Zach Galifianakis is back for his third time as Saturday Night Live host in as many years. Or in as many movie installments of The Hangover.
That’s something. A vote of confidence in stand-up comedians joining live sketch comedy. Or merely a reflection of the inevitability of movie-making and big box office? It’s not as if Ed Helms or Bradley Cooper is getting asked back again and again to host SNL. But we would see them, dare our spoiler alerts and wits and intuition say…
We open cold with FOX and Friends, the morning show that abides by my old city editor’s joke: “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good news story!”
Loved as much for the quickly scrolling corrections at the end of this recurring bit, it features/stars Taran Killam as Steve Doocy, with Vanessa Bayer as Gretchen Carlson and Bobby Moynihan as a wide, glassy-eyed, dumb-smiling Brian Kilmeade. In which they mock the idea that Jason Collins was heroic for coming out as gay while still playing in the NBA. Some gems included Moynihan as Kilmeade wondering why there weren’t gay athletes already in the WNBA, considering he thought the men in the WNBA looked like women. Ahem. What did you think the W in WNBA stood for? “I don’t know. Worse?” Fred Armisen appears as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for an interview about gun control. This, plus the Big Gulp, eh, OK. Scroll the corrections and cue up the band. Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!
Our host, Zach Galifianakis, tries to lower everyone’s expectations. “Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!” Laughs. “I haven’t really done anything, guys!” There are some solid jokes about charades, a bit at the piano for some old-school musical accompaniment to the jokes action, and even character work. Plus a funny-because-it’s-true line he relays from a stranger: “Has anyone ever told you you like that guy from The Hangover?…No offense.”
No fake ad in the fake ad slot. Unless this Nokia is a fake phone. It is, isn’t it? Don’t we all own iPhones now?
Game of Game of Thrones
Time for a game show sketch, so go to our official unofficial game show host for SNL game show sketches, Bill Hader! On “Game of Game of Thrones,” Hader is O.J. Sampson. Galifianakis is Duncan, in a dragon costume. Playing against Michael (Killam) and Kerry (Aidy Bryant). Duncan is a GoT superfan who only gets asked real-world questions. How dare they? This is something Tyrion Lannister would do. And yet. Here is Jaime Lannister, as played by actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau! Finally, something Duncan does know! And yet…
Here is our fake ad, and yet, based on a very real service, concept and celebrity headline, as Martha Stewart has joined Match.com and added her profile to the dating website.
Kate McKinnon plays Martha Stewart, looking for “the simple elegance of a good bang.”
Next week: Kristen Wiig hosts, with musical guest Vampire Weekend. Hey, look, J-Suds in black tie. And what’s this: The Lonely Island has a new album June 11th? That’s a lot of teasing in one ad block, kids.
Jason Sudeikis is hosting a Jennifer Aniston lookalike contest! In eighth and last place, Paul Nevins (Galifianakis). He gets beat by a woman played by Cecily Strong, a guy named Ben (Moynihan), another guy named Vincent (Kenan Thompson) who, to be fair, is “dressed up like Whoopi Goldstein!” Killam and Nasim Pedrad are in the running, too. Runner-up Diana Reynolds (Bayer) does look close to our winner, in all honesty. And the way Galifianakis is bursting through his lines, it does have a charm about it that other, less-skilled comedic actors could never pull off. “Also, who the hell is Ross?!” Your winners? Radley Cooper and Ted Pelms! So why isn’t this sketch online? Oh, it’s because they recited the theme song, then misdirected to “That’s What Friends Are For.”
Hey! Hey! Hey, can we find a new generation of folk bands that doesn’t sound exactly like one another? I like all of these songs, but they all say “hey” the same way. And for the same purpose. Can I get an amen? Oh, wait. That’s a thing, too, isn’t it?
Ladies and gentlemen, Of Monsters and Men. This is “Little Talks.”
It’s Weekend Update time. Bill Hader is back as James Carville to talk gun control and background checks.
Fred Armisen is tech expert Randall Meeks with a review of the new Google Glass glasses. The password is “peacock.” That doesn’t get you into porn. That’s an accidental byproduct.
Time enough for a third visitor to the Update desk, it’s the “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party,” Cecily Strong’s first breakout character in her rookie season at SNL. On her mind this summer: Syria. Cicadas. True or false? Eggsactly.
And we’re back. Galifianakis is an employee at the M&M Store, and one of these employees is not like the others. As a greeter, he has to dress up like a red M&M. His first day yesterday also included some racist name-calling, so he apologizes individually to each of his co-workers. “Stay focused. Push through.” That’s the advice from “racist Jim’s” boss, played by J-Suds. Also good advice for you, the viewer. Stay focused. Push through. Again, I am so sorry.
Now, this is different. Looks like your standard SNL talk-show sketch, with Knoxville cable access presents “Darrell’s House.”
Galifianakis is Darrell and he’s hosting a show for the first time in his house, and he is taping all of his set-ups. We can fix this in post, right? “I’m not John Hamm.” “I know, we’re going to edit him in.” And more like this ensues. The audience laughs but has no idea where this is heading.
Ads. Let’s all take a break. Except for you, Oz Rodriguez! Get to work! You have a lot of editing to do!
Once again, Of Monsters and Men. This is “Mountain Sound.”
Lee and Leslie Ocean (Galifianakis and Sudeikis) are jugglers who have performed at more Charlotte Bobcats games than any other, thanks to Michael Jordan. Who just got married!
We also are honored with appearances by Charles Barkley (Thompson), parents of the bride (Bryant and Armisen), and Dikembe Mutombo (Jay Pharoah). Nice finger extensions! This sketch may not blow your mind, but blow is definitely involved.
Oh. Here is the fake ad! It’s for New Balance sneakers.
Running shoes, for people who don’t run. New Balance!
Hey, do you remember “Darrell’s House” from about 15-20 minutes ago?
So funny. But what was the song playing throughout the edited version? Thanks, Oz! Tonight, you really were a wizard. OK. What’s that? Show myself out the door? Alrighty then.
Aw, snap. They left out a taped sketch from dress rehearsal, “Kanish,” a set-in-the-1970s cop show with Galifianakis as Kanish and Bill Hader as Judd Hirsch as Sgt. Polack. So here that is, was, and forever shall be. From TV Land’s “Lost Classics,” here is “Kanish” from 1977. Excuse us for the technical difficulties. Roll the clips!