Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Edward Norton

by Aly Semigran October 28, 2013 10:08 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Edward Norton

No one could quite figure out why Edward Norton hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend. Not because he isn't talented enough to (in fact, he's better at impressions than SNL's in-house impression guy Jay Pharoah) or that he isn't easy on the eyes (seriously, that guy is getting better looking the older he gets), but because he had absolutely nothing to promote. (Recent host Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, hijacked his opening monologue to announce that she'd be going on tour). But unlike last week's host Bruce Willis, who also had nothing to pimp except himself, Norton gave the material his all and helped turn out a halfway decent episode. That said, a lot of credit has to be given to musical guest Janelle Monae, a wildly entertaining performer who proves you can have style and substance.

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst Moments of Bruce Willis and Katy Perry

If you had been one of the people eagerly awaiting Bruce Willis' return to Saturday Night Live as host for the first time since 1989, then I am….so sorry. When the actor wasn't playing the harmonica (he's still doing that?), he was going through the paces of each sketch with little to no emoting, or doing terrible imitations of Michael Kors. In other words, there was no reason to shout "yippee ki-yay!" While the decidedly unfunny evening was overwhelmingly lackluster, the episode did have a few standout moments (you should be watching "Boy Dance Party" by about the millionth time by now) as well as Katy Perry in jungle attire, so not all was lost. Check out the best (yep, there were a few and they were mostly without Willis) and worst moments from this weekend's SNL below. You know it's a weak one when they rely on popular segments from a few weeks ago (like that awesome E-Meth commercial featuring Aaron Paul) to fill the time.

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Miley Cyrus, Her Tongue and Her “Sex Tape”

Just in case Miley Cyrus hasn't had enough exposure as of late, the headline-grabbing 20-year-old served as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend. While you have to give the singer/actress credit for being so willing to poke fun at herself (including her tongue, which she can't seem to keep in her head) her persona as a Spring Breakers cautionary tale come to life was still on full display. While Cyrus' comic timing hasn't matured past her work on Hannah Montana, she was as only as good as the material she was given. (That weak cold open and her opening monologue tried -- and failed -- to have anything funny or new to say about that infamous VMA performance, though the cracks at Robin Thicke and Will Smith's easily shocked children were amusing and warranted). If you're a Cyrus apologist, the episode was likely a favorite (she appeared on screen more than last week's host Tina Fey did), but if you're exhausted by the star and her whole wild-child shtick, you probably felt, well, exhausted by the whole production. Here are our picks for the best and worst moments from the mercifully twerk-free episode:

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best of Host Tina Fey… and Co-Host Aaron Paul

You know it's an eventful episode of Saturday Night Live when one of the all-time great alums Tina Fey returns to host… and she's overshadowed. A ton of stuff happened in the Season 39 premiere of SNL, including the introduction of six new cast members (hey, guy from those delightful AT&T commercials!), a truly bizarre, but memorable post-show performance by Arcade Fire and not one, not two, but three cameos by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. It's not to say that the always brilliant Tina Fey wasn't good in her own right. After all, she totally killed it as the new Albanian character Blerta in the spot-on and hilarious Girls spoof and her opening number was a delight, but Saturday night…hell, the whole entire weekend belonged to Aaron Paul, didn't it?

Back When They Were Funny: The Cast of <i>Grown Ups 2</i> on <I>Saturday Night Live</I>

In hindsight, 1990 was a particularly momentous year for the cast of Grown Ups 2. That was the season that Lorne Michaels made Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and David Spade regular cast members on Saturday Night Live, the show that launched each of their careers and made them household names. Rob Schneider was also cast that season, but since he doesn't appear to be in this sequel, we are more than comfortable forgetting about him.

Saturday Night Live: Straight Outta 8H

by Ethan Alter May 20, 2013 9:58 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Straight Outta 8H

In case you were wondering why Ben Affleck was randomly tapped to host the season finale of Saturday Night Live despite the post-Oscar glow of his Argo victory having long since worn off, the almost immediate disappearance of his Terrence Malick adventure To the Wonder from theaters and the absence of any new projects in his career pipeline, the answer lies in the fact that this episode marked the departure of Bill Hader and his popular Stefon alter ego from Studio 8H. (Also Fred Armisen, but c'mon... he shoulda left three seasons ago.)

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The One Kristen Wiig Sketch Worth Watching

The nice thing about Kristen Wiig's return to Saturday Night Live this weekend? Because they brought back all her most obnoxious characters -- Gilly, the Target Lady and Denise among them -- we were able to fast-forward through majority of the show, turning a 90-minute sit into a quick, painless three minutes. (Closer to ten minutes with the not-bad monologue).

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best of Zach Galifianakis and Pals

Now that he's less "bizarre" and more "kinda weird" to mainstream audiences thanks to a ton of exposure since the first time he hosted Saturday Night Live, Zach Galifianakis was able to pull off more experimental gags this week on SNL -- and they were less totally inaccessible than they were the second time he hosted. The former half of the episode was tight, funny and definitely a success by current SNL standards... the latter, not so much. Let's focus on the sketches worth watching:

Saturday Night Live: The Celebrity Cameos We Wish We Had Seen

by Ethan Alter April 15, 2013 12:41 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Celebrity Cameos We Wish We Had Seen

It's been some time since Vince Vaughn has actually been in a movie that anybody gave a damn about, so seeing him hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend was kind of like falling down the rabbit hole and emerging in the year 2005, when Wedding Crashers was the biggest thing in comedy. Not coincidentally, Vaughn's newest movie, The Internship (due in theaters in June) re-teams him with his now similarly irrelevant Crashers co-star, Owen Wilson, who surprisingly didn't stop by for a cameo appearance. In fact, there were no special guest stars at all, leaving Vaughn to be one of the few hosts this season who has had to carry the show all by his lonesome. And boy did he really suck at it. You know, as much as the stunt cameo thing can hurt SNL, this week's crop of sketches were so clunky and painfully protracted, they would actually have benefitted from a celebrity drive-by or two if only to liven things up and distract from the host's clearly disinterested presence. Here were the Vaughn-centric sketches most in need of a celebrity cameo.

<I>Saturday Night Live</I>: Melissa McCarthy’s Biggest Hair Don’ts

This second appearance of Melissa McCarthy wasn't the worst episode of SNL that we've seen this season, but that's not really saying much. It mostly relied on putting McCarthy in ridiculous wigs and having her do really broad physical comedy. Having watched more of Mike & Molly than we'd normally care to admit, we know that McCarthy is capable of slightly subtler humor that doesn't rely on her wearing gigantic high heels and bad wigs or falling on her face... but the show went for the easiest common denominator. They also went a really long way with a North Korea joke in the cold open solely so they could have Dennis Rodman butcher the "live from New York" intro. We've ranked the bad hair that McCarthy sported, from best to worst:



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