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Highlights from Last Night's "Saturday Night Live": Melissa McCarthy Delivers the First Great Episode of the Season

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 2, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 2, 2011 |

Melissa McCarthy is one of those actresses that many of us have been rooting for since “Gilmore Girls,” and someone who most will forgive for “Mike and Molly” (there are not, after all, a lot of roles for overweight women in Hollywood). However, coming off her first Emmy win and the success of Bridesmaids, McCarthy is beginning to blaze her own trail, adding lead movie roles (including one in development with Jon Hamm) and gaining a much deserved bigger audience. For McCarthy, the stakes were a little higher than for the typical “SNL” host: McCarthy needed to demonstrate she could appeal to both fans of “Mike & Molly” and Bridesmaids, and keep her “Gilmore Girls” base happy.

To that end, McCarthy nailed it, immediately propelling herself to the upper echelon of recent “SNL” hosts, with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Jon Hamm. It was a nice blend of broad and subversive. It wasn’t a perfect show — no episode of “SNL” ever is — but there were enough great skits in last night’s show to make it memorable, and that’s all you can ask of someone given six days to prepare for an hour-and-a-half live show.

We’ll skip the Lawrence Welk cold open and jump right into the monologue, which capitalized on what many of us love about McCarthy: She has an impeccable sense of humor, and she’s able to capitalize on her body size without inviting pity. Unlike most funny fat guys, McCarthy’s weight is not the punchline: It’s the setup. Kristen Wiig joins her during the monologue, which gives the audience a nice moment to show some appreciation for Bridesmaids.

In “Arlene,” McCarthy takes a variation of her Bridesmaids character to the office. Remember, this is a live show; the balloon sequence could’ve gone any number of ways, depending on the balloons. McCarthy hilariously follows their lead.

There wasn’t a Digital Short in last week’s season opener, but Samberg makes up for it with this one, which pits Stomp vs. The Blue Man Group.

The SNL commercial is creepy fun.

“Weekend Update” had two segments. One good and one bad. Here’s the good one, with Keenan Thompson as Tyler Perry, extracting a few decent laughs out of the obvious.

As always, even when the Headlines fall flat, the endearing Seth Meyers is fun to watch.

And those were last night’s highlights. While I wouldn’t typically suggest watching the entire show, with the exception of the last skit, there were no huge clunkers in the broadcast. Even the mediocre skits had their moments. So, if you have it on your DVR, feel free to fire up the entire episode, or wait until 1 EST and catch it in its entirety on Hulu.

What you won’t get, however, is this extra skit, which didn’t make the show. It’s not that funny, and it’s way too long, but it’s about the Netflix changes, so it is target audience friendly here.