SNL Scorecard

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Martin Freeman is So Good He Could Be in the Cast

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by Mike Ryan 4 days ago
NBC
It’s always an interesting thing when actors host ‘SNL.’ You know, actors in the sense that there’s just no way to know if his or her talent will translate to ‘SNL.’ They are true wild cards. Two years ago, Christoph Waltz hosted ‘SNL’ and it was one of the best shows of that season. Who knew? And now here comes Martin Freeman as yet another true wild card. No one knew what to expect—and, as it turns out, Freeman is so quirky as a host, sometimes he just felt like a member of the cast. These are the best kind of hosts. This might not have had an Internet friendly signature moment, but, top to bottom, this is one of the best ‘SNL’’s in the last five years. (Put it this way, there was only one sketch in the “bad” category and it’s the first time in the five years of ‘SNL’ Scorecard that there hasn’t been an “Ugly.” There just wasn’t one this show.) Here is your Scorecard...

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Was The Force With James Franco?

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by Mike Ryan December 7, 2014 @ 10:03 AM
NBC
James Franco returned to host ‘SNL’ for the third time (though, it seems like more) and for the first time since 2009 (which doesn’t seem quite right either). A lot has happened in the two weeks that ‘SNL’ has been gone and the show certainly didn’t ignore what has happened, but did they do enough? It’s a tough call. This is a comedy show after all and has never been an all-encompassing current events show like, say, ‘The Daily Show.’ Even though he was the host, Franco kind of felt like a non-factor. On one hand, he blended in with the cast, which is always welcome, but musical guest Nicki Minaj seemed to have more of a presence. Anyway, off we go to this week’s Scorecard…

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Cameron Diaz Stars in the Best Sketch of the Season

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by Mike Ryan November 23, 2014 @ 9:34 AM
NBC
Cameron Diaz has almost sneakily hosted 'SNl" enough times that, after last night, she’s only one away from the vaulted Five-Timers Club. Diaz first hosted back in 1998, a show that featured one of the funniest sketches of all time, ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ This is all to say that it shouldn’t be too surprising that last night’s ‘SNL’ came off so, let’s say, professional with one sketch that even rivals ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ On to the Scorecard we go...

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Woody Harrelson Wins the Quarter Quell

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by Mike Ryan November 16, 2014 @ 10:09 AM
NBC
Woody Harrelson’s third time as host of ‘SNL’–and his first since way back in 1992 (he hosted just a few weeks after Jason Priestly)–was actually pretty great. Anticipation for an ‘SNL’ host is a fickle beast. Now, one might circle the calendar when he or she sees, say, Chris Rock’s name show up as host, then that show winds up being a bust. I suspect that not a lot of people were thinking, Oh, man, Woody Harrelson is hosting ‘SNL’! I need to cancel all of my plans because that will be one I can’t miss. Then Harrelson goes out and is everything we want out of a host: funny, up for anything, looks like he’s having fun, willing to sing a song about apples that is still stuck in my head. Anyway, he hosted the best show of the season so far and here is your ‘SNL’ Scorecard.

'SNL' Scorecard: Chris Rock's Show Was, Well, At Least Prince Was Good

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by Mike Ryan November 2, 2014 @ 8:40 AM
NBC
Chris Rock’s hosted ‘SNL’ was, well, a bit of a mess. Which all seemed even more surprising after the obviously fired up Rock’s monologue – there just seemed to be so much energy! And then there wasn’t. ‘SNL’ has been really great so far this season, so of course after the first what can be called a misfire of the season, there were all the naysayers on Twitter, lamenting how ‘SNL’ isn’t funny anymore. Oh, puh-leeze. The reason ‘SNL’ is like nothing else is that it can go wrong; it’s what makes the show interesting.

'SNL' Scorecard: Jim Carrey Does a Pretty Good Rendition of 'Chandelier'

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by Mike Ryan October 26, 2014 @ 10:25 AM
NBC
The first time Jim Carrey hosted ‘SNL,’ back in 1996, is still one of the most popular in the show’s history. His return in 2011 featured jokes about the upcoming 2012 apocalypse (that never happened). Carrey’s third time as host – with this heavily-themed Halloween episode -- will be most remembered for an impression of a music video that you may or may not have ever seen. Hey, here’s an ‘SNL’ Scorecard, just for you…

'SNL' Scorecard: The Triumphant Return of Bill Hader (And Anthony Peter Coleman)

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by Mike Ryan October 12, 2014 @ 10:01 AM
NBC
After watching Bill Hader host ‘SNL,’ I think there’s a chance that we all undervalued him while he was actually on the show. And I write this knowing that Hader actually was highly valued, but maybe it wasn’t enough. Hader is this generation’s Phil Hartman. It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he makes the perfect host. And it’s evident that ‘SNL’ really hasn’t figured out quite how to replace Hader yet; he fits so effortlessly into this cast. Hader has a way of elevating everything, and that’s why last night we got one of the best ‘SNL’’s in recent memory.

'SNL' Scorecard: Sarah Silverman Will Sit On Your Lap

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by Mike Ryan October 5, 2014 @ 10:50 AM
NBC
The energy level from last week’s ‘SNL’ season premiere wasn’t quite there with Saturday night's Sarah Silverman hosted effort. It was almost like last week felt like “we’ve got a cast we’re proud off; let’s show it off!” and this week was almost a little more experimental. (I realize, most likely, none of this was intentional.) Silverman was good in the respect that it at least appeared she was certainly trying, but sometimes stumbled over some lines (hosting ‘SNL’ isn’t easy!) and she would go back and forth from looking, at times, confident – obviously she was comfortable doing her standup act in the monologue -- and, at other times, looking a little off ... which all seems really reasonable. Oh, hey, here’s a scorecard for your Sunday morning...

'SNL' Scorecard: Chris Pratt Makes a Great First Impression

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by Mike Ryan September 28, 2014 @ 10:21 AM
NBC
The 40th season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ has arrived (as well as the fifth season of ‘SNL’ Scorecard -- and I just can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years) and, boy, what a difference a year makes. Last year’s season premiere featured six new cast members and was one of the clumsiest shows in recent memory. (Hey, remember ‘New Cast Member Or Member of Arcade Fire’? Gah.) This season, we have two new cast members and, more importantly, a significantly smaller cast. This was the first ‘SNL’ in over a year where I felt some actual intimacy with the cast. Look at newcomer Pete Davidson: he was everywhere! It was almost as if this incarnation of ‘SNL’ was built just to make us forget about last season. It didn’t completely work (I’ll never forget you, Rick Shoulders), but with a first-time host like Chris Pratt (who is a natural) and what feels like a much more focused show, this was a really great start.

'SNL' Scorecard: Andy Samberg Brings Back The Old Gang For The Season Finale

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by Mike Ryan May 18, 2014 @ 10:33 AM
The truth is, I don’t particularly enjoy reviewing ‘Saturday Night Live’ – something I’ve done now for four full seasons at three different outlets. Now, I’ve loved the show for my entire life and I love writing about the show, but it’s not easy to be critical of what these people do every week because it really is remarkable what they can pull off in less than one week on live television. (I’ve attended ‘SNL’ twice: Once in 2009 and then again for dress rehearsal last night. Watching the organized chaos that unfolds in person is almost overwhelming.)
The 2013-2014 season is now over and, no, it won’t go down in history as one of the better seasons in ‘SNL’ history. The show has lost too many stars over the past couple of years to recover that quickly, but they will recover. They always do. ‘SNL’ has always leaned heavily on recurring sketches, but what’s weird is how many recurring sketches are in rotation right now that not that many people love. When you think back, there’s always been a ‘Church Lady’ or ‘Wayne’s World’ or ‘Cheerleaders’ or ‘Stefon’ – but now, they don’t have that, and without that it’s been hard to sustain an identity.