Star of The Muppets movie Jason Segel hosted Saturday Night Live last night, accompanied by Florence + The Machine as the musical guest. And of course, the Muppets themselves made a few appearances, their biggest being in the monologue, and if you ask me, their most effective being during Weekend Update.
The episode also had an appearance from Jon Huntsman, Paul Rudd, and Olivia Wilde, making it one of the most weirdly diverse episode this season. Jason Segel brought SNL to season-tying numbers in 18-49 bracket, so lets’s go through the night and talk about what worked, and what didn’t.
Cold open – Another topical sketch about a Republican candidate running for president. Jason Sudeikis plays a pretty decent Mitt Romney, considering Romney’s lack of distinctiveness, but the sketch really wasn’t that funny. It seems as if SNL is focused too much on filling their cold open slot with something topical and not enough on its quality.
Monologue – Bring on Jason Segel and the Muppets! Of course, you can’t really go wrong with a musical number and the Muppets, so the monologue was pretty great. After a lackluster cold open, this is exactly what the episode needed to get viewers excited again. Check it out below.
Red Flag commercial – Did anyone think this fake commercial was actually funny the first time it aired? No? Seth Meyers, why are you running this again? Thankfully, we know this segment will be brief. Time to make a late-night snack sandwich.
Regis Philbin sketch – A lot of things can be said about SNL’s current cast, but they’re definitely awesome at impressions. Usually, impression-based sketches tend to run at the end of the program, so I was delighted to see it right at the front. This sketch was a perfect mix of topical and impression-based. Each of the characters was pretty hilarious, but my favorite was definitely Taran Killam‘s Ashton Kutcher. Give Taran Killam more sketches!
Kemper-pedic commercial – Not bad, SNL, not bad. This sketch was kind of funny and kind of unique. Just one question: why didn’t this air at the beginning instead of the Red Flag commercial?
The Vogelchecks – This recurring sketch is always reliable, just for the pure ridiculousness of it. We know what’s coming, but that’s okay, because it’s really funny. I wouldn’t say that this particular Vogelcheck sketch was better than any of the other ones, but the surprising appearance of Paul Rudd made it one of the night’s highlights.
Weekend Update – As usual, Weekend Update was the best part of the evening. Seth Meyers‘s jokes were as funny as ever, Jon Huntsman was surprisingly funny and likable, and I think Seth Meyers may have found a new co-host in Kermit the Frog. Really!?! With Seth and Kermit was perfect; it evenly blended Kermit‘s cuteness and the inherent comedy in the story to make the ultimate joke.
Mitch’s retirement – Was this not the longest-seeming sketch of all time? This one was a miss. For sure. It wasn’t that funny, and it went on forever.
New Jack Thanksgiving – Umm… Again, why are the least funny sketches the longest? This was one of those farfetched ideas that really shouldn’t have even been tried. Bring back the Muppets or something, come on!
Digital Short – What happened to the digital shorts this season? I can’t recall a single one of them. Anyway, Seducing Women Through Chess was definitely funny, but I have to wonder why it wasn’t aired earlier on in the episode, like digital shorts of the past. Not Andy Samberg‘s best, but good. (It was nice to see Olivia Wilde make an appearance, though she didn’t do much.)
André The Giant – This sketch was funny, but you can tell that it aired purely because of Jason Segel‘s flawless impression. The idea that they built a sketch around a single impression is pretty delightful, but they probably could’ve done more with his unbelievable skill.
Blue Jean Committee – Given the number of surprise guests this week, it was no surprise that they would all show up at the end and sing a song together. Funny and simple, this sketch was the ideal way to end the episode.
Overall, Jason Segel‘s episode of Saturday Night Live was one of the best episodes of the season. However, that’s not saying much in the midst of such a disappointing year. Only about half of these sketches were truly funny, a handful of them had a frustrating amount of potential, and a few more were complete bombs.
Florence + The Machine did their thing and rocked the audience, but I’m still constantly confused my the musical guest choices. They seem to either choose a critically acclaimed guest that no one’s really heard of (Florence, no offense), or they pick one of the most over-played, mainstream artists in America (Ke$ha).
This episode needed much more Jason Segel, more Muppets, and much, much more Really!?! With Seth and Kermit.
What did you think of last night’s Saturday Night Live? Let us know in the comments.