Woody Harrelson Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

After yet another limp, politics-driven cold open, it seemed like Saturday Night Live was going to need a display of super-heroics to avoid catastrophe.

Thankfully, the show got exactly what it needed when Woody Harrelson — along with a trio of costars from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson — arrived on the scene for a loose, goofy monologue that previewed a rock-solid episode punctuated by several excellent sketches.

Below are my picks for the week’s best and worst:

BEST: New Marijuana Laws
All three of the episode’s pre-taped bits had moments of hilarity, but this montage of joyous potheads learning they could now carry up to 25 grams of weed in public without fear of arrest had the sharpest execution — from Leslie Jones running her smoke-filled car into a curb and then rejoicing “de Blasio, baby!” to Harrelson’s dreadlocked dude sadly contemplating his bong after learning he couldn’t actually inhale in the streets. The winner by a nose over “Young Tarts & Old Farts” and the sharp-eyed, Twitter-twisted sitcom The Dudleys for the top slot.

BEST: Last Call
We’ve seen Kate McKinnon’s sloppy barhound before, but the addition of a square foot of saran wrap — “I’ve been breached!” — and a brilliant extended comparison of her character to a dead leaf definitely took this hilarious grotesquerie to new hilarious/uncomfortable heights.

HONORABLE MENTION: Leslie Jones on “Weekend Update”
What happens when SNL‘s relationship expert comes to the defense of a woman who made headlines for getting stuck in her internet date’s chimney? A very edgy, occasionally raunchy rant about the impossibility of modern men and what they do to the female brain — complete with comparisons of penis types to the seven dwarfs, and this instant classic rant: “We’ve got to put our hands on your sweaty, hairy ass — and you can’t even call me back tomorrow?!”

WORST: Nostalgia for Crack
Harrelson committed to this setup about a group of guys at a bar pining for New York City’s good old days, but the punch lines never took the premise past the initial shock of “Whoa! One of these dudes is a crack addict!” There may have been a solid sketch trapped underneath the predictable writing, but the envelope remained unpushed when it was all said and done.

WORST: “Apples”
This bit featured Harrelson as a guy singing an unrecognizable ditty to his friends around a camp fire. Too bad Lorne Michaels didn’t use the cue cards for this interminable sketch as kindling for the aforementioned blaze.

What did you think of Harrelson’s installment of SNL? 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. Hamza says:

    The cold open wasn’t as bad as some of the previous episodes in my opinion. Also a pretty great sketch was the Matthew McConaughey/Woody Harrelson on Weekend Update.

    • Patrick says:

      SNL’s political humor is suffering because of the Fallon and Seth Meyers shows. Those writing staffs have the same voice on the political topics, so the jokes are stale by Saturday. Seth did a bit about how the Pres and Sen got chummy as they got drunker in his monologue on Th, so it was old already.

    • cuius says:

      They should stay away from Mitch McConnell impression as well whilst Jon Stewart is still performing

  2. GuessWhat says:

    There were definitely some weak spots still — but surprisingly, this ep was better than most in recent memory.

  3. Tran says:

    I give the Woody Harrelson episode of SNL a B. Much better than the Chris Rock fiasco two weeks ago. I’m amazed Taran Killam’s impression of Matthew McConaughey was spot-on but where’s the real Mr. All Right All Right All Right when we need him and the monologue was nothing but fantastic when Woody’s Hunger Games co-stars joined in on the fun and no Elizabeth Banks. Liam Hemsworth should host SNL perhaps next season as does Elizabeth Banks. Can’t wait for next week’s episode with Cameron Diaz.

  4. Patrick says:

    I disagree about Leslie Jones and the Crack sketch. I liked the Crack one, and Leslie Jones’s Angry, Ranting, African American Female shtick is getting old ast. She seems to be a one trick pony, and that trick isn’t that great in the first place.

  5. dan says:

    The episode was better than most (all?) so far this season. However, if it wasn’t for the pre-taped sketches (which were all great), the female cast members were mostly absent. Was Aidy Bryant in a live sketch? Shasher Zamata appeared for 10 seconds at the beginning. Cecily, Vanessa and Kate each appeared in one sketch. Only Leslie Jones got decent airtime. Either they have too many female cast members or they don’t know how to write for them.

  6. DarkDefender says:

    Taren’s McConoughey was pretty spot on.. It was my second favortie after the last call bar scene.

  7. Super8rocks says:

    I thought it was the most consistent episode this season. Even the worst skits were better than the best ones on many recent episodes. The writing was far better too and I hope to see more on this level coming up.

  8. How the hell didn’t The Dudley’s make the best skit? That skit wasn’t just hilarious but a perfect skewering of this fake outrage obsessed society we live in.

  9. Amanda says:

    Leslie Jones for the win!

  10. cyclone says:

    Am I showing my age if I say the 3 Hunger Games people showing up was a homage to when Woody hosted in 1989 and the Cheers gang showed up? Oh no I think they all showed up when Kirstie Alley hosted, never mind.
    Um, maybe we didn’t watch the same sketches because I thought the Dudley’s was by far the funniest sketch especially when Crazy Eyes showed up, everyone really does love her. The pot head sketch I found really stupid, partly because the new kid fronted it and partly because it dragged on for too long.
    And mixed into another terrible Weekend Update sketch (please change those “anchors”) the McConahey (I can’t spell his name) was funnier if you only listened to it. Taran does a great impression vocally but it loses something since he doesn’t resemble Matthew McConahey.

  11. most of the videos wont play

    • TV Gord says:

      Are you outside the U.S.? They’ll only play inside America. If you got one or a couple to play, it was a fluke.

      I agree that the pretaped bits were funny, but the rest of the show was as lame as ever. I also regret that we have to put up with an entire season of a Yost/Che Weekend Update. I kind of hope one of them says O.J.’s guilty, so Lorne will fire them the way he did Norm MacDonald. ;-)

  12. DavidSask says:

    First half was great, second not so much!

  13. Anna says:

    BUT the apples-song was really, REALLY catchy!