It’s kind of amazing that Larry David has never hosted SNL, and up until recently he had never really appeared on the show, either (save for a couple of tiny appearances back in the ’80s). David only managed to get one sketch on the show in the year he spent writing for SNL back in 1984–85, but now, after Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and a couple of cold open cameos as Bernie Sanders, David finally has his chance to host. How did he do? Read on for our ranking of this week’s sketches from best to worst.
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Welp, with MadTV old enough to celebrate a 20-year anniversary (and otherwise off the air to boot), it was only a matter of time SNL found itself with a little Saturday night competition. Still - gasp! - former SNL dream team The Lonely Island will lead the charge of FOX’s new sketch comedy rival, Party Over Here.
Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David has been no stranger to SNL in recent months, between the 40th Anniversary and his Bernie Sanders impression, but this Saturday will be a well-deserved homecoming for the former staff writer. Or not, as David doesn’t really want you to watch anyway, judging by the first promos.
Back in those optimistic days of 2015, SNL made a trumpeting announcement that Taran Killam would succeed series vet Darrell Hammond under Donald Trump’s famous hair, though the impression seemed to have been retired with the presidential candidate’s actual hosting. Hammond has resumed the role ever since, with Killam shifting into the role of Texas senator Ted Cruz, though it seems SNL had in mind to tap Jimmy Fallon’s Trump impression in December, before returning the role to Hammond.
Oh, what fortuitous timing be this. Just days before February, SNL has set its second host of the 2016 month behind Larry David, as Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon’s fellow Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy will return to take the stage, with none other than Kanye West bringing up the rear.
When the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced nearly two weeks ago, the response to the overwhelmingly white line-up of talent proved instantly controversial. Film fans and industry veterans alike gathered around the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to make their voices heard, especially decrying how films starring black actors and directed by black filmmakers — like Creed and Straight Outta Compton — somehow managed to only receive nominations for the white people involved in making them. With material this ripe, of course SNL was going to take a swipe at the Academy Awards this week.
The moment former Alaskan governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States, you know the producers at SNL hurried to get Tina Fey on the phone. The beloved former cast member, who just hosted the show last month, famously took on the role of Palin eight years ago and many people believe that her scathing imitation actually did lasting harm to the real Palin’s political chances. In any case, this event allowed SNL to pair Fey’s Palin with Darrell Hammond‘s Trump. Thanks, reality!
Like Dwayne Johnson and Gina Carano before her, Ronda Rousey is graduating from the ring to the stage, though her turn as SNL host this weekend is the first time she’s really had an opportunity to flex her acting muscles. Unfortunately, the MMA pro is sidelined for much of the episode, her talents underestimated and misused from the moment she walks into Studio 8H. Beck Bennett is seemingly the only cast member who really knows how to take advantage of her skill set, delivering the best sketches of the night. The lack of actual effort to give her something to do does little to disprove the idea that SNL invited Rousey to host based almost entirely on brand recognition. And that’s really too bad. Read on for our ranking of this week’s sketches from best to worst.
Seinfeld creator Larry David’s SNL cameos as Bernie Sanders (or just plain heckling Trump) have been a highlight of Season 41, and the next step is more than prettay, prettay, prettay good. David will make his hosting debut on February 6, joined by musical guest The 1975.
The moment Adam Driver was announced as the first SNL host of 2016, we knew a Star Wars: The Force Awakens sketch would be coming, and the NBC mainstay didn’t disappoint. Spoofing Undercover Boss with Kylo Ren was delightful, but who knew Driver had such a tough time keeping a straight face? Watch this SNL behind-the-scenes video to see for yourself.