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Jim Parsons Hosts Literally the Worst 'Saturday Night Live' Episode in a Decade

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 2, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 2, 2014 |

Saying that it was the worst episode in a decade may actually be kind. I’ve been watching Saturday Night Live regularly since the Church Lady, and religiously for the last decade, and I honestly cannot remember an episode as bad as this. It’s as though they were trying to appeal to Big Bang Theory fans instead of SNL fans, and ended up appealing only to Nickelodeon kids. It was an amazingly lame episode, and I don’t know if it’s just because of host Jim Parsons, or because the show doesn’t work anymore without Seth Meyers in the writers’ room, or if Lorne Michaels took the week off. It honestly felt like an entirely different show. Even the worst episodes of SNL typically have something of value, but this one? Nothing. Nada. Terrible from top to bottom.

Cold Open — This Ellen Degeneres sketch actually feels like an SNL sketch in the world of Big Bang Theory’s hugely broad comedy: It’s painfully obvious and terribly, terribly unfunny. Jim Parsons plays Johnny Weir basically as Sheldon Cooper in a wig, and the joke is that HE’S WEARING A WIG. GET IT? GET IT? (Score: 2/10)

The Monologue — Jim Parsons sings a song about how he’s not actually anything like his Sheldon Cooper character in Big Bang Theory, and while his words say he is not, his cadence and mannerism suggests otherwise. Good lord, this is painful. #bazinga (Score: 2/10)

Peter Pan — Here’s the premise: It’s Peter Pan, except Tinker Bell couldn’t make it, so her raunchy, sarcastic half-sister Tonker Bell (Aidy Bryant) will help them get to Neverland. Uh, you just got tonked. (Score: 2/10)

The Bird Bible — A commercial about a Bible in which all the Biblical characters are depicted by birds. That’s it. That’s the joke. THE WHOLE JOKE. What is going on here? (Score: 3/10)

Investigation Discovery — A sketch about a Dance Floor Killer. It’s funny because he’s a weird guy who doesn’t get caught, despite the fact that he’s the only one who isn’t dancing in various dance parties and looks exactly like you’d picture a serial killer to look. Sigh. (Score: 2/10)

Oscar Profiles: 12 Years a Slave — A sketch about nice, white guys auditioning for 12 Years a Slave who feel very uncomfortable about playing angry slave owners in the presence of black crew members. The insinuation in the sketch is that only genuinely racist people could play a convincing slave owner. (Note: Taran Killam was in 12 Years a Slave). (Score: 3/10)

Weekend Update — Now with Colin Jost, who begins with a bizarrely earnest thank for the opportunity message. It’s a rough first outing for Jost, too. He’s, uh, not great. And you can hear both Jost and Cecily Strong laughing at each other’s jokes in a way that suggests they’re trying really hard to support one another through a very bad experience. They only have a few headline jokes, and it all feels like dress rehearsal. I’m going to give Jost the benefit of the doubt, and assume it was just a bad first outing. (Score: 4/10)

Barkley and Shaq Discuss First Openly Gay NBA Player — Don’t. Just don’t. (Score: 2/10)

Jebediah Atkinson — Oh thank God. Finally, a reliably funny ske .. actually, nope. Not that great, and Cecily’s background laughter actually works to the sketches’ detriment. It’s almost as though she’s trying to will the studio audience into laughter. (4/10)

Murder Mystery Sketch — So, it’s a Murder Mystery, but the hook is that Sheldon Cooper has a problem with the character he’s been given, and complains about it during the entire investigation. This is just … it’s terrible. (Score: 2/10)

Spotlight Salutes the Oscars — WHAT IS THIS? (Score: 1/10)

Elevator — A man has an embarrassing elevator incident at work. It’s funny because he sh*t his pants! (Score: 1/10)

Dwayne’s Birthday — No kidding, this whole show feels like it was written by Chuck Lorre. I’d assume there was a laugh track, too, if the laughter from the studio audience wasn’t so mild, scattered, and uncomfortable.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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