John Cena Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Anyone who’s seen Trainwreck or Sisters can tell you that John Cena is a funny guy. Unfortunately, the professional wrestler-turned-actor’s comedic prowess wasn’t given the best showcase on this weekend’s lackluster Saturday Night Live.

After starting the night off awkwardly with a DOA Donald Trump joke, Cena spent much of his inaugural hosting gig being asked to play into the dumb jock archetype (portraying both a college football player and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski). When he wasn’t busy doing that, he was assuming the role of “handsome man with muscles” (what a stretch!) in sketches about horny game show contestants and book store employees.

The middle-of-the-road affair was ultimately saved by a terrific Trump-centric short, and the appearance of a certain six-time Emmy winner who once again broke bad.

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

snl-cold-open-cranstonBEST: THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
This particular Breaking Bad fanatic was jazzed to see Cranston back in Heisenberg’s pork pie hat, declaring that he is the one who knocks. I was especially tickled by the idea that Walter White survived that gunshot wound all those years ago, and has spent much of his time trolling Breitbart‘s comments section. Even funnier was that Donald Trump and Steve Bannon would see the former high school science teacher fit to run the DEA, because of course they would. (Watch and discuss the sketch here.)

BEST: THROUGH DONALD’S EYES
This wasn’t so much funny as it was terrifying. Nonetheless, this brilliant digital short followed Trump for a day as the president elect envisioned himself looking like John Cena and having larger-than-life hands that shrunk whenever his ego was threatened by the so-called biased media.

BEST: DYKE & FATS SAVE CHRISTMAS
In the eyes of their captain, police officers Les Dykawitz and Chubbina Fatzarelli (LOL!) were still just “two damn fine cops… for broads,” even though they alone rescued Santa Claus, and thus, saved Christmas. Fatzarelli’s exaggerated reaction to her boss’ sexism was priceless, as she, a cop of the ’70s, insisted “we’re past that” way of thinking. (Oh, if only that were true even now…)

HONORABLE MENTION: ANGELA MERKEL VISITS WEEKEND UPDATE
Kate McKinnon singlehandedly saved Update with her latest visit as the German chancellor, who revealed to Colin Jost the not-so-clever plan she devised to get exiting president Barack Obama to visit her again. She also detailed how she had been looking forward to a Hillary Clinton presidency, if only so they could’ve one day had a sleepover where they did each other’s makeup, consisting of only chapstick and sunblock. Best of all was her German scream.

WORST: JOANNE & THE TREE
The combination of bad writing, poor performances and shoddy green screen resulted in this embarrassment of a sketch, which featured a bunch of office employees more concerned with losing their Christmas tree than a coworker falling to her death from a New York City skyscraper.

WORST: TALENT COMPETITION 
You have to wonder what got cut at dress that allowed for a sketch about an owl with explosive diarrhea to make it to air. I’d write more, but I think my thoughts can best be summed up by the following SNL meme:

snl-really-meme

(Consider it a public service that I’m not embedding the sketch above. Click here to watch — if you dare.)

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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25 Comments
  1. Dave says:

    That was the worst SNL this season. The writing was just awful and sadly, it was evident from start to finish. I for one am fine with them using a big buff hunk for what he is- muscles and jokes related to that…but at least make them funny. No laughs had here, including the cold open and weekend update. My first true F grade this season.

  2. I’m a WWE fan so I turned in to watch John Cena and as I did, it reminded by why I haven’t been a regular watcher of SNL since Tina Fey left. This was awful!

  3. Ian says:

    There’s an adorable quality to Cena, and he’s very good-humored, which makes him even more attractive than just the ultra-hotness, and it was almost enough to make that a watchable episode all the way through. But will he have a Dwayne Johnson career…? Doubtful.
    That owl sketch though :/

  4. Walkie says:

    Even the Walter White bit was lame.

  5. Alyson says:

    John Cena is so much funnier than the material he was given. And Walter White deserved a bigger reaction. This season started off stronger than it has in years. I hope it’s not on a rapid decline.

    Given the current controversies, Casey Affleck was an interesting choice to host the Christmas episode.

  6. Ian says:

    Also, I’m ready for Dyke and Fats: The Movie.
    And give Cena a role. There you go.

  7. dan says:

    Is there a rule that says Keenan Thompson has to be in every sketch? He is fine in small doses but give some of the other cast members a chance.

  8. peterwdawson says:

    Poor Cena. Could have been so much better.

  9. Deana says:

    The more desperate the show becomes in expressing its vitriolic hatred of Trump (Hello, Michael Chen and very unfunny Weekend Update) the less watchable it has become. They seem to have lost the ability to satirize and have instead become anti-Trump political assassination. A very lame episode.

  10. Kevin says:

    I give John Cena episode of SNL a C. I’m a fan of WWE but Mr. Cena first time as host was lackluster in my opinion and to be honest the better man is none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and I hope SNL brings him back as another member of the Five Timers Club possibly this season when he promotes The Fate Of The Furious and the big screen version of Baywatch.

  11. Kelly says:

    Haven’t enjoyed SNL in a long time but watched for John Cena. He did great.

  12. ninergrl6 says:

    I was amused by his Gronk impersonation. Everything else was pretty awful.

  13. Jordan says:

    Where is the Dyke & Fats movie?

  14. Anna says:

    I don’t remember the character’s name, but I laughed out load at Cecily Strong on Weekend update.

    • Kim R says:

      Thank you! So did I and I can’t remember her character’s name either. :D The alt-right stuff was smart and hilarious. McCafe is still McDonald’s…haha

    • Somebody says:

      I’m surprised this wasn’t even mentioned. I love McKinnon’s Merkel (well, pretty much anything McKinnon does), but Cecily Strong absolutely killed it with Cathy Anne. I’m glad this bit got more respect on Reddit.

  15. Jill says:

    I barely remembered any of these sketches. I was trying to remember how the goodnight credits went and I don’t remember. Why don’t they utilize their guest hosts better? It used to be that they were the main character in the sketch & it seems now they are just a bit player. Something needs to change.

  16. Max says:

    OMG Can the SNL writers go a week without doing a stupid fake game show bit … much less two in the same episode. The last time one was funny was Celebrity Jeopardy with Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery. Give it a rest. Weekend update continues to suck. Colin Jost has at least gotten a little better but Michael Che is so weak. It’s obvious that 75% of it will be Donald Trump bits from now on and about 10% of them will be funny.