The last star to pull hosting and music duties was Lady Gaga last season. Blake “Austin” Shelton has now taken the challenge. So how did he fare?
Here to promote The Voice (which, yes, is still around and popular), the country star had fewer sketches than most hosts, but it didn’t affect the quality of the show…one way or the other.
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: 1/24/15
Host & Musical Guest: Blake Shelton
Patriots Press Conference Cold Open
Yep, this is exactly how this episode should have opened; the events of Deflate-gate overshadow whatever happened on Capitol Hill this week — at least in terms of comedy. Taran Killam’s meathead Tom Brady was funny, but Bobby Moynihan’s Dougie Spoons stole the sketch as it evolved into an A Few Good Men tribute. 1 point
I was really afraid a musical monologue was imminent, but this “hee haw” was actually a pretty unique premise. It wasn’t the funniest monologue I’ve seen, but I appreciate the novelty. 1 point
This was a hilarious take on idiotic dating shows by way of The Bachelor. Half the contestants being porn stars and not-so-subtly racist was brilliant, and the sketch escalated perfectly. Textbook comedy. 1 point
The punch line here is funny, but the song really dragged on — that’s the problem with comedy in music, really. Props for the hair and makeup on Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon, though. 1/2 point
Celebrity Family Feud with Blake Shelton
While this was just a vehicle for impressions, Keenan Thompson did one of the few great ones he has: Steve Harvey. While McKinnon’s Keith Urban and Cecily Strong’s Christina Aguilera stood out, Thompson’s Harvey had some fantastic zingers to balance out any weaker performance. 1 point
It’s been a while since I’ve given less than a point to Colin Jost and Michael Che’s Update, but they can’t all be winners. The jokes were OK, but certainly not their best. Moynihan’s Riblet (a meta commentary on Che’s performance?) was head-and-shoulders above anything else at the desk, and it makes me want Mark Payne back even more. Sasheer Zamata’s Nicole was weak, but it was almost worth sitting through for the quick — but triumphant — return of Riblet. 1/2 point
Finally, a good post-Update sketch! There were plenty of great lines from Thompson here…though if that was his Morgan Freeman impression, let’s hope it doesn’t come out again soon. 1 point
My Darlin’ Joan
The makeup on Killam was fantastic — shame I don’t give points for design in this column. The sketch dragged on a bit like Wishin’ Boot, but at least it kept ramping up the punch lines. 1 point
Why do I feel like Killam has played a magician before…? Well anyway, Shelton played the dumb audience member well, and his wishes were all pretty funny. Gotta love the raunchiness of closers too. 1 point
Total: 8/9 possible points
For his first time around, Blake Shelton did his country (music) proud. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to seriously prepare for J.K. Simmons’ first turn next episode.
Tony is Laser Time’s Editor. You can make fun of him on Twitter if you want.