I’m certain the last two years had a few highlights. Betty White. Jon Hamm. Tina Fey. Justin Timberlake. It’s hard to believe, however, that — more or less — the same cast is responsible for this season, which has had nothing so far that’s been in the least memorable, despite better hosts, on average, than in year’s past. Last night’s episode revealed part of the reason: The “SNL” cast, for the most part, has pushed its excellent hosts (Hamm, Jane Lynch, Bryan Cranston, Emma Stone) into supporting roles. They’re not giving the guests meaty roles. Remember the better eps of “SNL” in the past? It’s not the cast you remember. More times than not; it’s the host’s performances: Walken, Tom Hanks, Timberlake, and even Peyton Manning.
Last night, they wasted another host in Jon Hamm, who had proven he was one of the best in his two previous appearances. That it’s the weekend before the election and Halloween should’ve given the cast plenty of material to work with. Instead, what we got was another lame cold open, another Vincent Price skit, and a lot of filler. The only good part of last night’s episode were the Back to the Future auditions, mostly because of the new guy who does killer impressions (of Denzel, Will Smith, and last night, Eddie Murphy) and Bill Hader’s ridiculously amazing Alan Alda impression (seriously, for a moment, I thought Alda was doing voice-over work for Hader).
Otherwise, a whole lot of dull, starting with the uninspired Rihanna/Andy Samberg Digital Short.
The Jon Hamm monologue — where he attempted to be a real-life Don Draper — was super goddamn lame.
The YouTube inspired interview show as no good, either, although I admit I laughed a little when whatshisface — the overweight guy — punched through his computer monitor, but the Hamm cry? Humiliating.
Here’s the Vincent Price skit. I discourage you from watching it.
If there was one upside to last night’s “SNL” episode, the news headlines were better than usual:
And though the Garth and Kath segment was too painful to embed, Hader killed it again with his James Carville segment.
One last note: I love both Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig, but they’ve both outgrown “SNL.” They’re much better big-screen appearances than they are on “SNL” now. Here’s Sudeikis kissing Jon Hamm, if you can be bothered.