Following La Lohan’s disastrous SNL hosting, pretty much anyone could do better. (Not Anna Farris, as much as I love her. That was a tough episode.) So, how did Jonah Hill do?
It was OK. It wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great. It had it’s moments that I’ll rewatch, but it had quite a few that made me scratch my head.
– Monologue: Rather than have Hill sweat it out on the stage, they did a really funny video showing how the Oscar nomination turned him into quite a douche. It was the smaller glasses/larger scarf bit that did it for me, along with his dismissal of Kristen Wiig’s nomination. But of course what sold the monologue was the arrival of Tom Hanks and his twin Oscars, showing Hill how one really becomes a d-bag with an award.
– Weekend Update: I don’t remember too many of Seth’s jokes, but you bet I remember Andy Samberg’s inept impersonation of Sarah Palin – he was just close enough visually that you almost thought he could have pulled it off…before he opened his mouth; and we finally got Stefonback! Bill Hader could barely hold himself together describing “that old Pakistani woman that looks like a California Raisin” and lost it completely on the Hoomba (midgets attached to skateboards who roll around eating garbage off the floor). And Stefon got his liplock with Seth Meyers, a long time coming.
– The Coolio Proposal: For some reason the final sketches have become the dumping ground for most insane and crazy ideas the writers have going around in their heads. And those are the sketches that slay me. This week’s proposal set to Coolio’s homeboy anthem “C U When U Get There” was great. Bizarre, had some white boy rapping, some fly girls grinding on him, and the clapping guy. Plus, we now know that Coolio is going to die in the next millennium. Did it make any sense? Absolutely not.
– Digital Short: As the Simpsons have taught us, nothing is funnier than a guy being hit in the groin, it works on so many levels.
So why wasn’t this short about Jonah Hill being hit repeatedly in the groin with tennis balls a high? Not quite sure… McEnroe was entertaining, the ghost tennis ball thrower was OK, and Dr. Darius Rucker Jr. was OK. But it just didn’t reach the hilarity that I’ve come to expect from the shorts after all these years.
– Benihana: Repeating a character he played the first time he hosted, Jonah Hill played Adam Grossman, a very precocious 6 year old who is essentially the reincarnation of a Borscht Belt comedian. This time instead of pimping out his dad to the lovely ladies seated at their table, he lobbed scarcastic remarks about his dad’s newest girlfriend, Vanessa Bayer in her best middle-aged Jewish accent.
– JPop America Fun Time Now: This is a limited sketch by design, but Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer continue to bring something funny to their utterly oblivious racism, and Jason Sudekis brings it home as their faculty adviser who desperately tries to distance himself from them. Jonah Hill came on as their friend from summer camp who liked to dress up as a Samurai. OK. He broke character a few times but that just helped the sketch. His voice garbled the lines a bit, but the one about not telling his mother he cut himself with a sword again was pretty good.
– Cold Open: Let me say I think Taran Killam did a great Rush Limbaugh, really getting the voice. The problem is that the script didn’t live up to that. At this point if you’re going after Limbaugh, you go after him. This attack focused on a string of d-list advertisers rather than really putting it to Limbaugh himself. Plus you could tell the crowd just wasn’t into it, which isn’t a good sign for the beginning of the show.
– Brutus the Ape: Watching Jonah Hill’s talking ape talk about how much Hill really just like to have sex with the primate made long for Mr. Peepers.
– Liza Tries to Turn Off a Lamp: SNL has a Kristen Wiig problem. They either forgot how to use her effectively or just let her run rampant with her ideas that aren’t worth a full sketch and always go on way too long. This is the second week in a row that a Wiig focus sketch just bombed. It was only mildly better than the homesitter sketch last week, if I want to be generous. If this really is her last season, I’ll miss her in some things (her tiny handed/large foreheaded singing sister never gets old for me) but I won’t miss these sorts of sad sad sketches.
So overall? Jonah Hill is game and we know he’s funny. With a better script from the writers, he should definitely come back again. With Tom Hanks and his kick-ass twins, of course.