Jon Hamm hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, which none of us really watched because we were busy getting our Halloween festivities out of the way, due to this calendar year’s betrayal of the holiday. But in terms of Hamm as host, it was interesting to see him go about his somewhat awful skits with enthusiasm. Isn’t that the mark of an actor – doing exactly what you’re told by someone, regardless if they know what is worthy of a laugh? For instance, here’s “Highway Cops.”
This was bad! You’d think that if rehearsing this didn’t clue Hamm in, the woman applying his shaggy dog wig would have indicated this was going to be shameful. Even the way Hamm skips off set after Kenan Thompson tells him and Jason Sudeikis where to go for their first call indicates he genuinely enjoys doing this crap. Or, does he realize how bad it is, but just takes it because he assumes it’s the alternative to something as serious as Mad Men? It is not! It is the alternative to a curly straw with a hole in it! Which is a regular straw and not another curly one!
“Vincent Price’s Halloween Special” was doable. You can tell Kristen Wiig and Nasim Pedrad took pay cuts this week. And as we can see, Hamm thinks one sentence of a Massachusetts accent is more than sufficient to get his point across. But the jokes were as expectable as a Welcome mat.
“Audition” was also tolerable…if not for the reference to the Stanley Steemer’s carpet cleaners commercial with the dog that drags his ass across the carpet, which was so superb I can’t believe that index card was used as somebody’s bookmark for so long.
“I Didn’t Ask For This” was random, but one of the best (comparatively). It was about people who become internet celebrities from embarrassing videos of them being posted on Youtube. Hamm played a father who was reunited with his son on a reality show, and had a very profound reaction. It was autotuned and is pretty magnificent.
But this was good. THIS was good. I do not even know why it was good because I usually hate those skits where there’s music because it’s a rip off of when Will Ferrell would sing with Ana Gasteyer. But this was good, and I think while I was watching it I broke the record I set previously for not blinking.
But hands down the best sketch of the night didn’t have Hamm in it. It was during Seth Meyers’ “Weekend Update.” Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig) broke their characters several times, which by default makes it the most rewarding one to watch.
Overall, Hamm is better than this. I’m not sure he knows he’s better than this, though. I can understand how being in a room with Lorne Michaels forces you to bend over on all fours and become his personal ottoman, but I just didn’t expect Hamm to be willing to do whatever was thrown his way. And maybe he didn’t — but the quality of the sketches look like he yessed everything. But perhaps you’re much more inclined to do the bad stuff when you’re securely nestled in a good show. No wonder they’ve had him host three times.