Reese Witherspoon Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches!

Here’s hoping Reese Witherspoon’s kids have some fantastic Mother’s Day plans on deck for Sunday.

Indeed, after the so-so box-office showing of her new comedy Hot Pursuit and the misfortune of hosting a Saturday Night Live episode with a painfully high percentage of unenthusiastically conceived/written/executed sketches, homemade waffles and fresh-squeezed OJ may be the only way the Oscar-winning actress salvages the weekend.

For example, with so much fodder in politics and pop-culture happening right this minute, how did SNL greenlight a random fictional talk-show sketch putting the same half-joke on repeat? Or even worse, a random fictional game-show sketch also with only one gag to support it?

But enough about the barely weres and never-wills: Let’s recap the week’s best and worst:

BEST: WHISKERS R WE
Witherspoon delivered her lines with gusto playing an overeager love interest for Kate McKinnon’s recurring cat-adoption advocate. As always, though, it was the bizarrely specific descriptions of the felines up for grabs that set this one apart from the pack. I’m not sure which kitten scares me more: cult-friendly Skittles, who’ll “make you sever all ties with your family” or Peanut, to whom five percent of people have a deadly allergy.

BEST: TWO GIRLS YOU WISH YOU HADN’T STARTED A CONVERSATION WITH AT A PARTY
Witherspoon joined Cecily Strong’s always-welcome, Malaprop-dropping, language-mangling chica — and took a text from “Tiger Woods” smack in the middle of the proceedings. For once, I thought this bit could’ve benefitted from an extra minute or two of shenanigans, but it’s hard to beat, “I’m voting for the Sudan. Oh, but I’m sure Hillary Clinton is starving children too!” or the ladies’ new twist on Rock, Paper, Scissors.

WORST: WATER PARK
Kyle Mooney (ugh) and Beck Bennett played awkward loner lifeguards trying to win over Witherspoon’s fellow employee by rubbing SPF on her shoulders. That was it. No real punchlines and no surprises whatsoever. This utter mess — which was too short to build any meaningful momentum, and yet still too long to endure even another 10 seconds — has to rank as one of SNL‘s worst over the soon-to-conclude Season 40.

WORST: “WILLIE” ON “WEEKEND UPDATE”
Wait, surely there weren’t people outside of Kenan Thompson and his inner circle who wanted the SNL vet to bring back his painfully optimistic “Willie,” a man who smiles through tales of being pelted with batteries and getting robbed in a high-school parking lot. File this under: The show’s writing staff is soooo ready for a summer vacay.

Your turn. What did you think of Reese Witherspoon’s SNL host gig? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! (We’ll post video as soon as it’s available on Sunday a.m.)

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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33 Comments
  1. Tex Mike says:

    I really love Reese, but dear god, this was the worst episode of the season. There has to be good comedy writers somewhere. SNL just can’t seem to find any. It was a real suck fest.

  2. Ld says:

    You really don’t like SNL very much do you, man?!? Never a positive review.

    • To be fair this episode was pretty awful. To be unfair, I agree.

      • Jake says:

        they really need someone younger than Slezak doing this review. I think he’s hit that “SNL was funnier back when…” Phase of his life

        • Preferring older SNL is not really a phase. The real phase is liking everything. When I was 10 years old watching Full House and all of its stupid catch phrases, I suddenly realized something. “Why do I watch this?” People don’t ask that enough. The more material you are exposed to, the more immune you become to similar things. Most things just aren’t funny a second time. Critics have seen more material than most so that’s why they tend to be harsher than the average viewer. It doesn’t make them snobby, it makes them aware. Whether you call it sophisticated or cynical, it’s the same thing. I’m sure when I was tired of seeing Molly Shannon fall on things because I already saw Chris Farley do it and do it better, people were tired of Chris Farley because they saw Chevy Chase do it first. Yes, the writing on SNL has been mostly terrible and it’s been that way since Tina Fey left. They have a good sketch here and there, but they spend so much time rehashing and regurgitating premises almost exactly as they appeared the first time. Wayne’s World was so good because they wrote different, original jokes in each sketch, while recurring sketches in the past 7 years or so are verbatim copies. They’re treading water and spitballing with overly familiar material and not in the spirit of SNL at its best: topical, rebellious, original, pushing the envelope. Way too many attempts at creating a character that is basically an unusual goofball of some sort, who spends the entire length of the sketch being weird/annoying while everyone around that person reacts accordingly. I’d like to think we’ve all outgrown the wacky neighbor of 1980s sitcoms.

    • Tex Mike says:

      That’s the problem, I love the show. I’ve been watching since day one. They have a funny cast. They need some funny material. They can do better than one “gem” a week.

  3. DavidSask says:

    I didn’t get one laugh the entire night, not even one and that says a lot!

  4. Et Al says:

    I’m excited for the day (and it will be soon) that I see the Tvline headline ‘Kyle Mooney Let Go From SNL’. Then he can pursue his true destiny as an assistant manager at one of the few remaining Radio Shacks.

  5. Kael T says:

    Weekend update and the kitten sketch were the only ones I remember that I laughed or actually enjoyed….THE WATER PARK SKETCH?!?!? That really frustrated me. I enjoy many types of humor but I’m not sure what that was. The wives club was weird. Reese wasn’t the worst host but the writers need to step it up.

  6. Willie was 100x funnier than Reese and Cecily, which was odd since that Character is usually funny to me.

  7. hud says:

    SNL, GOOD WIFE, every week yak-yak-yak. SNL has been lousy for 2 decades. GOOD WIFE most over-hyped 40 minutes weekly. Enough……And enough of the word AWESOME.

  8. TV Gord says:

    Who knew Ted Cruz was borderline obese and Mike Huckabee was quite in shape. SNL did, apparently. That was quite a confusing cold-open. And Ben Carson (?) just looks like Kenan Thompson, because Kenan Thompson always plays people who look, sound and behave exactly as as Kenan Thompson would. Kenan Thompson, ladies and gentlemen, the Garrett Morris of the current SNL cast (with a similar range from A to A-minus).

  9. TV Gord says:

    So, I fell asleep during the west coast feed of SNL and had dream that I really enjoyed the show, but then I realized I had simply stabbed myself in the temple with a steak knife.

  10. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Reese Witherspoon episode of SNL a D. This was without a doubt the worst episode of the season and it has been a long time coming since the actress whose best known in movies such as Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama and Election among several others last hosted the show since the Season 27 premiere (first live show after 9/11). The opening monologue where the host along with cast brought their mothers with them was just my favorite part of the night but the rest were downright horrible. The writers still can’t take huge risk whether sketches are great or epic failures. Really hope Louis CK will save SNL on the season finale next week which also marks the final episode for Kenan Thompson as a cast member who’s been on the show after 12 years.

    • iHeart says:

      really? has it been confirmed at all? because I don’t remember tvline reporting on it

      • dan says:

        Agree that Reese’s monologue with all the mothers may have been the best part of the show. Downhill from there. Weekend Update had a few funny moments and I agree that “The Girl(s) Who Talk to Much…” should’ve been longer while Willie wasn’t necessary. And yes, it has been reported that Keenan is leaving the show at the end of this season (unless he changed his mind because of job security).

      • Amy says:

        At the start of the season TMZ said it was Kenan’s last and SNL/NBC quickly said no one makes that decision at the start of the season and it was not true. Wouldn’t shock me if he left though. 12 years is a long time. And he has a young kid.

        • iHeart says:

          well if next week is really Kenan’s last show, that probably means that, what’s up with that will happen (well that’s an upside, we don’t have to put up with that annoying sketch anymore, except in the annual christmas specials)

          • Wayne says:

            I too would like to see What’s Up With That one more time although most of that sketch’s supporting cast has left SNL so there’d have to be a lot of cameo appearances (Bill Hader played the always ignored Lindsay Buckingham; Fred Armisen played the saxophonist ; Jason Sudeikis played the curly-haired exercise guy).
            By the way, it’s really time for Bobby Moynihan to move along as well. I’d be perfectly happy to never see Drunk Uncle ever again.

  11. colig says:

    kyle mooney needs to go. he is unwatchable and unfunny and sometimes it seems like he is doing a bad impression of a dana carvey character. while they are it aidy bryant could leave too. her comic timing is awful and line delivery always sounds like she’s she just seen a gggghost.

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      Yeah right. At least his BFF Beck Bennett is a much improved player than Kyle is. Think it’s time that Mr. Mooney should do more It’s Not Complicated Sprint commercials.

  12. Matthew says:

    I think the problem with SNL is the writing staff not writing good sketches. Because, at dirt glance the cast is made up of tons of funny members but they are given crap material and if they actually get to write some of their own stuff then that needs to stop. Because, it isn’t working…clearly.

    • Matthew says:

      Oh and as much as I like Kenan Thompson from my childhood (All That and Kenan & Kel anyone?). I am glad he is doin well and has a steady job but he only plays himself in every stinking sketch. Either he needs to fix that (which seeing as he has been doing it since 2003 I don’t see that changing) or he needs to go.

  13. Ham says:

    Willie was the first time in years that I laughed at something Keenan was involved in

  14. Kermit says:

    The best part was clearly the home videos the moms brought. I laughed out loud when they played the Mighty Ducks clip for Kenan.

  15. Replace the black cast members with Asian, Hispanic, LGBT new cast & get rid of the writers – ALL of them. There is nothing funny about Barack & Al Sharpton – both are downers.

  16. Reese is funny but the sketches were not very. I watched because Florence and Machine was on and off the hook. I liked the cat sketch. Reese was very funny in that sketch