[Ed. Note: Jenny Nelson is a writer and student living in New York City. She’ll be taking us through this season of Saturday Night Live.]
Jonah Hill was one of my first celebrity sightings when I first moved to New York about four years ago, and I remember being excited for a second before realizing I definitely would not be saying anything to him because he was all the way across the street and also there was simply nothing to say, except maybe “Hi, I thought you were funny in Superbad but don’t know much that you’ve done since then, movie-wise!” Since then the guy has been Oscar-nom’d twice — which by the way, congrats — but I still don’t know that I’d ever have anything to say to him. So I didn’t feel too much either way when he was announced as this week’s SNL host. I ended up liking the episode a whole bunch, though, and found that I enjoyed at least one thing about every single sketch — not only the ones with Jonah Hill in them, but also those without! Which, though a positive feeling, is still not something I’d ever cross the street to tell Jonah Hill. Anyways, let’s see those sketches!
The cold open, which addressed Putin’s recent warning that gays had better not draw any attention to their flamboyant, gay selves at the upcoming Sochi Olympics, was very good. The sketch was topical and funny, and Jay Pharaoh really nails it as a guy who can’t ice skate. Best use of an ice rink so far this season for sure, you guys!
Jonah Hill did very well during his monologue until Leonardo Dicaprio dropped in, which is a very rude thing to do when someone is talking, haha just kidding, what a very pleasant surprise appearance from a big-name talent! The two have a dynamic that I truly hope reflects their real-life relationship, and then they did that thing from Titanic, which was wonderful.
In the next sketch, Jonah Hill reprises his role as mature 6-year old Benihana patron Adam Grossman, a character he’s previously only done with Bill Hader (rest his soul) but this time did with Vanessa Bayer as his step-mom. This sketch was pretty good, and Sasheer got a couple lines in it which was exciting for us and I bet for her, too!
The prerecorded bit with Kenan, Jay, and Taran as gangsters uncharacteristically enjoying a magical snowy evening was really funny. Kenan was lovely, as were Taran and Jay, and Carole King’s Tapestry apparently falls under fair use because this sketch made it online! Jonah Hill was not in this sketch unless he was that cute bunny rabbit. Hello there, cute rabbit!
Then Bastille played, maybe you are wondering who they are; I recognized the first song from a commercial but mostly *yawn* sorry, that is rude, I’m sure they tried hard, and maybe if you are a Bastille fan it was exciting!
It was hard for me to enjoy the Her parody because I’ve already watched, or at the very least scrolled past, a ton of Her parodies on the Internet and was not interested in seeing another. That being said, this one was unique in that it was about “me,” whereas every other Her parody I’ve come across has either been called “Him” or “Her” but the her refers to Beyonce. I’m pretty sure no one in the audience laughed this entire sketch, though, and because of this I felt super tense. Highlights included a shout-out to high-waisted pants and a couple parts where the OS types out questions as he speaks, and a surprise cameo from OS surrogate Michael Cera.
“Couples Quiz” was good, it starts out as a game show but then doesn’t exhaust that formula at all, choosing instead to just go for a big, good joke about poop. I really enjoyed this sketch and would have watched it for at least a few more minutes, it felt so short! Maybe the compactness of the sketch was for the best, though, since it didn’t leave room for bad stuff.
Weekend Update (Seth’s penultimate episode on the show!) was good. Cecily does a silly Scottish fish voice that’s so good they both repeat it; it’s sweet and I will miss them together, even if I am excited for Colin Jost! Kenan as the FL officer who arrested Bieber was not my thing just because I’m “SO over” hearing about Bieber, but Kate McKinnon does Russian woman Olya Povlatsky and it’s good.
The boss dinner one was great, Jonah Hill does extreme social anxiety well, which, once again, is that a compliment that I should tell him if I see him ever again?
“Inside SoCal” felt to me like one of the least weird Kyle & Beck shorts, maybe because, like the beer pong one, it featured more cast members besides the two of them. It also had Jonah Hill. I thought the costumes, voices, and vague aspirations of the characters were all really good. A good, chill kickback of a sketch. Just a kicker, dude.
The final sketch of the night was a welcome return of the Former Porn Stars, with a guest appearance from Jonah Hill as Martin Porn-Cese, good end to a good episode I’d say, mostly because I don’t have much else to say for this one!