This week’s Saturday Night Live got off to a fairly sleepy start with a Cold Open spoof of the Benghazi Hearings that didn’t live up to its its solid premise (that adding true-crime players like Jodi Arias might improve ratings) and a musical monologue from Kristen Wiig that forgot to bring the punch lines.
If you stuck with the episode, however, there were several hilarious rewards in store — as well as mixed bag of return visits to Wiig’s more popular characters from her seven seasons as an SNL regular. (Was it me, or did the Lawrence Welk “doll hands” bit fall surprisngly flat this time around?)
Below are my picks for the week’s best and worst sketches. Note that “The Californians” escaped falling into the “Worst” category thanks to an awesomely funny cameo by a pregnant Maya Rudolph.
BEST: Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost!
A new Disney Channel series in which the protagonists’ mother was drown in a river by her foreign lover and turned into a “Korean Water Ghost.” Ringu imagery + murdered science teacher = funniest thing on SNL in months!
A fairly obvious setup — Wiig and Aidy Bryant as an acupuncturist and her novice assistant, and Jason Sudeikis as their profusely bleeding patient — made memorable by sheer volume of blood and terrific details (Kate McKinnon bringing in a ShamWow; Wiig offering her lightheaded client a glass of “ancient Chinese medicine water). Don’t watch if you’re sipping a Bloody Mary.
BEST: 1-800-Flowers for Mothers’ Day
Kate McKinnon (who’s been underutilized for months now) was brilliant as Wiig’s unintentionally aggravating mom, dropping details about a local business owner’s death and looking for dreaded nuts in restaurant dishes that would never have them. A funny (and timely) ad spoof.
WORST: Garth & Kat
I’ll admit it: I’ve never been entertained by Wiig and Fred Armisen’s make-it-up-on-the-spot (together!) Weekend Update musical stylings, but the duo really never seemed to catch a comedic groove this time around. This is one set of characters where absence didn’t make my heart grow fonder.
What did you think of Wiig’s hosting gig? What were your picks for best and worst moments? Did any of the former cast member’s “returning faves” particularly tickle your fancy? Sound off in the comments!