I’ll admit that each and every time I sit down to watch SNL, I’m expecting it to suck. And because I expect it to suck, it does. The the degree in which it sucks just varies. But because this Saturday’s episode had the great Scarlett Johansson hosting for the third time (who’s afraid of nothing, great with accents, and can deliver Ryan Reynolds on a silver platter), it sucked less than usual. But it still sucked. Just not as much. Here’s why.
ScarJo revamped Jenny Slate’s Tina Tina Cheneuse thing and used it in a sketch with Fred Armisen, where they sold busts. The best part of it was when she was pointing to the busts and making like a clock with her arms.
The Unstoppable trailer was one of my two favorites of the night. Jay Pharoah’s Denzel Washington impression is spot on, and you can bet Lorne Michael has put it right next to his black American express card. ScarJo also does an excellent job of conveying the Chrysler building-sized catastrophe at hand.
Vanessa Bayer had a big part in “Stars of Tomorrow,” and she nailed all of the “you won’t get dinner with a plie like that!” aspects of child stardom. I was slightly surprised Lorne didn’t give this spot to Abby Elliott, who’s been already been on the show for a year. But Bayer was great and really makes up for the fact there were no bust jokes to accompany the bust skit.
My other favorite sketch was “Hollywood Dish With Scarlett Johansson,” where ScarJo’s relationship with Woody Allen was brought up, and her new haircut was clearly never something any of us will do because in order to rock it, you have to keep your head back like you have a nosebleed to prevent your tresses from falling in your face. Obviously the spaghetti getting thrown on Wiig and Hader adjusting the bowl on her head was superb.
And finally, the digital short was pretty funny – if not for watching our country’s youth tell our country’s elders to suck it up and do better because they’re blowing it.
All in all, ScarJo did her job. All the material (except for the bust sketch – let’s just be done with that) was promising, and was still more entertaining than taking a shot every time Gaston looks like he's about to rape Belle in Beauty and the Beast. And that’s saying a lot, actually.