SNL #39.17 RECAP: Host Anna Kendrick, musical guest Pharrell Williams

Kate McKinnon is the star of Saturday Night Live. Anna Kendrick has superstar talent. Tell me something I don’t know! Because now you know. Well, here’s something. A guy I work with at another thing got closer to Kendrick on TV and in life than I ever have, and that makes me mad jealous. But that’s for me to work out. Let’s move on and get you recapped, SNL!

We open cold with the Congressional hearings about GM and the defective ignition switch on the Chevy Cobalt. I haven’t been paying attention. Have you? Does it matter? All that really matters is McKinnon owning it as GM CEO Mary Barra, as she deflects issues of transparency and even tries to take over the entire sketch. For bonus meta fun.

Anna Kendrick’s monologue isn’t online (yet) due to music licensing issues, because they crafted a song for her out of the melody from “Beauty and the Beast.” Kendrick is a musical theatre song-and-dance gal, you see! When was the last time you saw the full SNL cast in a monologue? And what does it say about the size of the cast that you barely can fit them all onstage at once, let alone in the frame of the screen?

No fake ad in the fake ad slot.

FOX News’ “FOX And Friends” morning crew is back — Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Brian Kilmeade played with triumphant cluelessness by Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan. With housewife Bethanny (Kendrick) talking about how bad Obamacare was for her. Nicest line by Moynihan? “C’mon science. It’s 2012!” Because “Cosmos” rebooted on FOX, they invite “science guy” Neil deGrasse Tyson (Kenan Thompson) to the show. This will go well…

“Dongs All Over The World”

Um, what now? What year is this? We’re finally getting that ladies response music video to Ludacris and his hos in different area codes, as Anna Kendrick, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata and Aidy Bryant sing about collecting dongs from all over the world. I know a guy in this video. This will be a fun, awkward conversation on Monday morning.

Now there’s that real ad that’s a fake sketch for the Jeep again with Cecily Strong and writer Michael Che. Synergy!

And Oprah remembered to buy an ad to promote her OWN interview with Pharrell, who’s tonight’s musical guest. Timing!


But now we’re back in yesteryear with this Little Mermaid sketch — that’s two Disney animated-movies-turned-musical-numbers-that-won’t-be-online-yet tonight! Kendrick shines as Ariel. Moynihan and Jay Pharoah are sea-creature sidekicks Flounder and Sebastian. And Aidy Bryant is Ursula, sporting the wig she had on since the monologue. Sing! Or just lay down some beastly beats. It’s live TV. Well roll with it. Take two, Kesha. “That is your voice?” “Yes, isnt it beautiful It’s how the humans are singing now.” She tries again with Britney’s Womanizer. Then something, then Iggy Azalea. At least Jay got to bounce some lines, too. Let’s see if the video surfaces with the live miscue or not.

Flirty: A Good Neighbor video before midnight, let alone before 12:30 a.m.?! Apartment building neighbors Vanessa Bayer and Kyle Mooney engage in a series of awkward chats that get super awkward when a third party steps in, but that makes it all better somehow? Are three poos in a pod better than two? That’s a rhetorical question. Just like a Good Neighbor, Beck Bennett’s there!

Ladies and gentlemen, Pharrell Williams. It’s his birthday, so he’s all growns up with a last name and everything. This is “Happy.” With a teen-aged dance crew!

Weekend Update

Kate McKinnon as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, talking Russian President Putin. He no good for her. He no good for you.

Brooks Wheelan, on drinking responsibly for Alcohol Awareness Month. Watch out for blackout butter disease!

Bobby Moynihan as “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin, who is burned out on new titles, names for his books, and might not finish before the HBO series does!

French Dance: It’s 12:30 a.m., and Anna Kendrick joins “Les Jeunes de Paris” dance party. Her French is incroyable! Nasim and Bobby joined by Noel and John on the back wall dance crew. With a Cups reference. Old French people. Kyle as Jean-Luc Picard. And even Jay as Chris Tucker’s Fifth Element guy. This dance party has everything. Stefon would be jealous!

E*Trade’s new ad asks if you’re Type E? Now you miss the talking baby. Admit it. You miss Pete Holmes voicing a baby.

Booker T. Washington High School gets to go on a field trip to the Norfolk Zoo, but no matter what Vanessa Bayer’s teacher says on the mic, or what zookeeper Anna Kendrick teaches them, it’s time for Principal Frye (Jay Pharoah) to get the attention of the teachers and students once more.

Big Joe: When the opening of an old mine collapses, Big Joe attempts to save the pinned farmhand.

Once again, Pharrell Williams. This is “Marilyn Monroe.” The song.

Something something Pharrell’s hat in threes. Do we still care about that hat?

I do want to see a different cut of the final sketch, a video playing off of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament with a highlight video to buy, “Best of the White Guys.” Fun cut of actual highlights, with commentary about the video from Mike O’Brien and Kenan Thompson. The sketch goes a beat too long, though, don’t you think?

Not too long to make it to 1 a.m. and good nights! Thanks, everybody! See you next week!

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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