All in all, not a bad episode last night. Unlike a lot of the A-list guest hosts this year — Jane Lynch, Bryan Cranston, Robert DeNiro, Emma Stone — Rudd, much like Jon Hamm, has an ability to make even a failing sketch adorably funny with the right look or, even better, a goofy dance. Seriously, Rudd should trademark that dance of his. “The Rudd” was at maximum effect in the Digital Short, “Stumblin’” which was either genuinely funny, or I was punch-drunk during the airing. Unfortunately, the Digital Short is not available for embed right now. Find it on Hulu later today. It’s too bad the entire 90-minute episode wasn’t comprised of Paul Rudd doing goofy dances.
The political cold open was unusually spot-on this week. It still had Fred Armison doing his horrendous impression of Barack Obama, but they managed to do a decent job of both criticizing Obama and the reasoning behind the tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
The Cat Cuisine commercial was … disgusting. But amusing.
I think this was the second appearance from The Kissing Family (and I don’t recall if the first appearance was a Rudd hosted show). “SNL” often goes for the cheap shock value in seeing two men kiss, but last night they took it to new levels. I’ve never seen so much tongue in all my life.
The idea behind the gameshow, “What’s That Name” was funnier in theory than in execution, but it was still fairly amusing, and the direction was not entirely expected. More like this, “SNL”:
Bill Hader returned with another impression of Julian Assange.
Stefon’s segments on “Weekend Update” are starting to grow on me. The thing is, I can’t tell if Hader is supposed to be giggly because he’s high, or if he is just cracking himself up. I hated it when Horatio Sanz did it, but it works well within the context of Stefon’s character.
Here’s Abby Elliot’s Meryl Streep at the “Ice Show at the Garden.” I fucking love Abby Elliot, and was pleasantly surprised by how often the newer cast members were featured last night. Jason Sudeikis was barely in the show last night, and Kristen Wiig was not in nearly as many skits as usual. I’m liking the new cast members better than the old right now.
And speaking of new cast members, the best of the bunch is Jay Phoroah, and he was on again last night in this Field Trip skit, which starts off slow but picks up right about the time horse rape is mentioned.
Paul McCartney was on last night, too. His main highlight was in the Digital Short. His musical performances were weak.