‘SNL’ Scorecard: Andrew Garfield Brought Along His Spider-Man Costume and Emma Stone
Andrew Garfield always seems so sincere, which is a great attribute to have as the host of ‘SNL’ because I sincerely believe he wants to be there. The show was fine and was saved partially just because Garfield looked so excited to be a part of the whole process. (And now Garfield at least has a rebuttal when Emma Stone chimes in with another one of her “back when I hosted ‘SNL’” stories that I have no idea if she actually tells -- I just assume she does because I sure would.) Anyway, here is your latest edition of the Scorecard…
Sketch of the Night
'The Beygency' (Bryant, Garfield, Bayer, Wheelan, Killam, Pharoah, Moynihan, Sutherland, Rajskub, McKinnon) It’s funny because it’s true: no one is allowed to not like Beyonce. And, hey, Jack Bauer showed up. What’s interesting here is that this is kind of perfectly marketed for the Internet to like – a lot of people will tweet about this using sentences like “this Beyonce sketch is everything” – but it’s actually a very well-crafted story with some pretty nifty production values. In other words: If Andrew Garfield starred in a Beygency movie, I’d want to see it.
'Weekend Update' (Jost, Strong, McKinnon, Jones, Killam) I bet Dave Coulier didn’t expect to hear his name last night. Or, maybe he did! Maybe it no longer surprises Dave Coulier to hear his name involved with unexpected popular culture references! Regardless, this was the most relaxed Colin Jost has been as the host of ‘Weekend Update.’ And, in turn, it seemed to have a calming effect on Cecily Strong, who hasn’t been this good since Seth Meyers left the show in February.
Also of note was the fact that Leslie Jones – who is a writer on the show, but not a cast member – got some serious airtime last night. Could this be a semi-audition for a spot in the cast next season? (Before we get too speculative, in recent years John Mulaney used to do some ‘Update’ segments and was never added to the cast.) This was by far the best edition of Kate McKinnon’s Olya Povlatsky. And do you know how you know when a character is working? It’s when you can completely mess up a line like Taran Killam did as Jebidiah Atkinson – turning "Tony" into "Tommy" – and just run with that, making it into its very own joke.
'Celebrity Family Feud' (Thompson, Garfield, Pedrad, Wells, Mooney, McKinnon, Pharoah, Bryant, Killan) What was meant to be a chance for Andrew Garfield to poke some fun at his ‘The Social Network’ co-star Justin Timberlake should have just been Taran Killam’s Russell Crowe non-stop for the rest of the sketch. Good grief, that was funny. (Though, to be fair to Garfield, I did like how his version of Justin Timberlake had to stand in front of everything.) Sadly, Brooks Wheelan did not get to play Brooks Wheelan on this edition of ‘Family Feud.’
'Andrew Garfield Monologue' (Garfield, Stone, Bryant) If nothing else, I’m glad the cue card situation was addressed. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people criticize a host for “reading the cue cards” when that is exactly what they are told to do. (Though, some hosts are better at not making it quite as obvious, but, I digress.) Anyway, we’ve seen some pretty dandy monologues this season – Anna Kendrick – and, no, this wasn’t one of them … but, hey, Garfield is a charming guy and Emma Stone is always funny. This really did just feel like a monologue where Andrew Garfield just wanted to tell us so bad that he was happy to be hosting and I’m okay with that.
'Cold Open: Donald Sterling Press Conference' (Killam, Moynihan, Zamata, Pharoah, Thompson) Like there was any chance we wouldn’t be seeing Donald Sterling make an appearance this week. The problem is, Sterling has been such a part of the news cycle for quite some time now – and has been skewered on every late night talk show multiple times – the bite here is lost due to just bad timing.
'Spider-Man Kiss' (Killam, Garfield, Stone, Martin, Pharoah) This is a good example of a funny sketch with a terrible ending. The attempted kisses between Garfield and Stone (playing on their real-life relationship) were pretty funny. (And it was nice that Garfield brought his Spider-Man suit along.) But, wowzers, that ending was dumb. The thing is, I get how that can happen. “What if Chris Martin shows up in this sketch? Oh, what if he replaces Emma and not Andrew? Ha ha.” It’s just that, in 2014, a sketch that ends with two men kissing shouldn’t really be something that’s considered shocking, or whatever they were going for here. (I’m guessing they were going for “Chris Martin doing something wacky,” but it still didn’t work.)
'Wedding' (Garfield, Killam, Strong, Thompson, Bennett, Pedrad, Mooney) I kind of admire this sketch, even though it wasn’t very good. Or, at least, just seemed to be missing something. But, I do admire the evergreen quality of this sketch – that this could have aired 20 years ago and the punchlines would have still been valid. For whatever reason, it just felt like it was still one good edit away.
'Stanx' (Thompson, Bennett, O’Brien) This is an odd dilemma: Stanx, as a comedy sketch, wasn’t all that great. (Basically it’s one gigantic fart joke.) But, Stanx as a product … look, there are times when we would all have to at least consider it, right? No? Maybe? That is, assuming it didn’t unleash a blast wave? Nevermind.
'Oliver' (Garfield, Strong, Milhiser, McKinnon, Moynihan, Mooney, Wells) What an odd thing this turned out to be. I can’t help but get the impression that we’ll see Cecily Strong’s Deirdre again, only in another situation. Okay, look, this was bad and it was way too long. At times I felt like I was actually watching 'Oliver Twist.' Though, Strong’s Deirdre deserves another shot in a better crafted surrounding. She almost reminded me of one of Melissa McCarthy’s blunt characters. (I think this is the first sketch ever in the last spot of the Scorecard ranking that I’ve ever wanted to see tried again.)
(Note: ‘Bird Bible’ is a previously aired sketch and is not a part of the Scorecard.)
Average Score for this Show: 5.88
· Anna Kendrick 6.21
· Lady Gaga 6.06
· Melissa McCarthy 6.03
· Louis C.K. 5.93
· Edward Norton 5.91
· Paul Rudd 5.90
· Andrew Garfield 5.88
· Drake 5.82
· Jimmy Fallon 5.80
· Lena Dunham 5.77
· John Goodman 5.76
· Josh Hutcherson 5.75
· Jonah Hill 5.73
· Seth Rogen 5.68
· Bruce Willis 5.68
· Kerry Washington 5.60
· Jim Parsons 5.51
· Tina Fey 5.35
· Miley Cyrus 5.20
Mike Ryan is the senior editor for Screencrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.