Christoph Waltz Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

christoph-waltz-snl-hostOscar winner Christoph Waltz’s opening monologue on this week’s Saturday Night Live turned out to be all too prescient. “I’ve wanted to host for a long time, but they always said to me, ‘Why you? You don’t have a sense of humor. You’re a serious German actor.'”

Okay, so the star of Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds is actually Austrian. But unfortunately, those digs about his comedic abilities seemed to be mostly on target. Waltz brought pretty much the same energy level and delivery to characters as far-flung as a game-show host, a party guest and a lovelorn security guard. No, the writing in many cases wasn’t stellar, but the episode certainly could’ve used a more skilled captain to steer the ship toward laughter.

Below, check out my picks for the weeks’ best and worst sketches:

BEST: Russian Woman on Weekend Update
Kate McKinnon’s been a little underutilized in recent weeks, but her Weekend Update bit as Olya Povlatsky should serve as a reminder to Lorne Michaels that she shouldn’t be stuck warming the bench. That old legend about the little girl who works hard without complaint being struck by a meteor, turned to dust and eaten by a goat — “and it was there in the goat’s belly that the girl was finally warm” — was the first of many punch lines that struck with the force of a shooting star from space. Excellent stuff.

BEST: Regine
Fred Armisen’s acerbic girlfriend with the runaway superiority complex and the way-too-sensitive body returned for more hijinks. A rock-solid bit from the moment Regine responded to a “nice to meet you” by snapping, “Based on what? You don’t even know what I’m like!”

HONORABLE MENTION: Carnival Cruise Debacle
Cecily Strong and Jason Sudeikis kicked the week off as desperate cruise directors watching the ship’s various entertainers fall to pieces. Kenan Thompson scored some big laughs with his offstage shout-outs (“There is no God!”) but best of all was Bobby Moynihan as Dan the Animal Man and his ill-fated monkey Coco.

WORST: What Have You Become?
Anyone else feel like SNL relies way too often on half-baked game-show setups? This sketch about a competition with an existential twist suffered from faulty execution (Waltz’s host never announcing the name of the show, but various chyrons and logos splashing it across the screen) and an ending that found Waltz unleashing his inner nutjob to totally clichéd effect.

WORST: Opening Monologue
McKinnon and Moynihan were admittedly pretty funny with a goofy “Who’s on wurst?” aside, but the centerpiece of the intro — a musical number called “Smile, Damn You, Smile” — contained not a single solitary laugh. File this one under Rated W…for Why?

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Waltz as host? What did you think were the 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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51 Comments
  1. Adam says:

    Worst episode I’ve seen of the show…not that the recent shows are much to compare to….

  2. Kind of didn’t like the show at all but the Russian woman on Weekend Update and Carnival Cruise Debacle sketch were hits IMHO. And I can see Pat ‘I can’t take a joke about Christianity’ Robertson complaining about DeJesus Unchained sketch in the next few days.

    • KevyB says:

      I couldn’t get past Kate McKinnon’s inability to look away from the cue cards during the first half Russian woman thing. And I don’t know what they expected from Waltz. He is fairly funny on talk shows, but his performances in films run the gamut from great to atrocious (Water for Elephants, anyone??).

  3. marschie says:

    one of my favorite episodes since bruno mars’ and jennifer lawrence’s. but i’ve been living in a german speaking country for the last 10 years, so i got some inside references…
    wasn’t a big fan of waltz before, but now am. :D

  4. Tran says:

    Kate McKinnon continues to be one of my faves on SNL this season but last night was DOA. Can’t wait until March 2nd when Kevin Hart will try his best to bring the laughter back to Saturday Night Live. That’s the way it goes.

  5. Joe says:

    You guys are hard to please. Best episode of the season.

    Djesus Unchained and Papal Securities were inspired and nary a mention? And Waltz brought 10000% to each sketch unlike other hosts.

    • Kellie says:

      Completely agree it was one of the best. To each their own, I guess.

      • Jake says:

        I agreed too. I didn’t fall asleep during this one. Christophe Waltz was pretty much game for anything and was funny, in my opinion.

    • Daya says:

      Those were the best, in my opinion. In fact, I think I really laughed harder at Papal Securities than I actually meant to!

      Honorable mentions to the Russian woman and the opener. Maybe I get his sense of humor because I’m German/Dutch? (And part Irish/English, too.)

  6. AJ says:

    Definitely not one of the best episodes. I loved the DeJesus sketch thought that one was hilarious but other than that they all were kinda dull. Hopefully the next ones better!

  7. Michael, how could you not mention Jesus UnCrossed? That was brilliant. :D

    And, IMHO, the only genuinely funny part of the show. With the exception of Kate McKinnon’s Russian woman and Fred Armisen’s Regine.

  8. Froggy says:

    I assumed the writing would let Christoph down and I was right. He did everything he could, but the skits weren’t great. Best bits were the pope commercial and Django Uncrossed.

  9. jared says:

    I fell asleep…

  10. Ewa says:

    Well, to be fair, the actually funny part of the opening monologue was in German, since the German title of the song he gave translates roughly to “Laugh, when the personel tells you to” – kind of meta-humour we rarely get at SNL, no? Definately made me laugh;)

  11. sunfire04 says:

    The ones I saw I thought were funny. To me it seemed the Game Show title voice over didn’t come through, not that he was supposed to say it.

  12. Fan says:

    I loved the Jesus UnCrossed bit and the Pope retirement fund commercial. They were both awesome.

  13. Brigitte says:

    Agreed that the monologue wasn’t great but I thought Casual Hitler was hilarious!

  14. TV Gord says:

    Djesus Uncrossed was the best (only really good) part of the show, but the rest was “meh”. I didn’t hate it, but I can’t say I actually enjoyed it.

  15. Morninglorri says:

    You are always opposite of The Huffington Post, which said it was the best show of the season! That said, I think you were in a bad mood when you watched this. It was a consistently funny and well-written show. DJesus and the Papal Retirement fund both dared to send up sacred cows and Killam’s Marco Rubio had me laughing out loud. As a watcher since the original episode, this episode was more like the original SNL than any other. Didn’t like the monologue though, sick of the musical numbers.

    • TV Gord says:

      The Huffington Post is nuts, then. With this season’s standout shows–Seth MacFarlane, Martin Short, Bruno Mars, Louis CK–I can’t believe anyone would actually call last night’s show the best of the season. They’re probably only saying that to get more people to post on their site.

      • Joe says:

        Louis CK was a great host but had terrible material (sans Lincoln), and how is it different that calling this a terrible one not to get more people to post on this site?

        AV Club also gave Waltz an A-. To each his own, for sure.

  16. Why is SNL still on the air and MadTV cancelled? SNL can’t seem to understand their skits are too long, cue cards are distractingly horrible and not all celebrities are funny.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      I miss Stuart. “Look what I can do!” And Bobby Lee. And Nicole Parker. They had the art of the short sketch down.

  17. dani says:

    SNL just doesn’t have the equally strong male female quotient as it did in it’s very beginning season. That’s been its downfall and struggle as well as the writing ever since.

  18. dani says:

    Was so eager to watch w/Christoph hosting & The Alabama Shakes…I just didn’t have the patience to sit through numerous duds to get to a minimally good one. I ended up watching a bit of Alabama Shakes on Austin City Limits and most of the Beyonce documentary on HBO

  19. Toia says:

    I’m sorry I cringed through the whole Regine skit. I just hate it. It’s not funny! You are right about McKinnon she is grossly under used. Make her a regular already! The Russian character reminded me of a older Russian lady who was trying to get in to grad school at my university (only slightly ridiculous). And I know the skit about the singing brothers was only half baked but Waltz was delightfully goofy in it, you cant say you didn’t laugh at the last song with him and Keenan where he was hooping like a fool agreeing to each sex act.

    This episode was still not a great episode. I can’t compair it to last we’re cuz I just can’t watch Bieber but I. Laughed more than I have in previous episode. And weekend update wasn’t phoned in so that’s a victory

  20. Leigh says:

    I only watched the Regine and Weekend Update sketches. Seeing as they were voted the best and they were not very good in my opinion I will just be hitting delete on my DVR. Thanks for saving me the hour!

  21. DanK says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Christoph Waltz has an amazing comedic timing — just watch his sketches on Jimmy Kimmel. It is once again an issue of a good host and bad material. The Carnival Cruise and Regine sketches were quite awful.. I’m surprised there was no mention of the Pope sketch, or Djesus Uncrossed.

    I do think, though, that SNL should rely more on hosts who have enough experience with live audience. Clearly some of the best shows in the past year or so were the ones hosted by Maya Rudolph, Jimmy Fallon, Melissa McCarthy and Martin Short. Perhaps SNL should dial down on big movie stars, and focus more on actual comedians.

  22. Mike says:

    Kate McKinnon remains the only reason I continue to watch SNL.

  23. Alex says:

    this week was actually good. the last crop of hosts jennifer lawrence, Adam Levine, justin bieber, and even back to jamie foxx have flopped because of the bad writing. I thought christoph was a capable host.

    too bad this good episode is shortlved because Kevin hart will be hosting an hour and a half of “funny” SNL short jokes.

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  25. Tina says:

    done. totally done with SNL. I’ve been loyal for over 30 years…and I just can’t take it anymore.

  26. KND says:

    How could anyone like the Regine skit???

  27. Jamie says:

    It was one of the stronger episodes of the season, but we shouldn’t expect a Girls fan site like tvline to know anything about comedy.

  28. Carrie says:

    I thought it was a pretty good episode. Not necessarily a stand-out, but at least Christoph Waltz is a worthy host. He is infinitely more entertaining and charming than someone like Justin Beiber.

  29. Pam says:

    I was so disappointed…SNL clearly did not make the most of this man’s talent. Did they not see the Der Humpink sketch he did for Jimmy Kimmel a few years ago, or the American Idol spoof, or the one from the other night featuring him as a master seducer? He’s a funny guy and SNL just sidelined him in many sketches with no imagination whatsoever. I did think the Pope commercial was funny; the Regine sketch was a close second but even in that, Fred A. was definitely the star.

  30. cuius says:

    To be renamed “Wednesday Morning Dead”

  31. Albert J. Pickles says:

    Strongly disagree with this. Christoph was delightful and Regine is absolutely unbearable.

  32. Umm… Hello? “Djesus Unchained” anyone? C’mon! That was hysterical. “Jesus H Christ” … “The H is silent.” LOLOLOLOL

  33. critter42 says:

    Re: What Have You Become sketch – Waltz never announced the name because it was supposed to be shouted when the title graphic was overlaid, but the producers screwed up and only the “ome” in “Become” was heard.

  34. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    The Happy Happy Joy Joy Cruise and Tippy skits were pretty good. The opening monologue was pretty good until the last third when he started singing which was okish, they should have had him do the tralalala song. FOX&Friends was OK. The Putin origin story would be pretty funny…. if it were not actually true.

    Hah but Kate McKinnon’s Russian girl was just perfection, hahaha, that was the best skit in a LONNNNNG time.

    They need to user her more! before she eat by bear and too happy for good comedic.

    (by her is meant Kate’s milkshake, very good. But yes too also more Russian girl with wolves heads in the window and best case cold gust. Don’t let bear eat Kate, very bad. Very bad. Unless goats yelling like humans, very funny and no need for cast.)

  35. Wendy says:

    Someone explain how the Regine sketch is funny. It is a typical overlong SNL sketch trying to be as gross as possible in order to be outrageous. outrageous for outrageous’ sake is lazy comic writing.

  36. Sarabi says:

    Glad to see more of Kate McKinnon! She’s wonderful!
    Christoph Waltz was professional as always, but I’m not sure that the material suited him. Having said that, Papal Securities was pretty funny, and Djesus Uncrossed was HILARIOUS!

  37. WMC says:

    For the first time in a long time, I turned it off after Update. What I’d like to know is who did the announcing. It was definitely not Don Pardo. Sounded like former castmember Darrell Hammond who is supposed to do a pretty good impression of Pardo but sounded like he was doing himself.

  38. S. from E. now says:

    As a fellow Austrian I found the monologue hilarious, because it was more true than some people might think ^^
    And Djesus Uncrossed and Papal Securities were simply brilliant! Still don’t understand it why people like Regine. The sketch was boring the first time and still is.

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