There are some Saturday Night Live hosts — Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, most pro athletes — that make you say “blerg” before they’ve uttered a half-dozen words of their opening monologues.
Others — like this week’s double-threat Amy Poehler-Tina Fey combo — come with far greater expectations.
And while the stars of Sisters got off to a tepid (although by no means terrible) start with their opening monologue — more on that here — it didn’t take long for them to crush it like a mallet bearing down on an aluminum can. Dare I say they gave us SNL‘s absolute funniest moment of 2015? Oh, indeed I do!
Read on for my picks for best and worst sketches:
BEST: MEET YOUR SECOND WIFE
Fey and Poehler took what could’ve been a brutally icky concept — happily married guys get ambushed on a game show during which they’re introduced to the underage girls with whom they’ll eventually replace their current spouses — and made it wonderfully, scathingly funny. “I thought this was a home makeover show!” cried Aidy Bryant, as a woman who’s just met the five-year-old her husband will marry years out (after she dies in a kayaking accident). “In a way, it is,” replied Fey’s matter-of-fact emcee, driving home feminist comedy so scorching, even a trophy wife would LOL.
BEST: HILLARY CLINTON AT BEDTIME
Kate McKinnon’s current version of the Democratic front-runner (who considers a pantsuit as proper pajamas) got a visit from Poehler’s 2008 impression — as well as Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. All three women shone brightly here — Fey’s stream of gobbledygook, laced together by “but alsos” and “and evens,” cutting deepest. McKinnon, however, got the best single punch line, noting to her past self that in 2015, it’s no longer enough to “be a sweet old lady, we have to be a sweet old lady who says ‘Yasss, Queen!'”
BEST: “DOPE SQUAD”
Gayle King firing a grenade launcher. Amy Schumer doing the “slo-mo post-apolcalyptic walk.” Poehler and Fey’s shared gynecologist. All in a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video and complete with a line from Aidy Bryant’s fawning junket journalist (from Pop News Daily Aftershow Podcast.jPeg), “Can’t be MIA from the PTA/ ’cause you’re pickin’ up leche from Trader José’s!” Is this one going to be available for download at iTunes?
HONORABLE MENTION: “SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN”
It wasn’t a sketch, but musical guest Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band — with help from Fey, Poehler, Paul McCartney and Maya Rudolph — delivered a cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” that was a much-needed jolt of joy in a world where that sentiment is all too often in short supply.
WORST: JEFFERSONS DIRECTOR
Kenan Thompson reprised his not-funny-enough character of a film director insisting his big-time movie actors use what he learned while working on The Jeffersons back in the ’70s. Lucky for Poehler and Fey, their “serious actress” characters disappeared from set, an option not available to the suffering at-home audience.
WORST: “SOMEBODY’S MOM” DEENIE ON “WEEKEND UPDATE”
Kate McKinnon has given us some great “Weekend Update” guests, but Deenie — a middle-aged mom who’s watched soaps for 40 years, but can’t recall more-specific character names than “mustache man” and “big boobs” was encumbered by the most obvious punchlines — not to mention McKinnon’s muffled diction as she scarfed down a tupperware tub of salmon.
Your turn. What did you think of this week’s SNL? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! (We’ll post video as soon as it’s available on Sunday a.m.)