Box office hero Melissa McCarthy stopped by Saturday Night Live for the second time in her career last night and saved the episode when some of the jokes weren't that great. Oh, and a certain Tyrion Lannister showed up ahead of this Sunday's Game of Thrones premiere.
This week's cold open had Kim Jong-Un announcing the reopening of a nuclear facility and also reversing the country's ban same sex marriage. His nephew turned out to be gay, you see, and he hated watching him suffer. He had him executed for hosting a book club at his apartment, but his struggle was tragic and heart wrenching while he was alive. This is an excuse for Bobby Moynihan to blabble some gibberish with someone else translating. The back half of the sketch is Un assuring everyone how good and amazing at heterosexual sex he is, despite his new stance on the gays. And then Dennis Rodman shows up, because... North Korea, or something. Let's move on.
Melissa McCarthy is finally here! She's here, guys. It's her second time hosting and she's wearing heels for us. Except she can't walk in heels at all, and didn't practice in them, so it leads to some disastrous results. Taran Killam comes out in a monkey suit and bow tie to sing a song for McCarthy's second time hosting the show, which seems like a play off the hype surrounding Timberlake's fifth time last month. McCarthy's a physical comedy pro, and watching her dance around on her knees while Killam sings is some top notch stuff.
So by now we've all heard about the Rutgers controversy, right? Well, this is 100 times worse. McCarthy is Sheila Kelly, the head coach of Middle Delaware State, and she makes Mike Rice look like a saint in comparison. Bill Hader is ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. in this episode of Outside the Lines, and even he's not safe from Kelly's abuse. She curses at players, kicks players, throws basketballs at players just like Rice in that video. But Kelly also shoots T-shirt guns at them, chases them through the school with a taser and throws toasters at their back. ("Because when a defender blows by you, you're toast.") She also intimidates her assistant coaches into silence, leading to the best visual gag in the entire sketch.
McCarthy can't sing a lick, lives in a hole and only tried out for The Voice to get a week off from her job removing trailer hitches from U-Hauls. That doesn't stop every judge from wanting her, though! Jason Sudeikis is Blake Shelton, Kate MacKinnon is Shakira, Jay Pharaoh is Usher and Bill Hader is Adam Levine. Pharaoh's impression revolves around how Usher constantly has one leg in the air, and how that's the extent of his personality on the show. MacKinnon's Shakira is probably the funniest impression of the bunch. McCarthy doesn't actually want to be on the show, though, so she calls an audible and picks Cee-Lo to be her mentor.
We don't say this very often, but Weekend Update was one of the strongest parts of last night's show. There was a certain electricity the whole time Seth Meyers was on screen because he knew everyone was waiting for him to mention something, anything, about the rumors he's going to jump ship to host Late Night. It never happened, but the grin on Meyer's face knew you wanted it. Vanessa Beyer's Bar Mitzvah Boy Jacob was the first of three strong guests this week, too. Jacob could only read lines from his binder of pre-rehearsed Bar Mitzvah lines, but his one-liners and awkwardness were the tops. Maybe we're just a sucker for homework jokes.
We have so many mixed feelings about this sketch. On the one hand, Bobby Moynihan is a pretty terrible fake drunk. Like, to the point that we suspect he might be a teetotaler. His impression of a drunk person is all pursed lips and slurring his words maybe half the time. But, on the other hand, yelling out things like "YEAH, I WATCH THE CLIENT LIST" made us laugh uncontrollably. The point of the character is that he hates young people things ("snap chat!") and then gradually gets more and more inappropriate as the sketch goes on ("Chief Pays No Taxes"). The sketch was good but not great until Peter Dinklage showed up as Peter Drunklage and then five stars, best sketch ever, discussion over. The Dink did the same routine, but did it 100 times better. "Kids these days only care about tumbling. Tumble this, tumblr that. Know what's in the bottom of my tumbler? Regret." Bobby Moynihan, take note: Peter Dinklage just owned your character better than you ever have. Study the tape before you bring it out next.
McCarthy's Barb is a secret small business genius. Why didn't we think of this idea first?