The cheery barkeep, the true detective: Woody Harrelson hosted this week. Yeah, guy did a pretty good job.
Riding the enormous success of the latest young adult novel sensation (a better one than most, I’ll admit), Harrelson was here to promote The Hungry Teens: Toronto Blue Jays Inning 1. I think that’s right. And while I typically skip over musical guests in this column, I’ll congratulate Kendrick Lamar on a strong performance–dude has energy.
So let’s break this down. People like numbered scores, so I’ve chosen to rate every sketch at 0, 1/2, or 1 point. A sketch not worth watching at all receives a 0, a sketch that doesn’t stand out but didn’t totally flop gets a 1/2, and a sketch that does its job of entertaining and delivering a few laughs will earn 1 point. A standout sketch that goes above and beyond will receive the normal point plus 1 bonus point. Cool? Cool. Let’s talk about it!
Air Date: 11/15/14
Host: Woody Harrelson
Musical Guest: Kendrick Lamar
Cold Open: A Drink at the White House
What started as an obligatory political sketch took a hard left into something genuinely funny. This is what I want from political sketches, not some recycled headlines with a weak Leno-esque jab. I hope this wasn’t a fluke 1 point
Well, Woody wasted no time in getting right to the musical number. For the record, there have been more musical numbers than proper monologues this season–this is wrong. But I won’t get into that rant again. Instead, I’ll say that the cameo from Woody’s Hungry Teens co-stars was actually pretty funny. Jennifer Lawrence’s line flub and recovery were golden. 1/2 point
This sketch was actually a smart take on the current equality (or whatever it is now) movement on Twitter, but it’s only good punchline was Woody getting freaky with Keenan Thompson. 1/2 point
The mid-sketch reveal from Woody is sucks the air out of the room in a hilarious way. The rest of the sketch is just fantastic, even if the twist itself can’t be topped. 1 point
New Marijuana Policy
Much like Mike O’Brien’s appearances last season, it’s obvious to me when a Leslie Jones bit gets turned into a full sketch. Unfortunately, this one went went on for far too long, and without enough good laughs. 1/2 point
Football Halftime Speech
This very brief sketch felt directionless, but at least I was laughing throughout. 1 point
In the era of Seth Meyers, I never would have guessed I’d one day look forward to Weekend Update. But Colin Jost and Michael Che have been killing it; that opening trio of jokes was so well executed. Leslie Jones killed it with some standup-turned-correspondent bit like she always does. 1 point
Old New York
Woody gets another great one liner here: “Remember the crack?” And for a one-note sketch, it kept me entertained the whole time. 1 point
I have one word for this sketch: weird. Woody played guitar in the monologue but didn’t here, and his fake playing was ugly. The sketch never gets past that weird feeling, but the double lake splashes got a good chuckle out of me. 1/2 point
Last Call with Woody Harrelson
This sketch was basically the same as last time or two, but this one seemed far more dirty and over the top than usual–and I loved it. There were great lines in here too. Chip Fister’s de-jaculations were absoulute gold. 1 point + bonus point
9/10 possible points
SNL has done more good than bad this season, but we’re only nearing the midpoint of the season. With so much more to go, things could easily take a dip. From what I’ve seen so far though, it seems unlikely.