Casey Affleck Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

Weekend Update felt like it was kind of sputtering out here, kind of devoid of energy and not nearly as sharp as previous weeks. Though I will say it picked up with the cut jokes from earlier in the season brought back to end the segment. Hopefully the long winter break gives Colin Jost and Michael Che some time to recover.

Putin’s Best Friends From Growing Up Return – Oh, so this is why Fred Armisen was just around. I mean, sure these characters are funny, but bringing them back just for this when the segment wasn’t as amusing as previous appearances feels like a waste.

The Host

When Casey Affleck was announced to host the Christmas episode, I thought that was a weird choice. Not only did it turn out to be a weird choice, but it turned out to be a bad one. This made for the least entertaining Christmas episode in recent memory. Affleck mumbled his way through his monologue, didn’t do much better in any of the other live sketches, and only shined in the Dunkin Donuts sketch. Maybe it’s his acting style, maybe he’s just not a great comedic actor, but I wouldn’t be mad if he never came back to host. But the joke about Ocean’s 12 was funny, despite the fact that I still enjoy that sequel.

The MVP

Kate McKinnon – Even if the return of Ms. Rafferty wasn’t as funny as the first time, McKinnon is still great as that character. Plus, that Hillary Clinton sketch parodying Love Actually really showcased her facial comedy skills, something that goes unnoticed most of the time because line delivery overshadows them. Even her dead-eyed performance as Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway makes me laugh when the overall sketch isn’t great. She just has a gift for comedy.

The Final Word

Well, this was a bummer of a way to end 2016 for Saturday Night Live. I think the writers and cast were pretty tired after doing so many runs of three episodes in a row this season, and the end of the year just fizzled out. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a host to give them renewed energy. What would have helped is if Chance the Rapper hosted instead, because his appearances in two sketches were energetic and fantastic. I’m sure he’ll host at some point.

We’ll be back in the middle of January after Felicity Jones hosts on January 14th.

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