Well, this show pretty much went as we expected it to go. Cameron Diaz returned for her fourth stint hosting SNL and delivered a perfectly adequate performance. Sure, it had a few good sketches, but overall, it lacked the creative punch that was on display last week. This was especially evident in her monologue, where she just answered a bunch of questions from the audience (an old reliable for when the writers literally have no clue what to do for her). It just seemed like Diaz was never totally comfortable on stage and didn’t really mesh with the rest of the cast members. Oh well. One step forward, two steps back. Let’s check out the top sketches.
Cold Open: I’m Just a Bill
Anytime I have a reason to look up one of the infinity fire jams from School House Rock, you won’t hear any complaints from me. SNL started the episode off strong with the best cold opening of the season. It was a welcomed change from the typical press conferences (which always suck). Hopefully the writers continue to take risks in these opening sketches going forward, while still providing commentary on political issues.
Now usually, I’m not too big a fan of physical comedy. I’ll take a stupid pun over a silly face everyday of the week. However, something about the office baby just does it for me. He just has such a spot on impression that you can’t help but laugh watching him uncontrollably wave his arms and try his first lemon. And in a new setting, the sketch felt refreshingly new, despite being its third time being aired.
Back Home Ballers
Your girls are back after their smash hit “Twin Bed,” this time talking about their triumphant return to their parents’ house for Thanksgiving. While it didn’t live up to the original, “Back Home Ballers” really hits home with college kids heading home for a much-needed holiday break. After grinding through the first three months of college, it’s a nice change to just relax and feel the love from the people who care about you the most. And more importantly, to take a shower without wearing flip flops.
There’s nothing really to say about this sketch other than that it was really weird. It was a pretty elaborate sketch, packed with spontaneous dance moves and precise box moving. The best part was watching Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer’s befuddled reactions to the 5-second scenes. And while overall, I enjoyed the skit, it upsets me to know that plays like this actually exist.
I would have loved to sit in on the pitch meeting for this commercial. It doesn’t get more random than advertising an espresso machine that makes baby chicks to urban farmers. People may talk bad about the writers, but you can’t knock them for thinking outside the box. Also Vanessa Bayer, who hasn’t really had much screen time this season, did a great job, demonstrating her complete lack of knowledge on how the machine actually works.
A Few More Thoughts…
Although they’ve been progressively improving, the Weekend Update gang is still trying to find their identity. One thing I’ve really liked is the recurring theme of yo mama jokes that Michael Che tries to drop in with the headlines. Yo mama jokes were a pretty big part of my life as a kid, and I have nothing but respect for them now.
Bruno Mars was the musical guest this week, but I would have loved to see him show up in a few sketches on Saturday. He did a great job hosting the show a couple years ago, and I think he deserves another go. He’s like a poor man’s Justin Timberlake, which is completely alright as long as he can make me laugh.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! See you on December 6th when James Franco hosts with Nicki Minaj as musical guest.