Leg two of the three-episode series of Christmas episodes heading into the holidays featured an old favorite. John Goodman hadn't hosted in awhile, but this was his 13th time hosting the show, making him one of the most loved hosts of all time. Like the week before, we all knew this had the potential of being a special show with some guest appearances. Although John Goodman once again shows that he could have been a cast member and will always give a great show, the episode fell short of iconic.
The cold opening started off the show with President Obama for only the second time this year. With everything that has been going on with the President, it was about time SNL gave their commentary on it. However, stealing the show was Kenan playing the fake interpreter for the hearing impaired that popped up at Nelson Mandela's funeral. The geeky, grinning Kenan made everything Pharaoh's Obama was saying even funnier.
It takes a beloved host for them to give a completely random song to them and ask him to go out there and kill it. That's what they did with John Goodman, and he did. What does he really want for Christmas? You will just have to listen to find out in this song that could have been the opportunity to do a Blues Brothers number. Instead, Kenan fills in admirably. By the way, John Goodman is a huge man. You don't quite understand how big until he stands next to Kenan and makes him look short and skinny.
In what seems to be the Seth Meyers farewell tour, all the favorite Weekend Update characters (that are left) have been coming by to pay their respects. This week it was Drunk Uncle with John Goodman playing Drunk Uncle's Drunk Uncle. It was so perfect of a union of character and character actor (much better than any of the others they have tried to guest star with Moynihan). Once again, Goodman makes a big guy look tiny. That dude is a giant! The other guest was a response to the now infamous Megyn Kelly comment that Santa has to be white. Enter the Black Santa trying to break as stereotypes as he can. It served its purpose of making a statement on the topic.
Outside of the greatness of the sketches already mentioned, there wasn't a lot that jumped off the screen. Probably the best of the rest was the tour de force of impressions that came out of Guy Fieri's Christmas Bash. Bobby Moynihan does a scary Fieri as the host of what he describes as "a party as random as the food he makes." Here are a couple things we can take from this sketch: Aidy Bryant looks scarily like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show, anyone can look like Mini Me with a bald cap and a pinky, and Bobby Moynihan can simultaneously look like every member of the cast of Pawn Stars. Honorable mention goes to the Dance of the Snowflake. Something just makes me happy inside to see John Goodman wear a giant snowflake outfit.
Like I said, not much jumped off the screen, however not much missed either. The closest thing to a miss was this Will Smith-esque impression and rap about H&M. It just wasn't my thing. Honorable mention would have to be the shameless plug for the new holiday flop Grudge Match with Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro. The two stars show up and form the Three Wise Guys with Goodman. There were some pretty funny one-liners which kept it from being too painful.
Dark Horse Sketch
For some reason, and I don't know why, but when John Goodman is hosting, you expect to see him in drag at some point. It just makes too much comedic sense to put a man of his size in a wig and a skirt. This comedic gold comes out here as Goodman plays a woman suing her former employer for wrongful termination. She claims she was fired for being too beautiful. Let me repeat that. John Goodman dressed as a woman was fired for being too beautiful. I agree with Taran Killam's opening statement representing the company: "Really?!?"
As I said, this episode definitely was a disappointment from what it could be. John Goodman is such an iconic host that it could have been something magical. However, it was almost as if the writers were so focused on the final episode to come that they went into cruise control for the couple leading up to it. With that said, John Goodman is hilarious. He is so likable and lovable that it was hard to hate anything he did here. It was a good episode, but much like the Paul Rudd episode the week before, it could have been so much more.