SNL Viewers Club: Chris Hemsworth with Zac Brown Band

Laser Time, SNL, Saturday Night Live, episode, review, season, Season 40, Chris Hemsworth, Zac Brown Band

The mighty Thor took on hosting duties this time, but was the hammer dropped?

Chris Hemsworth, the aforementioned God of Thunder, had his first SNL hosting gig. It’s a bit early, but I suppose he was there to rep Avengers: Age of Ultron (since January’s Blackhat was flat garbage). And on the musical side, Hemmy was joined by the Zac Brown Band. If they’re your thing, great.

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: 3/7/15

Host: Chris Hemsworth

Musical Guest: Zac Brown Band

Hilary Clinton Cold Open

After the brilliant Birdman riff last episode, the writers returned to their political rut with a sketch that contributed absolutely nothing. Kate McKinnon has eternal energy, but she was stuck repeating the same “I might run in 2016!” punch line the whole time. 0 points

Monologue

The visual gag of Keenan Thompson as Hemsworth’s “brother” is hilarious. When things started going the rote Q&A direction, I was happy to see the concept flipped on its head by Thompson answering the questions instead. 1 point

American Express Ad

There wasn’t any statement being made here, but the American Express punch line was decent. 1/2 point

Brother 2 Brother

Well, here’s a second sketch about Hemsworth being handsome. The ripping Taran Killam’s was pretty funny though. 1 point

Empire Promo

The joke wears off after a while, but the juxtaposition of White Guy Jeff is hilarious. Props to Keenan Thompson for doing an actual impression. 1 point

Spaceship

It was early in the show for such a bizarre sketch, but I respect the choice. Oddly enough, the weirdness ramps up to a completely logical conclusion. Well done (pun intended). 1 point

The Iggy Azalea Show

Hemsworth didn’t impress much here, but McKinnon’s sudden shifts from Aussie to rap voice are perfect. 1 point

Weekend Update

The Colin Jost/Michael Che duo weren’t telling the best jokes at first, but everything from the Dr. Ben Carson rant on was excellent. Leslie Jones had another good rant, but Cecily Strong’s Girl…at a Party hasn’t done anything new in any of her last dozen appearances.  A decent Update, right down the middle. 1/2 point

Avengers News Report

You’d expect this sketch to lead the show, not fill the post-Update slot. It’s great seeing Thor be a total douche after defeating Ultron — Hemsworth probably felt great breaking away from the usual Shakespearean portrayal. 1 point

Movie Set

This feels like it should have aired directly after Update. Thompson’s voice was funny, but the sketch never moved beyond the cast hamming it up. 1/2 point

Reality House

One of the best Good Neighbor bits yet. A great subversion of how stupid and petty reality TV disputes can be. 1 point

Porn Stars: Dolce & Gabbana

We’ve seen this unchanging, recurring sketch a thousand times, but it still manages to be funny. Strong and Vanessa Bayer are so brilliantly stupid every time. 1 point

Total: 9.5/12 possible points

A decent episode, but it felt like the writing staff didn’t have many solid ideas. Hopefully the break before the next one gives them time to recharge.

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