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.
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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!
After a few scant weeks off, SNL will make a triumphant return to bask in the second coming of The Avengers with Scarlett Johansson at the helm, along with musical guest Whiz Khalifa. The Black Widow’s third hosting promos have arrived as well, and we’ll give you three guesses why Kenan is sporting an eyepatch.
SNL won’t return for another week with Avengers: Age of Ultron star Scarlett Johansson suiting up on May 2, and #NoSpoilers, but we already know how Season 40 will end. Hot Pursuit star Reese Witherspoon will host the subsequent week, while Louis C.K. will take the stage for the May 16 SNL finale.
SNL will let the Empire cool its heels a bit after Taraji P Henson dropped Cookie all over the stage this weekend, but May 2 will bring out the big guns in the wake of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson will take the SNL stage for a fourth time as our first May host.
Taraji P. Henson is only the eighth black woman to host SNL in 40 years, which is only half the reason why her appearance on the show is awesome — in addition to her killer role as Cookie on Empire, Henson is a versatile actress who’s been impressing us for some time now. That versatility certainly came in handy as this week’s guest host, although the writers never really figured out how to use Henson’s strengths. Read on as we rank this week’s SNL sketches from great to not-so-great.