‘SNL’ Scorecard: Cameron Diaz Stars in the Best Sketch of the Season
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...
Sketch of the Night
‘High School Theater Show’ (Diaz, Bryant, Mooney, McKinnon, Bennett, Bayer, Thompson) A sketch like this takes on new meaning if you’ve ever actually been to one of these type of indulgent shows. My gosh, the way Taran Killam delivered the line, “the Internet” is just so spot on. Everything about this sketch was amazing—something tells me Bennett and Mooney were heavily involved—from the choreography to the dialogue to Thompson and Bayer’s audience reactions.
‘Nest-Spresso’ (Killam, McKinnon, Bayer) What a weird thing! But everyone involved sells it, especially Vanessa Bayer who doesn’t understand at all how this machine works.
’Cold Open: I'm Just a Bill’ (Thompson, Mooney, Pharoah, Moynihan) What a great cold open! This is by far the best cold open so far this season (full disclosure: I am a sucker for 'Schoolhouse Rock'), it just felt more elaborate than what we’ve seen before and everything seemed to go off as planned. Also, how has Kenan Thompson never played the ‘I’m just a bill’ guy in the past?
‘Back Home Ballers’ (Diaz, Bryant, Zamata, Jones, Strong, Bayer) Not quite up to the level of last season’s ‘(Do It On My) Twin Bed’—honestly, this was almost a little too on the mark in trying to recapture what last year became a true classic—but it’s still good, with the highlight being Leslie Jones singing about bowls.
‘Office Boss’ (Bennett, Diaz, Thompson, Zamata) It was a good idea to get Beck Bennett’s Office Boss out of the office. This actually felt kind of fresh with the new setting. And, of course, Bennett excels at this character. If this were 1994, Beck Bennett would have himself a movie starring this character.
‘Weekend Update’ (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Killam, Strong) Kate McKinnon’s Angela Merkel is, as always, solid. Though, for some reason, it’s starting to feel a little worn out. And I realize she doesn’t even do it that often, so that’s probably not fair. Compare that to Killam and Strong as Charles Manson and his new wife … there was just something fresh and energetic about the whole thing. Jost had a great delivery with the line, “Loud Surprise, Arkansas” that made me laugh harder than Colin Jost has ever made me laugh before. I wish Che’s monologue on Bill Cosby would have been longer—he looked like he legitimately had a lot to say! And that’s something ‘Update’ has been missing. It kind of felt like we were going to get something on par with ‘Really?!? With Seth and Amy’ (or even when it was just Seth), but then it just ended. ‘Weekend Update’ is desperately missing something like ‘Really?!? With Seth and Amy.’
‘The Fight' (Mooney, Bennett, Davidson, Diaz) This kind of sketch just feels like something I should like. But the truth is this sketch just was nowhere near as good as ‘Vote for Chris Fitzpatrick for Class President.’ The little jokes that made ‘Class President’ so great seemed to be gone in favor of a comedic fight seen that didn’t seem to work as well.
‘New Annie’ (Bayer, Diaz, McKinnon, Strong, Bryant, Pharoah, Jones, Thompson) Everything about this sketch is great except the sketch. I know, what a dumb sentence! But Jay Pharoah was great as Jamie Foxx, both Leslie Jones and Vanessa Bayer were great as Annie (also: did you hear that there’s a new ‘Annie’ movie coming out?). In a year, we will wonder why did they do an ‘Annie’ sketch?” Anyway, the pieces all seemed to be there, but this sketch went nowhere.
‘Night Murmurs’ (Strong, Diaz, McKinnon) I kept waiting for something interesting to happen (OK, Kate McKinnon’s lines about a turkey were pretty good), but I’m not exactly sure what this is. I am open to the possibility that if this becomes a recurring sketch that it will become funnier—it just kind of feels like that’s kind of the case—but, until then…
‘Poetry Class’ (Bayer, Davidson, Zamata, Thompson, Bryant, Diaz) Everyone seemed really into this sketch, but, good gosh, it seemed to go on a very long time for a sketch that is basically, “my poem is filled with sexual innuendos.”
‘Dr. Dave and Buggles’ (Thompson, Diaz, Pharoah) I do wonder if the ‘SNL’ lease on the old Bryan Fellow set was expiring and they just had to use it or risk losing it. I know that’s not true but it would at least make some sense. If nothing else, it did make me miss Bryan Fellow.
‘Cameron Diaz Monologue’ (Diaz, Mooney, Bayer, Moynihan, Jones, Bennett, Bryant) It’s no secret that “take questions from the audience” is the old monologue standby when no one has any ideas. The bad news first: This wasn’t even a particularly good “take questions from the audience” monologue. It felt like a monologue for a show full of people who desperately need a week off. The good news: The rest of the show didn’t feel like a show full of people who desperately need a week off.
Average Score for this Show: 5.92
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.