Melissa McCarthy was last night's SNL host, and it's a credit to how at home she's made herself on the show these last three years that she was comfortable taking a back seat this time around as the promotional push became centered around Seth Meyers ending his 13-year run on the show. Seth's final Weekend Update was both the guest-starry event we expected (Amy Poehler! Andy Samberg! Stefon Meyers!) and yet somewhat subdued. After Poehler and Kristen Wiig's exits, moments of bracing sincerity aren't that novel anymore, and while Seth's voice cracking as he talked about leaving his dream job was touching, expectations had maybe been set a bit high. No one last "Really?!?!" for the road, for one thing. That said, Fred Armisen's reprise of David Patterson at the very end, recalling Amy's own exit from the Update desk, was a very nice and appropriate touch.
And there was a whole rest of the episode to deal with! A rather scattershot episode in terms of what worked, what didn't, and (mostly) what worked well enough but never felt like it truly took off the way that sketches in past McCarthy-hosted episodes have. Sadly, there was no Lulu Diamonds to be found in the rough this week. But quest for an MVP marches on! And with due respect to Aidy Bryant delivering yet another solid "Girlfriends Talk Show" and Kyle Mooney once again doing his Kyle Mooney thing, this time among the Times Square Super Bowl denizens, here's what we came up with:
Taran Killam: Last night's cold open was either hilarious or my brain is wired to find delight at the centre of a musical theatre and football Venn diagram. Maybe I'm weird. But Killam killed as the Broadway version of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning after the original halftime show, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, was forced to cancel because of the Polar Vortex. On Weekend Update, he played Atlanta resident Buford Calloway, essentially a cross between Jebidiah Atkinson and Jason Sudeikis' southern judge, who was plagued by two inches of "Obama's white friend," or "New England clam powder" this week. Calloway didn't work exactly as planned this week but there's plenty of potential there and maybe he needs another chance. The sun will (hopefully) rise again. —CS