Saturday, January 30, 2016

SNL 41.11 Review - Ronda Rousey, Selena Gomez

Original Airdate - 1/23/16

Every now and then, SNL brings in a host that is intriguing because you have no idea what they can bring to the table.  Usually, this comes in the form of athletes.  They are the big name, but also the big unknown.  Ronda Rousey has done a little acting, but only in action films.  How would she handle the chaos of live sketch comedy?  Hopefully, it would go better than her last fight...  It did, but not by much.

Cold Opening

Donald Trump provides so much material for this show, I think he is doing everything he can now to make the show every week.  Of all the appearances so far, this one might be the best.  Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump.  This gave a great Trump moment along with another excuse to bring back Tina Fey to bring to life one of the most popular characters of the last decade.  It became one of the best sketches of the season so far, partially because it was not that far off from the truth.


Many times, the monologue can get pretty routine, especially for someone without the comedy background.  However, this one was actually pretty original.  Ronda Rousey is a fighter, constantly looking for a way to win.  So she is looking for a way to win the monologue, with the help of color commentators and a coach in her corner.  It isn't the greatest monologue ever, but it was definitely different and fun.

Weekend Update

This show took place in the middle of Winter Storm Jonas that covered the east coast in snow.  Several times throughout the episode it is referenced, but my favorite had to be sending Bobby out in the snow during the Weekend Update, declaring the snow to "not be that bad."  Leslie Jones shows up and tells of her burning love for Leonardo DiCaprio.  Then, Willie shows up, who is becoming one of my favorite Update characters.  He just seems to be getting funnier and funnier.

Best Sketch

Although everything I have talked about so far has been really good, the majority of the show was average at best.  Most of what Rousey did was very ordinary.  However, there was this sketch.  Ronda Rousey plays the shy, cute high schooler going on a romantic date with the popular jock only to find out that it was a prank designed by the "cool kids."  All I can say is ... don't mess with Ronda Rousey.

Worst Sketch

Most of the rest of the sketches looked like this.  This was one of two re-hashed sketches of the night that did not deserve a second round.  The girls take turns trying to win over Taran Killam with the lamest of pick-ups.  The worst part of the sketch was the fact that the best line was the first line.  It also was way too long as if the writers didn't know how to end it.  Thank goodness Selena Gomez came to the rescue (probably the only time I will ever say that).

Dark Horse Sketch

Whenever Kyle Mooney gets to create his weird brand of comedy, it is a highlight of the show.  This time, Kyle and Beck are trying to figure out what it means to go to a party.  The ridiculous stuff they say is so fun and refreshing.

Sometimes, the writers are presented with a host that they don't know what to do with.  Usually, they try some stuff out and let them make a fool of themselves.  The problem here was they took no risks.  They looked at Ronda Rousey and used her as a pretty face almost exclusively instead of taking some risks.  Whether this was Rousey's request or a struggle from the writers, it led to a pretty boring episode that tried for way too many cheap laughs instead of actually trying to be funny.  If it wasn't for Weekend Update and Sarah Palin, this would be a prime competitor for the worst episode of the season.  As it is, it's just slightly higher than the low point of the season.


View the full episode here:

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