‘Saturday Night Live’ review: ‘The Sound of Music,’ Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and mixed results

More news -Paul Rudd made a joke early on during his edition of “Saturday Night Live” about how he frequently feels upstaged by his musical guests … and this time around, he was basically upstaged by everything. We had multiple former cast members turn up, a pair of memorable “Weekend Update” guests, as of course One Direction.

But even when you consider all of this, wouldn’t it have made a little bit more sense for the show to have been better as a whole? There were some very good sketches, and then there were some that were so terrible, we’re still trying to figure them out. Paul is also probably too generous a host for his own good, since he really fits more into an ensemble more than stands out on his own.

The good

The Sound of Music Live spoof – We would have never imagined that combining a spoof of the NBC musical with Kristen Wiig’s Dooneese would work, but it mostly did. We have to admit that we’re not the biggest fan of the Dooneese character compared to Wiig’s others, but this was a good use of her and even Fred Armisen in a tiny cameo. We laughed, and that’s more than we have in past appearances from the character.

Paul Rudd Opening – It really wasn’t that funny, mostly because we have heard already “Afternoon Delight” on a few occasions this year thanks to the massive “Anchorman” publicity tour. This was still a fun little way to open the show, so we’re willing to give it a pass on comedy just because it brought us Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, David Koechner, and One Direction all at the same time.

Politics Nation – Kenan Thompson is growing on us this season, and that is even without “What Up with That?” being a part of the show. His Al Sharpton impression really isn’t that good, but his interview over healthcare (an overdone topic) had lots of great moments of confusion and laughs.

Weekend Update – A particularly strong edition of the Update this week. Lots of great holiday-related jokes from Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong, along with what seems to be an indicator that Seth Meyers probably will be leaving in February rather than staying the entire year courtesy of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy. Also, Jebidiah Atkinson returns! Three weeks after the first appearance was probably a little too soon, but Taran Killam is always good for a laugh.

Romantic Memories – This was a late-in-the-show sketch featuring Cecily Strong that had a few good laughs in it, mostly because the premise was somewhat unique: Remembering past loves; but, the problem with that is that not all past loves really need to be remembered. It built as it went along, mostly thanks to the Papa John’s airport worker who apparently was on her list.

The bad

Dan Charles, One Direction’s Biggest Fan – This was the sort of sketch that really should have been much better than it was. Seeing a diehard adult One Direction fan was mostly just awkward, since we could see this actually happening in the real world.

Diner Sketch – So basically, fighting people dance every time they hear a song … okay. This is something that “SNL” has done 100 times before with slightly different ideas behind it. Also, it went on for way longer than it really needed to.

The David Sculpture – This was a little surprising that “SNL” would even decide to show a sculpture’s you-know-what on TV, but they did while Rudd’s “Lorenzo” complained about how he was made to look a little too accurate in the size department. There was potential here, but it never really went anywhere.

White Christmas – The same sort of thing here happened to what happened in the Dan Charles sketch. It was a funny idea to show a movie trailer for a “black movie featuring white people,” but it didn’t quite work. It was just a little too on the nose, and most of the jokes were about as funny as the actual jokes in a Tyler Perry movie.

Santa’s Workshop – So Santa is thin, and he’s now a jerk who wants to get rid of candy. This is probably a sketch that someone first thought of about twenty years ago, and they didn’t air it then because nobody really wanted to see Santa as a thin. It destroys the magic.

The toast – For getting Ferrell and most of his News Team (sans Carrell) to do a sketch, couldn’t it be funnier than a bunch of guys just shouting random offensive things about a guy? This is the problem with Will sometimes: It’s like writers just assume that anything that he says is automatically funny.

Any night where the bad sketches outnumber the good is not a good night, even if the good sketches were very good in a few cases. This was a disappointing “SNL” return after a brief hiatus, even if One Direction fans probably enjoyed it. Grade: C+.

If you want to read some more “Saturday Night Live” highlights from this season, click here. We’ll of course be back next weekend to take a look at the show hosted by John Goodman. We’ll have videos of select sketches in the morning!

Photo: NBC



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