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Last Night on "SNL": Bruno Mars Was Forgettable, But Stefon Brought Down the House

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 21, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 21, 2012 |

Good morning, folks. Bruno Mars was the host and musical guest of “Saturday Night Live” last night, and I can’t say that I knew much about the guy before his appearance, other than the fact that 89 percent of Top 40 radio was written, produced, or performed by Mars. After spending an hour and a half with him, my conclusion: Incredible performer, charming, endearing, crazy talented, and kind of a terrible “SNL” host. It’s hard to put too much of the onus on Mars himself, who was spirited and good natured, and who clearly wanted to cement himself as “SNL’s” next Justin Timberlake. The writers, too, tried to tailor the show around his particular talents, but with the exception of one sketch, it just didn’t work.

That one sketch — which had Bruno Mars playing an intern at Pandora Radio who had to provide the vocals for a variety of songs after the power went down — was not so much funny as it was wildly impressive. The man can sing, and he can do so in a variety of genres. Sadly, due to copyright concerns, that clip is not embeddable (you can, however, view it here, for now anyway).

Fortunately, the only other major highlight of the night is: “Weekend Update” was as impressive as its been all season. Seth Meyers delivered a lot of great jokes crescendoing into Stefon, who — as always — lost his sh*t and brought down the house.

Weekend Update Favorites


If you’re only interested in what people might be talking about from the show today, you’re hereby relieved of this post. If you’re morbidly curious about some of the lesser highlights, you could check out Bruno Mars monologue, another singing performance in which he openly admits that he’s trying to be the next Timberlake.

Or you could watch the disaster of a cold open, a spoof of the second Presidential debate that absolutely did not work, despite a guest appearance from Tom Hanks. I’m not sure what happened here, but it felt badly rehearsed, out of sync, and toothless.

Taran Killam did not one, not two, not three, but four Chanel No. 5 Brad Pitt perfume ads, and not a damn one of them was funny (click on the links to watch, if you must).

The Sad Mouse pre-taped segment featuring Mars in a mouse costume wondering around Times Square failing to elicit any waves from passersby was cute, but ultimately forgettable.

If there’s one other segment besides “Weekend Update” that might actually be worth watching, it’s the Underground Festival commercial, political edition. Spoiler Alert: Ass Dan dies.

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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.