The last time Jamie Foxx hosted Saturday Night Live, the musical guest was Blink 182 - so that should give you some idea of how long ago that was. Foxx's return to SNL coincides with his new movie, Django Unchained, hitting theaters later this year.
Of course, Foxx is no stranger to sketch comedy. Early in his career, he worked on In Living Color with the likes of Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey. And for all Foxx's serious roles like Ray, there's some solid comedy appearances in movies like Horrible Bosses (which also starred SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis). His return to SNL was definitely fun, and we've got some of the highlights below including the best, worst and weirdest sketches, complete with a few awesome surprise guest appearances.
Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney - Nearly everyone has confused the actors Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney at some point in their life. Whether it's because of similar roles or looks, it's just something that happens. And then this game show sketch comes on and takes it to the best possible level. The concept is basic but the execution is flawless. From the clueless contestants (Kenan Thompson, Jamie Foxx and Jay Pharoah) to using the same pictures for each round, this sketch made me lose it right up until the end when Dylan McDermott showed up (wink).
Maine Justice - It's the courtroom TV format we're all familiar with, but this time, an out-of-towner (the always fantastic Bobby Moynihan) is stuck in the strange world of justice as only Maine can deliver. Or is it New Orleans? We'll let the sketch speak for itself with the outlandish Cajun characters from Jason Sudeikis, Jamie Foxx (who hilariously breaks character towards the end of the sketch) and a surprise Horrible Bosses co-star guest appearance that's just perfect.
Weekend Update: Ding Dong- It's a little bit late following the end of Hostess snack cakes (at least for the time being), but bringing out Jamie Foxx as the media ignored chocolate, creme-filled snack cake Ding Dong was pretty great. He's pretty militant about Twinkie getting all the attention, but it sounds like he has a nice fallback with that rap career. And as always, it's funny to see Foxx break character a little bit and have Seth Meyers enjoy the musings of an angry snack cake.
Weekend Update: Mrs. Claus - Sure, around this time of year, everyone seems to love going to see Santa Claus and celebrating the holiday that brings him down from the North Pole. But when you're married to the guy like Mrs. Claus (Aidy Bryant), it's not so great. The wife of Kris Kringle sweetly delivers a laundry list of marital problems that come from having a husband who only works one night a year and eats a truckload of cookies and milk. Why didn't anyone do this before?
Bitch, What's the Answer? - Well, there were two game show sketches on the show tonight, and this one fell flat on its face. Despite Jamie Foxx's charisma and his ability to make "bitch" sound like poetry, not even Bobby Moynihan could save this sketch that was pretty much a one joke idea. If anything, it made me long for the musings of the Weekend Update correspondent and blogger played by Michaela Watkins with her "Bitch Pleeze" segments.
Tree Pimps - This was almost a little too serious too work, but perhaps the echoes of HBO's constantly re-airing documentaries about hookers and their pimps made this at least mildly entertaining. Of course, when it comes down to it, thinking of trees as hookers and the lot salesman as the pimps who shove them on the streets and also take advantage of them kind of makes Christmas tree decorating feel a little dirty.
Swarvoski Crystals - Well, this was the 10-to-1 sketch, so it's no surprise that it ended up here, but I honestly have no idea what's going on with this faux commercial. Was someone watching Cable Access TV while they were high? Don't get me wrong, it's pretty entertaining, mostly because of the voices that Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer put on (not to mention Jamie Foxx's entrances and exits), but this was one strange piece of comedy.
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Jamie Foxx showed why he started his career with sketch comedy with a return to Studio 8H that was a vast improvement over the last episode with Jeremy Renner. Having hosts like this is a rare thing, and Foxx was able to use his image as a dramatic and comedic actor to really bring some charisma and funny to Saturday Night Live. The above sketch taking aim at the serious side of Tyler Perry in Alex Cross meeting the ridiculous side of his Madea character is the epitome of his abilities as an actor in both drama and comedy.
Jamie Foxx - Yeah, you could probably see this coming. Foxx was one of the better hosts of the year (though Charlie Day and Dermot Mulroney showing up might have stolen some thunder). But Foxx let himself have some fun, showed no awkwardness on stage, and felt right at home just as much as any regular cast member. Frankly, if Foxx did more comedy than drama, I wouldn't be opposed to it. Also, with that great singing voice, why hasn't The Lonely Island gotten him on board for one of their albums?
The Final Word
This was a strong penultimate episode with only a couple sketches that missed the mark. What made it really great was a lack of reliance on familiar characters (only one political sketch and one with recurring characters in the form of J-Pop with Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer, both not featured here), and some hilarious original stuff from pretty much everyone on the cast. Not one cast member stood out more than the others and the host really was the star this time around. That always makes for a good episode of Saturday Night Live.
December 15th - Martin Short hosts with musical guest Paul McCartney
Saturday Night Live airs live on Saturday nights @11:30pm on NBC.