It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Guardians of the Galaxy star stuck the landing during his first outing as host of the now 40-year-old sketch comedy show. If it was…please go binge Parks and Recreation immediately.
What was surprising from the 2014-15 season opener was how willing the cast was to let Chris take the lead alongside the impressive crop of the new “featured players.” Yeah, it’s true, favorites like Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer were almost invisible next to newcomer Pete Davidson and the hysterical Leslie Jones.
In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the evening from the very worst to the very best:
We aren’t sure why ‘SNL’ forces really specific political and / or sports sketches upon us nearly every week. They aren’t funny enough to stand on their legs for people who aren’t “in the know,” and this politically inclined sports sketch wasn’t any different. Chris appeared to save the day, even though most hosts don’t appear until their monologue, which gave us the only laugh in the opening minutes of this historic season opener.
Even though singing has been done to death throughout the years, Chris is a host that can pull it off thanks to years of experience fronting the imaginary Mouse Rat. A surprise appearance from Anna Faris and a very graphic image of her birthing experience set the tone for the rest of Chris’ sexually awkward hosting extravaganza.
BEST SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT:
Although Chris did fine all on his own, this sketch perfectly paired him with McKinnon and Cecily Strong. There aren’t words for how funny this sketch is and how well all the jokes land. Sometimes though, as evidenced here, it seems like the cast members have a hard time capping off a sketch and moving the show along.
I will take a rapping Aidy Bryant ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Her ideas for what women and men talk about in bar settings are hysterical at best, mostly because they are 100% the truth.
“He-Man and Lion-O”
Where to start with this one…
Let’s just say that a half-naked set of Pratt and Taran Killam as sexually ambiguous living toys will get the party in your pants started a lot better than you’d imagine. Oh, and keep an eye out for that adorable Ariana Grande.
WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT:
The cold open fell so hard that it’s hard to understand why this sketch wasn’t nixed in lieu of something better.
Well, without being mean-spirited, it was a hard start for new Weekend Update co-host Michael Che. Most of his jokes fell flat and made us really miss Strong, who still popped up as the moment-stealing girl you wish you hadn’t started talking to at a party.
On the bright side, last night’s update really allowed 20-year-old prodigy/newcomer Pete Davidson have his moment in the spotlight. Something he later took even further in the “Video Game” sketch. Comedian and SNL writer Leslie Jones also appeared, forcing us all to wonder when she’ll be added to the cast full-time.
BEST MUSICAL MOMENT:
Let’s face it, Ariana Grande can SING. Problem is, she needs to “Break Free” from her terrible diction. Thankfully though, she’s dancing more than ever in an effort to distract from the fact that you can barely understand what she’s singing about.
Thanks to Chris’ blockbuster turn as Star Lord in Guardians this summer, SNL was basically forced to parody the moment somehow. They made the right call, but this sketch didn’t push it far enough for me.
All-in-all, it was a solid hour and a half of entertainment..however cringe-worthy some of the moments actually were.