Charlize Theron Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

SNL TheronCharlize Theron can’t sing — but in all other areas, she’s aces.

That was the message of tonight’s Saturday Night Live musical monologue, but seeing how the Oscar-winning actress hadn’t hosted NBC’s sketch-comedy show in some 14 years, the question loomed: Could she kill it in a live comedy format?

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The answer, thankfully, was a qualified “yes” — at least when Theron was given material that matched her goofball charm and ability to create distinctive characters. Heck, she even managed to score laughs in middling moments — like her “I’ve also never had bad sex — sorry, sorry, sorry” confession in the aforementioned opening act.

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Below, my picks for the night’s best and worst:

Theron and Kate McKinnon emceed a feline adoption program, with the former focusing her energies on seducing her reluctant co-host, and the latter trying to convince viewers to take a second look at beasts like Damian, “a feline sociopath” who “goes into a dissociative state and committs atrocities.” Amazing. ButHhow come the episode’s best sketch got held ’til the penultimate slot?

Confession: I’m not the biggest fan of Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong’s recurring cable-access program run by a high school square peg and her self-absorbed-but-cooler pal. Theron’s presence as hyper-sexualized drama teacher Miss Christine (who only lasted two days on the job), however, injected new and amusing life into the played-out setup. “Beathe deeply from the anus,” Theron purred, at which point Bryant’s uptight Morgan shuddered, noting that area to be “near the underneath and the worst part of the privates.” Hey, if this movies-star thing ever loses its appeal, perhaps a Miss Christine sitcom pilot could work?

Kyle Mooney led this pre-taped bit with multiple cast members playing foreigners and interacting with real New Yorkers, but the best moments involved a fat-suit-clad Theron handing her camera to strangers then giddily walking away, Jay Pharoah asking for directions to seemingly twenty places at once, and Beck Bennett as a self-loathing, self-described dummy realizing too late that he’s in the Big Apple, not Chicago. Whoops!

One has to wonder how this limp twist on Annett Funicello-esque beach comedies made it out of the writers’ room — or what details the SNL team actually thought were funny. Taran Killam as a predatorial 22-year-old excited about making out with Theron’s 13-year-old? (Blech.) A beached whale, bloated with methane gas, exploding over the young lovers? Or Kenan Thompson’s totally random cameo as a hungry old man looking to feast on the carnage? I vote for none of the above.

Nasim Pedrad has been little more than a shadow this SNL season — save for her grade-school hellion Shallon, and Heshi, her optimistic but completely ineffective motivational speaker. Honestly, aside from  synchronizing her moves to the superhero-y sound effects coming from her post-pubescent son’s computer, what exactly is supposed to be funny about this character? (I ask in all seriousness…so if you’ve got theories, I’ll read ’em in the comments section below!)

What did you think of Theron’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. Mike says:

    Vanessa’s Hilary impression was the worst thing of the night, it was like she wasn’t even trying. I don’t know why they wouldn’t use Kate.

    WU was good, rest of the episode a mess.

    • S. says:

      I thought the cold open was pretty rough because it mostly chucked the funny and went for things that actually felt like genuine, passive aggressive sniping the two real life women might’ve very well been having. The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler dual press conference with Sarah Palin and Hillary felt much more tongue in cheek and funny. Make fun of the differences between Hillary and Michelle, fine, but the way this came across just made the studio audience feel uncomfortable, as if two people were actually fighting.

      • cjeffery7 says:

        totally a re-hash of the Palin/Hillary sketches. i thought it was also pretty “easy” to just pit them against each other, as apparently all women, especially powerful women, are constantly at each other’s throats. there was nothing clever about it, though the performances themselves were fine, the writing was just totally basic.

    • tara17 says:

      I like Vanessa, she’s just not suitable at all for Hilary.

    • Ricky says:

      I thought the same thing. If Hillary is going to run for President, SNL should find someone who can do an impression of her. Hint to the writers: Her nickname in high school was “Ms. Frigidaire.” She is not manic. You can’t just keep bringing Amy Poehler back for guest spots.

  2. DarkDefender says:

    It never bodes well, when “Drunk Uncle” is the best bit.

  3. LOL says:

    Whiskers R We and Tourists were the two best elements in this mostly forgettable show. The exploding whale, while predictable, still delivered a good gross-out laugh.

  4. Faye says:

    Maybe Nasim’s bit is suppose to reference back to the Martin & Ackeroyd “two wild and crazy guys” characters ?
    Seems I’ve heard that she’s leaving to do a sitcom with comedian and former SNL writer John Mulaney ?
    Drunk Uncle always makes me marvel at Bobby’s comedic ability. It must be difficult to be so wildly incoherent.

  5. raftrap says:

    Bad episode, but they cannot blame Charlize Theron for that, she has all the chops, all of them, she probably can even sing (did anyone else noticed how she kinda just turned into Kristen Wiig in the intro to “Bikini Beach Party”?).

    And please take Cecily Strong from Update, she’s amazing in everything, but after her George Clooney joke last week she has peaked, she shouldn’t be wasting her energy in Weekend Update, it’s not a good match, and if you insist on keeping her there, at least give her good material, most of her news items end with “…said [INSERT NAME HERE]”.

  6. mia says:

    Can we please just fire the writers and start over…maybeJimmy Fallon can quite for both shows

  7. Didn’t really care for this episode, mostly. The beach party whale sketch had some laughs for me but it was too uneven. But it’s kinda worth it just to see Charlize Theron introduce The Black Keys covered in fake blood.

  8. Ugonna Wosu says:

    Charlize performed VERY WELL, but the script didn’t keep up with her performance and let her down. It just wasn’t funny, and some audiences will blame HER for that, which isn’t fair but natural for some.

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Weekend. Update and Tourist short were only good things about episode. Season finale will be better cause of Andy Sandberg.

  10. Jackie says:

    I went to bed after “Weekend Update” because the show didn’t provide me with a single laugh and I just gave up. Sorry to read in this recap that I apparently missed the the two funny sketches that ran between 12:30 and 1 am. Grr!

  11. Tran says:

    I give the Charlize Theron episode of SNL a B. Even better than Andrew Garfield was last week. It was a long time coming for the smokin’ hot Charlize Theron to return as host since November 2000 (Season 26). The Girlfriends Talk Show is still one of the most overrated sketches I’ve seen than the god awful Californians skit. Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle continues to impress me and Barbara Walters makes an appearance on Update as her retirement begins this week on The View. Cheri Oteri’s Barbara Walters impression kills it and SNL fans surely remembers that. Let’s hope Andy Samberg prevails in next week’s season finale and possibly topped Jimmy Fallon as the best SNL host of Season 39. As for the cast, Nasim Pedrad should leave SNL as she moves on when it got word that Mulaney is getting picked up as a series for Fox, John Milhiser should get cut as well because he’s still the “weak link” to the cast, Mike O’Brien should be removed from the cast and go back to the writing staff, Noel Wells and Sasheer Zamata should stay because they need to improve its female core and where does Colin Jost go from here? Should he continue to co-anchor Update with Cecily Strong (wolf whistle) when Season 40 is around the corner? Only time will tell.

  12. Steven says:

    There’s nothing funny about Heshi herself, and the writers would have done well to remember that before turning Charlize Theron into a taller version of Heshi. What (kinda-sorta) worked about the sketch in its last outing was how anti-Heshi her assistant was, and the ain’t-nobody-got-time-fo’-that tone that dripped from Kerry Washington’s line-readings. (The entire sketch was redeemed for me by the single phrase “Respect my ability to assess a bucket!!”) So I’m not sure why they thought this one would work.

  13. Tina B. says:

    Sasheer Zamata sucked as Michelle Obama, she sounded and hand movements like Barack, Vanessa was okay but Kate would be the best. Girlfriends was kind of funny, and the cats thing was good but the rest NO!

    • Tran says:

      The women of SNL really killed it all season long. I wanted to see more Kate and Cecily when Season 40 is around the corner because they’re two of my favorites.

  14. Juju says:

    Heshi was the worst, although the exploding whales was so bad that I don’t know how it’s even possible to be worse than that. I found absolutely nothing about the show — with the possible exception of the Baba Wawa clip reel — worth my time to stay up. I didn’t see either the tourists or the cat adoptions sketch because I’d already bailed on the show. But the girlfriends talk show was also terrible and it’s up there with those two as the class of the show, so I don’t think I missed anything.

  15. jlannis says:

    I couldn’t help but notice they chose a calico cat to be a male named Damian. Funny thing…almost all calico cats, except in rare situations, are female.

  16. Kat says:

    i thought charlize tried her best with the selection of sketches that she had. i will also give a nod to the mother’s day game show…i had a good laugh at “FW: FW: FW: FW: celery salad”

  17. B.P. says:

    I laughed the hardest at “Breaking Nudes!” Everything else was meh… even Drunk Uncle didn’t seem on par.