John Goodman Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

John Goodman SNLIs 13 an unlucky number?

Based on John Goodman‘s hosting gig on this week’s Saturday Night Live — no lie, it was his 13th time on the job — I’m pretty much convinced the answer is “yes.”

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Indeed, Goodman was saddled with such grimly unfunny material, I half wondered if the Grinch had arrived at Studio 8H, loaded all of this week’s punch lines into a sack and took ‘em back up the chimney. Or maybe he just hurled ‘em into a blazing fire.

And while you’d think/hope it would take halfway decent material to lure Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro for cameos, I fear that free publicity for their upcoming Grudge Match was all the incentive they needed. (More on that in a moment.)

Below, my picks for best and worst sketches:

BEST: GUY FIERI’S FULL-THROTTLE CHRISTMAS
Bobby Moynihan’s take on the Food Network star is pretty brilliant, both in terms of the man himself (that opening spin-and-cackle move had me howling) and his recipes (“a stocking stuffed with 20-layer bean dip in a crumbled Teddy Graham crust!”). Additional laughs courtesy of that list of special guests (Mimi from Drew Carey!); the promise of turning a “fruitcake into a straight cake”; Kid Rock’s Bud Lime gazpacho; and the maniacal animated Guy punching out Santa, his elf and even a reindeer.

BEST: LAST CALL
Kate McKinnon is so brazenly weird and willing that she upgrades almost every sketch she’s in. And while I can’t say I was overly excited to see the return of her last-call nympho, I also have to admit that I guffawed after she sprayed Goodman down with whipped cream — the better to boost his resemblance to Santa — screamed, “my heart and my genitals say ‘No!’ but my hypoglycemia says ‘Yes!'” and went to town on his face.

HONORABLE MENTION (BEST): H&M RAP
Jay Pharoah schooling customer Goodman on how to make the $60 in his pocket cover everyone on his shopping list. Highlights included the checkout lines all the way to Senegal, jeans that disintegrate in water, and a cameo from Wale about getting “into girls’ pants while wearing girls’ denim.”

WORST: DANCING SNOWFLAKES
Four adults staging a woeful community theater Christmas pageant begin to doubt themselves as the music starts and their terrible dancing begins. “Holy f***! What the hell am I doing up here?” asked Kenan Thompson — summing up what he, Goodman, Vanessa Bayer and Aidy Bryant should’ve been screaming to Lorne Michaels during dress rehearsal. The extended riff about Thompson getting a mid-performance boner did not help matters.

WORST: THREE WISE GUYS
Goodman, Stallone and De Niro completely humiliated themselves in one of the worst SNL sketches in recent memory, playing a trio of guys from “Long Island and New Jersey” riding their camels to greet a newborn baby Jesus. Did Stallone make a joke about putting shoes on his mount so he wouldn’t have “to see camel toe”? Did De Niro actually utter the words “I’m sweatin’ my falafels off”? Were there pauses so long and awkward that it felt like the actors were reading off the last line of an eye chart? Did I laugh more during my last dentist appointment? Unfortunately, yes, to all of the above.

HONORABLE MENTION (WORST): OPENING MONOLOGUE
Goodman and Thompson singing a little ditty called “All I Want for Christmas Is Booty.” Sorry, I don’t hate myself enough to watch this a second time and transcribe any of the lyrics. And doesn’t the tragic title tell you everything you don’t need to know?

Your turn! What did you think of Goodman as SNL host? Grade the episode in the poll below, then 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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39 Comments
  1. Rook says:

    Not surprised it got a bad review. When they announced it was John Goodman I was like him..? really?

  2. Joe says:

    Worst: Michael Slezak’s review:

    I actually liked this episode. I thought 13 was lucky! IMO

  3. TV Gord says:

    Horrible. Just horrible. No lie, I’ve had more laughs from watching the Mandela funeral. His granddaughter, Nandi, is pretty funny. Maybe she’s the new cast member they’ve been looking for! ;-)

  4. DavidSask says:

    I laughed at Guy sketch and major laughed at JG drag court sketch!! The rest negative!

  5. randall says:

    Don’t blame John Goodman for the way last night’s sketches ran,the way SNL writes today not even Steve Martin or Christopher Walken could not have saved it.

  6. Yeah everything seemed a little “off”. Even Drunk Uncle (with Drunker Uncle), while I chuckled a little, didn’t enjoy it as much as usual…unfortunately one of the worst of the season…Hoping Jimmy and Justin can brighten things up next week

  7. Jill says:

    I don’t even remember the Guy Fieri sketch.

  8. Liz985 says:

    Why does this show even merit a review/recap? It should have been put out of its misery a long time ago.

    • Bartleby says:

      Then why are you spending your time reading the recaps and posting messages?

      • Liz985 says:

        Because I like John Goodman, I like reading about the movie/TV industry, and wanted to see what they had to say about this episode. I like to read a lot of things in order to come to an informed opinion. But whenever this show is reviewed – on a weekly basis – it never gets high marks from the reviewer. And my original point stands – this show is waaaay past its prime. It needs to be cancelled.

        • dt65 says:

          So you don’t watch the show, you only read the recaps and base whether or not a show needs to be cancelled on someone else’s opinion?

  9. Kathy says:

    I thought the Christmas Whistle was terrible! And yes dancing snowflakes was just plain dumb. I like the H &M rap, and unlike you, I laughed at Three Wise Guys. Overall, the best SNL this season IMO is the Lady Gaga. Last time Jimmy and Justin were on, it was great. There’s to next week.

  10. Dr. Bombay says:

    I knew we were in for a long night with yet another cold open about President Obama followed by a musical monologue….the Guy Fieri bit had promise but wasn’t as funny as it should have been. And the Three Wise Guys bit had some good lines but DeNiro and Stallone seemed to not be prepared and/or bored. Looking forward to Fallon and Timberlake next week…at least their energy gives me hope it will be a good show….

  11. Amber says:

    Dont get the hate. The only bad sketches were Snowflakes and Whistle. It was a lot better than I had expected

    • I agree. I thought the opening song was hilarious!! John Goodman is at his best singing and channelling his inner Blues Brother. I mean come on. What man DOESN’T want some booty for Christmas…or his his birthday..but tis the season! :D

  12. Gabby says:

    I say it all the time. At this point, it does not matter who is the guest on SNL, the writing is just terrible nowadays. It’s not John Goodman’s fault at all. Unless they completely change the writers of the show, it will never be funny for anyone.

  13. Saabgirlatx says:

    I disagree-I only saw the first half, but this was way more entertaining than previous weeks. The interpreter open was hilarious, as were three wise guys. And yes, Stallone and De Niro were a bit slow, but wouldn’t three mobsters on camels be???

  14. Soopah Soopah Soopah says:

    The Wise Guys sketch had potential, it was solely ruined by timing. I bet you would have laughed your ass off at the stupid puns if Sylvester Stallone had any live comic timing (sketch comedy timing?), and I’ve always been disappointed by Robert De Niro on SNL. He also has less-than-good live comedy timing, and ALWAYS telegraphs his reading of the cue cards. Not just that, they also as you said, had issues reading the cue cards. At least Stallone did. In fact, I swear Goodman picked up one of Stallone’s lines at the end because he was just taking too damn long.

  15. Tran 2.0 says:

    It’s been 12 long years since John Goodman last hosted SNL but his 13th time as host was nothing but “unlucky”. A few sketches were great but the rest didn’t go as planned. Don’t know why the Three Wise Guys sketch was one of the worst but I mean they put Stallone and De Niro in there to promote their new movie Grudge Match. Looks like Goodman long hiatus wasn’t as good than the previous 12 times he’s hosted. So excited for Fallon and Timberlake next week. BTW, are we still going to find out on when Seth Meyers is going to leave SNL as he takes over Late Night on February 24th?

  16. MariMari says:

    I did actually laugh out loud during Keenan’s Santa bit on Weekend Update. Mrs. Claus isn’t black – wouldn’t live at the North Pole, she’d need to live in Atlanta near her mother. But – that’s all….

  17. knd says:

    I completely blame the writers. I can’t wait to see what happens after Seth leaves.

  18. Mark S says:

    It was not a great episode. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are on next week. You know the writing team just go by this week and will save any good material they have for next week.

  19. David says:

    Kate McKinnon is not funny. Its painful and annoying to watch her and her awkward facial expressions. She was in way too many sketches last night. People give her too much credit.

  20. Leondre says:

    This episode was horrible, but I actually liked the snowflake sketch

  21. Aeol says:

    What a terrible episode. Awful writing and John Goodman completely phoned it in. It seemed like he never showed up for rehearsal all week, his timing was wretched. I know my expectations have plummeted when Kenan Thompson is the best of the worst (cold open, Santa Claus bit). My favorite was the H&M digital short. This was potentially the worst writing of the season IMO.

  22. You can’t be mad at them trying to capitalize on Kate Mckinnons popularity. Her Ellen impersonation was fantastic and I think that may have launched her into this current role of monopolizing most sketches! She really is quite good but Cecily, Vanessa, and Nasim ARE far more funny….I (guiltily look forward to another “Manolo Blahniks” sketches. I love them!!) And come on now…what man doesn’t hope for a Christmas miracle of a little booty?!?! :D

    • Kay says:

      Kate & Aidy are the funniest women on the show. Nasim is the least funny not including Noel who we haven’t seen enough of to judge. Cecily & Vanessa are OK.

  23. Greg says:

    Funny. These worst were the best, and the best I thought were the worst…

  24. Keres says:

    John Goodman is one of THE SNL Hosts! Shame on you writers for giving him such horrible material! Great actor did what he could do with what he was given…. Loved seeing John Goodman on my TV again! He has been sorely missed!

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