Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Host SNL: Watch the Best/Worst Sketches

There are some Saturday Night Live hosts — Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, most pro athletes — that make you say “blerg” before they’ve uttered a half-dozen words of their opening monologues.

Others — like this week’s double-threat Amy Poehler-Tina Fey combo — come with far greater expectations.

And while the stars of Sisters got off to a tepid (although by no means terrible) start with their opening monologue — more on that here — it didn’t take long for them to crush it like a mallet bearing down on an aluminum can. Dare I say they gave us SNL‘s absolute funniest moment of 2015? Oh, indeed I do!

Read on for my picks for best and worst sketches:

Fey and Poehler took what could’ve been a brutally icky concept — happily married guys get ambushed on a game show during which they’re introduced to the underage girls with whom they’ll eventually replace their current spouses — and made it wonderfully, scathingly funny. “I thought this was a home makeover show!” cried Aidy Bryant, as a woman who’s just met the five-year-old her husband will marry years out (after she dies in a kayaking accident). “In a way, it is,” replied Fey’s matter-of-fact emcee, driving home feminist comedy so scorching, even a trophy wife would LOL.

Kate McKinnon’s current version of the Democratic front-runner (who considers a pantsuit as proper pajamas) got a visit from Poehler’s 2008 impression — as well as Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. All three women shone brightly here — Fey’s stream of gobbledygook, laced together by “but alsos” and “and evens,” cutting deepest. McKinnon, however, got the best single punch line, noting to her past self that in 2015, it’s no longer enough to “be a sweet old lady, we have to be a sweet old lady who says ‘Yasss, Queen!'”

Gayle King firing a grenade launcher. Amy Schumer doing the “slo-mo post-apolcalyptic walk.” Poehler and Fey’s shared gynecologist. All in a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video and complete with a line from Aidy Bryant’s fawning junket journalist (from Pop News Daily Aftershow Podcast.jPeg), “Can’t be MIA from the PTA/ ’cause you’re pickin’ up leche from Trader José’s!” Is this one going to be available for download at iTunes?

It wasn’t a sketch, but musical guest Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band — with help from Fey, Poehler, Paul McCartney and Maya Rudolph — delivered a cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” that was a much-needed jolt of joy in a world where that sentiment is all too often in short supply.

Kenan Thompson reprised his not-funny-enough character of a film director insisting his big-time movie actors use what he learned while working on The Jeffersons back in the ’70s. Lucky for Poehler and Fey, their “serious actress” characters disappeared from set, an option not available to the suffering at-home audience.

Kate McKinnon has given us some great “Weekend Update” guests, but Deenie — a middle-aged mom who’s watched soaps for 40 years, but can’t recall more-specific character names than “mustache man” and “big boobs” was encumbered by the most obvious punchlines — not to mention McKinnon’s muffled diction as she scarfed down a tupperware tub of salmon.

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s SNL? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! (We’ll post video as soon as it’s available on Sunday a.m.)

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. Alana says:

    Bronx beat was hysterically funny. Maybe the Philly bits were too regionally specific to appeal to everyone though.

  2. DarkDefender says:

    Greatness. Special shout out to Maya Rudolph. Her drunk singer was hilarious.

  3. BooBots says:

    Totally disagree with you about the ‘Jeffersons Director’ sketch. It was Great! Watching Amy and Tina’s ‘serious actresses’ completely throw themselves into those over-the-top crazy-faces was a joy to behold.

  4. peterwdawson says:

    A shame Kate McKinnon can’t be more specific. That alien abduction skit from the Gosling episode… I mean she was alright tonight but yeah, Deenie was half-baked at best and she could not have it.

  5. Kris says:

    “Meet Your Second Wife” was one of the funniest sketches of the season so far!

  6. Eh says:

    Dope Squad was freaking hilarious and Sarah Palin emerging from that puff of smoke confused because she traveled through space and time again was pretty funny.

  7. Amanda says:

    “Meet Your Second Wife” was one of the best ideas in years for this show. Really want to know who wrote that one!

  8. What show were the people in this poll watching? The show was NOT funny at all! It seemed as if Tina F. & Amy P. were phoning in their performances. They looked bored and was not even trying to be funny! Thank God for Bruce Springsteen although he even looked bored and seemed like he just woke up from a nap. (He is still the best). I guess I was expecting too much from the gals!!! Oh well

    • OhMy says:

      The mix was seriously wrong on his songs. Live TV, I guess.

    • liame says:

      Hey I agree. I think people are just desperate for laughs and these ladies are likable so they just go with it. SNL has it’s one good sketch per episode down. What’s funny to some is not funny to others. Enjoy and keep watching what you like.

  9. Christy says:

    Deenie was terrible! And I think what made it even worse was the fact that because of it, we only got one Tina and Amy joke each on Update. Wasted opportunity there.
    Dope Squad was fantastic. But you do have to warn people before you set off explosions or people might sue! LOL

  10. Morisot says:

    Michael, aside from your Grinch-like opening comment–“blerg”—you did mention 2 segments that I really liked. “Dope Squad” was well done and Gayle King and Amy Schumer were super. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” was a joyful surprise at the end of the show — especially when Paul McCartney wandered in! I didn’t see mention of The Republican Debate “cold open” — now that was very funny!

  11. MattySi says:

    Kate McKinnon is the best thing to happen to SNL in a long time! She is hilarious! I loved Deenie!

  12. every second of Weekend Update was hilarious to me, even Deenie

  13. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Tina & Amy episode of SNL an A+. This is the best if not one of the best this season and it was much better than Amy Adams did one year ago. My favorite has got to be the Hillary Clinton sketch when Poehler and McKinnon meet for the first time and it was hilarious. I wish that Amy should host the show on her own sometime in the near future instead of co-hosting with her BFF in Tina Fey and of course she hasn’t done it since the Season 36 premiere. What a way to end SNL in 2015 and I don’t know how Adam Driver would fare when he takes over the first show of 2016 come January 16th.

  14. Ron says:

    The only episode of SNL in a really, really long time I actually watched from beginning to end. Yes, parts were not great (I agree with all of Michael’s rankings), but, in my opinion, easily the best show in a looooonnnng time. My biggest complaint, though: When you have both Tina AND Amy, why not give the boot to Jost and Che for the night and let Tina and Amy do ALL of Weekend Update? I mean, seriously. Their one joke each at the end was not even remotely sufficient. Unless neither actually wanted to do the whole thing, just throwing them in at the end almost seemed like a slap in the face given how long both sat at that desk. Also, shoutout to non-host, unsung MVP Maya Rudolph. She killed it.

  15. Topsy Turvy says:

    When are people going to realize that McKinnon is a one-trick pony, always mugging and doing her patented eye thing? (She also breaks character more than anyone else … she did it before Gosling in the alien abduction skit.)

  16. Tex Mike says:

    I love Tina and Amy. The best show of the season.

  17. KevyB says:

    Amy and Tina deserve little of the credit for the excellent Second Wife sketch. Every single other person in that sketch – and whoever wrote it – was more valuable than those two. That sketch completely relied on the men’s and women’s reactions to what was going on. Amy and Tina definitely did a good job, but they were NOT what made this a classic.

  18. Emily says:

    This was the best SNL I’ve watched in a long time. I gut laughed through most of it, especially the debate and the Hillary sketches. It reminded me of seasons past when it used to be funny. I totally geeked out on Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Maya Rudolph was a treat! Quality episode!

  19. Carol says:

    Deenie was hilarious – I don’t agree with you at all. Hope to see her again!