Cameron Diaz Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

When a long-time A-lister with proven comedic chops like Cameron Diaz hits Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live, expectations tend to be high. But would the Annie star’s wacky charm spin her first official hosting stint since 2005 — she’s done numerous guest spots, it must be noted — into comedy gold?

Despite a promising but eventually flat “Schoolhouse Rock”-themed cold open (highlighted by Jay Pharoah’s President Obama repeatedly throwing Kenan Thompson’s “Bill” down the Capital Hill steps) and Diaz’s less-than-stellar audience Q&A as opening monologue (“Is Shrek just as grumpy in real life?”), the show’s best moments helped make Diaz’s return – further boosted by exceptional musical guests Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson — a decent if unspectacular one.

Here are my picks for best and worst sketches of the night:

Best: “Back Home Ballers”
Giving the ladies of SNL a special chance to shine, this homegirls-heading-home-for-Thanksgiving rap video took awhile to percolate, but moved quickly into instant classic territory, especially after an on-fire Leslie Jones (“I’m up to my ass in bowls, bowls, all types of bowls!”) got up in our grills. Can we get a Christmas version, please?

Best: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on “Weekend Update”
Summarizing the recent G20 summit, Kate McKinnon’s wild-eyed, blonde-bobbed, shoulder-padded delight had plenty of zingers (“I was told at the summit I had ‘resting bitch face.’ This cannot be true, in Germany we do not rest, we toil until we collapse!”) plus an especially naughty come-on to President Obama (“America has turned their back to him. I would turn my back to him, but in the fun way. His Keystone Pipeline is XL!”).

Best: Black Annie
You knew this Annie-parody was coming, and while it was far from perfect, Jones dominated the proceedings (“This is not about you orphan bitches, this is about black Annie!”) with a capable assist from Vanessa Bayer’s white Annie (“Yo, yo, yo, what up playa?”).

Best: Woodbridge High School Experimental Theater Showcase
Though this wicked parody of a self-serious high school theater troupe was at times cringe-worthy, it was also eerily accurate and hilarious enough (“What? They built a pyramid out of those boxes and they didn’t even use it!” whined suffering audience member Thompson) to ultimately shine.

Worst: Dr. Dave and Buggles’ Animal Hour
What do you get when you combine live animals (a caged monkey and a lemur, which crawled around on Diaz’s head the entire time) with a few half-decent lines from Thompson (“This little dickweed cranked my junk off my body!”)? An overly-long, mostly unfunny sketch that completely wasted the host’s comedic talents.

Worst: Night Murmurs
The SNL ladies hit it out of the park early on, but was this bizarre take on phone sex operators even supposed to be funny? When the most memorable part of a sketch is a highly-effective fan (which gently ruffled the curtains, lingerie and hair throughout) you know you’re watching one hot mess of a sketch.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Diaz as a host? What was your favorite sketch? 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. padraicjacob says:

    i didn’t like back home ballers as much as the twin bed song from last year. But it was pretty good. Though I have to disagree, wasn’t much of a fan of Leslie Jones bowls part

    • Steven says:

      I enjoyed Jones in this bit, but the whole smacked of being a rip-off of “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” just like the one they did with Anna Kendrick in the spring.

      BUT, this one gets extra throwback points for having your Li’l Baby Aidy interacting with her parents’ neighbor Jeanne (of “She’s got a cough / She got it from Jeanne / and now it’s a whole thing with Jeanne”).

    • Tran says:

      Come on man. The Back Home Ballers digital short was one of the best I’ve ever seen in Season 40. Though I put this on number 2 behind Do It On My Twin Bed but Dongs All Over the World with Anna Kendrick was terrible in my opinion.

    • Winnie says:

      The “Bowls, bowls – all type of bowls” line made me laugh the hardest because I loved that it was referential to Missy Elliott. I love both “(Do It on My) Twin Bed” and “Back Home Ballers” because they both showcased the ensemble of current ladies (and hosts – especially Jimmy Fallon as the rapper in the first one) and were extremely on-point [for me], speaking as someone who goes to her childhood home for the holidays. I cannot wait for the Christmas one. I don’t think one was better or worse, they were just different approaches to a similar topic with cast change-ups.

  2. Carm says:

    My favorites are the same as the article. I did like twin bed better than back home ballers. But the show was pretty good. One thing I hate though is the body of a baby sketches. Those are horrible and I do not know who thinks the sketches are so funny that they keep bringing it back.

  3. Rdub says:

    I thought for sure when the monkey escaped we’d see someone junk hit the exit sign!!!

  4. Borte says:

    Subpar effort last night. I didn’t know what the Black Annie sketch was supposed to be, then a few commercial breaks later I then saw an ad for Annie coming out next month? I can’t be the only person who learned of this movie just last night. I liked the high school theatre bit, and that was about it, aside from Weekend Update which is actually starting to come into its own.

  5. Guy says:

    This was a pretty bad episode. It’s like the energy in the room was everyone wanting the entire night/week to be over. And they hardly gave their hosts any funny lines.

  6. Rachel says:

    You know it’s bad when the FedEx ad is funnier than the SNL sketches…

  7. Tran says:

    I give the Cameron Diaz episode of SNL a B. Don’t know why people are getting mixed reactions by watching last night’s episode. The Black Annie sketch was the best in my opinion and a few of them were the worst. Kudos to both Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for their musical performances. Can’t wait when SNL returns in two weeks with James Franco (third time as host).

  8. dryheat says:

    Sad for SNL that the most entertaining thing about this episode was a monkey playing with bubble gum.

  9. AnnieM says:

    Twin Bed was better, but I think Ballers was better than Ho’s Around the World, or whatever it was called. I was disappointed with that ‘Night Murmurs’ sketch, b/c not only was it not very funny, I thought from the way it started it was going to be one of the Cecily & Vanessa ‘we’re not porn stars anymore’ bits, which are usually pretty funny. “Black Annie” seemed kind of ‘thrown-together-at-the-last-minute’ to me. While I knew about the real movie, I had no Idea when it was being released, and had forgotten Cameron Diaz was in it. And I never thought I’d say this, but Colin Jost is actually starting to make me laugh a little. I thought the ‘German Kiss’ bit with Kate was kind of funny.

  10. dollar says:

    “they cancelled Franklin and Bash…….so now we’ll never know who was Rizzoli and who was Isles”
    nice one))

  11. Kim R says:

    Pretty much share the opinion of the recapper. I loved Black Annie’s replacement song for Tomorrow. :D

  12. Ashley says:

    This was the most that I’ve laughed during SNL all season. I even kind of liked the Dr. Dave sketch. (Though it reminded me of Brian Fellows. Hope Tracy is able to return and do that again.) I also thought Keenan Thompson saved the Experimental Theater Showcase sketch. I’m bummed that he won’t be back next year.

  13. Walkie says:

    Cameron Diaz is an A lister?

    • Jinjeon says:

      I know you wanted to be witty and funny but it didn’t work, honey. She’s still getting eight figures per movie so yup, she’s A-lister, like it or not.

  14. Et al says:

    The baby body sketch has never ever been funny. I don’t know why they insist on recurring it.

  15. colig says:

    kyle mooney is the worst.get him out of the cast and get him a broom or something.he is unwatchable.he makes pauly shore look funny.

    • Steven says:

      The problem isn’t Kyle Mooney in and of himself as an actor–he plays a decent little-kid character. The problem is letting him go as a writer who comes up with his own sketch concepts. The Good Neighbor shorts are terrible, but they’re so desperate to re-capture whatever people liked about Samberg’s digital shorts that they’re willing to keep trying with what they’ve got.

  16. Tom says:

    The line “Honey what am I looking at?” from the baby boss sketch perfectly summed up the episode from me. It sucked. Does anyone remember the sketch from like 20 years ago when David Hyde Pierce played a teacher and they all recited song lyrics as their poems? That was the Dead Parrot sketch compared to last night’s poetry sketch.

    I have an idea, Tina Fey needs to replace Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers needs to be head writer.

    And Kyle Mooney needs to stop doing digital shorts, they’re not funny.

  17. Babybop says:

    The experimental showcase sketch was so accurate, I was in tears laughing. I have sat through so many plays like that (the fun in having a ton of relatives who want to act).

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