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Scoring the Cameron Diaz Hosted Thanksgiving Episode of 'SNL' Featuring Black Annie

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | November 23, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | November 23, 2014 |

Capitol Hill Cold Open — A bill (Kenan Thompson) and an executive order (Bobby Moynihan) explain how government really works with a little help from President Obama (Jay Pharaoh). The Schoolhouse Rock parody was probably lost on anyone under 30, but it made for an unusually good cold open. (Score: 7/10)

Cameron Diaz Monologue — I have no idea what this monologue was about. I feel like they must have worked on a different one that fell apart last-minute, so they just had Diaz go out and answer four dumb questions. As monologues go, this one may have been the most pointless I’ve ever seen. (Score: 1/10)

Back Home Baller — It’s possible, however, that the Diaz monologue was cut short to feature this pre-taped sketch. It’s not as good as “Do It On My Twin Bed,” but it was fun, and the high point of the episode. (Score: 8/10)

New Annie — Leslie Jones is terrific here as the sassmouth 43-year-old Black Annie trying to get Daddy Warbucks to adopt her. Black Annie gives me life. (Score: 8/10)

Nest-Spresso — Urban farming is made easy with Nest-spresso, which incubates a fertilized chicken egg in minutes. A weird sketch and not entirely unsuccessful, but it’s kind of like a well-told joke with absolutely no punchline.

High School Theater Show — Students force their parents to sit through an avant-garde performance that involves a lot of moving boxes. It’s an impressively executed sketch and rings familiar, but it’s designed to be obnoxious, and it’s hard not to feel like the parents in the sketch who just want to go home. (Score: 5/10)

Weekend Update — With the exception of McKinnon’s Angela Merkel, this was the worst “Weekend Update” of the season, which is a damn shame following Colin Jost’s best week. It’s not that anything went wrong, it’s just that everything fell flat, in particular Che’s attempt to editorialize the Cosby situation. Che seems to be regressing. (Score: 3/10)

Weekend Update: Angela Merkel on the G20 Summit — I don’t typically care for McKinnon’s Angela Merkel, but this week, she was unusually good. (Score: 6.5/10)

Weekend Update: Charles Manson and Star Burton — Ugh. (Score: 3/10)

Office Boss with Cameron Diaz — The baby boss is back. The first one is probably my favorite Beck Bennett sketch. Unfortunately, the joke ran its course, and it kind of falls apart when someone else — baby boss’ wife (Diaz) — treats it as normal. (Score: 4/10)

Dr. Dave and Buggles — Dr. Dave finds it difficult to continue his animal show after his monkey ripped off his genitalia. It’s one joke, and it’s not a particularly great joke, but I will concede that Kenan Thompson sold the hell out of it. (Score: 6/10)

The Fight — Chris Fitzpatrick (Kyle Mooney) challenges Andy Rydell (Beck Bennett) to a fight. It doesn’t go well. One of the odd Kyle Mooney sketches; your mileage will vary. (Score: 6/10)

Poetry Class with Cameron Diaz — An obnoxious Vanessa Bayer sketch, made somewhat tolerable by Cameron Diaz, but it’s not worth the joke. (Score: 3/10)

Night Murmurs — The ladies of Night Murmurs are excited to talk to you but they may ask for a favor in return. An average sketch that McKinnon single-handedly salvages. She is so spectacularly weird. (Score: 6/5/10)