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‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: “Anne Hathaway”

 

NBC

Anne Hathaway hosts ‘SNL‘ this week, and you just know there’s going to be at least one musical number with the ‘Les Miserables’ star. She’s done well in the past, but can Hathaway charm our pants off this week?

Mitt Romney’s House

We say farewell to Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney, mourning his loss on the balcony of his home and drinking milk while Ann (Kate McKinnon), his sons (all played by Taran Killam), and Karl Rove (Bobby Moynihan) try to get him to join the party.

Did it work? It’s not the best Mitt Romney bit they’ve done, but there’s some great material here — having the Mormon Mitt drink milk like it’s alcohol, “Paul Ryan is doing feats of strength in the drawing room,” and “Donald Trump is doing this great thing where he’s racist.” McKinnon’s Ann is a bit of a bore and Sudeikis maybe undersells it at times, but it’s a cute farewell.

Monologue

Hathaway’s monologue turns into a ‘Les Mis’-themed musical number eventually featuring the entire cast singing about how Sunday is the only day off they have and all the things they plan on doing, like seeing ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and making a pot of chili. Hathaway mentions how awesome she could have been playing Stefon — umm, can we see Hathaway play Stefon’s sister or something? That sounds amazing.

Girlfriends Talk Show

Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong host “Girlfriends Talk Show” with Anne Hathaway as the “new best friend” on their girly chat show about… girly stuff.

Did it work? Strong is essentially doing her “Girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party” character, but she’s so good at that superficial, regressive voice that it’s hard to complain about it being recycled. Normally I might get annoyed with a sketch like this, and they really are doing a lot of talk show sketches lately, but I love how perfect everyone is in it and the way it captures a teen girl ditching her old best friend for a newer, cooler one. It’s actually oddly relatable, and Bryant plays the more innocent, dorky friend so beautifully —  my only real issue is with the baked goods joke because it’s not necessary to point out her size and it sort of takes you out of the sketch for a moment. Bryant is definitely the star of this, and her “roach warehouse” lines just killed.

The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish

A pre-recorded bit with Kenan Thompson singing about “Mokiki,” a weird hippie zombie person played by Taran Killam, and the way he enchants people like Anne Hathaway with his “sloppy swish” dance.

Did it work? What is this? What are we watching? Is this an attempt to be as weird as Lonely Island? It’s kind of working. I love any humor that feels regressive, like when kids make weird noises or do little repetitive moves that make no sense — it’s all so natural to their train of thought, and this “Mokiki” thing feels very much like that. It doesn’t feel like something that could endure like “D— in a Box,” but it’s cute and kind of kooky and it could probably get stuck in your head for at least a week.

Homeland

Hathaway is Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison, Killam is Damian Lewis’ Brody, Bill Hader is Mandy Patinkin’s Saul, Fred Armisen is a suspect, and Kenan Thompson is Homeland security officer David Estes in — you guessed it — a ‘Homeland’ sketch.

Did it work? I was wondering when they were going to do this, especially after the mention of ‘Homeland’ during the Hurricane Sandy cold open last week. (White people love ‘Homeland,’ you guys!) It’s like Anne Hathaway has been studying Claire Danes for her entire life — she just nails the crap out of this. Killam is good as Damian Lewis, too, with the big joke being about how small his mouth is, and yeah, I’d never really noticed that, but I’m sure it’s all I’ll think about when I watch the show from now on. And special kudos to Hader, who can do a surprisingly on-point Patinkin. But Anne Hathaway is just brilliant with her cry-faces and mannerisms. “She’s having one of her jazz freakouts.”

McDonald’s Staff Meeting

Anne Hathaway is the boss at a McDonald’s staff meeting, featuring the entire cast. Yes, all of them. Cecily Strong and Bobby Moynihan play two disgruntled workers who, fearing they’re about to get fired, start talking trash about the employees one at a time.

Did it work? Strong and Moynihan are so perfectly, flamboyantly ghetto that it gives you a headache, but it’s hilarious. Their cut-downs are awesomely ridiculous — “I wake up every morning wondering, yo, is today the day I punch that fool Brian until he dies?” Look, I know we all think McKinnon is the next Krsiten Wiig, but might I nominate Cecily Strong for MVP as well? Girl is on fire.

Rihanna Performs

I don’t normally discuss the musical performances, but after Rihanna’s patented vagina-slaps last season, I need to talk about this. She’s performing in front of a green screen made up of old Windows ’95 graphics. I’m waiting for Clippy to pop up and be like, “Yo, do you need help inserting this clip art?” Between the over-sized camo jacket and slip dress and the Timberland boots and my mom’s desktop screensaver, I guess 1996 is really back, you guys. BRB, Encarta is teaching me about dolphins.

Weekend Update

Obama (Jay Pharaoh) stops by to gloat about his re-election and make fun of a few particularly male congressmen who just couldn’t leave rape out of the discussion. But mostly he wants us to know that being president is a horrible job and he’s looking forward to it. To celebrate gay marriage legalization in Maine, a gay couple from Maine (Bill Hader and Fred Armisen — as it should be) stop by to discuss their newly-available marriage prospects. Hader and Armisen are so cute with their Maine accents and fishermen outfits and their suggestiveness.

But wait. DRUNK UNCLE IS BACK! And he’s pissed about Obama winning the election. His best lines, which I am now memorizing and will recite at my cat all day:

“Back when I was a kid you couldn’t vote unless you had suspenders, cane, monocle top hat fancy.”

“Is this ballot 4G? Can I vote with a Groupon? You know what I want a Groupon for? A moment of peace. Instead I got my fat niece goin’ SPOTIFY MEEE SPOTIFY MEEEE.”

“Where the hell are my rights, LINDA?!”

“Windows 8 my homework.”

“Yeah I’m a hoarder. You know what I hoard? 1950s Playboys and dignity.”

“Nationwide is on your side. How come if Nationwide is on my side Mitt Romney isn’t president? JEWSPAPERS.”

The Ellen Degeneres Show

Kate McKinnon is Ellen, Kenan Thompson is her in-house DJ (um, why? Is that a thing she has?), and today’s guest is Anne Hathaway as Katie Holmes.

Did it work? Wow. Okay, Hathaway was fantastic as Claire Danes, but I’m starting to think she just practices being other actresses in her spare time. This Katie Holmes is bonkers-amazing. I’d also like to thank ‘SNL’ for finding plenty of things for the quite funny and charming Aidy Bryant to do over the last two weeks. Even here, where she just has a bit part as a fan that Ellen pranks, she’s pretty magnetic.

American Gothic

Kenan Thompson is a museum tour guide showing off the famous American Gothic painting and telling the story behind it. Hathaway plays the woman and Sudeikis plays the man in the painting — two people who have never met and are actually quite cheerful.

Did it work? The pair do a bunch of weird poses and hold silly props for the artist, but all of them are absurd and unsuitable. It’s a fine enough sketch, but it never finds that comedy sweet spot. Hathaway and Sudeikis are good, and the plot is decent, but it’s just not that funny or entertaining and seems like a half-baked idea that’s missing a key ingredient.

Flaritin

A commercial for “Flaritin,” a medication for people with exaggerated, made-up allergies who just want attention.

Did it work? We all know so many people like this! Rice, meat, deodorant, squirrel dander, small penises, and Italians — Flaritin gives you the symptoms to seem like you’re legitimately allergic to anything you say you are! A perfectly funny, simple ending to this week’s episode.

 

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