After rocking her first appearance last season, Melissa McCarthy returned last night and demonstrated why she’s one of the best physical comedians working today. When given room to operate (outside of “Mike & Molly” or earlier, “Gilmore Girls”), McCarthy lets loose, shows absolutely no shame, and works for every laugh. There’s a certain Chris Farley vibe to her brand of comedy, too, except that McCarthy’s is more confident. Farley used his weight as a hilarious punchline; McCarthy uses hers as the setup, and hammers it home as one of the best ad libbers around. Last night’s Pizza Business was McCarthy at her damn finest:
Her second-best sketch, Honey Baked Ham Bake Off, unfortunately isn’t available for embed (it’s another issue of music rights), but it, too, was outstanding, featuring McCarthy working it Salt-n-Pepa style with Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan dressed as pigs.
She killed it in the monologue, too, eschewing the personal jokes, the self-effacing plugs, and the question-and-answers for a routine built around a big lady wearing heels. This is where you realize that, Jesus, she is supremely talented, and she’s willing to endure a little physical pain for a laugh. She got more than a few out of me.
The Voice: Season 4 sketch was funny, too, although it might have helped if I’d ever seen “The Voice” before, but the joke is not too difficult to pick up on.
Not the best sketch, but I did like McCarthy’s take on fired Rutger coach Mike Rice in Outside the Lines. She does great mean.
But the best bit of the night goes to Drunk Uncle on Taxes and a cameo from Peter Dinklage/Drunklage on Weekend Update, which absolutely brought down the house.
Seth Meyers was pretty good with the jokes, too, although I’m still not that into Bar Mitzvah Boy on Passover. Vanessa Bayer is outstanding in it, I just don’t think the premise is terribly funny.
Finally, I leave you with the 10-to-1 sketch, The Art of the Encounter, which is the reason I have high hopes for the future of “SNL”: Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon can make even a mediocre sketch feel funny.