The Best & Worst Sketches From Chris Pine's 'Saturday Night Live'

This weekend brought Chris Pine to Studio 8H in 30 Rockefeller Plaza to host Saturday Night Live for the first time. Since Gal Gadot is currently pregnant with her second child, her Wonder Woman co-star got the honor of hosting the show as a way to help promote the comic book movie. Those hoping for a Wonder Woman sketch during SNL were disappointed, but for those who have always wanted to hear Chris Pine sing over and over again, the sketch show delivered plenty of that.

We run through the best and worst sketches of the Chris Pine hosted Saturday Night Live after the jump.

The Best

SWAT Recon – Holy cow, this sketch is silly. But as soon as I saw Chris Pine and Mikey Day dancing and eating cotton candy, I lost it. The sketch only gets more goofy from there, and the casual way with which Kenan Thompson and Beck Bennett are talking about what's they're seeing just makes it even funnier.

Star Trek Lost Episode – First, I love that Kenan Thompson has become the go-to host for sketches like this when an old movie or episode of television is set up. But I love even more the character of Spocko played by Bobby Moynihan. Though this sketch is hilarious, what's even funnier is that this concept isn't too far removed from how silly some of the really bad episodes of the classic Star Trek series were. Plus, how fun is it to see Chris Pine playing William Shatner playing Captain Kirk?

Fun Fact: The person playing Sulu is set designer Leo Yoshimura, who has been with SNL since the show started 42 years ago. He played Sulu during the days when John Belushi played Captain Kirk and even when William Shatner hosted and took part in a Star Trek sketch back in 1986. He's only ever missed one episode of Saturday Night Live in his entire career.

The House – Chris Pine's monologue on SNL featured him musically explaining that he's not Chris Pratt, Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth. Therefore, it seems appropriate that Pine did this sketch with Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett after the faux reality show premise was used in a sketch when Chris Hemsworth hosted SNL back in March of 2015. Unfortunately, Pine isn't playing the same character that Hemsworth did from that sketch, but it does add another layer of humor to a perfectly executed pre-recorded parody of The Real World, or pretty much any reality show out there.

Auto Shop – Despite the fact that Kenan Thompson does a terrible blue collar New York accent, the rest of this sketch is hilarious as these grease monkeys pretend that they don't know anything about Ru Paul's Drag Race, but really know everything there is to know about the drag queen reality competition show. The sketch takes a hilarious turn when they just lean into this premise by admitting they watch the show and then having their own round of the competition, complete with some stellar lip syncing.Chris Pine Hosted Saturday Night Live

The Average

Where in the World is Kellyanne Conway? – I was fully expecting this game show to play out like the actual game show from the 1990s, but it just ends up being a long, intricate set-up for the joke that no one wants to find Kellyanne Conway. Sadly, that punchline is a little underwhelming, but SNL deserves plenty of credit for putting together an impressive recreation of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, right down to the old Corporation for Public Broadcasting logo.

The Handmaid's Tale – Here's another example of the folks at SNL putting together a flawless recreation of another show. But the premise of the sketch just never really came together to be all that funny. Though Chris Pine and Mikey Day are great at playing a couple of clueless bros who haven't noticed that anything has changed in this patriarchal society, it wasn't explicitly hilarious from my perspective.Chris Pine Hosted Saturday Night LiveOffice Meeting – Aidy Bryant and Vanessa Bayer go to war over who gets to have Chris Pine, the hot guy at the office, by lip syncing to Brandy & Monica's signature tun "The Boy Is Mine." The physical comedy here by Bayer and Bryan is solid, and when they yell at an interrupting worker in the middle of their routine it's even better, but it's a bit of a one-note gag in the end. Though I will say having Chris Pine break into his own rendition of  Sadly this sketch isn't online due to music rights.

Morning Joe – As dedicated as Alex Moffat and and Kate McKinnon were at playing of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, this cold open still felt like a bit of a stale premise. They heighten the sexual tension between Mika and Joe while their guests just look on in horror. The end of the sketch featuring Alec Baldwin calling in as John Miller, the fake publicist that Donald Trump once pretended to be on a phone call, was a nice touch, but it wasn't enough to elevate the sketch to being great.

The Worst

Couples Game Night – Cecily Strong and Chris Pine make for a fun musical duo, but this sketch goes on way too long. The joke is that the other couples don't know the song, while Pine and Strong just keep putting on an exaggerated show. Pine breaking the window and cutting his hand made me laugh, but that was about it.

World Peace Rap – I'm not sure how this didn't end up being the1 10-to-1 sketch, because it's weird as hell. Beck Bennett plays a Russian rapper who is trying to get a message out about political issues but can't seem to stop bring his focus back to porn, which he's clearly addicted to. The fact that the song keeps coming back to porn is amusing, but something about the sketch just doesn't come together to create anything comedically remarkable.Chris Pine Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

This didn't feel like a strong edition of Weekend Update for Colin Just and Michael Che. The one-liners just weren't really up to snuff, and even the attempts to mock the headlines out of Washington DC felt uninspired this week. The nightmare at the White house is really starting to make it even more difficult to mock, and that's just depressing.

Dana Lazarus – I would love to see how the cue cards for this sketch are written, because Vanessa Bayer does an incredible job of saying nonsense that sounds like a weather person giving a gibberish weather forecast. The callback that came during the second wave of Weekend Update stories was a nice bonus.

Leslie Jones on Vacation – Leslie Jones not being able to keep a straight face for part of this segment added some laughs, but otherwise, this was one of the more tame appearances by the comedian at the Weekend Update desk. It added to the tame feel of this week's Weekend Update as a whole.

The Host

Chris Pine has proven he has great comedic chops, and the ease with which he hosted Saturday Night Live wasn't surprising. Even if the episode as a whole was just an average one, Pine was a fantastic host and was clearly having a good time. What was surprising was that Pine sang in nearly half the sketches, despite not being known for his musical talents (though he did show off his pipes in the big screen adaptation of Into the Woods). There was even a sketch where he ended up lip syncing.  His voice wasn't always the best, but it still worked for the most part, even if the premise for his monologue (explaining the difference between him, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and Chris Evans) didn't need a song to get laughs.

Beck Bennett and Bobby Moynihan


Beck Bennett and Bobby Moynihan – It was way too hard to choose between these two for the MVP this week. Bobby Moynihan was hilarious in the Star Trek Lost Episode while Beck Bennett was great again in the faux reality show The House. Plus, Bobby Moynihan and Beck Bennett were both awesome in the Auto Shop sketch and the SWAT Recon sketch. It was a good night for both of them, even if Bennett was the lead in one of the worst sketches of the night.

The Final Word

Saturday Night Live took a break from hitting Washington DC hard this week, and I think it helped the overall quality of the show. There was only one sketch really mocking Donald Trump, and it was mostly a parody of Morning Joe first and foremost. The same can be said with the Kellyanne Conway sketch, which wasn't particularly scathing and served as a great parody of the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego first and foremost. This allowed for some goofy antics and silliness which was a welcome departure for the depressing things happening around the world.

Of course, not every episode will be like this. Next week we're bound to get back into more political satire with Melissa McCarthy returning as host, and we'll likely be seeing her famous Sean Spicer impression in that episode. We don't know if Alec Baldwin will be back to play Donald Trump just yet, but we'll find out next week.