Zach Galifianakis Hosted SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (And We’ve Got Your Good, Bad & Ugly)

The Good: It doesn’t take much for The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis to make us laugh (Said the actor during his understated opening monologue, “I’ve been in Canada, opening for Miles Davis.” Only to quickly follow that that up with… “Kilometres Davis.”) Which is why — combined with the-never-not-funny mockery of Kathie Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s fourth hour of the TODAY SHOW, the always sharp Seth Meyers manning the Weekend Update Desk, and a digital short that had Galifianakis weaving his way in and out of NBC properties such as the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, 30 ROCK and LAW & ORDER — added up to a better than average episode of SNL.

The Bad: Aside from the Vogelcheck family “kissing” gag that stopped being funny months ago and a sketch that tried (and failed, spectacularly) to find humour with Kristen Wiig and Galifianakis uttering the word “Bidet” over and over and over again, our problems with last night’s show were two-fold. First and foremost, with the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert so ingeniously skewering the political world four nights a week, SNL is going to have to do a helluva lot better than trot out Fred Armisen’s Obama for a poorly thought out “Cold Open” that amounted to little more than reinforcing the obvious fact that his Healthcare Reform Bill hasn’t exactly gone as planned (Well, Duh!) And two, we couldn’t help but feel that Galifianakis” beard (which he, spoiler alert, may-or-may-not have shaved off in the final sketch!) was creatively stifling. Severely limited the types of sketches that could be done by relegating the comedian to variations of a stoner homeless man, stoner high schooler and possibly stoner ambidextrous flute player. Which brings us to…

The Ugly: Aside from giving highly-respected NY Times columnist Frank Rich his fifteen minutes of fame and providing a platform for what has now amounted to the show’s obligatory celebrity cameo of the night (Paul Rudd), we have to ask: What is up with the show’s continued insistence on giving Keenan Thompson’s highly unfunny “What is Up With That?” sketch airtime?

  • bws

    What’s up with that is the only funny thing Kenan Thompson has ever done on SNL. I enjoy its wackiness. I’m constantly humming it or singing it at different times during the week. Ooooooooooeeeeee!

    But yes, better than average night for SNL. At first I thought it was weird that Zach had so many skits without speaking lines but then I realized that he can kill a scene without speaking a word and just looking at the camera.

  • CT

    I LOVE “What Up With That”! Jason Sudeikis dancing KILLS me. It makes me giggle so much.

  • Denisa

    I think that if Kathie Lee saw the skit last night, she will seriously be thinkin of hangin up her hair extensions and microphone & go retire with old man Frank in Connecticut!!!

  • Kyle

    Wow–that episode was terrible. I’ve never been a fan of ZG (don’t know why people find him funny). The only skit I enjoyed was the Today Show one. Never been a fan of “What Up With That”–it’s a single joke that never ends.
    The question I have is is ZG’s beard fake all the time? In the last skit he had no beard, but it was back (and looking really fake) when saying goodnight.

  • TMZ

    SNL is so bad these days that last night’s episode could pass for very funny. And for those people who don’t get what’s funny with the “What’s Up With That” sketch, you need to watch it again. It is always funny.

  • Sherman

    Indeed, at the opening monologue, you can clearly see his beard is connected to his moustache. in the closing it is clearly not vonnected and a lot poofier. But I have ot say I loved! the situation room sketch where he was dancing, to the music “It’s a party!” And in the paris Sorbon cafetaria, when he’s dancing the song lyrics are changed to “C’est un party!” Hilarious.

  • makila

    fred armisen is truly horrible at doing Obama. they’re just ignoring that fact.

  • kevin

    what’s up with that is one of my favorite sketches that they do.

  • nkinsey

    First off, Keenan has the same facial expression in every sketch. Seriously, watch them again.

    Secondly, EVERY sketch except for ONE starred Wiig (literally, I counted). I love her and everything, but she’s amazing as a supporting character, NOT the star of them ALL. Give the new people more.

    If you look at the profiles, most of the actors have been there 8ish seasons each. In the 90′s (even late 90′s) that would NEVER happen. They would shed cast members when they hit the 5-6th year with the show. No wonder the show feels stale. I’ve watched SNL for as far back as I can remember, and I’ve never given up on the show – but I’m about to.

  • grumpyoldman

    I’m lucky my DVR doesn’t stay up that late anymore.

  • Kristen

    I love What’s Up With That! We’re always singing it around the house!