus on the performances anymore because of the underwhelming writing. I could have written the cold opener myself–no depth at all. I know there are plenty of talented writers who would love to have this job, so why do they keep accepting material that is so stale?

    Comment by Tracie – January 27, 2013 09:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lorne Michaels is notorious for the draconian contracts he makes people sign in order to work on SNL. You are basically signing over your life to this guy. He owns whatever you create for SNL (co-own, but still), plus he gets to produce whatever you do in the future. Lots of talented writers won’t commit to this.

      Comment by Patrick – January 27, 2013 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel like last week was a great host with terrible material and this was the opposite. Adam Levine wasn’t at all bad but he didn’t really add much to the sketches and the ones where he was intended to be the “funny” one, he seemed really embarrassed. I like that SNL is getting more into TV spoofs though. First Homeland and now The Carrie Diaries and Catfish. They should do more, it’s a nice change from politics.

    Comment by dude – January 27, 2013 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dissapointed to hear it was another poor episode, I didn’t watch after te disappointment that was last episode, and insulted to hear te relied on gay stereotypes for laughs, at least new normal balances out the stereotypes with one non stereotypical gay character, because while stereotypes can be true their not always true, may watch it later.

    Comment by Mike – January 27, 2013 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I LOVE The New Normal. Fabulous show! Honestly, not only did it seem to have many gay stereotype sketches, it also seemed to have peppered the non gay sketches with “gay undertones”. I don’t really know how to explain it. I was discussing how odd it was with someone else and they also felt that. I’m not sure what they were trying to do with it. Just a really, really odd show. Did anyone else catch that?

      Comment by Lanie – January 27, 2013 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The New Normal has grown on me throughout the season, and I now am a big fan of both Tuesday NBC shows, And I will have to look for that when I watch te episode later.

        Comment by Mike – January 27, 2013 10:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the writing was much better this episode. The Catfish parody was right on and very funny. And it was the one skit where Adam Levine did well. I agree with the comments about the King meets Obama sketch. It would have been much funnier if a slightly drunk Obama was giving the one-liners. The Firehouse Rumble sketch was the worst of the night. And while Adam can’t count acting as one of this strong points, I would rather see him stumble over his lines than the countless number of sports personalities who regularly do that. And Jason Sudeikis has won me over with his Joe Biden parody.

    Comment by David – January 27, 2013 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I enjoyed The Sopranos Diaries and I was cautiously amused by Bill Hader’s Brice character, but that’s about it. I was disappointed, because I like Adam and had high hopes. The biggest disappointment of the night was seeing Samberg back. He promised to leave. I wish he’d promise to stay away.

    Comment by TV Gord – January 27, 2013 09:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • With the little of the episode I saw, I was crossing my finger since they invited him back, maybe they invited Kristen Wiig back too. I was dissapointed they didn’t.

      Comment by Mike – January 27, 2013 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YOLO

    Comment by forwarddad – January 27, 2013 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the skit where Hader was screaming was very funny.

    Comment by Betty – January 27, 2013 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, loved the firehouse sketch. I also loved the line, “Call me Ishmael, you son of a bitch!”

      Comment by bbl – January 27, 2013 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was laughing so hard at that sketch. Especially “NOT THE B!!!” Maybe you have to be a Bill Hader fan. Ray Lewis on Weekend Update was fantastic.

      Comment by Deena – January 27, 2013 02:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After the guest star packed monologue I knew it was going to be a long night but I am sick and I had no where else to go. It was not good. The writing was subpar as it has been most of the season and Lavine wasn’t up to the task. I didn’t laugh much durring the episode. I was however shocked that the last sketch was funny (and it may have to do with my love of the VP) but at 11:58 I am usually ready for a groan inducing throw away bit and last night I was hit with Biden Bash, one of the few times I laughed and the only time I enjoyed the show.

    Also was it just me or was the host musical guest paring alittle nutso? They don’t draw the same audience to my mind. Girls who want to lust after Adam Lavine are likely to listen to his music not the musical guest. Not that I’m knocking the guy his second song was really good

    Comment by Toia – January 27, 2013 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That was a really dull episode. Levine was as stiff as a board. That guy cannot act and he’s not very funny. He seemed totally out of place. I don’t expect much better next week with Justin Beiber as host. Come on. Not only do they need better skits, they need to choose better hosts.

    Comment by Carrie – January 27, 2013 11:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They had what could of been a great host last week, but they wasted her with some of the worst writing in snl history.

      Comment by Mike – January 27, 2013 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I love JLaw, who is going to be a huge star. But she didn’t do great in a live format. Lots of great actresses don’t excel in that format. Maybe she needs lots of rehearsals or multiple takes. Maybe she really needs to immerse herself in her character and really talk it out with writers and directors. That type of preparation, hard work, and commitment can make for a great movie or TV performance. But it simply isn’t possible in a live, sketch comedy format. Lots of great actresses would fail in a sketch comedy format, and lots of great comedic actors would be horrible in more dramatic roles.

        Comment by Patrick – January 27, 2013 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I only saw a couple of sketches but in them he was reading the teleprompter and not engaging with the other actors… it was enough for me to turn it off. Go back to singing only Adam!

      Comment by wanda – January 27, 2013 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They don’t have a teleprompter, they use good old fashioned cue cards. They also tell you do not try to memorize things because it came change dramatically between dress rehearsal and the live show. The SNL actors aren’t looking at one another all the time either. They’re reading the cue cards too, and I heard one of them completely blow a punchline by accidentally getting a word wrong. I can’t remember which joke unless I rewatch the show (ugh) but it was one of the women who was otherwise doing a good job and the audience just didn’t pick up that there was a joke there. I remember thinking at the time that the writer who wrote that is probably upset that they didn’t get a laugh–it was something minor like saying “can” instead of “can’t” and I suppose it’s possible the person assigned to cue cards wrote it down wrong, it still shows that the actors on the show can mess things up and don’t memorize. It’s not Adam’s fault he looked at them like he was told. The show was pretty awful for a number of reasons. Of all the comedians who could host the show well, they let NBC promote The Voice and have Adam host SNL with weak material and no indication that he could act in the first place. He probably couldn’t say no because they’re his boss. Poor guy did the best he could and I bet he wouldn’t have wanted to host if it were up to him.

        Comment by Scooby – January 27, 2013 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • *can change dramatically. Stupid autocorrect.

          Comment by Scooby – January 27, 2013 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • BEST: AN SNL DIGITAL SHORT!!!

    seeing Andy; Jorma and Akiva back in a digital short on SNL made me soo happy

    Comment by Line – January 27, 2013 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Both worst feature Kenan..can’t just be a coincidence! They need to drop that dude, he’s total dead weight

    Comment by Kittee – January 27, 2013 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes!!! I cannot stand him!

      Comment by JoeBoxer – January 28, 2013 07:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved The Soprano Diaries, The Yolo Video, Maroon 5 vs Train, and Opening Monologue. I thought Adam could have had better material.

    Comment by Stephanie – January 27, 2013 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely the best line of the night was Samberg’s Samberg saying he was in “100 digital shorts as well as three live sketches” during his time there. Only Arianna Huffington made me laugh, other than that line.

    Comment by Morgen – January 27, 2013 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously they are getting Justin Beiber? Is there no one else that they can get?

    Comment by Kristen – January 27, 2013 03:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh by the way last week’s host was TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Kristen – January 27, 2013 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I actually liked the Gay Network one – I thought that was one of the sketches that actually gave Adam a chance to be funny, and he was.

    Comment by Grace – January 27, 2013 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That was one of my faves of the night as well. And I enjoyed the Biden sketch. But my absolute favorite bit that just lasted a few seconds was Andy Samberg pulling out the lotion during the parody of The Voice. :)

      Comment by Paula – January 27, 2013 07:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SNL has been going downhill ever since Chris Farley left in 1995.

    Comment by David Johns – January 27, 2013 08:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NBC can’t even afford to bring In a worthy host and musical guest. Why don’t we only have NBC employees as hosts from now on! Oh and isn’t it convenient that The Voice is coming back on air soon. And to top all of that off, next week is a repeat with Maroon 5 has musical guest! Ridiculous! And I guess the other new norm is to bring in a douchebag who can read cue cards and sing so they don’t have to spend alittle money on a worthy host. NBC HAS MAILED IT IN!!!!!!

    Comment by Jared H – January 28, 2013 12:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • UMMM Hello they are filming the Voice season 4 and justin bieber is in two weeks!!! HA

    Comment by BETTY #1 FAN – January 28, 2013 08:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was just glad he took off his shirt. The first thing I thought when I saw the open was, “Well, that’s obviously going to come off.” Also, I thought it was weird that instead of playing up his womanizing, they did a lot of Adam Levine playing gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    Comment by Ann VerWiebe – January 28, 2013 08:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I actually really liked it. For once, the weakest was Weekend Update, which is usually the highlight! I mean, I feel I was throughly entertained 95% of the time.. which is huge for SNL. Didn’t like the Biden sketch or the cold open though. LOVED firehouse and the bar and the really scary fat lady aka Bobby that wanted to hook up w/ Adam. “NOT THE B!!!!!”

    Comment by Danielle H. – January 30, 2013 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can anyone tell me if that was Taylor Hawkins in the Rumble sketch?

    Comment by Joe – January 31, 2013 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This week and last week sufferend from some really poor writing. The Firehouse Sketch was the first time during my SNL watching years I had to look away from the tv in embarrassment. As in “OMG are they really broadcasting this??”. What happened to the writers? The last amazing episode was with Seth MacFarlane, and probably because he wrote all his skits himself. I’m not looking forward to Bieber next week..

    Comment by Satori – February 2, 2013 05:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • PS I AM looking forward to Christopher Waltz though. Hope he can smuggle in bits of writing from Tarantino so he gets decent material to work with.

      Comment by Satori – February 2, 2013 06:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Adam and M5 were in Tulsa,OK on Friday the night before performing at concert…I would know because I at that concert!!!

    Comment by Shannon – March 30, 2013 04:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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