With the release of Les Miserables on the horizon next month, Anne Hathaway returned to Studio 8H for her third time hosting Saturday Night Live. Complete with a pixie haircut and a lovely singing voice (both on display thanks to her turn in the aforementioned musical adaptation), it was clear she enjoyed every minute of the hosting duties.
But was her enthusiasm enough to bring the funny? Did Hathaway’s numerous celebrity impressions make the sketches worthwhile? Find out with our video highlights and recap of last weekend’s episode below.
Drunk Uncle – Easily one of Bobby Moynihan’s best recurring characters, Drunk Uncle was at his best talking about the election. His drunken take on today’s events while unknowingly talking about all the latest trends and technology (“Does this ballot have 4G?”) is just perfect. Considering the sketches that directly parodied or referenced the election with Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney and Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama fell a little flat, Drunk Uncle’s views on the election were easily the best “political” sketch.
McDonalds Firing– Everyone has wanted a moment like this this at work upon their untimely exit, and Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong mastered the insulting departure from work in this sketch. Every place of employment has co-workers just like this that need a wake-up call and what made this even better than the duo yelling at each of their co-workers was all of their reactions throughout the roast of McDonalds employees.
Girlfriends Talk Show – During this sketch, I found myself reminded of the now classic Tater Junction sketch (less seasoned SNL fans might simply remember it as “Gap Girls”) with Chris Farley, Adam Sandler and David Spade in drag as quintessential shopping mall girls in the 90s. This doesn’t quite have the staying power, but the chemistry between Cecily Strong, Anne Hathaway and the increasingly discouraged Aidy Bryant in this sketch just worked for me, especially after seeing the disappointed face of Bryant when baking isn’t the next topic on the show.
Homeland – As soon as the Showtime logo and the Homeland title came up, the bar was set pretty high. Parodying this year’s Emmy winner for Best Drama Series was not going to be easy. Sadly, the writers and cast of Saturday Night Live failed this time. Though there were some inside jokes for fans of the show and a couple decent impressions from Anne Hathaway as Claire Danes and Taran Killam as Damian Lewis, this sketch just did not come together and felt like a missed opportunity for something great.
The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish – People are either going to love this or hate it, and my bet is most will fall in the latter group. But just thinking about the inception of this sketch cracks me up, and the execution of Taran Killam doing this weird dance inspired by someone that a writer probably saw somewhere amongst the diverse population of New York City is just hilarious to me. His dirty face, the goofy clothes and the use of footage shot where certain people in the Big Apple were clearly not aware of what was going on came together for a nice, peculiar laugh.
Anne Hathaway – Coming through with another fun musical monologue (showcasing her beautiful singing voice that will be heard often when Les Miserables hits theaters this Christmas), Ms. Hathaway clearly loved every minute of being on SNL for her third hosting round. Hathaway’s Katie Holmes impression on an average sketch taking aim at Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show (which doesn’t seem to be online) and her over-the-top Clarie Danes from the less than stellar Homeland sketch made her a treat. Hathaway just likes to have fun, and there’s no doubt she’ll be back
Cecily Strong/Bobby Moynihan – Not only did they both have two of the funniest sketches of the night (check The Best section above), but the they also came together for the third best sketch of the night as they yelled at the McDonald’s employees composed by the rest of the cast. Moynihan has always been one of my favorites, and while Strong almost made The MVP slot last year, this time she definitely earned it. Strong and Kate McKinnon are easily the two strongest featured players, and I expect both of them to stick around for a few years.
The Final Word
Overall, the episode was not the best we’ve seen from Anne Hathaway, but the energy on the show when someone is clearly loving every minute in Studio 8H sometimes makes up for the average sketches. Even though our picks for The Best weren’t always laugh-out-loud hilarious, they were certainly amusing. Honestly, the first performance from Rihanna felt like a strange sketch reminiscent of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job with a green screen projecting old school computer animation with screensaver imagery, and it was almost funnier than some of the night’s sketches.
November 17th – Jeremy Renner hosts with musical guest Maroon 5
Saturday Night Live airs live on Saturday nights @11:30pm on NBC.