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The Michael Keaton Hosted 'SNL' Featured Norman Reedus and a Creepy Easter Message

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | April 5, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | April 5, 2015 |

Best Sketches — Overall, it was a terrible episode and a steep drop from the Dwayne Johnson hosted SNL last week, not that it was host Michael Keaton’s fault, since he wasn’t used nearly as often as he should’ve been. If you’re skimming for the best sketches, good luck! Go with the monologue (cute), the Scientology sketch (because that’s what people are talking about this morning), the Pete Davidson “Weekend Update” segment (for Norman Reedus), and the final Easter message sketch.

Cold Open — Ernie Johnson (Beck Bennett), Kenny Smith (Jay Pharoah) and Charles Barkley (Kenan Thompson) discuss Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s (Taran Killam) surprising announcement. Because I follow so little college basketball, and SNL parodies so often play it very straight, I actually had to look it up to see if the Duke player was actually sitting out the National Championship for a biology test. I gotta say: I was a little disappointed to find that he is not. Not as disappointed as I was in this weak cold open, though. (Score: 3/10)

Michael Keaton Monologue — Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan play musical tribute to Keaton’s most iconic characters — Batman and Beetlejuice — in an attempt to get him to play the parts with them. It’s cute. It’s not funny, or clever, or even that entertaining, but it’s cute. (Score: 5/10)

The CNN Newsroom — Brooke Baldwin (Cecily Strong) breaks down the Germanwings plane crash, the Iran nuclear weapons deal and Indiana’s religious freedom law with animated graphics, puppet stand-ins and a performance art group. Basically, CNN dramatizes various news stories with low-rent reenactments, which I assume is a thing that CNN is doing now, but no one watches CNN anymore, so who would know? It’s bad sketch, anyway you look at it. (Score: 2/10)

She’s All That Parody — Mike O’Brien accepts a bet in which he has to ask out his algebra teacher (Michael Keaton) and turn him into the prom queen. They play it straight, so the only real joke is that, instead of Rachael Lee Cook, it’s the math teacher. Nope. I love Mike O’Brien sketches, but this one falls flat. The show is going down in flames. (Score: 3/10)

Easter Hotline — A “Call Your Grandmother” commercial in the style of a phone sex ad. Yoiks. Things aren’t improving. (Score: 3/10)

Ad Agency — An ad team brainstorms ad ideas for Labattos, a cereal by the makers of Labatt beer. The staff throws out traditional ad ideas,, and Keaton’s character sexually charges them with lowest-common denominator jokes! WHAT IS GOING ON? So bad. (Score: 3/10)

Church of Neurotology — Here’s a cheesy, 70’s music video for Neurotology, a take on Scientology, and the joke is that everyone in the music video has left the church, they’re missing, or they’ve lost their damn mind. This is barely a joke, much less a bad one, but the song is solid gold. (Score: 6/10)

Weekend Update — After one of the better outings from Jost and Che last week, they returned to a run of mostly lame, toothless jokes delivered with their reliable listlessness. (Score: 4/10)

Pete Davidson — In the wake of The Walking Dead finale, Davidson envisions what a zombie apocalypse would look like if he’s stoned. It’s really not funny at all. BUT, Norman Reedus makes an appearance, which is cool. I wish they’d given him some better material to work with. (Score: 3/10 for the sketch; 9/10 for the cameo)

Jebediah Atkinson — Taran Killam’s recurring character returns to review television. There’s a few good zingers (“Hey AMC, if I wanted to know what life was like in the 1960s, I’d move to Indiana”), some painfully but intentionally groan-worthy jokes, and more enthusiasm that we’ve seen all night, which isn’t saying that much. NEXT. (Score: 6/10)

Smart Home — An inventor (Michael Keaton) and his wife (Cecily Strong) frighten their neighbors (Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett) when they start showing off their invasive “smart” products. It’s a bad sketch, but about halfway through it, the badness bottoms out and the absurdity of it actually transforms it into something resembling funny. Either that, or I’m just loopy from boredom and exhaustion. (Score: 5/10)

An Easter Message from Michael Keaton — Michael Keaton shares what’s inside his Easter basket, including a plush bunny, a DVD of the movie Friday and Jordan almonds. Where was this level of off-the-wall, batshittery all night? This sketch was fucking bonkers, solid-gold stupidity. Sketch of the night. It was straight-up creepy weird. (Score: 8/10)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.