SNL #39.8 RECAP: Host Paul Rudd, musical guest One Direction

With promotion overload this week featuring the cast of Anchorman 2, and Paul Rudd already hosting this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, and the fact that the movie stars and was written/directed by SNL alums, it was beyond inevitable that we’d see some crossover last Saturday night. We did. And then some. But not what we thought. So there’s that.

Which leaves us with what, exactly?

To the recap!

We open cold with the biggest new/old pop-cultural touchstone of the week, NBC’s very own live broadcast of The Sound of Music. SNL wisely chooses to cut down the three-hour trainwreck to a “condensed” version, but it’s really a remix/mashup/excuse for Captain von Trapp (Taran Killam) to surprise Maria (Kate McKinnon) with the fact that one of his children actually is Dooneese (Kristen Wiig). Did anyone else notice that Dooneese face and Gilly face are pretty much the same face? Was it this way the whole time? Would you rather focus on the fact that McKinnon is our new Wiig, only without the recurring characters that overstayed their welcome? Before you answer all of those questions, here’s Fred Armisen as Lawrence Welk to complete the crossover! Sorry, all of you hoping to see SNL make massive fun of Carrie Underwood and Vampire Bill. Better luck next sketch.

If it’s possible for an SNL to peak in the monologue, then this might be that episode. Our host, Paul Rudd, acknowledges it’s his third time at the helm. No three-timers club. Even worse, Rudd seems to get overshadowed every time he hosts. When he was on with musical guest Beyonce, Justin Timberlake dropped by and danced “All the Single Ladies” with Andy Samberg and Bobby Moynihan. This time, Rudd has UK boy banders One Direction behind him, but he also has backup — his “newsteam” Anchorman crew of Will Ferrell, David Koechner and Steve Carell. After the old men throw the boys some shade and insults, they show off their own four-part harmony pipes by singing “Afternoon Delight.” And One Direction joins in. Making them now Nine Direction.

Here’s the Vine you need.

No fake ad in the fake ad slot, unless you count the fake news team for Anchorman 2 in a real movie trailer for same.

Nobody asks for the Rev. Al Sharpton and his MSNBC program, “Politics Nation,” but then again, nobody asks for more coverage of Obamacare, either. Nevertheless, maybe if they put Rudd into character as a Huffington Post blogger, that’ll get HuffPo’s attention (spoiler alert: it does, it totally does!). Douchet, SNL. Douchet.

A rather low-key video plays up the fact that Dan Charles, a middle-aged man (Paul Rudd) is the #1 fan of One Direction, shadowing him after a concert at MSG as he puts down all of the little girls waiting with him for the boys to emerge backstage. Jay Pharoah and Brooks Wheelan are deep background as security but have no lines. Neither does the UCB’s D’Arcy Carden. Hi, Darcy! And Brandon Scott Jones, too. Extras, extras, read all about them.

Continuing tonight’s theme of cute though not laugh-out-loud hysterics bookended by all-star cameos, we’re in a diner where Paul Rudd and Vanessa Bayer are working out a divorce settlement with their lawyers (Kenan Thompson and Nasim Pedrad). Except their song keeps coming on the jukebox and reminding them of happier times. That song? “Oh, Daddy” by Fleetwood Mac. Not even a One Direction song. Go figure. And it wasn’t coming from the jukebox, either.

Just as with the “Afternoon Delight” harmonizing, these old songs and their bands need to get paid, so if NBC won’t pay up, they won’t put up the videos.

Ladies and gentlemen, One Direction. “Story of My Life.”

Weekend Update

No time for losers because these are the champions, of the Weekend Update recurring characters…

Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy

Vanessa Bayer’s 13-year-old Jew, Jacob, talks about Hanukkah. It ain’t no Xbox 360. Nor even an Xbox One.

1860s newspaper critic Jebidiah Atkinson (Taran Killam) was a hit a few weeks ago when he emerged out of his time capsule to defend his negative review of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Why he’s back again to snark and smarm on classic holiday films and TV movies such as “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Christmas Carol,” well, it seemed like a good idea at the time? Maybe you cannot recreate the magic of a moment? Maybe next time you can?


We’re still stuck in time after the ads, this time in Italy, circa 1504 and artist Michelangelo’s (Taran Killam) unveiling of his classic statue, David. Turns out Lorenzo (Paul Rudd) was the male model for it. Zoom in on the penis. Focus on the tiny penis. Dick jokes. Cecily Strong, Bobby Moynihan and Jay Pharoah join in the mocking. That’s all they got. Sometimes that’s just all they got.

Digging a little deeper into the satirical toolbox is this trailer for a fake movie, “White Christmas,” that appropriates all of the modern black movie tropes. Including Paul Rudd as Madea and Mike O’Brien making his usual 12:30 a.m. inaugural appearance of the night. White people just have to take everyone else’s cultures and make it their own, don’t they? Paul Rudd as Madea would be a more welcome change to this “Madea Christmas” that’s coming out this month than Larry the Cable Guy, though, and that’s just a good joke right there.

John Milhiser is the head elf at Santa’s Workshop, but nothing he says can prepare all of the other elves for a newly slimmed-down Santa (Paul Rudd) and his replacement for Mrs. Claus, a ho-ho-ho named Candace (Kate McKinnon). Someone has got to explain why the North Pole elves are dwarves, but in Middle Earth, the elves dwarf the dwarves.

Lonely lady Cecily Strong is left alone with her own devices, drinks and memories of past lovers. But what about Victor from the airport Papa John’s? Or was it a Sbarro? Who can remember at a time like this.

Once again, One Direction. This is “Through The Dark.”

FIVE TO ONE! Adam McKay posted an update early Saturday alerting us to the first “Bill Brasky” sketch in 15 years, and here it is…

This cult classic sketch features four guys talking about the legendary salesman Bill Brasky, who remains unseen, as they build up his legend. A fifth guy joins in midway through. They’re drunk in a bar (or this case, a Chuck E Cheese), with red faces and oversized front teeth. So Paul Rudd is there. Taran Killam, too. Original Bill Brasky sketch leaders Will Ferrell and David Koechner are there. And Kenan Thompson plays the role usually reserved for Tim Meadows. And yes, we noticed. And yes, so did he.

Thanks to Bobby Moynihan for this behind-the-scenes photo of the real Bill Brasky. To Bill Brasky!


Well, that’s it. See you next week.

I felt underwhelmed after the monologue. Did you, too? Or was it just the in-studio audience? Sometimes when you have SNL all-stars reunite, it raises everyone’s boats, and sometimes, it reveals the other scenes as not quite as special. Or something like that. I’m sure we won’t be saying that next week, or the week after that, when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake steer 2013 home with the Christmas episode. Hope I didn’t just build up your expectations too high!

Some weeks, I’d just as soon see Tara Ariano’s predicted version of SNL as I would the real thing. Maybe we can make that happen, people?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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2 thoughts on “SNL #39.8 RECAP: Host Paul Rudd, musical guest One Direction

    1. Thank you for clearing that up! I loved the song but didn’t know what it was and when I googled Oh Daddy I knew it wasn’t that!

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