SNL Viewers Club: Woody Harrelson & Kendrick Lamar

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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

Monologue

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

The Dudleys

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

Match’d

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

Weekend Update

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

Campfire Song

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.

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