When it comes to SNL, I think I’ve finally learned that lowering expectations for each episode is the way to go. Instead of watching every Saturday, hoping for a grand comedic revelation, why don’t we call it what it is, a chance for a few laughs and an opportunity to see some of our favorite actors make fun of themselves by goofing around in different skits. Perhaps it’s this new mindset I’ve adopted, or maybe the show is actually getting better, but this week’s Jeff Bridges-hosted episode was actually “pretty cool” as Vanessa Bayer’s Miley Cyrus would say. Bridges, who’s back for his second hosting gig (the first was back in the 80s), opened with a monologue about his most beloved character, The Dude, and gave us all a little taste of the White Russian slugging, rug loving character himself. He finished up with a Christmas song with Cookie Monster to spread a little holiday spirit and answer his bid to get on the comedy show. It set the tone for a pretty “cute” episode, which is alright because at least there were a few mild chuckles to be had.
Of course, the bit you’re probably already hearing about at the water cooler is the digital short. It’s no “Dick in a Box,” but the Lonely Island’s “I Just Had Sex” features Akon and cameos from John McEnroe, Blake Lively, and Jessica Alba and fills that void we’ve been feeling since the last good Lonely Island video hit the small screen. Plus, it captures that wonderful post-coital rush that makes you feel like you could shout about your latest conquest from the rooftops – and that’s exactly what Samberg and crew do.
We also got another installment of Bill Hader’s Julian Assange and his scene-hijacking hijinks, this time breaking in to rain all over Mark Zuckerberg’s “Person of the Year” parade. This skit should be getting old, but the writers seem to hit the nail on the head again and again with this timely spoof.
In another welcome recurring skit, Vanessa Bayer treats us to another episode of The Miley Cyrus Show, taking on Miley’s recent drug “troubles.” This also gave us our first dose of Bridges as he did his best Nick Nolte. The whole point of the skit was to show the mild nature of Miley’s drug problem against the backdrop of Nolte’s severe issues, so I would have liked to see a little more from Bridges, but he did the best he could with the tiny bit of material they handed him.
Bridges also lent his impression skills to a skit about Larry King’s anticlimactic last show, playing Dog the Bounty Hunter and proving to be the only interesting part of a bit about how boring Larry King is. Yawn.
Weekend Update was particularly lackluster this time around, and even included a weather segment featuring a particularly awful impression of Brad Pitt from featured cast member, Taran Killam, who seemed to think he was imitating a Southern Keanu R?>eeves?> instead. I won’t bother sharing that clip, but instead share a clip of my favorite Weekend Update correspondent, Stefan, and he tries to insert his own lyrics into a Christmas song with SNL versions of Gov. David Patterson and Snooki.
Bridges made only a few appearances in this last episode before Christmas, and while they weren’t all knee-slappers, they proved that he’s infinitely enjoyable to watch. He put his famous good nature to use, bringing back Punk’d his own way. Jeff’d treats Bridges’ friends to a few mild confusions, and he swoops in to tell them it’s all okay before they can even get upset. It was a chuckle worthy little skit that just makes me wish I lived next door to Bridges because he seems like such a cool guy.
Remember those crazy faces Bridges made in his strange dreams in The Big Lebowski? Do you miss that wacky hilarity? Well, then the last sketch of the night should make you good and happy, because The Dude finally came out of his shell as a gay gift-wrapping pioneer in the Wild West. (Yes, you read that right.) That’s about as good of an explanation as I can give, so enjoy.
Bridges also made a quick appearance as the Rabbi in the show’s Hanukkah version of It’s a Wonderful Life, but the sketch as a whole was pretty awful, relying on tired old stereotypes and using Nasim Pedrad as an incredibly annoying child…again. (Amy Poehler, I miss you.)