Emma Stone Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Emma Stone hasn’t hosted Saturday Night Live in five years — a fact that was used as the basis for one of the worst opening monologues of this season’s fall run.

Be that as it may, the episode promptly turned itself around some, ending up a more memorable outing than Kristen Wiig’s mediocre affair just two weeks ago. Unfortunately, little of what made it good was due to Stone who, despite being an excellent host, largely blended into the background (or was completely absent) during the episode’s best moments.

Of course, it was hard for the La La Land actress not to be overshadowed by the appearance of Jennifer Aniston, who first turned up during Weekend Update, then stuck around for an additional sketch which showcased why Kate McKinnon deserves her months-old Emmy.

Lo and behold, my picks for best and worst sketches:

BEST: JENNIFER ANISTON MEETS RACHEL GREEN
Vanessa Bayer’s impression of the Friends character has always been a delight, and the return of Rachel Green to Weekend Update would’ve been enough for me. Aniston’s arrival, however, elevated the segment to best of the night, as she both took umbrage with Bayer’s impersonation, then joined her in parodying the way her sitcom character spoke. It wasn’t exactly an original bit, but a great one nonetheless.

BEST: FILM SCREENING
When Debette Goldry first turned up in the season premiere, I didn’t think she merited mention — mainly because I saw her as a rehash of McKinnon’s “Close Encounter” character that famously left Ryan Gosling giggling like a young Jimmy Fallon. Well, I was wrong. This time around, Goldry partook in a panel about women in film, detailing how actresses were seen as literal props in her heyday. I initially wondered why the sketch was saved for the last half-hour — until Goldry made a sexually explicit joke about FDR’s “pickle.”

BEST: WELLS FOR BOYS
This commercial parody, about Fisher Price’s line of toys for sensitive young boys who “long to be understood,” was just the right amount of twisted. It worked less because of the writing, and more because of the visuals, as the young boy playing Stone’s son sat hunched over his plastic well, advertised as a toy to “wish upon, confide in, and reflect by” for kids who aren’t so into playtime, and are simply awaiting adulthood.

WORST: DONALD TRUMP COLD OPEN
Maybe we don’t need to see Alec Baldwin as the president-elect every week? The jokes about Trump have largely written themselves, but they’re clearly not as funny now that he’s been elected. And in a week where he not only spoke over the phone to the president of Taiwan without any regard for the U.S.’ relationship with China, but had a highly publicized dinner with potential Secretary of State pick Mitt Romney, basing a sketch around the fact that he retweeted a 16-year-old was not the way to go. (They could’ve even done something about Sarah Palin’s name circulating as a contender for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, had Tina Fey been available for a cameo.)

WORST: THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE
SNL‘s just going to keep trying to replicate the success of “(Do It On My) Twin Bed” until the end of days, isn’t it? Stone, Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon crooning about an unwanted, discount candle would’ve been funny if it were just one lyric in a song about the many possible items someone might regift. Instead, that was all the song was about, and the joke just wasn’t good enough to carry an entire music video.

What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via our poll, then hit the comments and make your picks.

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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22 Comments
  1. Lisa Levin says:

    I have a feeling that for years to come no opening monologue will beat Dave Chapelle’s masterpiece.

  2. Susannah says:

    I loved the sketch where wildlife trackers we’re trying to find Hillary Clinton in the woods of Chappaqua. They tried to attract her by setting out a paper with an article about the Wisconsin recount. It was really funny!

  3. Sarahii says:

    I thought the Christmas candle was hilarious.

  4. Kevin says:

    I give the Emma Stone episode of SNL a B. Why the Christmas Candle was one of the worst sketches of the night? In my opinion it’s hilarious but wasn’t as good than the success of Do It On My Twin Bed nearly three years ago. Can’t wait until next week when John Cena takes over the reins for the very first time and let’s hope he’ll give Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a run for his money.

  5. Spence says:

    The Christmas Candle Song was great!

  6. please get better writers!!!! says:

    Didn’t laugh once. Winced alot though

  7. dlraetz says:

    Cold open=the truth hurts

  8. Just bc I'm a woman doesn't mean I love Yankee candles says:

    Clearly written by a man who has not received 30,000 candles as gifts. The sketch was hilarious! Most women out there can relate. I have 11 unwanted gift candles in my house as we speak.

    • thisismenow says:

      Honestly, I was thinking the same thing. If you’ve ever live the candles of the holidays as gifts, it was kind of awesome.

  9. dsrbroadway says:

    I gave it a B. No real duds, consistant chuckles throughout. Emma was fun and Shawn was cute. Jennifer stole the show a bit but didn’t mind. Love the candle song.

  10. Joe with a Suggestion says:

    From now on, the writers need to be prepared to reference any Trump tweet that is sent during the show later in that same show, ideally during Weekend Update. They could have done that last night, as his thin-skinned tweet complaining about Alec Baldwin was sent just shortly after midnight. Just anything in the way of a rapid-response to make him look even more like an idiot for tweeting in the first place. They could have a joke ready, then just polish it to refer to the actual Trump tweet.

    • Spitey Spice says:

      SNL, please listen to Joe – this is a must!

    • Maybe they can do a tweet sketch to show how much of an idiot YOU are, Joe with NO Good Suggestions?

      • Joe with a Suggestion says:

        TJ would be something of an expert on woefully ignorant tweets; perhaps he should write the sketch. On Nov. 22, he somehow confused Gigi Hadid (a model) with Nasim Pedrad (a former SNL cast member); perhaps he was still obsessing over the Goosebumps movie and just wasn’t thinking straight; perhaps as someone who includes the SI Swimsuit account as one of his 44 follows he just wasn’t thinking at all. His 10 Twitter followers might shed light on the subject. In the meantime, I hope he’ll leave the comedy to those who know something about the subject. I for one know a laughingstock when I see one. Two in this case.