To quickly catch you up on Saturday Night Live news: Kenan Thompson is engaged to his model fiancée; meanwhile, castmembers Fred Armisen and Abby Elliott broke up. (A 20-year age gap, you say? RRRRRRRRED FLAG!)
Saturday’s episode of SNL, hosted by Emmy-winning Melissa McCarthy, garnered higher ratings than the season premiere, incredibly. Did McCarthy’s performance manage to top Alec Baldwin’s? Absolutely. The lady was up for anything.
The cold open uses Taran Killam’s (who?) considerable talents (I know, right?) very nicely, but what really makes this sketch sing is Melissa McCarthy’s man-arms. (As per its usual, the Onion A.V. Club hated this sketch, along with everything else ever. Vulture, in the meantime, applauded McCarthy’s range.)
The opening monologue is cute. I really love Kristen Wiig as McCarthy’s foil.
The “Arlene” bit goes on too long, but it earns its extra minute thanks to McCarthy and Jason Sudeikis’s formidable improv abilities. The sketch casts McCarthy as a sexually voracious and aggressive character, and yes, it is funny when McCarthy molests the horse-shaped balloon.
As for this week’s “Digital Short,” what’s up with all the Stomp jokes lately? Is there a stage revival I don’t know about? It’s like, 1995 called; Broadway wants its show back.
The premise of the daytime talk show “The Comments Section” is hysterical (HAW HAW), and although the sketch itself doesn’t quite deliver on all its promise, Sudeikis does a bang-up job of selling it.
Hey! A Chris Rock impression! It’s cute when “featured” castmember Jay Pharaoh has something to do. This was the weakest segment of the night (Flavorwire disagrees), but hot damn, that Chris Rock impersonation is dead-on.
Weekend Update was OK. That Nancy Grace quip was priceless. Final Laugh-out-Loud Count: 3.
Next: you wondered when they were gonna make fun of Melissa McCarthy for being fat, and they did! Watch as Melissa McCarthy ravenously slurps Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing by the spoonful! Lady was game for it, I guess—meanwhile, CNN hailed McCarthy’s “Linda” character as the “new Pete Schweddy”—but I still found this script a little irksome.
A sketch about vaudevillian bombshell Lulu Diamonds (McCarthy), who can’t make it all the way up the stairs. I actually laughed a lot at this one, and I have zero clue why.
Finally, castmember Paul Brittain makes his first and only appearance in this episode as a bartender:
Image via CNN.