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Turns Out, James McAvoy Is an Absolutely Terrific 'SNL' Host

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 27, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 27, 2019 |


Cold Open — A better than normal cold open this week is set on Tucker Carlson’s show, where Carlson and Jeanine Pirro attempt to spin the shutdown as a victory for Donald Trump. Ahem. It features (a very fun) cameo from Steve Martin, whose impersonation of Roger Stone sounds like the “Wild and Crazy Guys” but looks kind of like an impersonation of Robert DeNiro. Meanwhile, Kate McKinnon plays Wilbur Ross, and for those of you with an unhealthy crush on McKinnon, you probably won’t have to worry about it anymore after this. It’s gone. Forever. *Shudder* (Score: 6 out of 10)

James McAvoy — I always forget how much I like James McAvoy, but it’s hard not to love a guy with a Scottish brogue who comes out on SNL wearing a kilt and makes fun of the way many Americans confuse him with Ewan McGregor. It’s a short and sweet monologue, and there were no attempts at songs, which is my favorite kind of monologue. (Score: 6 out of 10)

The Bachelor Parody — … and the unhealthy Kate McKinnon crush is back. Anyway, an OK bachelor parody (The Virgin Dolt), where an array of women pitch themselves to the virgin (McAvoy), as he attempts not to … prematurely ejaculate? (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Inspirational Teacher Parody — In a pre-taped segment, McAvoy plays a caring teacher who `comes down into the hood to talk a truant student with a lot of promise into returning to school … or, at least that’s how it’s set up. It doesn’t go exactly like that. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Air Traffic Control — After the pilot on a private jet flying Kylie Jenner’s entourage is disabled, a Scottish air traffic controller tries to help the entourage land the plane. Unfortunately, no one can understand the Scottish accent. The whole joke is that Scottish accents are incomprehensible. (Kayleigh, I think, would appreciate the hell out of this sketch). (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

A Word from Leslie Jones — Leslie Jones has lived in a lot of hard neighborhoods, but now she lives on the Upper East Side, and she (and McAvoy) have a rap about it, and that rap is pretty goddamn great. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Charming Super Bowl Commercial Focus Group — This sketch is totally worth it for the alternate (and hilariously disgusting) commercial ideas from McAvoy, who has acquitted himself very well as host this week, so far (and Mat, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Also, hi Hazel!) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Pretty good “Update,” this week, in that it was high energy, the jokes were decent, and nobody said anything that’s gonna go viral in the morning (in the bad way). Also, Cecily Strong’s Cathy Anne is fantastic this week, comparing Trump’s obsession with the wall to her obsession with crack cocaine. (Watch here for the Soulja Boy segment; the rest of “Update” is below) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

The Chronicles of Narnia Return to Narnia — I’d totally forgotten that McAvoy played Mr. Tumnus, and I had no idea that Mr. Tumnus was a girlhood crush to a very specific kind of girl … a “lazy Hermione,” if you will. A lot of our female readers are going to feel very seen by this. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Super Bowl Party — A sketch where two brothers fight so much that the step-father turns a hose on them, and then uses a leaf blower to dry them off. I think this is a recurring sketch, but it was so forgettable the first time around that I can’t be positive of that. In either respect, whether this is the first time or the second, it’s still no damn good. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Woof Woof — Chris Redd is back with another rap song, this one about his “bitch,” which is to say his actual dog. The song is OK, but holy shit, McAvoy is fantastic. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Nawlins — A couple at dinner recount their experiences in New Orleans, and God Bless McAvoy, who could not keep a straight face in this sketch. I don’t blame him, either. It was a weirdly hysterical skit, although it’s that kind of sketch that has to hit you in the exact right way to be funny. McAvoy has been exceptional all night, and he may have turned in the best hosting performing of the season. (Score: 8 out of 10)

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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.

Header Image Source: NBC