SNL frequently struggles with its opening monologues and the past few seasons have seen the show retreat to the same well on multiple occasions. That well usually involves the guest host breaking into song, which used to be funny until it became the go-to template for episodes where no one in the writer’s room could come up with a halfway decent idea. That’s why the season finale was right to just let guest host Louis C.K. perform 10 minutes of stand-up. It’s not just funny — it actually allows him to get the show warmed up by reminding us why we like this guy (and why he’s worthy of hosting SNL) in the first place.
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The anniversary special well behind us, SNL Season 40 will draw to a close this coming weekend with Louis C.K. reclaiming the stage alongside Rihanna. The last few weeks have lost a bit of steam, but can the esteemed comedian bring us home? Find out with the first avenging promos of the SNL finale!
Every year at SNL brings with it a bit of turnover, and current senior member Kenan Thompson has frequently become a target of speculation. We've one week left in the iconic 40th season, though Kenan himself assures that his SNL exit lies much further in the future.
Reese Witherspoon has had an interesting time lately: the producer of Gone Girl, nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Wild, and the recent star of the not-so-funny Hot Pursuit. But Witherspoon is funny — she’s also immensely charming and versatile (obviously), and she knows how to light up a room. Unfortunately, she’s not really the star of this week’s SNL, suffering from the same fate that befell Scarlett Johansson in last week’s underwhelming episode. Throughout the bulk of the episode, Witherspoon is more like a supporting player than the star, and I’m growing concerned about how terrible these female-hosted episodes have been lately and what that says about SNL in general.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
SNL proved a bit less mightier than The Avengers this past weekend, in spite of a few inspired bits with host Scarlett Johansson, but with only two installments of the 40th anniversary season left, Reese Witherspoon is in Hot Pursuit. Watch her and Aidy Bryant ditch out for a gorgeous spring day in our first look at the year’s penultimate SNL!
Scarlett Johansson is probably the most interesting actress working right now — the reigning queen of sci-fi and ass-kicking Black Widow has smartly strayed from comedies in recent years, but let’s not forget that she’s got some genuine comedic chops. After all, this is the third time the actress has hosted SNL, and I kept my fingers crossed for the return of Fred Armisen for another hilarious Mike sketch. Did Johansson and SNL make my dreams come true? (Spoiler: No.) The episode is top heavy with comedy, but stumbles in the back-half, which is unfortunate given Johansson’s previous stints on the show. Read on for this week’s SNL sketch rankings.
It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
When the SNL writers decided to craft a sketch mocking the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they had no idea that the “fight of the century” would turn out to be a huge bust that would leave sports fans enraged. This adds a level of meta-humor to an already funny sketch. In many ways, SNL’s very silly take on this fight is significantly more interesting than the real thing.
Well hello there, TV super-fan! Did you know that Breaking Bad breakout Jesse Pinkman was almost killed off in Season 1? How about that Joss Whedon hated the original Buffy theme song, or Curb Your Enthusiasm served as a murder alibi? Can you imagine LOST starring Michael Keaton? Why yes, we do have more where that came from!