Another week, another Saturday Night Live opening monologue that found its guest host in a moderately amusing bit of musical theater. For those of you keeping score at home, we’re now eight episodes in to Season 38, and six of our hosts having kicked things off by either singing and/or dancing.
Jeremy Renner, for his part, made things a little more interesting this week by showcasing his piano-playing skills on alternate theme songs to three of his recent films, but alas, his caveat that he’s not known for comedy proved all too prescient. Renner frequently seemed so focused on reading his cue cards that he couldn’t manage to breathe any life — or humor — into his characters.
Ah well, at least Maroon 5 sounded pretty good on their two musical numbers, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie brought a few laughs to a really great installment of Weekend Update. With that said, here are my picks for best and worst sketches:
BEST: Cool Drones
A dark, awesomely funny animated short from the “Department of Defense” that reimagined its unmanned killing machines as jaunty heroes/members of a world-famous boy band. I howled at that bit where a terrorist target insulted the Drones’ dance moves, not to mention the brilliant lyric, “I pledge allegiance to your booty, girl.”
BEST: The Avengers parody
Credit to Renner for being able to laugh at the relative lameness of his Avengers character’s crime-fighting skills — nope, not super arrows, just regular ones — and to Taran Killam (Captain America), Bill Hader (Thor), Jason Sudeikis (Iron Man), Kate McKinnon (Black Widow), and Bobby Moynihan (Hulk) for each playing funny little riffs on their comic-book alter egos. My pick for best line: “Anyone have a scrunchie?”
WORST: Movie Set
Renner seemed completely in a fog opposite Sudeikis’ overzealous movie extra, but maybe he was just bewildered that somebody had allowed a seventh-grader to write a sketch featuring a character named Dick Juice. (Side note: Is it just me or does newcomer Aidy Bryant need to dig deeper than “perpetually awestruck/overzealously grinning” for her stable of supporting characters?)
WORST: The Californians
I’ve never been particularly enamoured of the one-joke Californians soap, but it was even less funny this week watching Fred Armisen struggle not to break character as he giggled with self-amusement. Dude, it really wasn’t that funny.
Weekend Update Favorites
Weekend Update: Chris Christie
Weekend Update: Katt Williams
Weekend Update: Winners and Losers - David Patraeus
The Situation Room
The Stand Off
C-SPAN Cold Open
DRESS REHEARSAL SKETCH: Thanksgiving