Three rounds in the ring? More like 11 sketches on stage for MMA champ Ronda Rousey. (She would probably clobber me for that terrible joke.)
I feel like neither of these ladies need an introduction. Ronda Rousey is quite possibly the best fighter in history, and Selena Gomez went from Disney Channel darling to a genuine pop superstar. I guess we can just get to the sketches, yeah?
Palin Endorsement Cold Open
Look, it’s nice to have Tina Fey back as Governor Sarah Palin, but aside from the “balls” line, this was nothing but some Dr. Seuss rhymes. At this point, every show is losing half a letter grade by default.
Credit where credit is due: this monologue was crafted for Rousey — not a cliche Q&A or musical number. However, most of it fell very flat. Blame it on writing or the host, but it didn’t work.
Screen Guild Awards
A little heavy handed, but you know SNL had to tackle this one. The sketch ramped up just the way it needed to, so points there. But Rousey doing little more than smiling at Taran Killam is quite underwhelming.
This went on way too long for a one-note sketch — even if the note is Ronda Rousey kicking ass.
This also went on a bit long, but I love the lineup of insane women the titular man has to deal with. Decent cameo too. Is the Bachelor starting up soon or something?
During episodes like this, I look to Weekend Update to zing me with a few edgy lines. While Michael Che had one or two good ones, most of his and Colin Jost’s punch lines just didn’t land. It’s always good to see Leslie Jones ranting at the Update desk, but the same goes for her: some good lines, but we’ve seen better. And we got nothing new from Kenan Thompson’s character Willie — at least his appearance was brief.
Teacher Trial with Ronda Rousey
This sketch was decent when it first aired last season, and it didn’t even reach that average-height bar this time. Again, we have barely a handful of lines from the episode’s “host,” and the jokes largely fell flat. At least Kenan’s “my man” was good for a laugh.
And here we have another sketch where Rousey barely talks and the whole thing goes on way too long. Awkward pacing too. I think my favorite part was Taran almost falling over while the crew posed together.
At the Club
I don’t know if this needed to be a musical sketch, but Beck Bennett’s rap failure and cunnilingus obsession made for a few chuckles. That was a sentence I never expected to type.
City Council with Ronda Rousey
As much as I love Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon, there was almost nothing redeeming about this one. Pete Davidson’s appearance at the end was a good payoff, but I wouldn’t ask anybody to wait around for it.
Kyle Mooney and Bennett usually make for a good pair, but this sketch was not the one. I get what these characters are supposed to do, but it just didn’t make for good comedy. At the very least, Rousey played an actual role in this sketch.
She’s only had a few film roles, but I wouldn’t pin the blame on Ronda Rousey here; the writing was just poor. Was this written this way because the crew expected to have the episode canceled? The only reason to watch this one is if you’re trapped inside due to a blizzard — which is exactly what happened. At least we get a break before Larry David (hopefully) comes in to make things funny again.