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Seth Meyers Tearful Farewell Was One of the Few Highlights from the Melissa McCarthy Hosted 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 2, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 2, 2014 |

There were two brilliant pre-taped segments (the CVS commercial and 28 Reasons), two strong sketches (the cold open and the monologue), and a perfect, low-key farewell for Seth Meyers, but otherwise, the show mostly wasted Melissa McCarthy with one-dimensional characters in bad one-note sketches. Don’t even bother with anything after “Update.”

Halftime Spectacular Cold Open — What if Bruno Mars cancelled his Super Bowl half-time performance, and they had to bring in Broadway musicians to perform? With Taran Killam as Peyton Manning, Melissa McCarthy as a singing quarterback coach, and Kenan Thompson as a tap-dancing Richard Sherman. I’ll tell you this much: It’d be better than Bruno Mars. As SNL sketches go: It’s very cute, and judging by the back half of the show, they spent all their time this week working on this sketch. (Score: 7/10)

Melissa McCarthy’s Monologue — Bobby Moynihan and Melissa McCarthy face off in mid-air kung-fu battle royale, and holy shit! McCarthy has some serious wire skills. Not a particularly funny sketch, but a seriously impressive one. (Score: 7.5/10)

Valentine’s Day Commercial — Nothing says love on Valentine’s Day like buying your significant other “Some Dumb Little Thing from CVS,” and the funniest sketch of the night. (Score: 9/10)

Representative Sheila Kelley — Former Middle Delaware State basketball coach Sheila Kelly returns to the spotlight as a freshman Congresswoman. This is a send-up spoof of the Congressman who, last week, got caught on camera threatening a reporter. Eh. It’s basically the same sketch as last year, in a different context. And so begins another episode where, quite frankly, the cast completely misuses Melissa McCarthy. (Score: 4/10)

Women’s Group — Five women share how they’d like to improve their lives, complete with vision boards, and McCarthy plays against the soccer mom types as a psychopath hellbent on avenging her father’s death. Some amusing implications about class, but not a particularly strong sketch. (5/10)

Guess that Phrase — It’s a Wheel of Fortune-like game with a terrible contestant at its center. With anyone else, it would’ve been a complete failure. But McCarthy ad libs the hell out of it, brings a little life to it, and coins a new sexual metaphor: Pass the mash. (4/10)

28 Reasons — In honor of Black History Month, here are 28 reasons to hug a Black guy today. Sharp. Funny. Not inaccurate. Great pre-taped sketch. (Score: 9/10. Sorry! 10/10)

Imagine Dragons: Radioactive — The sense I got from Twitter is that Imagine Dragons is not particularly well liked (comparisons to Incubus and Creed abounded, and they weren’t inaccurate), but Kendrick Lamar made an appearance, and they reprised their performance from the Grammys last week. Once Lamar shows up, it is outstanding.

Weekend Update — It’s Seth Meyers last go around at the anchor desk, and naturally, he gets a send-off from the most the most appropriate of cameos. It’s a perfect, and perfectly touching, low-key farewell, and Seth barely keeps it together in the end. (Score: All the Tears)


Seth’s Farewell

Buford Callaway — Taran Killam as a Georgian that survived the 2-inch snowpocalypse doing his best Colonel Sanders is so worth it just to hear him say cattywompus. (Score: 5/10)


Living Art Exhibit — McCarthy plays a hostile cable guy who interrupts a living person art exhibit. I dunno: It’d be nice if McCarthy didn’t have to play insane, sociopathic, or completely obnoxious characters in every sketch. It doesn’t help that this sketch is just no damn good. (Score: 1/10)

Girlfriends Talk Show — I loathe this recurring sketch. This one manages to be even lousier than usual. I should’ve gone to bed after “Update.” (Score: 1/10)

Diane — Umm. I should’ve thrown my TV into the ocean after “Update.” (Score: 2/10)

Kyle Mooney Haraasses Super Bowl Tourists — It’s not terrible. It’s something that Mooney has done in the past, on YouTube (in fact, a lot of his work this season so far is recycling his old YouTube videos). I just didn’t find it particularly funny. (Score: 3/10)