Seth Rogen Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Seth Rogen Saturday Night LiveCall me a pessimist, but I always get skittish when Saturday Night Live airs new episodes three weeks in a row. And after solid back-to-back installments with Louis C.K. and Anna Kendrick as hosts, I couldn’t help but fret that Seth Rogen might be stuck with a gas gauge tilting toward the big red ‘E’ and setups more tired than a Kardashian in a camera-free zone.

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I mean, Rogen’s a funny fella, no doubt, but when the first post-monologue sketch centered on Nasim Pedrad’s obnoxious grade-schooler Shallon — aka “The Recurring Character Who Leaves Laughter in a Dumpster Behind Studio 8H” — the aforementioned queasiness grew like the Grinch’s heart in the presence of Cindy Lou Who. (Plus, Zooey Deschanel and James Franco’s talents were essentially squandered in the opening monologue. Taylor Swift, at least, got one great zinger: “Whenever a man shows emotion, I appear.”)

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Anyhow, I’d like to say things got better, but when I was a kid, my mother told me that lying can make your face freeze in a terrible position — kinda like Colin Jost grinning ghoulishly/vacuously at the end of every “Weekend Update” punch line. (Uh-huh, I went there!) Which is to say that this was a pretty tepid week for SNL, and that Rogen wasn’t given much of anything interesting to do.

Below are my picks for the week’s relative bests and soul-crushing worsts:

BEST: Blue River Dog Food
A married couple (Rogen and Cecily Strong) discusses making the switch from a leading brand to the smaller, healthier Blue River — until the guilt of previously having fed “chicken bypoduct meal” to their sad-eyed pooch Peanut sends Cecily into a full-blown, screaming crisis that ends with her admission, “Big-name brand dog foods: You won!”

BEST: Bar Mitzvah Boy Jacob
OK, so this didn’t vary that much from Vanessa Bayer’s previous outings as the painfully shy, script-reliant kiddo. But Jacob’s tears over Jeter’s retirement — and his mortification over a flirtation from co-anchor Cecily — had me chuckling.

WORST: Shallon
SNL has gone to the well wayyy too many times with Pedrad’s ill-intentioned child and her attempts to distort the messages of her classroom’s guest speakers. I mean, if we’re gonna be subjected to Shallon, why not try a fresh setup where she’s outside the classroom or creating havoc in gym class or the cafeteria? Instead, all we get is a grown woman in wonky child drag extolling the virtues of crack. Also: Adding a ‘W’ to the end of ‘Just Say No’? There’s got to be somebody on SNL‘s writing staff who could’ve dug a little deeper, yes?

WORST: Undercover Sharpton
I know, I know, some folks like Kenan Thompson spoofing the Rev. Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation — for the record, I do not. But this bit imagining Sharpton in his recently revealed role an FBI informant back in the day was about as fresh as a carton of heavy cream in the back of your fridge dated Nov. 2013.

What did you think of Rogen’s SNL outing? Grade the installment in our poll below, then sound off in the comments with your picks for Best and Worst!

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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  1. Tom Charles says:

    Jacob’s funny? Really? Seriously? And worst, by far was the steakhouse sketch. Best in my opinion is a tie between the dog food ad and the digital short at the end

    • fat ricky says:

      JACOB WAS NOT EVER FUNNY. not the first 5 times, not now. it’s literally the same joke every time and it was not funny in the first place. and cecily strong just gets worse every work. she is proof that having one semi-funny sketch (the girl u dont want to start a convo with..) does not equal long standing success.

  2. Melanie says:

    The steakhouse sketch was terrible until Rogan and Aidy Bryant started breaking character as they seemed to realize how ridiculous it was.

    It’s amazing how a bad sketch can be saved by the actors breaking character.

  3. Bryan says:

    I believe it’s Colin Jost, not Colin Josh.

  4. Lauren says:

    The short with the monster looking for his friend Jim was good.

    • Tom Charles says:

      Yeah that was great! I half expected it to be Danny McBride for a second

    • Sandra says:

      Probably my favorite thing of the night! It was so absurd, and the ending was quite perfect.

    • Lizabeth says:

      It was my fave of the night, too. I really like Mike O’Brien and I wish he were in more sketches. I also thought Ed Sheeran was great. (I know he wasn’t in sketches, I just really like him!)
      Has anyone else noticed that Bobby Moynihan hasn’t been used as much lately? I think he’s hilarious and miss seeing more of him.

  5. Jess says:

    Bar Mitzvah Boy Jacob is probably one of my favourite recurring characters on the show (this is probably helped by my love of Cecily Strong, since he’s always interacting with her hilariously)

  6. Jon says:

    I like the Shallon character. I don’t think it’s been as overused as other characters on SNL.

    • TVFan says:

      I’m actually glad Shallon was picked as the worst. She’s not funny, just extremely annoying and those sketches have become the same setup and type of lines over and over. Give her something different and it might be better.

  7. Blank Slate says:

    It’s Colin JOST and you nailed his post-joke smarmy grin to the wall.

    • Et al. says:

      He learned that in his final club at Harvard. That’s the look you make after you crush a poor person’s soul.

  8. Cesar says:

    Can we talk about how awesome Cecily Strong is!!!

  9. Sandra says:

    One of the worst episodes of the season, IMO.

  10. TV Gord says:

    What wasn’t the worst? Seth didn’t let me down, because I expected him to be horrible and he was, but even Jacob The Bar Mitzvah Boy, who normally makes me smile, was lame. Cecily could have taken her dynamic with Jacob in a different direction from the one he had with Seth, but they took the lazy route. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, though.

    There were a couple of good nuggets of ideas, but they were taken nowhere (and certainly nowhere with laughs).

    Ed Sheeran, at least, was a bright spot in an otherwise excruciatingly bad, unfunny installment of SNL.

    I have faith–or, at least, hope–that SNL will be funny again, but it sure isn’t these days.

  11. No mention of the monster searching for plastic surgery Jim? That’s SNL doing what they should have been doing for years. It was inventive, it had elements of authentic on the street reactions (if that was real), it was original and it was funny. It wasn’t the funniest thing they’ve done, but it was definitely a worthy addition to SNL short film library. And Cecily Strong’s performance in the dog food commercial was amazing. It kind of dragged at first, but when she got to that point, I was amazed.
    What I did not care for was the heavy presence of Kenan. Three terrible, terrible appearances that tried the patience of everyone. How does this stuff make it to air? Does he have dirt on Lorne Michaels? That stuff during Update where he pretty much just lists Hispanic food in an accident was trash. I need him off the show. There’s so many talented members of the cast who I’d rather see. Where was Jay Pharoah? Where was what’s her name who looks like Zooey Deschanel? The last time SNL had this kind of cast time imbalance was when Eddie Murphy was in the cast. Eddie Murphy was actually funny, though.

    • mikey says:

      Generally the more sketches Kenan is in, the worse the show. He is most definitely a one-note performer. Every impression he does is exactly the same. And usually with that idiotic grin.

      When they lost many long-time performers last year, I was hoping he would be one of them. Maybe this year.

    • DocStrange401 says:

      I agree with everything you write except Kenan Thompson is one of the funniest cast members on SNL I don’t know what you’re smoking on, maybe some of Seth Rogan stuff. I don’t know maybe it’s because I’m Dominican but his impersonation of big Papi was hilarious

  12. No says:

    Thank you for the Jost comment… He’s is so awful And by the look on his face he does not think so.

  13. Could not disagree more with Jacob vs. Shallon. Shallon has at least one more sketch under its belt before I say they should probably end it. Jacob was barely funny its first time and it hasn’t been funny since. The second I saw him come out I groaned knowing I’d be subject to a drawn out cameo with jokes that are supposed to be funny because they’re lame and repetitive. Shallon has always been hilarious and the statement they make here doesn’t even make sense. Jacob has been around and appeared more times than Shallon has. If anything the reoccurrence of Jacob is proof that the writes have “gone to the well WAY to many times.” I’d reverse those two as best and worst, agree with the Blue River Commercial and maybe put the Steakhouse in worst also.

  14. A. D. says:

    Louis C.K. was worst in years! JostSucks!

  15. Riana says:

    Taylor Swift has there because she’s friends with/dating Ed Sheeran. Also your Cindy Lou Who joke would be great if they had The Pretty Reckless as the musical guest instead.

  16. Aries says:

    Bad, bad, bad…..

  17. DebLG says:

    Not a great show but it’s not Seth’s fault. I did like the monster short.

  18. Brendan says:

    Definitely think this was the worst of the season.

  19. danin says:

    While waiting for a rebroadcast of Gary Clark Jr& Alabama Shakes@ Midnight on PBS I tuned in to SNL.And after midnight for a few seconds would switch back to SNL just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. For a minute I watched Ed Sheeran who wasn’t too bad sounding like the Beegees. The Update guy is dreadful.I could only bear his face for 3 seconds. To roundup my summation here..the monologue was tepid. The Shallen piece dumb, I completely switched off when I saw nano second of the Jewish kid.Oh and the southern couple @ birthday dinner was pointless

    • danin says:

      Oh and yes, The Monster vid was the freshest piece of the night.But c’mon, this is supposed to be saturday night LIVE, real time performance,not SNVideo.

  20. raftrap says:

    I kinda liked it, this season has been pretty much terrible, and I definitely laughed in this episode, I can’t ask for more, I even enjoyed the new Update team for the first time in the whole season. So yeah.

  21. Evan says:

    Everytime I hear how someone says Jacob is ridiculous of a sketch/character and not funny all I can do is go “Well every Jew is laughing uproariously every time he shows up. You’ll never understand it till you’ve lived it.”

    • fat ricky says:

      i would accept this excuse once. but even so, it doesn’t take being jewish to understand a shy boy making lame jokes that only his family would think are funny.

  22. trace says:

    The skit at the engagement party was about rape, I think. So, not really funny.

  23. Why do people hate Shallon? She’s my favorite!

  24. Uh huh says:

    Seth was obviously reading his cue cards. The bigger the actor, the lazier they get. He had terrible content to work with but he was also phoning it in.