When young celebrities get an opportunity to host Saturday Night Live, it is always interesting to see what kind of actor they really are. Josh Hutcherson was just one of these cases. Would he be able to hold his own, or would he have to be carried through the episode? Not only did Hutcherson hold his own, but he ended up carrying everyone else in what was probably the worst episode of the season so far. Hutcherson was great, but the writing staff really gave him nothing to work with. From start to finish, it was just a poor effort. Let's look at it.
To lead off the show, the writers decided to attack another contemporary topic much like they did the time before with Rob Ford. However, this week did not go over quite as well. They started with their great impression of Piers Morgan from Taran Killam, but the topic of George Zimmerman, the man connected to the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, was not funny. I found it tasteless and ill-spirited. There's something about kicking a guy when he's down that doesn't strike me as funny. The Rob Ford sketch the week before was a little better because, honestly, it's one of those "can't make it up" scenarios. The plight of George Zimmerman I find more depressing than anything. Why make fun of it? On top of all that, can we get a better impression than Men's Warehouse's George Zimmer than Beck Bennett repeating "I guarantee it" over and over again. It did not get the show off to a good start.
With Josh Hutcherson hosting, you knew The Hunger Games had to come up at some point. The monologue was a good way to get it out of the way so they could say they did it and move on. This is exactly what they did. However, the way they did it ended up with the cast hijacking Josh's monologue in a "cast member fight to the death" scenario. It wasn't very funny, but rarely are these pop culture references a huge hit.
It seems the Weekend Update segments have been shrinking over the last couple episodes. At one point, we were up to three solid guest appearances on the segment. We only had one this time (at least one worth speaking of). Aidy Bryant is always someone worth watching when she gets a chance to shine as she did here as the "Worst Lady on an Airplane." It wasn't a great new character, but like I said, Aidy owned it and made it one of the few highlights from the episode.
This was a hard one to determine. The one I wanted to go with here was a creative sketch where the entirety of Josh Hutcherson's lines were from the hit 80's classic "Your Love" as he tried to woo his crush. However, because of the lovely copyright laws it will never be seen online. So instead I'll name my favorite from this episode one that has really grown on me since I saw it. It documents the work of a subway dance troop named Matchbox 3 that specializes in crowded subways. The highlight of the troop is Lil' Peanut (Hutcherson). Enjoy the show! Enjoy the show!
There were so many odd sketches in this episode that just didn't work for me. The worst of these weird sketches was about a top economist who just happened to be stuck in a baby's body. Yep, a man in a suit acting like a baby. I really like Beck Bennett being in the cast, but he really had some big duds this time around with this being the biggest of them all. This was just stupid.
Dark Horse Sketch
One bit of silliness that happened to be a lot of fun was one of the later sketches where silliness is supposed to reign. It surrounded an animal hospital that was very particular about their forms after each pet they received turned up dead. Josh Hutcherson really shined in this one along with several others. That kid can really act.
Like I have said, Josh Hutcherson showed that he is worth inviting back. He is quite the talented young actor that took a lot of risks for a first-time hosts that paid off. The problem was nothing else worked. The sketches were bad, the writing was weird, and some of the performances were dull. Hopefully, they weeded out all the duds leading up to their big run towards Christmas. In fact, the best part of the episode was finding out the next three hosts were Paul Rudd, John Goodman, and concluding with Jimmy Fallon hosting the Christmas episode with Justin Timberlake as the musical guest (which basically makes a co-host scenario of two of the best they could get). Hopefully, the writers do a better job putting together good material for this all-star lineup.