Is Vince Vaughn still money to you?

How you answer that question will sway how you felt about this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, which featured Vaughn as host for his first time back to the studio since Swingers was his main credit. If, for you, Swingers remains his biggest credit, then please see the above paragraph.

Alrighty then. Let’s begin.

We open cold with President Obama (Jay Pharoah) holding a press conference with the two U.S. Senators whose names you need not remember just yet (played by Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis) who have crafted a “compromise” on gun-control legislation that doesn’t so much control the sale and ownership of guns by people who should never be handling guns in the first place. You know. The people who kill people with guns.

So what’s a stricter background check? “Are you a good person?” Not pictured: Florida. The more you see an SNL political cold open, the more you realize just how much better The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report are at this on a night-in, night-out basis. But let’s move on.

Vince Vaughn is your host. He’s our host! He’s the host with the most monologue energy!!! And he says he has learned one important thing since hosting SNL in 1998. “The most important people here is the audience. It’s you guys!” Vaughn says. “You’re fuel for the rocket ship that is Saturday Night Live.” And with that, he gives audience members that one-on-one Vince Vaughn pattering charm. Watching this, I remember when Vaughn filled in as a substitute late-night talk-show host and liking that experience enough to want more. Even that wasn’t live TV, though.

So…

Was that a great locker-room pep talk? An omen? Both? Let’s circle both answers in pencil and then come back to it in 80 minutes.

Hold on. Vince Vaughn is still standing in the audience, riffing with them. What if this were the show? What. If. This. Were. The. Entire. Show.

I’m now thinking this was shorter in rehearsals but the sketches were so bad, Lorne told Vince to run with it in the monologue. Stretch! Either that, or I’m

The fake ad slot goes to a mock HBO Movies ad starring Al Pacino in several other biopics. If you liked him know as Phil Spector, how about Bill Hader as Pacino as Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber — don’t you remember?), Amanda Knox, the Menendez Brothers, and the Italian ferry captain who crashed a cruise ship, and even Pacino in blackface as Dr. Conrad Murray, Oscar Pistorius (who even manages a laugh out of “say hello to my little legs!”).

Followed by an ad for Vince Vaughn’s new movie, with Owen Wilson as Google interns. The Internship. Coming…in June? Never too early to promote a comedy this big, right?

“Stormy Skies” is a soap opera on The Weather Channel? Not exactly. It’s The Weather Channel’s news, delivered within the framework of a soap opera. Just like “The Californians” is a traffic report. Except not. It’s a soap opera delivered as if it were the weather report. Vaughn and Cecily Strong are your leads, with Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Aidy Strong and Kenan Thompson all pitching in, for what now? Aside from some dick joke innuendos, anchor accents and a premise, it feels phoned in. Then again, that could just be the anchor accents confusing you.

And now, for a taped piece. “History of Punk”

We know Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols is available for charitable TV work because he has been doing it for several weeks this year already for Russell Brand’s chat show experiment on FX. Here, Jonesy plays himself talking about Ian Rubbish and The Bizzaros, a fictional band that includes Hader and Killam and is fronted by Fred Armisen. This isn’t Armisen’s first SNL film rodeo as an underground musician. And yet, a very pro-Thatcher punk rocker. Oh. Now it makes all sense. Margaret Thatcher died last week, so what if there were a punk rocker who loved this particular female leader of the British establishment? With a sweet B-side single such as “Sweet Iron Lady”? You get it now, don’t you. You get it.

May 4, 2013: Zach Galifianakis returns as host, with musical guest Of Monsters and Men!

But why is Agent Smith an ad spokesman for GE? And why is Bud Light offering an internship for the movie, The Internship? What ads are fake anymore? Are all ads fake? Get me out of the matrix!

Bill Hader is our host for “Short Attention Span Theater,” presenting a scene from the play, “Howl of the Landlord,” with the short-term memory-loss actors and actresses. Hader’s character also plays the patriarch/director?, with Aidy Bryant…line please. Now a premise like this. A premise like this. On live TV. It’s almost designed to waste time onstage and allow Armisen to try to make Hader crack up. If that’s your thing, then this is your thing. Otherwise, it’s literally just a waste of time.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miguel. This is the guy who made Kelly Clarkson and a lot of other people take notice during the Grammys. This is “Adorn.”

Weekend Update time.

Which means it’s time for LL Cool J and Brad Paisley to “celebrate” their duet, “Accidental Racist.” Or Kenan Thompson and Jason Sudeikis to make fun of it.

“When my man Brad called me, I answered the phone the way I always do: ‘I’ll do it.'”

Marina Chapman was raised by monkeys. Kate McKinnon, on the other hand, was raised by comedy angels.

This Junior High School prom is funded by a rich man who lives on top of the hill overlooking the school, as the faculty chaperone types (Hader, Bryant and Thompson) really want us to know. Vaughn is the mysterious one-percenter. He decides to get this party started by coaxing a boy (Bobby Moynihan) to dance with him. Then the other boys? Finally. For all of you who thought it had been too long since the last pedophilia sketch.

Some people in my Twitter feed recently were recirculating John Tesh’s NBA theme song, so that probably explains this…

“Roundball Rock” features John Tesh (J-Suds) and his brother, David (Tim Robinson) offering a new take on it with lyrics! Vince Vaughn plays the NBC Sports executive alongside Thompson and McKinnon. Somehow the Brothers Tesh knew that NBC didn’t want lyrics in the NBA theme song.

Once again, Miguel. “How Many Drinks.” I like when the song titles match up with how an imaginary viewer is supposed to feel late on a Saturday night watching TV.

Which probably also explains why the five-to-one sketch sometimes takes place at last call in a bar.

This time around, Donnelly’s bar finds Thompson behind the bar, and McKinnon and Vaughn as the lone patrons on the stools. We’ve all been here before. No. Literally. We’ve all been at this sketch before. Although: Pass The Tequila Shot. Neat party trick, McKick! And that’s even before the callback that finds someone else learned a little something from monkeys.

It all comes back to the audience. You remember the audience, don’t you? They were there the whole time.

*****

Here’s a fake ad from dress rehearsal that didn’t make it into the broadcast. Do you think Vaughn vamped so long in the monologue to avoid this Bathroom Cobra? Why would you avoid Bathroom Cobra? There’s always another bathroom.