Emma Stone hosts Saturday Night Live’s ballsiest episode of the season

With last week’s Charlie Day-hosted episode, Saturday Night Live was coming off a relatively strong showing. The question then, this week was– would the sketch series be able to at least keep the laughs at last week’s level? And the answer is, yes. So if you’re keeping track of my SNL win-loss record for season 37, this episode brings the show above .500. Its record now is 3-2-1. Perhaps more important than a fake win is that I feel this week SNL took some real chances. So, let’s get to the sketches, shall we?

SNL‘s Republican Presidential debate spoofs have been consistently entertaining throughout the season. And this week’s cold open — another such debate — kept the streak alive. Instead of simply poking fun at each of the increasingly clownish candidates, the writers extended their critique to the folks responsible for letting Gov. Rick Perry continue to make an ass out of himself at a speech in New Hampshire two weeks ago– and beyond. Bill Hader returns as Perry. And it is good.

Did you guys see Andy Samberg’s monologue last night? Wait, stop. Did you see what I did there? Right. Emma Stone’s monologue was pretty heavy on her not doing anything and Samberg doing all the work. Also, actor Andrew Garfield drops in. Why all the support for her second time hosting? Regardless, Samberg does a solid job and SNL scores for pointing out yet another Spider-Man movie is being made for no good reason.

The next sketch finds Kristen Wiig back as the un-celebrated stage actress Mindy Elyse Grayson on the retro game show “Secret Word.” Stone does a competent job portraying a psychologically disturbed beauty queen and Hader does his best sexist game show host. In the end, the sketch seems a bit pointless but still laugh worthy.

Hader returns as everyone’s favorite racist, sexist, old-man news reporter Herb Welch.The highlight here, of course, is the intimate beating Wiig’s character endures. She gets bonus points for not breaking character.

This week’s Digital Short features Samberg as a cheeseball crooner trying to create a cheeseball music video whilst singing about creating said video. You see, the song is called “Wish It Would Rain” (not to be confused with the Temptations hit) but then it doesn’t rain in the video. And that’s a huge problem. And also, Emma Stone is Samberg’s assistant and she has a huge ass. Ugh.

With the Penn State scandal breaking wide this week, SNL was almost obligated to approach the topic. And they did– and did it well. Jason Sudeikis traded in his Mitt Romney act for that of a more obviously evil figure– The Devil, who drops by the Weekend Update desk with Seth Meyers. And even the Devil can’t believe how fucked up the real-life sexual abuse scandal is. The writers even get in a great dig on Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter faux pas. Well done, SNL.

SNL faves Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Wiig) return to the Weekend Update desk for some new Thanksgiving-themed songs. Chris Martin from Coldplay (the night’s musical guest) joins the duo as their brand new back-up singer.

And now on to some quick Weekend Update highlights, including more Penn State, the Duggars and gay penguins.

This may be my favorite sketch of the season. Wiig’s character is having her bridal shower and all her pals are there. But Wallace is there as well; she’s an awkward co-worker of Wiig’s — played by Stone — who doesn’t quiet get the difference between typical R-rated, happy-go-lucky female sex gifts and the type of sexual deviancy usually reserved for the likes of Jim Norton. I haven’t seen SNL take chances like this in quite some time. Check it out.

This is outstanding. Stone and Samberg play co-hosts of a program that boasts vignettes featuring pieces of technology fucking. The bit has seemingly endless possibilities and would make an excellent recurring piece– or en exclusive web series. I can see some of the more progressive tech companies paying to get their products features. Anal would cost more, of course.

After some pretty piss-poor showings, I feel like SNL is on a slight roll. What did you guys think of this episode and of the season so far? Sound off in the comments section!

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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