Thursday, December 31, 2015

SNL 41.8 Review - Chris Hemsworth, Chance the Rapper

Original Airdate - 12/12/15

Return trips to host Saturday Night Live are not handed out very easily.  You have to show that there is something special there that can be expanded on to be asked back.  Rarely does anyone ever get two hosting gigs in one calendar year.  In the last few years, only comedy A-listers Melissa McCarthy and Louis C.K. have had the honor of hosting in consecutive seasons.  This makes the decision to ask back Chris Hemsworth somewhat head scratching.  Hemsworth made his hosting debut only this past March as a part of the publicity tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It was a mediocre show, with nothing that really warranted a return hosting gig, especially with such a quick turnaround.  However, here we are just nine months later, and Chris Hemsworth is back.  However, this episode proved more of the same from the last one he hosted.

Cold Opening

There are certain people you are willing to reshuffle your deck for at SNL.  Will Ferrell is one of them.  One of the biggest conundrums of the 2000's for the SNL cast and writers was what to do with President George W. Bush once Will Ferrell left the show.  In this Cold Opening, he shows why no one was really able to replace him.  The most interesting part of this opening was how obvious it was that this was thrown in at the last minute.  It's like Will Ferrell showed up and said, "Do you want me to do something?"  The reason I say this is because the first sketch after the monologue had Cold Opening written all over it.  It was a political satire done through one of the political talk shows, the host wasn't in it, and it had a slightly underwhelming ending as it was most likely lacking its punchline of "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"  It seems obvious to me that this sketch got bumped from the Cold Opening when Will showed up, but like I said, there are some people you reshuffle the deck for, and the show was better because they did it for Will Ferrell.


The writers decide to make light of the fact that it has not been long since Chris Hemsworth walked the SNL halls by having him wander around in a homecoming of sorts.  It was slightly awkward and forgettable.  Chris Hemsworth might be willing to do anything, but he just doesn't seem to be a naturally funny guy.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update saw a couple fan favorites arrive as the guests this week.  First came Leslie Jones, who I feel is losing some of her charm.  She really only has one gear, and I feel it is starting to get a little old.  She is still funny, but it just isn't as fresh as it was when she first arrived.  The other guest was whoever Kate McKinnon felt like being that particular day.  She seems to make an appearance at the Update desk every week as one character or another.  This week, it was Angela Merkel, one of her best.

Best Sketch

It is never a good sign when the best sketch is one that did not feature the host.  However, that is what happened here.  This fake commercial hit a home run, partially because of how true it actually is.  With the new Star Wars here, it also brings about a whole new generation of toys and action figures for kids to play with ... or adults to collect.  First generation Star Wars nerds try to convince kids that the toys are the most fun left in the box.  It's a slightly sad, very true, and really funny take on the culture.

Worst Sketch

Did someone tell Chris Hemsworth he could sing?  It appears so with this sketch.  At a Holiday get-together, the group decides to gather around the piano and sing Christmas carols.  That's when Hemsworth and Cecily Strong decide to sing a very strange and bizarre Christmas show tune no one else seems to know.  I think it's supposed to be funny, but it turned out to just be awkward and uncomfortable.  My face was the same as the faces of those in the sketch, partially because it was weird, and partially because Chris Hemsworth really can't carry a tune.

Dark Horse Sketch

One thing that has to be said about Chris Hemsworth is he is willing to do pretty much anything.  In this sketch, he takes the plunge many hosts before him have taken and dresses in drag.  The way the play this sketch is what sets it apart though.  A group of ladies is out to lunch talking about the Hollywood hunks they appreciate most, when one very muscular lady in the group keeps bringing up Chris Hemsworth.  Slowly throughout the sketch, all the girlfriends realize their friend is actually Chris Hemsworth just trying to keep himself relevant in women's minds.  The lengths he was willing to go for his own vanity is the type of uncomfortable that brings about great laughs, especially in one of the last sketches of the show.

For some reason, Lorne Michaels loves Chris Hemsworth.  However, I think he has now proven that in his two hosting gigs, he just isn't that funny.  He definitely tries, but it just doesn't seem to work.  With two hosting credits in nine months, and him being one of the hottest names in Hollywood, I have a feeling that he will get another shot at this.  Hopefully, the writers find some better ways to use him.


View the full episode here:

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