There’s A Reason SNL Usually Has A Host And A Musical Guest, And His Name Is Bruno Mars

No offense, Saturday Night Live, but you need to get your head in the game a little bit. Your first two episodes of the season were so good that I got my hopes up, and now that it’s in a mini-slump, I’m even more disappointed because I know your true potential. Last night’s musical guest was Bruno Mars, and the host was…also Bruno Mars. Who is well-known for his fine acting and comedic chops, as honed by long years of study at…absolutely nowhere. Which was problematic. Not that Bruno isn’t a super talented musician, because he is. And he didn’t embarrass himself in the sketches, but because he’s never been an actor, he had no point of view to bring to the show, which is what it really needs to be successful.

His monologue at least managed to point out everyone’s concerns, riffing on the fact that all he could see was our ‘judging faces’ waiting to see if he would fail, but SNL also went to their go-to fallback this season, which is having a host sing in their monologue. It seems like any time they’re at all nervous about someone’s skill as a host, they just add singing and/or dancing. I think the only person so far this year who hasn’t done either of those things was Daniel Craig. Christina Applegate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Seth MacFarlane all did. And now we can add Bruno to that list.

On the plus side, I thought the cold opening was awesome. It was a spoof of the second presidential debate, which was held this past Tuesday at Hofstra University, which also happens to be my alma mater. (Not that I’m biased, but I’m totally biased.) The writing was funny, the impressions were on, and they finally let Aidy Bryant talk for more than a sentence in a scene, as she played Candy Crowley, the moderator. They also inexplicably added Tom Hanks to the mix, and peppered him liberally throughout the rest of the show, anytime the audience’s enthusiasm started to flag.

Another highlight was Taran Killam‘s impression of Brad Pitt for the Chanel No. 5 spoof commercial. They drew on the fact that Brad looked pretty seriously homeless and was strangely incoherent for the original commercial, and inserted the spoof several more times throughout the show, making Brad sell Doritos, , and dog condoms. Not my absolute favorite impression ever, but topical, and definitely similar enough to be funny.

There was also a hilarious sketch where Pandora crashes and the executives have to ask their intern, Bruno Mars, to sing songs live for people while they click through. He has to sing in the styles of Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, and Aerosmith, and I’d love to show it to you, but they didn’t put it up on Hulu so you’ll just have to imagine it. And finally, there was the return of Stefon, giving tips for the hottest Halloween parties, and Bill Hader‘s hilarious, ill-fated attempts to hold it the fuck together. He’s lucky one of his character bits is to cover his mouth, because he was cracking himself up the whole way through. By the end, he’s shaking in laughter with his head in his hands. It’s not like he does it all the time, though, so I kind of loved it.

So yeah. Some good, some bad, mostly neutral. But I know you have it in you, SNL! Bring it home next week with Louis C.K. and musical guest Fun. These are famous last words, but I literally don’t see how that could go wrong.

(Image: NBC via Mary Ellen Matthews)

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    • niks4u

      The incompetency of the writer is exposed when he confuses Katy Perry for Kelly Clarkson. If you are going to write on pop culture, I would suggest a bit of background knowledge. And as much as I like JGL, he was below average this season. And I won’t even mention Daniel Craig. I think it was a pretty successful experiment by SNL, as proven by the ratings and generally good reviews.

    • Damon Aldora

      Bruno Mars is one of my favorite artists, and now he is one of my
      favorite hosts from SNL. For his first time hosting, he seemed so natural with
      his impersonations, such as during my favorite skit, Pandora Intern. Who knew
      he could play Michael Jackson so perfectly? I couldn’t see the show live the
      other night since I was working late at DISH. I set up my Hopper to
      automatically record the show so I could watch it the next morning. It’s nice
      that I can have the entire season on my DVR, and still have plenty of recording
      space left over. I hope to see Bruno Mars hosting again soon.

    • Barbara

      whoever wrote this article is an ass Bruno Mars was the best he is talented beyond belief and took the show to top ratings I don’t know what you saw but millions of people thought he was great would watch SNL again if Bruno Mars hosted

      • Cookie72

        TOTALLY agree! The author needs a new job



    • terrible

      Disagree completely with you

      • Cookie72

        I truly hope you are talking about the author, because Bruno was great.

    • Reese

      Famous. Last. Words. “I don’t see how that could go wrong” You called that one

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    • Cookie72

      The writer of this article is blind. Bruno was the BEST thing that has happened to this show in a looooong time. SNL is losing their comedic edge. To say that the cold skit of the Presidential election was funny(Are you kidding me?) -it was horrible and boring. That Stefon character is ridiculous and annoying AND Brad Pitt character WAS THE WORST, looked like Brad but was completely pointless. I suggest they get someone else to write this article.

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