Scarlett Johansson Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

SNL Johansson

Not Ready for Primetime Players assemble!

After a two-week hiatus, Saturday Night Live returned with fourth-time host Scarlett Johansson and a near equal ratio of good-to-bad sketches ranging from a Marvel movie parody to the let’s-not-talk-about-it-ever-again museum tour.

The outing never quite took off, but it was hardly ever as rough as the “coke for breakfast and ass for dinner” world of jingle writing. For crying out loud, it accomplished what many theorized was damn near impossible by awaking a desire within us all for more movies from the writers of 27 Dresses. This of course was after blessing us with Aidy Bryant as Manny Pacquiao and Kate McKinnon as both Justin Bieber and “Take Me the Church” crooner Hozier!

So lo and behold, my picks for last night’s best and worst sketches:

Falling in love can be hard, but it can also be… incredible, as shown by this trailer for Marvel’s first girl superhero movie. Throwing The Avengers in a Black Widow-centric romcom may have been an easy way for SNL to address the recent controversy surrounding the blockbuster entertainment brand, but the execution of this perfectly safe parody was absolute perfection. A Pink-soundtracked pseudo-teaser featuring Thor as Black Widow’s gay best friend? Count us in!

Back when Ferguson dominated the headlines, SNL chickened out and decided against going to air with “Morning News,” an uncomfortable but painfully funny St. Louis-based talk show sketch where the show was forced to go on despite civil unrest. This MLB broadcast sketch, embellishing on the awkwardness of the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles having to play to an empty stadium this week amidst the Freddie Gray riots, felt like a distant cousin to that Ferguson-inspired segment allegedly cut for time. “Baltimore has just been on fire this week,” and we were glad to see SNL stop ignoring the issues at hand (albeit without getting deeply political).

Detective John Blazer always gets his man… and his woman. The catch? His man is always black. Blazer’s also behind the tasteless ’80s cop show parody composed of his own body-cam footage. The reason why this gets deemed a worst and say, something like the never-gonna-be-a-popular-recurring-sketch “Right Side of the Bed” gets a pass, is because much like Weekend Update’s attempts at addressing race-based issues, this sketch clearly had a message behind it in development, but the execution was void of practically any substance, giving injustice a new name.

This was the first and only sketch of the night that had us pulling at our hair and clamoring for the ability to fast-forward live television. The only explanation for this stinker not getting cut at dress-rehearsal is that it was critical for the task of filling airtime. Cecily Strong and ScarJo’s random and repulsive tour-taker personas never became more than that, making us wince rather than laugh. Equally as cringeworthy was whatever the hell was going on with Taran Killam and his tour guide’s fascination with his Eric Foreman hairdo.

Your turn. What did you think of Scarlett Johansson’s SNL hosting gig? 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. Brandon says:

    While I thought the opening monologue was rough, I ended up loving this episode.

    And maybe I’m crazy, but the museum sketch had me laughing the hardest, simply because I know people EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Maybe it’s a generational thing?

    • veronica says:

      I laughed at the museum thing too—I guess I know people like that too—RANDOM! ;)

    • S. says:

      I know the type of person and no it’s not generational. I didn’t think it was funny and you’d have probably expected me to if that were accurate. It’s rather insulting to tell someone they must not get something because of their age. Oh everybody *got* it. They just didn’t necessarily like it. It was an effort to create a character without making the lines funny. When SNL does stuff like that and thinks it’s enough, you just gotta sit back and wait for it to wind down. It’s a shame because Scarlett and Cecily had the delivery nailed. The actual material could’ve made this a classic and instead bottomed out completely.

    • jenny says:

      Dude the museum one was the best one lol

  2. AnnieM says:

    I think Aidy Bryant as Manny Paqu??? was the most I’ve liked her all season. I liked the Orioles game sketch the best.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Scarlett Johansson episode of SNL a B. Her last outing was terrible but this time she did quite alright and I did like the Black Widow trailer. If Scar Jo comes back to host SNL, she will definitely become a member of the FIVE TIMERS CLUB.

  4. Josh says:

    I’m sorry, but Blazer was pointedly funny. When you slowly realized what was going on, it made a point, but also made me laugh. Same with the museum. Maybe you just need to have known people like that to enjoy it? And Taran Killam’s hair situation was just absurd enough to be ridiculous and laughable.

  5. sparky barthalamew says:

    Duh- Who wanna sing the scarlet Johnson swinging radio song?

  6. Marianne says:

    I, also, enjoyed Blazer. But I probably laughed the hardest at Jay Pharoah ‘s Shaq on Weekend Update! (Too bad Keenan is so consistently bland and horrible at impressions. His Charles Barkley was Keenan Barkley.)

  7. David says:

    Have to disagree. Blazer was fantastic!

  8. Tammy says:

    Only problem with the O’s sketch is Manny Machado isn’t African American….. he’s Dominican American, born and raised in Miami FL. So that whole part kind of annoyed me. Now having Jay Pharoah play Adam Jones would have been more appropriate.

    • S. says:

      How anal retentive. Did you get mad when Jennifer Lopez played Selena because Selena wasn’t Puerto Rican?

  9. jbj says:

    I loved the Blazer piece, but I knew Ryan and I weren’t on the same page with that 27 Dresses comment. I cringe so much whenever I catch those action cop movies from the 80s, even the ones that are considered classics, because black people are always the thugs and prostitutes. Well…I guess not BHC or LW! Still, I quickly picked up what they were putting down. It reflected perfectly the mentality that resulted in the Tulsa shooting.

    • jbj says:

      I should also note that it also took a dig at the fact that it seems to only take these videos getting shot and going viral for anyone to get punished for that kind of behavior.

  10. Bob Backus says:

    I think you need to be 11 to think the museum piece was funny. Really bad.

  11. lionmars says:

    Worst ScarJo episode so far. I liked several bits, but the one that sucked, sucked sooo bad. The museum skit was ridiculous, and I can’t even begin to understand why they keep doing the female talk show…

  12. Ed says:

    The museum bit was hysterical. My children and I have been watching that performance over and over again on the DVR. They love the whole “crap” thing. I don’t know if it’s just the word or the fact that two well-dressed attractive females joke about it the manner in which they do. I totally disagree with the critics random view.

  13. ebrandon says:

    its funny you thought Dino Bones was a stinker — i thought that was the funniest sketch of the entire 40th season — i watched it again, even without the sound, and was crying with laughter — i could watch it again and again — that just happened!