Dwayne Johnson Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

It’s almost too easy to declare that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson “rocked” as host of this week’s Saturday Night Live — but that doesn’t mean such a statement would be inaccurate.

In fact, it says a lot about the Furious 7 star’s comedic chops that the evening’s worst sketches either gave him absolutely nothing to do (“Cooking With Paul”) or didn’t include him at all (“The Circus”).

Johnson proved so fearlessly committed to his punch lines that he even scored a few laughs during a throwaway musical monologue about his status as “box-office Viagra” and a cold open that found him bringing to life a new (and amusingly enraged) side of Jay Pharoah’s accurate but ultimately tepid Barack Obama impression.

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

BEST: WRESTLEMANIA PROMO
I’ll admit I had my doubts at the start of this bit, in which rival wrestlers Johnson and Bobby Moynihan filmed a promo video punctuated by the former’s below-the-belt barbs (“He’s got herpes — and he’s got it bad!”). Things got rapidly (and hilariously) darker soon after, though, with Johnson’s Coco Watchout revealing he’d tracked down his rival’s secret daughter (an honors student named Evelyn who’d deemed biological father Moynihan as “not fit to be a dad”) and also managed to Catfish him on the internet in yet another step toward psychological destruction.

BEST: BAMBI TRAILER
Continuing Disney’s live-action remakes like Cinderella and Maleficent, The Rock popped up in forest-y drag as a young deer seeking revenge against hunters for their role in his mother’s death. “Now it’s time for them to pay — deer-ly” might sound groan-inducing on paper, but thanks to Johnson’s timing and commitment, it scored nothing but guffaws. (Taran Killam as Vin Diesel as Thumper, by the way, was absolute perfection. I’d like to see the show provide Killam with more chances to channel the bald-n-buff film star going forward.)

BEST: ANNIVERSARY DATE GONE WRONG
Johnson and Cecily Strong were hilarious as a douchey muscle dude and his dim-bulb British girlfriend crashing the anniversary date of a random guy he’d met on jury duty (or, as Johnson’s meathead put it, “we sent that guy to the chair together!”). Vanessa Bayer and Kenan Thompson helped sell the scene with their shock and discomfort, but it was Strong’s penchant for obsessing over British-isms (“Nibbles!” “Footballers!”) and Johnson’s repeatedly expressed obsession over his own (and Thompson’s) states of arousal that made this one a classic.

WORST: COOKING WITH PAIL
Thompson played a three-time convicted sex offender repeatedly attempting to sneak onto the Internet to find his next victim — with Johsnon’s parole officer continuously thwarting him. Was there supposed to be some kind of intriguing twist to help transport this sketch past the point of mere ickiness, one that got cut just for time? I’d like to think so. Whatever the case, though, it once again drove home the point that you should never attempt to be “edgy” if you’re not being funny first.

WORST: THE CIRCUS
Even Kyle Mooney’s best video shorts can be a little hard to process, but this one in which he went backstage at Ringling Bros. circus and interviewed reluctant young kids about their experiences wasn’t just laugh-free, it was also hella boring — and borderline creepy.

What did you think of Dwayne Johnson’s SNL hosting gig? Take out 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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40 Comments
  1. Probably the closest we’ve had to a perfect episode in a while.

  2. Steven says:

    Why is Kyle Mooney still a castmember? And why do they keep giving him his own sketches. He’s just not funny.

    • topoopon says:

      Yes, And his delivery always sounds like he’s trying to remember what he has to say.

    • Ray says:

      His pretaped segments are the worst. Not quirky or remotely funny…just dull and stupid.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Short wouldve been better with Beck Bennet. He’s got kid hustory with those insurance ads.

    • Deena says:

      Yes! I don’t think I’ve laughed once at anything he’s done on the show.

    • Patrick says:

      Either they are trying to appeal to stoners still watching late night on Sat, or Mooney is one of those guys that Lorne finds hilarious, the rest of us be darned. But it was bad.

    • Bobbie Lannon says:

      Kyle Mooney is hilarious! He’s perfect at parodying awkward situations. I suppose that it’s a particular type of humor but he’s great at it. If you’re a fan of Portlandia and any kind of humor where the awkwardness of the moment is where the joke lies, then you’d find Kyle Mooney very funny. His sketch was one of my favorites!

  3. Ronnie says:

    The Escape From Jungle island Indiana Jones parody was hilarious!

  4. WonderWaage says:

    If doing Vin Diesel keeps him from doing Christoph Waltz, then this world will be a much better place.

  5. k says:

    he made a lot of skits funny.

  6. Kim R says:

    Maybe it was just me but I found the Circus so funny. I did not find the Anniversary Date or Cooking so much though. Bambi was hilarious.

  7. Irwin Mainway says:

    Yet another creepy episode diving into raunchy topics that just don’t work here at all.
    Thanks to the writer above for skipping right over the “Indiana Dwayne” stupid poison-sucking skit taken way too far. Get it – Indiana’s new law, and the gay sex situation resulting taking the show to a screeching halt, as no one watching remembered the new law and didn’t get it.

    Dwayne sings about as well as Woody Harrelson.
    “The Rock Obama” skit is nearly word for word same as 2008 season, which is unfair criticism if it is funny. It was funny but wussed out – no blood. When Phil Hartman ripped his own arms off trying to lift 2200 pounds, there was blood.

  8. Dj says:

    This was the best SNL this year. Dr Bones was beyond funny. I would go see the Rock as Bambi. The worst sketches were Paul, Circus and the Robert Durst one.

  9. Bambi was the best. Anniversary Date Gone Wrong was the worst..

  10. Bobby says:

    I actually laughed at a couple of skits last night, especially the Indiana Jones spoof and neck, nipple and butt cheek sucking. Dwayne Johnson rules.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    This was the best episode in a while imo…..the Mooney bit was unfortunate and would’ve been better served hosted by Beck Bennet who did the funny insurance ads with kids a while back.

  12. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson episode of SNL an A. One of the best episodes of Season 40 and in my opinion, The Rock is in the Top Five SNL hosts this season. The opening monologue was great (FRANCHISE VIAGRA), the WrestleMania promo was hysterical and the anniversary party was flat out funny. Kyle Mooney continues to have his most boring digital sketches I have ever seen and does fans of the show acting like MOONEY HATERS? Without a doubt, this was the best 90 minutes of pure entertainment TV and let’s hope that Dwayne Johnson comes back to SNL to join The Five Timers Club sometime soon.

  13. michael says:

    The Indiana Jones sketch was hilarious! I didn’t really see it as mocking the state of Indiana’s new law…people try reading too much into something that really funny

  14. Cheryl Victor says:

    “The Rock” was amazing- especially the opening skit- Rock Obama

  15. Stephanie says:

    finally, one of the SNL’s in a long time. Weekend update is still horrible. Ever since Seth Meyers left, it hasn’t been near as good. The timing is way off and just not funny.

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      Cecily Strong was amazing as co-anchor of Update last season but leaving the desk to going back as a sketch player is OK by me. I think Jost & Che should definitely have their A-game on Update until the season ends but I can still ignore the haters out there if viewers can complain all they want.

  16. Dude says:

    The Rock is always a great host, his comedic timing is outstanding. However, while I liked the anniversary date one, I think the interrogation one was funnier if only for The Rock’s commitment to it. “She has a boyfriend man, his name is Jeff and he is THE BEST!”

    • Nasra says:

      I’m glad someone finally said that. The interrogation bit was hilarious..Dwayne’s movements and his best friend Jeff. That, Wrestlemania promo and Kyle Mooney’s circus bit were my favourites.

  17. The opening song was about Dwayne Johnson being FRANCHISE Viagara, not box office Viagara.

  18. Brandy says:

    I thought this episode was hilarious! And while I get that Mooney’s humor isn’t for everyone, those interviews had me rolling. His subtle (yet rehearsed) awkwardness is just so good.

  19. Gregory Bennett says:

    Your opinion is like your ass every one has one.

  20. Brittany says:

    I don’t get people who don’t understand Kyle Mooney! He’s the funniest on that show.

  21. Bobbie Lannon says:

    What??! I could not disagree more with the Worst sketch review. I laughed the hardest at this. Kyle Mooney is excellent at parodying the YouTube channel hosts desperate for their 15 minutes of fame. Yiu Tube is clogged with these types of people who are awkwardly trying to create a name for themselves. If you’ve ever come across these types of videos, you’d find Kyle Mooney’s sketches hilarious and perfectly done.

  22. JackJohns says:

    At the Circus with Kyle was the FUNNIEST SEGMENT on SNL last night. You guys have no comedic sense if you thought it wasn’t funny. Awkwardness is an art.

  23. BrookeB says:

    The Circus was the funniest sketch of the night!! It made me laugh the hardest. You don’t know what you’re talking about….

  24. Dylan says:

    Every time Dwayne Johnson is on, he kills it. He should host a lot more often just for that reason.

    Also Kyle Mooney is hilarious, that circus bit was golden, as is the rest of his good neighbor stuff. I don’t get people who don’t like Kyle Mooney’s style of humour. Is it a generation gap or what? He’s hilarious.

  25. colig says:

    kyle mooney’s videos are the worst crap on the show and he is horrible when he s in a sketch. he has to go.