It was an average episode last night, and average is as good as it’s been all season. It reached such heights thanks almost entirely to Anne Hathaway (with an assist from the now reliable Jay Pharoah). It’s hard to think that Hathaway could’ve been the best host of the year so far, with Jon Hamm, Emma Stone, Jane Lynch, and Bryan Cranston having hosted. But, for once, the cast and writers gave the host much more to do, and credit to Hathaway for making the most of it with some really solid impersonations, especially her Katie Holmes.
Here are the mediocre highlights.
Rachel Maddow Cold Open
Ha! A Rachel Maddow hair joke! How original! Until you can beat the Jack Donaghy joke, folks, leave Maddow’s hair alone. Otherwise, a decent political skit, and Kenan Thompson (as Charlie Rangel) had a brief moment in his career where he was actually almost amusing.
A Message from the TSA
The TSA as a pseudo prostitution service? OK. Skip this one.
Update: Jay Pharoah
The best reason to check out “SNL” highlights? Jay Pharoah. Here’s his fantastic hip-hop Thanksgiving song as Jay-Z, Drake and Notorious BIG.
Miley Cyrus Show
I don’t like “The Miley Cyrus Show,” but host Anne Hathaway crushed her impersonation of Katie Holmes. Crushed. Right down to the pitch-perfect side mouth.
The Wizard of Oz
Fred Armison, as usual, was a complete waste of space here, but Hathaway killed as Judy Garland, and Hader was great as the Cowardly Lion.
Penelope was almost funny once two years ago, and yet they keep trotting her out. Terrible skit, though it was damn near salvaged by Hathaway’s impression of Penelope at the 4:00 minute, if you want to skip ahead.
Visiting the Queen
With the exception of the Jay Pharoah song, this was the best skit of the night — Hathaway as Kate Middleton, with a killer British accent and a funny nod to The Princess Diaries.