Few Saturday Night Live hosts feel more at home than Emma Stone. The Favourite star joined the (non-existent) four-timers club this weekend and turned in memorable performances in sketches involving an adult film shoot and dimwitted pin-up girls.
The fourth-to-last episode of Season 44 was ultimately on par with last week’s Kit Harington-hosted affair. Stone was excellent throughout, and even managed to elevate some of the weaker skits (take for instance the Melissa Villaseñor showcase “Hobbies,” or that dire parody of The View), but I was ultimately expecting better material for her return.
Lo and behold, my picks for the best and worst sketches…
BEST: THE ACTRESS
The show saved its best for (second-to-) last. This 10-to-1 gem featured a truly great performance by Stone as the thankless actress on a gay porn shoot who decided to go method. Despite being told by the director that her character had “no past, no future” and “exists only to be cheated on,” Stone’s Grace made the most of a rare opportunity, channeling the bruises and scars of Deidre’s nonexistent past.
BEST: DORM ROOM POSTERS
Stone reprised her role as a sexy poster girl come to life in Pete Davidson’s dorm room. This time around, she traded in her “big, nasty hot dog” for a “fat, greasy burger” and a “huge, stupid beer.” Most impressive, she portrayed both Krissy and her twin sister Brandi, which required a fast hair and wardrobe change.
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BEST: JAIL CELL COLD OPEN
It took SNL four weeks to do a Lori Loughlin sketch — and it was mostly worth the wait. Kate McKinnon barely did an impression of the (Con) Artist Formerly Known as Aunt Becky, but it was fun watching her traumatize her fellow inmates with details about her daughter’s career as — gasp! — a social media influencer. Meanwhile, surprise guest Michael Keaton seemed to be having the time of his life in the role of Wikileaks director Julian Assange — so much so that he forgot to do an Australian accent. (Watch it here.)
HONORABLE MENTION: NEW CLOTHING STORE
This clever commercial parody featured clothes for insecure people who prefer their fashion to suggest only “the general idea of a person.” Items up for sale included a brown sweater, pants for the leg and — my personal favorite — a big gray zip-up sweatshirt that doubles as a real-life invisibility cloak.
HONORABLE MENTION: LADIES ROOM
This obscure, ultra-specific parody of Klymaxx’s 1984 music video “Meeting in the Ladies Room” was saved by the arrival of Kenan Thompson, whose retail employee discovered Stone et al. mid-song and revealed to them that they were actually in a Limited Express fitting room.
WORST: THE VIEW
Cheri Oteri’s Barbara Walters and Fred Armisen’s Joy Behar were sorely missed during SNL‘s latest take on the frequently combative talk show. The best thing it had going for it was Villaseñor’s Ana Navarro impression, and even that was just OK.
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Watch all of the highlights above, then grade Stone’s latest visit to Studio 8H in our poll.