Andy Samberg Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches!

In an episode seemingly made in comedy heaven, Saturday Night Live grad Andy Samberg – has it really been two whole years since he bid adieu to studio 8H? – made a hotly anticipated return to host the Season 39 finale, with more than a little help from his friends.

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Samberg’s opening monologue (highlighted by well-timed appearances by SNL legends Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Martin Short!) showcased a mostly-amusing, rapid-fire array of impressions, including the likes of Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Larry David, the guy who does the Entourage theme song, and Osama Bin Laden (“no, no, no, no, no!”). As the night unfolded, the SNL faves just kept coming – including Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd and Fred Armisen — adding up to a highly memorable (and mostly winning) adieu.

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But without further ado, here are my picks for best and worst sketches (in a week with a lot of candidates for the former, and very few for the latter):

Best: “And Now a Message From Solange & Jay-Z”
In the inevitable, you-know-it’s-coming take on perhaps the most famous elevator scuffle in history, Maya Rudolph’s always memorable take on Beyonce (“if you think I condone this invasion of privacy…then you must not know ’bout me…”) highlighted this clever stab at the real backstory behind the infamous security-cam footage: Solange (Sasheer Zamata) rescuing a terrified Jay-Z (Jay Pharoah) from a rogue spider (“get it, I got arachnophobia”). Best and most easily missed line, as Solange innocently explained away those Jay-Z directed kicks: “Foot five!”

Best: The Vogelchecks
What do you get when the likes of Rudd, Armisen, Rudolph, Hader, Samberg, & Wiig all show up in one sketch? A highly inappropriate, tongue-infused, gross-out mock-fest playing off the recent “controversy” (insert eye-roll here) over Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN. Bottom line: Any sketch that makes Armisen break up (twice!) makes the Best list. To echo Taran Killam’s final line: “That’s what I call a touchdown.”

Worst: “Legolas from The Hobbit Tried to Order at Taco Bell”
Other than giving him a chance to rock the dead-ringer long blond wig, what was the point of forcing Samberg into this (thankfully) brief, but nonsensical sketch?

Worst: Confident Hunchback
On a less stellar night, this mildly amusing sketch featuring little more than painful pick-up lines (“Meow, claws are out, but I’ve got a hunch I’m gonna be making your breakfast tomorrow”) might have avoided a slot on the ‘Worst” list, but even Samberg’s energy and enthusiasm ultimately couldn’t make it great.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Samberg as a host? What was your favorite sketch? How would you rate Season 39 overall? 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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  1. Bee says:

    St. Vincent is SUBLIME.

    • Timmah says:

      The best part of the show. Although, I wish she’d done I Prefer Your Love or Psychopath from the new album. Digital Witness/Birth In Reverse are good songs, but I’d like to hear some different ones done live.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        Birth in Reverse is my least favorite one off the new album. I thought she was going to do Prince Johnny since she declared it weeks ago as her second single. I would’ve loved to see her perform that song instead or Bring Me Your Loves, or Rattlesnake.

  2. Drewer says:

    I thought the Legoless sketch was great.

    • Meredith says:

      I thought so too! Seeing Bobby Moynihan as Gimli was hilarious.

      • S. says:

        You don’t do a sketch to play dress up. We could’ve gotten the same level of amusement over their appearance in a photo. No need to waste everyone’s time. Let’s call this what it was, they were getting advertising dollars to find a way to involve Taco Bell in a sketch. I’m sure it paid well. Kudos, I guess.

  3. I hate the Vogelchecks. Would never in a million years label that regurgitated, formulaic crap as good. The only sketch I really enjoyed was the camp one. Most of the other stuff was a chore to get through.

  4. Sarah says:

    I thought the two digital shorts were great.

    • Bee says:

      I agree! The DJ one was so weird and hilarious. I loved the zen garden he was working on before he dropped the bass. And the “Hugs” video had super clever lines…loved when Andy hugged the sweater and blouse!

  5. TV Gord says:

    The current cast (and many of the recent past) put on display on the season finale exactly what’s wrong with SNL these days: they seem to be more interested in amusing themselves and each other than the audience. I see the same trend on Jimmy Fallon’s and Seth Meyers’ talk shows. Sometimes things that were hysterical in the writers’ room aren’t necessarily funny on the stage. Previous casts knew that. Lorne Michaels seems to have forgotten. The smug “look at how funny I am” attitude only works when the bits are actually funny, folks. It’s especially funny to see them cracking up over things that really aren’t that funny. Poor Harvey Korman doesn’t know the damage he’s done to the art of sketch comedy. At least when he lost it, there was an actual reason.

    • I don’t know how you can say this about the current cast based on last night’s episode, since most of them were marginalized in favor of Fred, Kristen and Maya. I barely see some of them most weeks because Kenan is everpresent in everything.

    • Patrick says:

      You make some great points. Too many SNL skits appeal only to hardcore comedy junkies. If you spent years studying the history of comedy, or did sketch comedy in college and then at one of the better conservatories or sketch comedy troupes, then you probably think some of this stuff is funny. But, just because something is funny on Wednesday afternoon, after being stoned all Tuesday night while you wrote it, doesn’t mean it will be funny to a normal person on Sat night.

      I liked MOST of last night a great deal. The Vogels wasn’t great, but it was a call back to one of Andy’s better recurring bits. I like the Hunchback. The Taco bell commercial was probably a skit Andy always wanted to do, but it got shot down, when he was on. So they let him do it when he was the Host.

      I mean, last night was pretty good, excellent when compared to more recent outings. But SNL seems like it is written to amuse a very few people.

  6. Tran says:

    I give the Andy Samberg episode of SNL an A+. One of the best season finales of SNL in years but even better than last season finale with Ben Affleck and Kristen Wiig’s send-off two years ago with host and musical guest Mick Jagger. Another lackluster season with a crowded cast and all. Nasim Pedrad should leave SNL now that she’s moving on to do Mulaney debuting this Fall, John Milhiser should be a goner soon because he’s the weak link of the cast, Mike O’Brien may definitely be removed from the cast and go back to the writing staff and where does Colin Jost go from here even if he remains to co-anchor Weekend Update with Cecily Strong (wolf whistle) once Season 40 begins in the Fall? As for the featured players: Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Noel Wells and Sasheer Zamata may stick around for next season and I’m not 100% sure about the fate of Brooks Wheelan. I will continue to watch SNL for the time being and let’s hope Season 40 may have one of its best seasons ever or not.

  7. leigh says:

    I thought the Jay-z sketch was quite boring. The episode was a “B” for me.

  8. seanpaune says:

    As random as the Legolas skit was, it was the closet I’ve come to being reminded of the early days in a very long time. A lot of people seem to forget they would do very random, short skits way back when, and this was dead on. Most of today’s SNL skits suffer from two problems: Overly long and no clear exit. They have a decent concept, but then they don’t know how to edit themselves. Was the Legolas skit perfect? Nope. Was it better than a lot of the other drivel we’ve seen this season? Yep.

  9. Kim R says:

    Loved the episode! On any given SNL, I do not think EVERY sketch is funny but I laughed at most of these tonight so that is a Grade A for me. I thought the camp skit was hilarious and loved the guy with the xylophone! Still not a big fan of the Weekend Update guy. I think it is the constant smug grin? It was great to see all the appearances of the past cast members as well and nothing is better than someone cracking up. :D

  10. mookie311 says:

    i think the fact that they have to bring back so many alumni so often is about as damning an indictment of this show as there can be. if you can’t put on a consistently funny show without having to dip into the old rosters multiple times a season, you’ve got serious problems.

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    if it weren’t for all the guest stars it would have been rather average.

  12. Meredith says:

    I was really keeping my fingers crossed that Shy Ronnie was going to make an appearance. Best Andy Samberg character ever! I think it would have been funnier if they had brought Andre Braugher in instead of some of the old cast members.

  13. Kate says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who enjoyed “foot five!” and I thought Maya was great as Beyonce.

  14. raftrap says:

    That was a good episode, and the return of all that amazing talent, wow, I can’t complain

  15. David says:

    The problem with episodes like last night are that it shows how weak the current cast is.

  16. EJ says:

    I haven’t liked Kyle Mooney all season but he was sweet as hell as Jeremy in the camp sketch.

    • Tran says:

      My opinion, Kyle Mooney should stick around for next season much like his BFF Beck Bennett.

      • S. says:

        Surely Kyle’s been told he has a similar energy to Dana Carvey, esp. when he does a silly voice. Can’t go the same direction, obviously. He wouldn’t wanna be copycat. I like how he’s doing now. I think Beck and Kyle have started to break out a bit which I’m glad to see.

  17. Wire Dream says:

    Wait. There was a “best” skit from last night?

  18. RD says:

    All I can say is when there’s all that talent on one show and it’s still hard to squeeze out one laugh it really must be time to put it to bed for good. Good night.

  19. neums says:

    See, the thing is, with Confident Hunchback, that would have been a recurring bit in the 90s, and if you were reviewing SNL then, you’d have called it an instant classic. This is exactly the kind of nod to a “classic” SNL sketch from the days of Hartman, Myers, Carvey, et al.

  20. joe says:

    I love Maya Rudolph and Martin Short. Shame they had to tease us with two people that are funny at the top of the show, and then stick us with Samburg for the rest.

  21. Faye says:

    While I couldn’t give it an A, it was a well above average episode. The opening, monologue and all the special appearances were great…loved the impressions by Andy and Bill. I enjoyed both digital shorts. But the Vogelchecks is more stupid than funny and some other bits didn’t deliver. I hate Amy Bryant in anything she does.
    Nasim is terrific….Kimye is always hilarious. I will really miss her. She is a big asset to the show. I can see Cecily taking Kim’s part if Kimye continues.

  22. AnnieM says:

    I thought the Camp sketch was the best – hope they do another next season. And Kimye always makes me laugh.

  23. Justin Sturm says:

    No love for Blizzard man?

  24. LOL says:

    Thankfully this terrible season is over. One of the worst SNL seasons in memory. This finale was bland and forgettable. Hopefully there will be big changes over the summer.