Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst Callbacks

by Ethan Alter March 11, 2013 11:07 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst Callbacks

It was yet another nostalgic outing for Saturday Night Live this weekend, as Justin Timberlake gained membership into the "Five Timers Club" for quintuple hosting gigs and the writers celebrated by raiding the show's back catalogue for (vaguely) fresh material. Some of these reunions with old friends were welcome, while others were... well, really kind of cringe-inducing. Here were the best and worst callbacks from an overall uneven episode.

Saturday Night Live: The Sketches with the Most Hart

by Ethan Alter March 4, 2013 11:16 am
<i>Saturday Night Live:</i> The Sketches with the Most Hart

After the Christoph Waltz experiment worked out better than anyone could have anticipated, Saturday Night Live retreated to safer ground this week, going with established comic Kevin Hart as host. Unlike its more offbeat predecessor, which went off in some strange, but amusing directions (in that way perfectly complementing Waltz's onscreen persona), this episode was standard Saturday Night Live fare, a series of underwritten sketches that lived and died on the strength of the cast and emcee.

Saturday Night Live: The Best Sketches of the Night

by Rachel Stein February 19, 2013 10:24 am
<I>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best Sketches of the Night

This was a great week for Saturday Night Live, in no small part thanks to host Christoph Waltz's energy and stage presence (and you could say the same for Django Unchained). Unlike his recent costar Jamie Foxx, Waltz was actually allowed to play more than just one character -- and thank God for that, because "wacky Austrian" sounds worse than watching Quentin Tarantino try to act. They weren't all winners, but let's take a look at the scenes that Waltz and the SNL gang actually shone in. (And not for nothing, Alabama Shakes put on a great show, too.):

<I>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Sketches We Turned Our Chairs Around For

Maroon 5 frontman, The Voice host and American Horror Story murder victim Adam Levine tried his hand at sketch comedy over the weekend as a Saturday Night Live host. How'd he do? Well, let's just say he shouldn't quit his day job anytime soon... whatever that happens to be this week. (At least the writers clearly realized his limitations, writing around him as much as humanly possible.) Despite the night's overall suckitude, there were a few bits that worked. Here are the sketches we would have turned our big red plush chairs around for.

Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lawrence’s Winners and Losers

by Ethan Alter January 22, 2013 12:32 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Jennifer Lawrence’s Winners and Losers

Jennifer Lawrence -- newly minted A-list star of The Hunger Games and current Oscar nominee for Silver Linings Playbook -- made her first appearance in the battle arena known as Saturday Night Live over the weekend. And just like her alter ego, Katniss Everdeen, she didn't get off to the smoothest start, botching her opening monologue (the Best Actress smackdown was a decent idea, but Lawrence seemed too nervous to really execute it) and struggling through the first few (admittedly terribly written) sketches. But around the halfway mark, she found her groove and finished strong with some pretty funny material. Here's a rundown on Lawrence's losers and winners:

Saturday Night Live: A Somewhat Merry Christmas

by Angel Cohn December 17, 2012 11:08 am
<I>Saturday Night Live</I>: A Somewhat Merry Christmas

It was a sweet and classy move to open the show with the New York City Children's Chorus singing "Silent Night" in honor of all the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, but unfortunately, the classiness ended there and then it all turned into a string of jokes about sex and the numerous things you could call a woman's vagina. Still, this Martin Short episode (which might as well have been the Paul McCartney episode, as they probably had about the same amount of airtime) had a bunch of guest stars and some funny moments. Alec Baldwin as Tony Bennett, was not among them.

Saturday Night Live: Jamie Foxx Unfunny

by Rachel Stein December 10, 2012 11:16 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Jamie Foxx Unfunny

I imagine that when Jamie Foxx got his script (or read his cue cards? I'm not sure how this show works anymore) for this week's Saturday Night Live episode, every single one of his characters was described as an "over-the-top manic black man." If I had to say three positive things about this endeavor, I guess one would be that it kind of reminded me of old-school SNL episodes where Chris Rock used to also play various angry archetypes (though it was a lot more culturally relevant and satirical in the early '90s), two is that the Django Unchained trailer was fun and three is definitely every moment of Aidy Bryant. With that in mind, here are the highlights of the evening:

Saturday Night Live: The Bourne Letdown

by Samantha Rullo November 19, 2012 1:27 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Bourne Letdown

In case Daniel Craig hadn't proved it enough this season, sometimes action stars should just stick to action. This weekend, Jeremy Renner hosted Saturday Night Live and in all honesty, we were rooting for him. He's pretty adorable for someone who plays a badass all the time, and seeing a comedic side would have been great. Unfortunately, that side doesn't seem to exist. The opening monologue was awkward, especially with a technical issue just a few minutes in, and it pretty much set the tone for the rest of the episode. It wasn't completely Renner's fault, though; most of the sketches didn't have promise to begin with. The worst of the night barely included him. It was the third installment of "The Californians," a sketch that was funny the first time, a little less so the second and this time, sort of uncomfortable. With much of the cast breaking when there wasn't anything to laugh at, it seemed like the painful sketch would never end. Here are the few sketches that may be worth watching, or were at least better by comparison:

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Anne Hathaway

by Samantha Rullo November 12, 2012 2:06 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best of Anne Hathaway

It's hard to follow Louis C.K.'s hosting debut on SNL, and while Anne Hathaway couldn't quite top him, her third time was still a success. She was a team player, and except for one particularly great sketch (we'll get to that later), she let the regular cast stand out, giving some of its newest members more screen time than usual (looking at you, Aidy). There's no better proof than her monologue, which besides showing that she really does have the voice to star in Les Miserables, was more of a fun ensemble performance -- except, doesn't The Lonely Island own Sundays? Still, after a weak cold open, Hathaway lifted our spirits and brought enough entertaining sketches to distract us from whatever was going on with Rihanna.

The Best <i>Saturday Night Live</i> Sketches to Get You Through Election Day 2012

Now that Election Day is finally upon us, we are at a turning point in history. Who will SNL get to mock for the next four years? Will Jason Sudeikis be forced to stay because of Mitt Romney or because of Joe Biden? (Or, perish the thought, in the event of an Electoral College tie, both?) Will Jay Pharaoh continue to have something to do beside occasional Denzel Washington impressions? These are the vital questions that will be answered tonight. In honor of the occasion, here are some of the best political sketches from the post-Palin seasons. Of course, SNL couldn't help but to include their favorite Alaskan at least once -- though a little untraditionally. Recent standouts have also included Pharaoh's superior Obama, especially in a particularly tense debate. Sudeikis also deserves credit for pulling double duty on both sides of the party line, and helping to bring back an old favorite. Still, the best sketch overall came from a Weekend Update Thursday, and didn't even feature the candidates. Watch and laugh at the mockery of people who could run the country, and try not to get too emotional over the sight of the dearly departed Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig.

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