It's been 24 years since Bruce Willis last hosted Saturday Night Live, so it was hard to predict what we would get heading into last night's episode. The answer: lots of references to his old movies, and some old man jokes.
His monologue wasted no time in addressing the "man, Bruce Willis is really old" issue. (To add some context: the last time he hosted was the same year this writer was born.) After a quick joke about how many Die Hard movies he ended up making, Bobby Moynihan swoops in to add a Look Who's Talking reference to the tally and then... play some harmonica with Bruce Willis. Because, you see, Moynihan is the son Willis never had, except he didn't inherit any of pops' musical ability. That's the whole joke.
And here's Gravity getting the cold open spot usually reserved for toothless political sketches. Taran Killam and Cecily Strong are astronauts who get stranded and oh, they tricked us. This is a government shutdown sketch. Killam and Strong get stranded in space, just like the movie, but the only people left behind at NASA are Kenan Thompson and Kate MacKinnon, who are janitors. MacKinnon is particularly strong here as a Ukrainian-born mom with a space-obsessed son.
And then there was the odd case of "Boy Dance Party," a pre-taped sketch oddly reminiscent of the Lonely Island days, as Vulture's Joe Reid pointed out. Boys just wanna have fun, too, and a group of guys watching the game together while their gals hit the club quickly turns into a dance party. Bruce Willis gets in on the action, which is surprising given his advanced age. He's not limber by any means, but he's front and center for most of the sketch. Taran Killam is the real star, though. It should be noted this is his second music video in two weeks. Maybe there's an emerging trend here? He's the male cast member most on the verge of making that leap to superstardom. (Kate MacKinnon occupies the female spot.) But perhaps Killam knows having a viral music video, per the Samberg playbook, is the quickest route to household name territory.
If you're wondering how well Cecily Strong is doing behind the Weekend Update desk, look no further than the series of one-liners she traded with Seth Meyers last night about the Bruce Jenner-Kris Jenner divorce. The show's flagship news segment is in good hands.