Jeremy Renner puts a lot of hard work into his roles – primarily action – via films like The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, The Hurt Locker and more. So when the actor took to Studio 8H to put his comedy chops to the test as the host of Saturday Night Live, he knew that comedy was not something for which he was known. There may be a good reason for that.
Below lies our recap of Renner’s attempt at live sketch comedy to which he brought a lot of energy, but also a whole slew of awkward. We’ve sifted through the show for the best, worst and weirdest sketches of the night.
Tourism Ad – The perfect ad for taking a vacation back to your hometown. From the scratchy towels to the old tube TV, this perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to be in your ’20s and return home for the holidays – something everyone can appreciate with Thanksgiving coming up. Speaking as someone who went back to high school, only to regret it immediately after walking through the doors, this just hits too close to home and makes it that much more hilarious.
The Stand Off – Perhaps it’s because this was a parody of the kind of stand off you’d see in any number of Renner’s movies, or maybe it’s seeing grown men standing in a shower with guns drawn on each other, but this sketch was almost as good as a regular SNL Digital Short. And the appearance of Adam Levine from Maroon 5 was a nice touch. Also, is it just me, or does it look like Taran Killam could probably pull off an action movie?
Coroner – This was probably the least awkward Renner appeared to be the entire night, and it was still far from being natural. Thankfully, this silly sketch was just goofy enough to work. Bill Hader had a couple of great dimwitted moments, but Jason Sudeikis as the straight-man opposite the dunce Renner character made for one of the best combinations of the night. Props to Taran Killam for keeping still with a straight face while Hader drummed on his body and face.
The Avengers – Avengers! Disassembled! In a sketch that takes aim at Hawkeye and his unique “skills” seeming a bit out of place amongst a team that includes a Hulk, a demigod, a super solider and a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist in a weaponized suits. Aside from a couple nice quips from Jason Sudeikis as Tony Stark and a subtle Scarlett Johnasson impression by Kate McKinnon, this was a disaster. Let’s hope that if Chris Evans, Chris Hemsowrth, Robert Downey Jr. or Mark Ruffalo ever host, they can try again with a better Avengers parody. However, again, Taran Killam dressed up as Captain America proved to look like a real potential cinematic hero.
Movie Set – Yes, there were two sketches that were worthy of being just the worst. Jason Sudeikis was doing some kind of hyper impression of Sylvester Stallone and Vin Diesel, and Jeremy Renner just couldn’t keep a straight face. Not only was this sketch awful, but it lasted 5 minutes, and that made it so much more painful to endure. That’s all I have to say about that.
Cool Drones – It looks like we have our first attempt to replace SNL Digital Shorts and replicate the success of the well-known animated TV Funhouse segments from Robert Smigel back in the day. Going under the name “Midnight Snack,” the Cool Drones cartoon gave an old school animated show treatment to military drones and turned them into a harmless boy band as their secret identity before blasting terrorists to bits. It felt strange like many of Smigel’s cartoons did every now and then, but it didn’t quite land for me.
It’s been made clear by Renner’s film career that he’s not one to delve into comedy. Therefore, his hosting stint on Saturday Night Live was clearly going to be something to behold. Sadly, awkward is the best way to describe the episode. Perhaps the biggest problem was Renner succumbing to the silliness of some of the sketches and fumbling at least one line in each sketch. Right off the bat, the monologue (not online due to music rights) had Renner shaking his head at the stupidity of the comedy he was about to endure. What’s frustrating is that it could have worked with a different host. That being said, live sketch comedy can be difficult to handle for even the most seasoned comedians, let alone a serious actor like Renner. Hopefully he had fun and maybe can do a better job if he comes back to host again.
Taran Killam – This time the MVP goes to Taran Killam for two different reasons. First of all, he appeared in all of the best sketches of the night. Second of all, even when he appeared in one of the worst sketches (The Avengers), Killam looked like a real action star. The same can be said for his appearance in The Stand Off sketch. It was strange to see him looking so heroic when usually he makes goofy faces all the time. Perhaps that’s why he does so well when parodying Brad Pitt’s Chanel commercials. Either way, this was a great combination of hilarity and provoking shots that might make directors consider giving Killam some supporting roles in non-comedy films.
The Final Word
Jeremy Renner didn’t help much to make this episode of Saturday Night Live funny, but thankfully the cast kept the humor decent. Renner was both at his best when stepping into familiar territory with The Stand Off, but also at his worst when reprising his role as Hawkeye from The Avengers. It’d be nice to see him get better at comedy so he might be able to redeem himself sometime down the road. But honestly, we should probably just get any of the other cast members from The Avengers over to Studio 8H. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans still need to make their hosting debut after all.
December 8th – Jamie Foxx hosts with musical guest Ne-Yo
Saturday Night Live airs live on Saturday nights @11:30pm on NBC.