“Saturday Night Live” tried to take on a lot in the show hosted by John Goodman this weekend, and at least a solid percentage of it worked. There were some winning sketches, interesting ideas, and some moments that you are probably going to be laughing about for some time. But, there were also a few misses that reminded us that this is the second show in three weeks, and those are usually the weakest of the bunch.
But overall, we won’t hate on Goodman’s first show in years. He was mostly funny, and the sketches that he was in had a pleasant air about most of them. Given our low expectations for this show, we came out of it pleasantly surprised.
Obama cold open – Every time that the President opens a sketch, we groan loudly. We groaned even louder when we heard the words “health care.” But when Kenan Thompson came out as the fake interpreter to spoof that guy (Thamsanqa Jantjie) who was doing it in South Africa, we died. Who knew that one of Kenan’s best works would come when he wasn’t talking?
Guy Fieri Christmas – This was brilliant in ways we cannot even describe. Every little ridiculous thing that you would associate with Guy Fieri was in here, from food that sounds deliberately insane to an overabundance of “trying to hard.” Plus, the list of attendees at his “Special” was priceless: Verne Troyer, Kid Rock, Bret Michaels, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Big Ang from “Mob Wives” (a terrific impression), and much more. Plus, we’re pretty sure that Bobby Moynihan was at least 33% of the people in this sketch.
Dance of the Snowflakes – This was so completely ridiculous, but we started to really get behind it as we heard how every participant in this little stage show was freaking out about it in their head. It was stupid, and all of them knew it. When Kenan Thompson turned around for “groin-related” reasons, that was when we really started to lose it.
Three Wise Guys – John Goodman has some famous friends, and this helped to prove it. Heck, it was a chance to see in one sketch the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, and Goodman as New Jersey / Long Island guys traveling to see baby Jesus. This probably wouldn’t have been that funny if there weren’t such famous people on board, but with them there, we really enjoyed it.
Weekend Update – Mostly good jokes saved a pair of interviews that we okay at best. Kenan’s black Santa was a nice little play off of the Megyn Kelly comments, but his jokes themselves were hardly amazing. Then, we continued to see the decline of Drunk Uncle into one of the more formulaic interviews that the show has. At this point, we really just need new characters, and we’re fine with taking a while to try some out. Jebidiah Atkinson and the Worst Woman on an Airplane are two of the good ones that we have already.
Hallmark Channel – This was mostly funny just because of the sort of “celebrities” that this commercial claimed were on the network. It’s the only thing worse than Guy Fieri’s holiday special.
H&M ad – This was completely ridiculous, but in some way it was also a pretty realistic portrayal of shopping at the clothing store (except that we never find the clothes that cheap.)
The awkward bar exchange – This is actually one of our favorite sketches: Watching two random people do completely lewd and disgusting things to one another until Kenan gets too upset to take it anymore. Goodman and McKinnon really went for it here.
John Goodman monologue – “All I want for Christmas is booty.” We get it. Isn’t the Christmas show supposed to be next week? This just wasn’t very funny no matter how you slice it, and it just shows how annoying and ineffective most of these “SNL” musical monologues really are.
Court Sketch – Once you got past Goodman playing a woman that Kenan Thompson’s judge was in love with, there was nothing funny here. Heck, there’s never anything funny about lowest common denominator of guy in drag = funny.
Fire Marshall – Apparently, “SNL” is desperate to try to make Nasim Pedrad’s new kid character into the new Gilly for whatever reason … we had enough of it the first time. We’ve seen this a couple of times too many already this year. Stop the insanity already!
Christmas Whistle – Another poor late-in-the-show sketch that was mostly about an annoying whistle. It was annoying to them, and it was annoying to us.
Kings of Leon were good if you’re into their brand of rock, and on a weekend that was snowy for a good part of the country, there were far worse ways to stay inside to keep warm than watching this show. We’ll have some videos for it in the morning. Grade: B.
What did you think of Goodman on “SNL”? Share your thoughts below, and click here if you want to watch some other highlights from this season.