Sarah Silverman Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Is success really the best revenge? Sarah Silverman certainly made a case for the old adage when she returned this week to Saturday Night Live — after lasting for only one season as a featured player in the early ’90s — and proved herself a rock-solid host able to score laughs across a variety of setups.

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Oh sure, the show’s writing staff squandered several solid ideas by failing to push them to their most outrageous end points — the “Whites” ad and Vitamix infomercial were amusing when they should’ve/could’ve been uproarious — but you can’t pin those issues on Silverman.

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Below, my picks for the week’s best and worst sketches (in an episode I’d grade as a solid ‘B’).

BEST | Joan Rivers in Heaven
Silverman captured the late, groundbreaking comic’s gruff, bawdy delivery in a mix of self-deprecating one liners (“the last time someone was inside of me, it was [daughter] Melissa!”) and inappropriate hilarity (grousing that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs should be forced to upgrade his casket every six months to see how the rest of the world feels about their iPhones). Bonus awesomeness courtesy of Bobby Moynihan as befuddled and bi-curious Ben Franklin.

BEST | Opening Monologue
Silverman gave half her monologue while nestled in the lap of a random female audience member and mining the woman’s mild discomfort for material: (“Am I sitting on your phone?” “No.” “Ohhhh…”) Yeah, it’s easy to praise a famous standup for excelling at standup — but I guffawed at that blacked-out/censored cue card (with only the phrases “black guy” and “God’s mouth” left in tact) and the extended rumination on wanting to be bathed and carried like a baby.

BEST | The Fault in Our Stars 2: The Ebola in Our Everything
Obvious? Maybe. Topical? Absolutely. Upgraded by Silverman and Taran Killam’s respective performances as an ailing teen who just wants to hop on a bus or a plane and explore the world and a kid who’s just professed his love — and now can’t stop thinking about contracting the brutal, highly contagious virus from his clueless girlfriend? You betcha. Best line? “If doctors know so much, then why is my doctor dead from Ebola?”

WORST | President Barack Obama on 60 Minutes
Why is it that two weeks running, SNL‘s cold open has been about as funny as lit matches jammed between one’s toes? This bit about President Obama marveling at ISIS’ social-media strategy — i.e., Tweeting “We will destroy the infidels. #ThankYouJeter” — played it safe when it needed to be cray-cray. And it didn’t help that Beck Bennett and Jay Pharoah brought nothing especially sharp or funny to the roles of Steve Kroft and POTUS.

WORST | Forgotten TV Gems
Kenan Thompson (at his “I’m amused with myself from word one” worst) played a blithering host of Forgotten TV Gems as he looked back at Supportive Women — a soap that drew the “opposite of droves” of viewers by eschewing cattiness for cooperation among its female characters. Granted, there was a kernel of an idea about soap tropes and feminism here, but it got buried under a pile of turgid punch lines.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Silverman as a host? What was your favorite sketch? Take our 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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  1. xx says:

    Garage and Her was my favorite!

  2. Mike R. says:

    I personally really enjoyed Silverman, and I haven’t enjoyed an episode of SNL since I don’t even know. I mean admittedly and while I sometimes disagree Silverman is not everyones cup of tea, so some people will hate this episode just because it is Sarah Silverman, and she is called notorious for a reason, but honestly I don’t think she was anymore out there than any other host on SNL. Definitely one of the better episodes of the past year.

    • Faye says:

      i have not been a fan of Silverman but had caught her on several talk shows this week and to my surprise liked what I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed her tonight and thought that along with Taran Killam was the best part of the show.
      But the writing ( shakes head ) .. please SNL, get some better writers. Please.

  3. Cori says:

    I agree with everything you said. Sarah was a great host, even if the sketches weren’t great.

  4. Jennifer Wallner says:

    I also liked the skit with the boyfriend in the car and she admits to her brother she cheated on the boyfriend. Just hilarious.

  5. Saabgirlatx says:

    Vitamix was painful when I could’ve been great. Weekend update bug improvement over last week – I still wish they both didn’t look so zoned out. Kind of hard to follow steve martins 1978 episode ya know?

  6. B.P. says:

    And the streak continues… I still hate everything Kyle Mooney does.

    On the bright side (while I’ve never really liked Silverman) that was the best opening monologue in years (decades?)

    • Patrick says:

      Agreed. The show just grinds to a horrible, unfunny, screeching halt as soon as he opens his mouth. He is just not funny.

  7. JB says:

    Funniest stuff was probably written by her. She told Seth Meyer’s that she called Robert Smigel to write some stuff for her for tonight, so I suspect the sketches I laughed at, she/they had the hands all over them, especially her monologue.

  8. Elvin says:

    Hello! Do youu use Twitter? I’d like to follow yyou if that woulld bbe okay.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your log andd look forward tto nnew posts.

  9. Maria says:

    Again I come here and I am shocked by the poll ratings. Last week I thought was really strong and funny, and it averaged a ‘C’, whilst this episode I found very UNfunny, and it averages an ‘A’.

    I must be someone with very specific comedic tastes.

  10. Jill says:

    WHITES was the funniest part for me. I felt badly for her that she repeatedly flubbed lines in jokes during the Joan Rivers sketch.

  11. DL says:

    I actually laughed the least at the Joan Rivers sketch. Most of those jokes just didn’t land for me. Meanwhile, I find Kenan’s grinning through his sketches actually rather amusing, and enjoyed the TV Gems one simply for him.
    My biggest gripe with the season thus far, aside from the writing as usual, is that Bobby Moynihan is so under-utilized. He’s one of my favorite cast members, and his Ben Franklin and jilted boyfriend had me in stitches. Would love to see some Drunk Uncle on Weekend Update, or even Anthony Crispino.

    • Amanda says:

      I thought the Rivers sketch was fine. However, I find it ridiculous they did more of a tribute to her than Don Pardo!!!

  12. Linda L says:

    Best weekend update in ages….I think Michael Che will be brilliant and he helped Colin Jost seem like he had a sense of humour!

    • Kenbud says:

      Totally agree!!! I laughed so hard at the Jimmy Carter and Jeter sandwich bits. Think Che is really helping Jost. Looking forward to future ones.

  13. leigh says:

    It was just ok. There were funny moments but nothing that brought me to tears. And I’m not saying this because out of my dislike for Silverman, it was just ok. She missed several lines and the writing was just ok. Btw did anyone else notice the excessive use of cue cards? You could tell everyone was reading off of them even the cast. That’s what really brought it down to just ok for me.

    • maggie says:

      People are obviously using cue cards EVERY week on SNL. They re-write the show right up to air time. Lorne Michaels tells the host and cast to not memorize the scripts because they will change too many things at the last minute.

  14. Joey Padron says:

    Episode had some funny sketches. Sarah did great as the host.

  15. Tom says:

    I’m shocked to find that I’m the only one who thought the Joan Rivers sketch was tasteless. I know they were friends but it just wasn’t appropriate. Sorry.

    • maggie says:

      Joan would have loved it. Joan is probably in heaven right now saying, “I’m still relevant enough for them to make fun of me after I’m dead. Take that Johnny Carson.”

      • Tom says:

        I don’t care if “Joan would’ve loved it” because nobody knows that for sure. It made me uncomfortable and it was too soon to show her in death as opposed to in life. If they wanted to honor her then they could’ve done a tribute not a poorly-timed and not so funny sketch. It had bad taste written all over it.

    • TD says:

      “…the Joan Rivers sketch was tasteless. I know they were friends but it just wasn’t appropriate…” …which is exactly why it was spot on. We’re talking Joan Rivers here.

  16. Tran says:

    I give the Sarah Silverman episode of SNL a B. Much better episode than last week’s lackluster season premiere with Chris Pratt. Joan Rivers in Heaven and The Fault In Our Stars 2 were indeed the best. So excited for next week when Bill Hader returns, this time as host (fingers crossed for a Stefon sighting?).

  17. Ian says:

    She’s an amazing standup. That opening mono was so effortlessly hilarious. And when she’s writing her own material, I never stop laughing. Hope she gets another show soon so I can watch her all the time again.

  18. Well…unless another great host appears later in the season my SNL watching is over. Sara is the reason we watched last night.

  19. Brandy says:

    I also thought the 60 Minutes open was terrible, but I liked the Forgotten TV Gems. Overall, this episode was SOOO much better than last week’s.

  20. Dude says:

    Disagree about Supportive Women, that was great. The Joan Rivers one was so so. She didn’t really capture Joan well and she kept screwing up her lines. The Everything in Our Ebola was the highlight.

  21. Babybop says:

    I laughed way too hard at the sketch where they were in the car… “You cheated on me! And then, you gave me fudge!” It was the most random thing ever.

  22. Tom says:

    It tried to be good but yeah a lot of stuff was squandered

  23. ouch says:

    It’s obvious that people are so hard up for laughs that they will cheer for anything. SNL should call it quits.

  24. I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  25. BamaEd says:

    Uh-oh, AV Club article is saying the Proud Mary Riverboat sketch was ripped off big time from a Groundlings sketch. If it’s true, that’s very very bad. Taking “inspiration” is on the edge enough, but to rip it off? Yikes!

  26. This episode was horrible. It wasn’t Sarah’s fault though. No one was prepared. There were flubbed lines all night.

  27. RandyJ2000 says:

    awkward, in over her head bad

  28. mzzh says:

    I laughed hardest when she said, “I don’t have cancer…I have ebola” lol lol that skit was hysterical. show in a couple years…Thank you Sarah!!!!