‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Brown, Martin Short rule

Saturday Night Live“Saturday Night Live” was all about showing off holiday cheer this weekend, though apparently one way to do this during this weekend’s show involved Samuel L. Jackson swearing during the “What’s Up with That?” sketch. The show’s holiday episodes are traditionally pretty great, but this one managed to knock it out of the park when it came to funny moments, controversy, and even a little bit of tenderness.

First things first, we have to start things off here by talking about the lovely rendition of “Silent Night” that was used to open the show as a tribute to those who lost their lives in Connecticut. Lorne Michaels was smart to give viewers a recognition of the tragedy from this week, but then quickly transition into what the show does best: make people laugh, even in the toughest of times.

The good

Boy, did we ever laugh. The opening monologue featuring host Martin Short did contain a musical number, but we almost didn’t mind considering all of the big-name guests who stopped by. We had cameos from Kristen Wiig, Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, and even Lorne himself (who was kissed by Short). Paul Shaffer of “The Late Show with David Letterman” even stopped by to his old stomping grounds for a minute.

Some of the early sketches of the night were lifted by some of Short’s great characters, including a bit as Tony Bennett’s little brother (which included a guest appearance by Alec Baldwin) and a sketch revolving Kate Middleton’s hospitalization and pregnancy that really only survived thanks to him (and considering the controversy surrounding the woman who killed herself, it’s shocking that the writers even opted to go there).

The pre-recorded sketch – One of the real highlights of the night for us was the demented take on Charlie Brown that involved many of the cast members impersonating various members of the “Peanuts” gang in what can be best described as a classic holiday special gone horribly wrong. “Edie Falco” as Lucy was a personal favorite, and Michael Keaton is probably only relevant right now because of Taran Killam.

“Weekend Update” – How many great jokes were there in here? We lost count, and we also had one of our favorite new guests in The “Girl At a Party You Wish You Hand’t Started a Conversation With” is hysterical, so true, and we hope she sticks around for years to come alongside such other greats as Stefon and Drunk Uncle.

What’s Up with That? – To be fair, this is typically a sketch that we get excited for during the first ten seconds of, then usually hate the rest of the way. By dropping the f-bomb and another swear word, Sam Jackson made this bit exciting. Then again, why didn’t producers know they had Jackson on the show and plan accordingly? The man bathes in swear words. Hats off to Kenan Thompson, though, for the great comeback in reminding Sam that his swear words “cost them money.”

Then again, Jackson is already responding to the talk by saying on Twitter that he did not say the full f-bomb (which, upon re-watching, he is correct), and that Kenan was supposed to cut him off on the “bulls**t” line and he “blew it.”

Short yelling at Paul McCartney – What a great sketch at the end of the show. Sir Paul was great in his performances, and the Martin had to feel pretty funny screaming at one of the most legendary musicians of all time.

The … okay

Restoration Hardware – This was not necessarily bad, but it was strange. Did we just watch two dudes just say increasingly weird things to each other, only to then walk away? This is what it felt like.

What did you think about this weekend’s show? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can also find out who is hosting the next new episode over at the link here.

Photo: NBC

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