Ronda Rousey Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Wait, remind me again, who hosted Saturday Night Live this week?

No, I’m not trying to say that Ronda Rousey isn’t necessarily famous or funny enough to be the emcee of NBC’s sketch-comedy staple, but merely pointing out that with a few fleeting exceptions, the mixed martial-arts champ was as significant to the success or failure of the episode’s sketches as a beach umbrella in the middle of a blizzard.

Who knows? Maybe Rousey turned out to be less adept with a punchline than SNL boss Lorne Michaels had originally anticipated. But it seems like she should’ve at least had the opportunity to be the comedic anchor of one or two skits — and live or die based on her own talents.

Then again, in a week where the show made its second attempt in less than a year to mine the subject of statutory rape for laughs, where all post-“Weekend Update” fare seemed to be plucked from the “rejected sketches of 2015” compost heap, and where musical guest Selena Gomez made us wonder if batteries in a blender could top the Billboard charts (with a little Auto-Tune help), Rousey’s relegation to background prop was the least of the show’s problems.

Below, my picks for best and worst sketches — bearing in mind that competition for the latter category was incredibly contentious:

Rousey used her ass-kicking skills to very funny effect playing the new girl in high-school, tricked into a date with Beck Bennett’s popular jock for the amusement of his alpha-beast girlfriend (Vanessa Bayer). Rousey didn’t have to do much more than slap her handprint into Bayer’s cheek, then throat-punch Bennett, but I heartily LOL’d nonetheless.

Tina Fey returned to put an exclamation point on the next-level idiocy of Palin’s stump speech in Iowa. Darrell Hammond’s asides as the erstwhile Celebrity Apprentice host — “She sounds like a greeting card from a Chinese dollar store” — were amusing, but Fey’s spot-on impersonation and vicious word-salad made this one an instant classic. (Grade Fey’s Palin here.)

SNL poked fun at The Bachelor back when Blake Shelton hosted last January — redubbing it Farm Hunk — and while there was once again a deliberate avoidance of referring to ABC’s reality-dating franchise by name (this time, it was Bland Man), Rousey and the ladies of SNL scored a number of solid laughs by (barely) exaggerating the show’s tropes. Bayer’s “I loved going to your old high school and watching you cry” was deadly accurate, but Cecily Strong’s “I’m a virgin, but I’m very quick to do the stuff I do” was the wickedly wrong cherry atop the sundae.

Last April, SNL‘s face connected with the pavement with a sketch starring Pete Davidson as a high-school student making the point that statutory rape is totally kosher as long as the victim is male and the perpetrator is a lady. Unfortunately, the show doubled-down on that grotesque idea — once again without any meta commentary or smart twist at the end — by bringing in Rousey as a second defendant in the case. Imagine the sketch with male teachers raping Davidson’s character, or male teachers raping a female teen, and tell me Lorne Michaels would have ever let it see the light of day. Mark this one for an eventual slot on SNL‘s “Worst of 2016” list.

This dubious bit about a band of mostly lame superheroes arriving to save a city from alien robots — then delaying their work with length introductions to a pair of civilians — was notable only for giving the often underutilized Sasheer Zamata, Bobby Moynihan and Jon Rudnitsky a few seconds of screen time. The bad news? Not one of ’em scored a real laugh. The good news? Neither did Rousey the multitude of other SNL players involved in the tepid spoof.

Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney played social misfits attempting to navigate co-worker Rousey’s invite to a Sunday NFL viewing party. I genuinely hope you’d already gone to bed as this catastrophic sketch aired, and on a similar note, I implore you not to waste your time watching video of it on TVLine when we post it Sunday morning. Seriously, play Legos with your kids, go read a book, shovel some snow, rearrange your spice cabinet! Even the most mundane task is a better use of your time than watching this deeply unfunny mess!

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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  1. joe says:

    Rousey looked uncomfortable and it made me uncomfortable.

  2. Stacie says:

    I 100% agree. They easily could have just said that Ronda Rousey couldn’t make it to the show because of the travel ban and blizzard and she would have been just as incorporated into this episode as she was while actually being there. Honestly that sketch about the Black Actors being overlooked at award shows was actually kinda clever, but Ronda didn’t say a word, she was the person sitting there, that was her role in that sketch, sit there. Same with the terrible teacher/student trial sketch and the music video, she said about a line or 2 in those, and that’s being generous. The episode was pretty weak, aside from the Palin/Trump skit and one or two other small things, but this has to be one of the worst host showings in a really long time.

  3. S. says:

    Selena Gomez’s 2nd song honestly felt like a LiveLinks commercial. Like we were supposed to think we could end up with someone like her if we called the number for local singles. I’m not entirely sure that qualified as singing. As for Ronda, I’ve never seen a host be given so little to do and what she did get was mostly low key, it was so odd. She’s been more animated in interviews so it was strange. Totally agree with all the assessments of the sketches (including your Twitter observation about Willie on Weekend Update) and I definitely couldn’t make it all the way through the break room invite.

  4. peterwdawson says:

    Only gave it a D because to me that would be Trump episode. That episode has made even the big duds of this season look better by comparison.

  5. Shaun says:

    Any time you stick an old sketch to fill time is a bad episode.Only enjoyed Sarah Palin and the Bachelor spoof.

  6. Rousey hosting SNL was about as funny as a Holm kick to the face.. But not nearly as entertaining…

  7. Kevin says:

    I hope her up and coming movies are better than her comedy chops, his acting is almost as bad as her striking against holm!!

    • HAP says:

      Actually, the only thing on her plate right now is a remake of the 1989 movie Roadhouse, that is being written and directed by Nick Cassavetes. She is set to play the role played by Patrick Swayze in the original. Go figure.

  8. RJC says:

    The trial sketch was on point considering how double standarded the topic remains to be. Che and Jost are on point with the news. SNL clearly doesn’t care about offending the sensitive late night viewer, thankfully. Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones are the funniest ones in the cast, and Rousey wasn’t the best host but I thought she did fine. Didn’t try to over do her appearance with forcibly adding herself into every skit.

    • les lieber says:

      i agree, rjc…ronda did fine…she’s not a trained actress…i actually had low expectations and was pleasantly suprised with the ‘bamm’ sketch…truthfully, i’ve watched snl with real actors who showed us less commitment to the show (i won’t mention bruce willis’ name) than ms rousey did…overall i’d give her a b+ and the show a solid b…later, uncle les p.s. the sara palin was pretty good but hammond as trump is wearing thin

    • Patrick says:

      The statutory rape trials are hilarious. Slezak just doesn’t seem to like the setup, but they are FANTASTIC. Keep’em coming.

  9. emma says:

    Pretty dire.

  10. Oxygen 5906 says:

    Rhonda did fine,let’s be honest..Saturday night live’s sucked for awhile now.actually it’s awful.rhonda shouldn’t have been there,but she didn’t do horrible.

  11. Kim R says:

    “Trump’s” asides were killing me. “It’s like her mouth starts driving before her brain gets in the car.”

  12. Joanne says:

    Tina saved the day…..the sketches were tepid, and who told Selena Gomez she could sing?

  13. Belle says:

    I kept hoping someone would jump in and say “April Fools” or “we interrupt this show to bring you a live shot of snow falling in Central Park”…was so hard to watch. I feel so badly for her, but you gotta give her credit for trying – how many of us could actually nail a performance on SNL?!

    • Belle says:

      P.S. Maybe it’s time to graduate most of the current cast…wouldn’t hurt to start fresh next season :)

      • Bert Milton says:

        Graduate? Fail and flush would be a better solution. I don’t see any of these guys moving up the food chain. Especially the writers. Everything is so re-hashed I think the writers are just given old scripts with parts whited out to fill in the blanks.

  14. dan says:

    The best thing about this episode: all the cast members were featured either in live or pre-taped bits. Rhonda was a non-entity as a host other than her monologue and the bully sketch. Basically this episode starred all the cast members with cameos by the host. Selena’s performances seemed to be geared to morning-after discussion. Bring on Larry David!

    • Patrick says:

      If I were not a huge, A+ list star, or a great comedian in my own right, I wouldn’t host SNL until I knew who the NEXT host was going to be. When they have an alum, or a famous comedian, coming up as host, they save good bits for them. Eps featuring past cast members are usually pretty good, and are usually preceded by some non-comedian getting saddled with bad shows.

  15. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Ronda Rousey episode of SNL a C. At first it was entertaining which started with the return of Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin and then it wasn’t entertaining at all. Rousey is a poor choice as host but I found her not funny nor entertaining at all. The Bland Man sketch was my favorite of the night but the Break Room/Football Party Invite was definitely the worst. Overall, this is one of the worst episodes of SNL this season and it should bounce back in two weeks when Larry David takes over and hopefully his Bernie Sanders character is going to showed up.

  16. Dude says:

    I don’t know why she’s pursuing an acting career when it’s clearly not something she’s comfortable with. She was very weak in Furious 7 and even more so here. She should stick to UFC

  17. Fan says:

    The Oscar skit, with all the white guys winning, was great.

  18. Bert Milton says:

    Does anyone think it would have been any better with a famous actress? SNL has blown chunks for years. It was Ronda’s job to appear on the show, not save it from it’s own bad writing and acting. She did better than I thought she’d do. I thought the show would suck, but she was no worse than any of the other actors.
    If SNL was scheduled during any weeknight, it would have been canceled long ago. Being on at a late hour with no competition has saved it from cancellation for years.

  19. seesthetruth says:

    Anything with rousey qualifies as the worst. She looks like a friggin’ man in a dress for God’s sake. And she’s as dumb as a post. It was funnier to see her get kicked in the face by that other man-woman, then hear her whine about it for weeks, and demand a rematch.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Not their best… Actually sad if you think about it.. I like this show but it’s gone down hill, even fly 92 had comments about it this morning and they weren’t good ones!!

  21. If they thought those skits were the best thing they could air, it makes you wonder what they cut. She was terrible.

  22. Not really her fault the skits were lame…Should have been more around her life, something funny about working at a gym, or eating wings at a bar, bitch boy skit.

  23. b c says:

    teacher trial was the funniest skit ive seen in a long time. even funnier is the fact that slezak would be offended by glorified statutory rape while being a huge vampire diaries, buffy and twilight fan. hypocritical much?