Despite a recent onslaught of groan-inducing trailers for Dumb and Dumber To, expectations were high for rubber-faced funnyman (and In Living Color vet) Jim Carrey’s return to Studio 8H for a third crack at hosting Saturday Night Live.
Ultimately, despite an uninspired “Ebola Czar” cold open – Kenan Thompson’s mildly amusing Al Sharpton was a minor highlight in an otherwise forced, dull take on the current virus hysteria – the show’s best moments helped make Carrey’s return a fairly memorable one.
Here are my picks for best and worst sketches of the night:
Best: Matthew McConaughey for Lincoln
I had to do a double take during the first few seconds of this dead-on parody of McConaughey’s recent, head-scratching foray into car commercials. Carrey’s astounding take on the Oscar winner’s smooth Southern twang and dark, self-serious tone (and even his perfectly swooped-back coif) were eerily accurate, and his pitch-perfect voiceovers were scathing (and hilarious). Whether pondering his agent’s advice (“I can understand if you did this right after The Lincoln Lawyer”) or debating life’s important questions (“Who am I? Why am I here? When I’m done rolling up this booger, should I eat it or throw it out the window?”) Carrey’s filmed segments – which continued throughout the show — were truly inspired. Don’t miss the last segment showing Carrey mowing down the Allstate Insurance guy — instant classic alert!
Best: “Drunk Uncle” on Weekend Update
Cocktail glass not-so-firmly in hand, Bobby Moynihan’s wild-eyed, highly soused fave swooped in just in time to invigorate an otherwise wobbly “Weekend Update.” Whether mistaking co-anchor Michael Che for an NBC elevator operator (“I’m sorry, 5th floor please”), ranting about the decline of Halloween (“When I was a kid, monsters were men… nowadays it’s just, ‘trick or treat, can you put some Goji berries in my drop box, please?’”) or singing several unexpected bars of Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen,” Moynihan was a booze-fueled delight. Plus, anyone who references Viola Davis’ How to Get Away With Murder and Fitbit (“the only damn exercise I get is chasing those damn gypsies off my lawn!”) in the same sketch automatically wins the night.
Best: Carrey Family Reunion
OK, this sketch was little more than a roast/homage of Carrey’s most iconic screen personas. But the mere sight of that smokin’ green mask, the cable guy, and the Riddler – not to mention a walk-on by none other than Carrey’s Dumb co-star Jeff Daniels – made this sketch a nostalgia-driven, joyful (if slightly predictable) highlight. “Allllll-righty then!”
Worst: Opening Monologue/Hellvis
Despite the initially amusing (or was it just jarring?) visual spectacle of Carrey decked out as Hellvis (picture a ’70s era Elvis with curly horns and red jumpsuit), this tedious “Jailhouse Rock”–style ditty made me never want to touch another pecan pie as long as I live. Or maybe it was just the sight of Carrey actually spitting it out (“that’s lemon pie, man!”) onstage, before half-heartedly encouraging everyone to sing yet another “Pecan Pie” chorus. Make it stop already!
Worst: Zombie Apocolypse
Sure, some semblance of a zombie sketch was a certainty for a Halloween show, but this epic disaster featuring a bat-wielding Carrey beating on zombie-fied son Pete Davidson (not to mention one very lame jab at Brian Williams) was a comedic horror show.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Carrey as a host? What was your favorite sketch? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!