After a month-long hiatus due to the Olympics, SNL returned last night with Jim Parsons as host. Last night also marks the first show without former head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor, Seth Meyers, and I have to say…the show seemed to struggle creatively without him. I didn’t anticipate that, which was admittedly naive of me. Each sketch last night was filled with “almost-but-not-quite” moments; most started off strong and then ended up falling flat by the end.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some great little moments in there! Jim Parsons was a pretty solid host, for one thing. I thought for sure there would be some sort of Sheldon Cooper/Big Bang sketch, and I’m actually pretty relieved that didn’t happen. Here are some of best moments from last night:
1. Opening Monologue
I’m sorry, but Bobby Moynihan has the ability to make everything funny. I was pleasantly smiling along through the opening number until I saw him come out as George Costanza. Kate McKinnon‘s gun-toting Angela Lansbury made me realize I will never again associate actors and their characters as one in the same.
2. Jebediah Atkinson Reviews The Best Picture Nominees
Knowing the first show sans Seth would probably be a doozy, especially during Weekend Update when they introduced the new co-anchor/head writer Colin Jost (did anyone else assume Cecily Strong was going to fly solo for Update? That’s the impression I was under. Had no idea there was going to be a new guy.), it was probably smart to use an old Update favorite: Jebediah Atkinson. His Woody Allen joke didn’t make me “get my bitch on” at all.. well done.
3. 12 Years A Slave Auditions
I pretty much love anything that makes white people uncomfortable (yes, I know I’m white), so this was amazing. Oh, and Mike O’Brien‘s face when Shasheer Zamata hands him a whip to audition with? Priceless. (Sidenote: he and Cecily Strong are dating in real life, you guys! I stepped up my Instagram creeping game this weekend and found that out. Cutessss.)
4. Cold Open: Ellen and Johnny Weir
Okay, so this Ellen sketch fell totally flat. The fault was in the writing, though, and not Kate McKinnon’s performance. I also never realized how much Jim Parsons does resemble a tall, string bean-like Johnny Weir! Great idea for a sketch in theory, mediocre-at-best execution. I feel like there were so many different things they could have done here.
5. Dance Floor Killer
Another sketch that started off with a solid chuckle, and then jumped the shark before it was over. Two things that made it place on this list? Jim Parsons’ perrrfecccttttt “I drive a white panel van to drive around dead bodies” look, and Kate McKinnon’s Soul Train dancing.