The Telefile
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best of Paul Rudd and One Direction

Whether you're a fan of Paul Rudd (present!) or One Direction or Paul Rudd and One Direction, you were probably as satisfied a customer as Dan Charles with this week's Saturday Night Live. While the episode wasn't consistently great (nor was it Rudd's best outing as host) it was still the most entertaining, if not funniest episode so far this season. I mean, it definitely doesn't hurt when you have someone as naturally comedically gifted as Rudd on board (plus, he danced a whole bunch! 1D didn't even do that!), a boatload of awesome special guests, two solid musical performances, and the long-awaited return of Bill Brasky. To Bill Brasky! Here are the best and worst moments of this weekend's SNL:

Best: The Sound of Music Cold Open
Look, I know I might be the minority here, but I love and miss all of Kristen Wiig's characters, especially the demented, disfigured Dooneese. So I was especially happy to see her revive the character as a Von Trappe kid for a spoof of this week's smash live TV version of The Sound of Music. Plus, anything that isn't a political cold open is always better by default. Fred Armisen briefly made a cameo, too, if you're into that sort of thing. Watch it here:

Best: Opening Monologue
The cast of Anchorman 2 have been EV-ER-Y-WHERE the past few weeks, so it was pretty much a given that SNL alums Will Ferrell and David Koechner, along with Steve Carell, were going to pop up. And they did, when the Channel 4 news team (or Paul Rudd's man band, if you will) battled One Direction in a sing-off of "Afternoon Delightful." Just delightful. Sadly, Nine Direction's performance is not available online, but the beautiful harmony still lives on in our minds.

Best: One Direction Concert Line
Even if you're not into One Direction as much as their #1 fan Dan Charles, you have to admit they sounded awfully good during their performances of their songs "Through the Dark" and "Story of My Life." In fact, they come in a solid second place behind Arcade Fire as this season's best musical guests so far. But as good as those numbers were, they didn't compare to the hilarious taped segment featuring them with Paul Rudd as a shameless adult male fan. How these kids managed to keep a straight face around Rudd is beyond me, but the result is pure comedy gold. We are all Dan Charles, aren't we? Watch:

Best: Jebidiah Atkinson Reviews Christmas Specials
Jebidiah is no Stefon or Drunk Uncle, but it's still one of the strongest new Weekend Update characters (sorry, Vanessa Bayer's Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy, you got overshined on your big day) and that's all thanks to Taran Killam who totally sells this snarky, old time-y critic. Check it out:

Best: White Christmas
Boy, was this a tricky tightrope for SNL to walk (a parody of black Christmas movies played by white actors to cater to white audiences), but they totally pulled it off. Am I wrong for wanting to see a Madea movie with Paul Rudd as Madea? Because I do. Watch:

Bonus Best: BILL BRASKY!
TO BILL BRASKY! I sure have missed that son of a bitch over the past few years.

Worst: Santa Meeting
Hey, you know who's not a jerk? Santa. You know who else isn't a jerk? Paul Rudd. So trying to make a Santa played by Paul Rudd a jerk doesn't work on so many levels. One of the few lumps of coal (the pizza boy one was pretty terrible, too) in an otherwise very funny episode. Watch, if you must:




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