Without going anywhere near those “third time’s a charm” clichés, it’s safe to say that Melissa McCarthy’s return engagement as Saturday Night Live host carried the burden of great expectations.
After all, the Mike & Molly star’s first two outings were widely lauded, and with her third outing landing on Super Bowl weekend – not to mention coinciding with Seth Meyers’ final “Weekend Update” report — the heat (no pun intended) was definitely on.
So, while the night might ultimately be remembered more for Meyers’ emotional departure than for the mixed bag of skits starring McCarthy, let’s get down to the business of recounting the best and worst of ’em:
BEST: SETH MEYERS SAYS GOODBYE
If you were in denial that Meyers, who takes over NBC’s Late Night later this month, was anchoring his final “Weekend Update,” a bevy of farewell guest stars drove the point home. We had Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader (as Stefon!) and even Fred Armisen’s last-second walk-on as former New York Governor David Paterson to help make this the (predictably) emotional highlight of the night. “This is the job I always wanted, and I had the best time,” concluded a tearful Meyers. The whole segment seemed a tad rushed and over too quickly, but laughs obviously took a back seat to sentiment here.
BEST: SHEILA KELLY
Playing wickedly off New York Rep. Michael Grimm’s recent high-profile balcony threat to a television reporter, McCarthy stepped effortlessly into the role of a tough-talking Delaware congresswoman. “You’re not a man. You’re a little baby … and I am going to put you in a stroller, and buckle you up and throw you down a flight of stairs,” she threatened, before concluding, “I am freshman Congressman Sheila Kelly and I am invincible!”
HONORABLE MENTION: CVS VALENTINE’S DAY
“Oh, mother, it’s Valentine’s Day?!” Truth be told, hasn’t almost everyone been out shopping for toilet paper only to have such a dreaded realization? This faux CVS commercial reminded us of ‘exquisite gifts’ such as CVS Brand Sex Dice (“ooh, tickle face”), old Christmas stockings (80% off!) and salsa (mild), ready to make your lover’s day oh-so-memorable.
HONORABLE MENTION: GUESS THAT PHRASE
Worth a look for McCarthy’s delightful (though too short and ‘not a common phrase’) line of the night: “Pass the mash!”
WORST: OPENING MONOLOGUE
Somehow the SNL writers felt hooking McCarthy and Bobby Moynihan up to some high wires and launching them into a Matrix-style kung fu wireworks battle would be the best use of everyone’s talents. Ummm, no.
WORST: BEST SUMMER OF MY LIFE
How’s this for laziness? Let’s put McCarthy in a skit, make her eat relentlessly (and get BBQ sauce all over her face ) during some random voiceover narrative, and then … that’s basically it! Belly laughs (obviously) not included.