Cameron Diaz hosts the show for her fourth time. That Five Timers club membership isn’t far off now!
And hopefully next time is a better show. When you break it down, Diaz’s episode wasn’t the worst I’ve seen (that dishonor is still held tightly by Jim Carrey), but a few little laughs here and there don’t make for a comedic whole. Also, who’s Mark Ronson? Sounds like the guy we all went to high school with.
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: 11/22/14
Host: Cameron Diaz
Musical Guest: Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
Cold Open: Capitol Hill
Nice, a Schoolhouse Rock nod! And like last week, this is an actual sketch, not news headlines repeated nearly verbatim for laughs. I hope the trend of the crew actually trying with political openers continues. 1 point
I’ve ranted about musical monologues before, but I’m not there yet with the Q&A cliche. They’re just as trite, and another clear sign that the writers had nothing to actually say about the host. At least Aidy Bryant had a good line. 1/2 point
Back Home Baller
The SNL ladies had a great Digital Short (because you know that’s what these are) with “Do It in My Twin Bed” last season, so it’s nice to see them back. But aside from Leslie Jones, none of them really made me laugh. 1/2 point
Jones is usually the highlight of a sketch for me. But other than a few lines from her, the sketch was weak–and what a terrible ending. 1/2 point
The past few episodes have had some strange sketches, and this one joins the pack. Something about Taran Killam’s doofus attitude hit the right notes, but the sketch overall was nothing special. 1/2 point
High School Theater Show
Ya know what? This is a pretty accurate example of the weirdness of experimental theater, but there were zero actual jokes. And I really can’t fathom why the audience continued to laugh at the stupid blue-hued techno transitions. 0 points
During shows like this, I look forward to Colin Jost and Michael Che’s Weekend Update to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, there was nothing special this time–even powerhouse Kate McKinnon wasn’t up to par. Killam and Cecily Strong as Charles Manson and his bride-to-be were good for an uncomfortable laugh at least. 1/2 point
Office Boss with Cameron Diaz
The “boss babby” is great character from Beck Bennett, and it’s nice to actually see a recurring character in a new context. That sketch evolution was missing from SNL recurring bits for a long time. 1 point
Dr. Dave and Buggles
What a (good) left turn this sketch takes, eh? Keenan Thompson harping on the monkey ripping managed to stay funny through the whole sketch, and Jay Pharoah’s single line was gold. 1 point
Here’s your token Good Neighbor sketch for the week. It’s not as good as some others this season, but most of the exploding car cutaways had me laughing. 1/2 point
Poetry Class with Cameron Diaz
Hmm…another recurring sketch? Two of those, a Q&A monologue, and a return from the rapping SNL ladies proves to me the writers truly had no material this week. At least Pete Davidson got a good line in at the end. 1/2 point
Another weird one closed out the show, but the ever-changing awkwardness of McKinnon’s sitting position had me laughing. Side note: is Cecily Strong in every closer? Sure feels that way. 1 point
Total: 7.5/12 possible points
Like I before, this week was a poor showing, but not nearly as awful as Jim Carrey’s “comedy variety” show. I guess you can’t expect much from an episode airing right before a Thanksgiving break, but I’ll be thankful for a better show in a few weeks.