Adam Driver Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Whether you consider Adam Driver’s first Saturday Night Live hosting gig a massive success, a stunning failure or somewhere in between, there’s one fact in which the guy can take comfort: His latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has a current international box-office take of $1.8 billion and rising.

OK, money isn’t everything, but at least Driver could focus on those lofty sums during some of the episode’s less successful moments, including an opening monologue where the actor didn’t have much more to do than react to regular cast members’ Star Wars-fueled buffoonery. Still, I wish Driver (or somebody on the SNL staff) had nixed the icky punch line about his gay porn star character’s HIV-positive status in the night’s final sketch. (If you’re going to be offensive, at least be funny, yes?)

The episode’s almost willful refusal to tackle topical material made for a peculiar, but still sometimes very funny, installment.

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Below, my picks for best and worst sketches (with video):

BEST: AMERICA’S FUNNIEST CATS
Driver played against type as a prickly host of a long-running, feline-focused America’s Funniest Home Videos-style show, faced with two very dark-minded French guests (Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon). “She’s quietly backing out of this world!” they cried about a tabby with her head stuck in an ice-cream pint. “She will not be missed!” These black-clad twisted sisters, on the other hand, will definitely be mourned if they’re not back in the next few weeks.

BEST: GOLDEN GLOBES GONE BAD
Driver and Vanessa Bayer played a husband-and-wife writing team gong after-party crazy — and leaving their little kids (Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney) home alone following their win at the Golden Globes. Liev Schreiber’s end-of-skit, apron-clad appearance as the couple’s debauched hookup partner elevated this pre-taped bit to DRV-rewind worthy.

BEST (IF THIS WAS 1992): “A WHOLE NEW WORLD”
I’ll admit I chuckled audibly at the sight of Disney’s Princess Jasmine (Cecily Strong) getting doused in the mid-air evacuation of airplane sewage during a duet with Driver’s Aladdin — because apparently I’m an eight-year-old — but a huge question remains: Why now?

WORST: NFL PLAYOFFS INJURY
There’s probably a good sketch to be written about the way in which networks play and replay gruesome athlete injuries. But beyond the goofy, mannequin-esque figure of Kyle Mooney‘s Pete Davidson’s inexperienced quarterback getting repeatedly pummeled — and his legs bent backwards — it felt like there was nothing sly or clever or insightful being said here.

WORST: OPENING MONOLOGUE
Surely, there had to be a funnier concept to build around the rabid Star Wars‘ fandom than having a few cast members mildly geek out and pump Driver for spoilers, yes? (I’m looking forward to reading in the comments what you might’ve pitched for Driver’s first at bat. No, seriously, I’m curious!)

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s 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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30 Comments
  1. Drewer says:

    I really wanted a sketch called “Guys” that told the story of Girls from the Guys perspective.

  2. peterwdawson says:

    I’d have probably gone for people asking him if the Force is real every second question until finally he chokes someone out or something (with the Force, naturally). Seems like a gimme.

  3. My guess for the timing of the Aladdin sketch is because the Aladdin show just ended a long run at Disney’s California Adventure last Sunday.

  4. Dion says:

    What about Under Cover Boss? It was super funny! Also Aladdin…. Loved it!

  5. DarkDefender says:

    Shuffling out candidates Appollo Style was a best for me.
    .
    Also, nice nod to Bowie.

    On a Side note: Pete Davidson was the legs-a-breakin football player. Not Kyle Mooney.

  6. RedReddington says:

    My favorite skit by far was the Undercover Boss one. I laughed quite a few times. I didn’t laugh once during the cat one. Just goes to show that comedy is subjective.

  7. Corina says:

    The best for me were Undercover Boss and Golden Globes. Plus, the “I vampired my brother” story in the social puppeteering sketch made me laugh a little too hard. I don’t really like SNL, but I had to support Adam. He did the best with what he was given.

  8. Beth says:

    Cecily Strong should have portrayed Nikki Haley, it would have been as iconic and topical as Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin back in 2008. You guys missed a great opportunity, there.

  9. Liz says:

    It wasn’t Kyle Mooney’s legs who got bent backwards, it was Pete Davidson :) and I will never look at his legs the same again lol

  10. Jessica says:

    Undercover Ren doesn’t get a nod?! That was the best! I thought the monologue was fine..nothing special but not horrible. Adam Driver did a great job with what he was given. The writing at SNL has been going down the last several seasons and the guest hosts do the best they can. It’s sad when there are just one or two great skits in a 90 minute show.

  11. Jan says:

    Subpar episode overall. Liev Schreiber was great, tho!

  12. Andrew Marsh says:

    The opening monologue wasn’t bad, but it could have been better. Undercover Boss had me rolling. The only thing that the Kitten show made me laugh at was his host’s name (Finn Ranal Beads) The Golden Globes skit was good, too. Overall, Driver did a good job showing his “lighter” side. Much better than some hosts.

    • Beaann says:

      Completely agree. That cat one was so stupid. And I could do without the French girls ever again. Not funny and as usual, SNL doesn’t know how to end a skit. Undercover Boss was funny though.

  13. GuessWhat says:

    I didnt realize he had such a strong following with the ladies. Kept reading tweets about how great the episode was during its live airing. I honestly thought it was a very weak episode. First time in a long time I turned it off after Weekend Update and didnt even bother recording the rest.

  14. Mary says:

    Driver is a good sport and did a great job in every single skit he stared in. Sadly the SNL writers aren’t funny anymore and resort to toilet humor and sex as comedy.

    The opening skit was a bit awkward, but compared to the cringeworthy “porn Doctor,” it was a a hit.

  15. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Adam Driver episode of SNL a B. The Aladdin sketch was one of the best and Cecily Strong really played a great Princess Jasmine. I know people in the East Coast are a little mad that they have to wait after playoff football and why does NBC made a dumb decision like that?

  16. Morisot says:

    Even my husband laughed at the Aladdin sketch. (And it wouldn’t have worked with Frozen!)

  17. Dude says:

    Undercover Boss was my favourite sketch.

  18. Morisot says:

    I thought Driver did a good job. I laughed more than I have in quite a while, but then they would go too far.

    The Star Wars skit — the punch-line sunk it.

    And that last sketch, what a failure. Michael, you said it: “If you are going to be offensive, at least be funny.” SNL’s Colonel Angus and Martin Schweaty sketches were so lewd and crude — and I laughed until I couldn’t breathe. The difference between those two and last night’s last sketch: double entendre vs anvil. (If that lst sketch, and all its dialog, had been set in the waiting room and everyone had kept their clothes on — would it have worked?)

  19. hbeachman says:

    I wasn’t as offended by the stupidity that is traditionally present in the last sketch. FYI, in gay porn there is a subgenre of bareback (condomless) porn and a number of actors who are HIV+. What I disliked was the repeated use of Aidy Bryant’s character interrupting Adam & Beck. The other female actors could’ve been intruding as well.

    BTW was Sasheer Zamata even in any sketches last night? Vanessa Bayer was only in three that I can think of: the GG, the manipulative bully sketch, and Weekend Update.

  20. jm5150 says:

    ever skit was hilarious.. first time in 11 years

  21. Lyn12 says:

    My DVR cut off before the end, but I thought it was one of the best of this whole SNL season. Adam Driver was all in and the writing was not as lame as usual. Especially liked the Globes, undercover boss and football skits. Didn’t crack a smile during that cats thing. Overall, just relieved that the show didn’t totally waste a host who’s a big talent, as usually seems to happen.

  22. cej says:

    Aladdin has been a pretty big hit on Broadway. 3rd highest grossing of 2015.