Andrew Garfield had a challenge on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” He had to keep people laughing following the White House Correspondents Dinner, and there was also some questionable material at times from the writers that he had to sift through.
This show was a mixed bag at first, but what surprised us in the end is something that we do not often see from an episode of this show: It improved almost as it went on, and some of the best parts came after “Weekend Update.” Plus, great music from Coldplay tonight that felt more like some of their older material.
Donald Sterling cold open – It’s no surprise that “SNL” opened with an Adam Silver / Donald Sterling spoof following the week with the Los Angeles Clippers. This was a great spoof anchored by Bobby Moynihan, and stuffed with a ton of good jokes. The only issue with it was that it started to drag when Kenan Thompson showed up.
Celebrity Family Feud – This was one of our favorite sketches of the first part of the season, and it was still mostly worth some laughs this time around, as well. The only thing that it really didn’t have were as many great impressions beyond Garfield’s super-inspired Justin Timberlake and Taran Killam as Russell Crowe. Still, Kenan Thompson’s best character is his Steve Harvey, mostly because of the writing that allows him to ignore the fact that he is not really doing an impression.
The Beygency – One of the funniest video bits in a while, from the Kiefer Sutherland cameo to the whole idea of Garfield being in exile over not liking Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love.” As someone who also doesn’t care for the song (looks to be sure he’s safe), we totally sympathize with him. Great stuff from start to finish, and the irony is that this will inflate Beyonce’s ego even more.
Weekend Update – The moment that all the news in the Ukraine started to break, it was a given that Olya Povlatsky was going to be appearing. But, we got three guests! Olga was great as always, and there was also a visit from Jebidiah Atkinson that Taran Killam barely got through. This is the new Stefon when it comes to character breaks midway through. (“Tommy.”) Also, we met Leslie Jones, a new character to the show from Leslie Jones herself (a writer on the show) who we found to be reasonably funny, even if she was controversial in talking about what kind of slave she would be.
“Spider-Man” kissing scene – Is this the best post-“Weekend Update” sketch of the season? It’s up there. It was totally cool of Andrew and Emma to use their real-life relationship to have a little fun here, and act like they really have no idea how to kiss like normal people. Also the idea of Chris Martin coming on and making out with Andrew in a blonde wig was hysterical.
Wedding reception – After the rough start to the show, this was another sketch where we started to feel like this night was being turned around. There were just so many great little moments in here, mostly thanks to Garfield’s high energy level as he made you laugh at him wanting to run away with the bride … especially as you learned over time that he was married with kids in the sketch.
Andrew Garfield monologue – This is the sort of monologue that would hold up terribly. The only great part of it was the Emma Stone cameo, but there wasn’t really anything in here that we found funny. It was just mostly “advice” to Andrew on how to host the show.
Stanx – It’s been weeks since there was a new episode of “Saturday Night Live,” and you choose to really fire things off post-monologue with a commercial about farts? No thanks. There’s just nothing original about this sketch. We’re sure that we’ve seen it before somewhere, and we probably hated it then, too.
Oliver Twist – This was a sketch that started off with a funny Cecily Strong character, and ended with a thud. This just seemed like she didn’t even know what accent that she was using, and it reminded us of her hillbilly character from a few weeks back.
That we had to watch “The Bird Bible” again. Wasn’t once enough?
All in all, Andrew did a tremendous job and we’d love to see him back. Sometimes the material was a little lame, but the laughs we got from the other sketches helped to make up for the duds in the early going. Grade: B.
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