‘SNL’ and James Franco Take On ‘Peter Pan Live’
In many ways, NBC’s much-mocked ‘Peter Pan Live’ was already a parody of itself the moment it was conceived, making the thought of an ‘SNL’ riff feel completely and totally unnecessary. And yet the show’s take on the production has just enough good stuff to be worthy of your time, especially if the thought of guest host James Franco playing Christopher Walken playing Captain Hook sounds appealing to you.
Shot on a pirate ship that is eerily close to the one seen in the actual broadcast (and it could very well be the same one!), the sketch finds the Darling children tied to the mast and Peter Pan coming to rescue. After a few jokes about how the young Peter actually looks like the stunningly feminine star of HBO’s ‘Girls,’ the scene reveals its real intention: the return of Aidy Bryant’s Tonkerbell, a character who has never really been that funny.
However, the sketch is immediately saved by the arrival of Franco, whose impersonation of Walken’s tired, slow and confused performance in the actual broadcast is a thing of beauty. He even gets to perform a song and dance number, which appropriately consists of him speaking lethargically to music while spinning in circles. Viewers who did the sane thing and skipped ‘Peter Pan Live’ may think it’s just weird, but anyone who survived the original production will appreciate the lengths that Franco goes to in order capture one of the weirdest performances of 2014.
Plus, there’s a joke about the bat from ‘Fern Gully’ being really good at pleasuring ladies. That makes the whole thing worth it.