When we first heard that Jeremy Renner was going to be hosting this weekend’s edition of “Saturday Night Live,” we were nervous. Typically, film stars with little experience in comedy fail to impress their first time out, and the “Avengers” star’s outing here was at times an unmitigated disaster. You had a lame opening monologue that featured David Petreaus meets “50 Shades of Grey,” and the moment that the sound guy forget to bring up the audio on Renner’s piano during yet-another-musical-monologue, we quickly realized that this was not going to be a good show.
There is not one single reason why this show failed; instead, all of the writers should spend the next two weeks looking at themselves in the mirror for what is easily the most dreadful show of 2012. Most of the okay sketches were recycled ones, and the bad ones were nearly unwatchable.
A brief detour – Let’s start off by recognizing the three parts of this show that actually worked. The first was a ridiculous ad for “Your Hometown” as a tourist destination that was at first pretty dumb, but it progressively grew better as the bit went on as the show introduced to such destinations as the movie theater where somebody from your high school was working at, or the food that you are going to throw out at the airport. Much of it was so true, and also so funny.
Chris Christie – Regardless of his politics, we always love it when politicians appear on comedy shows; and considering that Mitt Romney refused to show up on “SNL” once during the entire campaign season, the New Jersey Governor is really the only person holding the torch for the Republican Party at this point. While this was in part about Hurricane Sandy relief and it was obvious he was reading off the teleprompter, he was so game for mocking his persona and his state that we have to applaud him.
Saturday TV Funhouse – Everyone loves a comeback! If anyone was still watching at this point in the show, they had a pleasant surprise with an animated skit about drones.
Now … we turn to everything else. “The Californians,” a sketch that was great earlier this season, was awful here since we were given little time to actually miss it. The same goes for a trio of sketches that all tried to capitalize on the fact that Renner often shoots things in action movies. The “Stand Off” short was no “Sad Mouse,” and the “Avengers” spoof really left something major to be desired since the only real punchline was that Hawkeye was a lame superhero compared to some of the others.
Then, we turn to Petreaus yet again. Yes, him having an affair with Paula Broadwell was a big story this week … but was it really this big? The answer here is “no.” It was not worth the cold open, a “Situation Room” sketch that was unfunny, and some jokes during “Weekend Update.” The same goes for Jay Pharoah’s ill-fated attempt at impersonating Katt Williams next to Seth Meyers, which really was just annoying more so than funny. (In other words, it was Katt Williams. Zing!)
Sometimes, there are times “Saturday Night Live” takes a nap before the holidays, and this was surely the case here. You had a host who wasn’t suited for comedy, ideas that were simply unoriginal, and a musical guest in Maroon 5 who have already performed on the show before (so some of the hype was lost).
What did you think about Renner’s version of the show?