The secret to SNL's success so far this season: high energy hosts. Take a look back at the episodes that did work — Martin Short, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx — and the ones that didn't — Daniel Craig, Jeremy Renner, Adam Levine, Justin Bieber. This obviously isn't a perfect barometer for success (Louis C.K. was great, despite his, well, Louis C.K.-ness, while Bruno Mars was all enthusiasm, though his hosting was weak), but it's still pretty striking, and last night's Christoph Waltz-hosted episode only furthered the point.
Because it was very good, thanks to the bundle of giddy joy that is Waltz. Unlike, to continue picking on him because obviously, Bieber, who was relegated to background player in his episode, Waltz was right up front in his and played an integral role in all his sketches. The episode leaned on him hard, and he leaned right back with a giggle. Props to the writers, too, for acknowledging his accent during the monologue, then never coming back to the easy joke again. (The role of Stock Foreign Person was left to Kate McKinnon during Weekend Update, and she killed it.) You couldn't imagine this episode working with anyone but Waltz, and that's the sign of a great SNL host.
Plus, Dejesus Uncrossed. Yes and please.
An obvious beginning. Less expected was how good it was. Maybe I'm just a sucker for good poop and dead monkey jokes, but the cold open found the perfect amount of weirdness and human misery for me. Because cruises are terrible, and once something goes wrong, society begins to crumble and we realize how pointless magicians are.
GLICE??!? Oh wait, that was last week.
A short monologue powered by Waltz's enthusiasm and Casual Hitler's style.
Not the best, but not the worst, either.
When I figured out where this sketch was going, I was ready to write it off. But it was surprisingly funny, with a depressing, game show contestant shame-causing premise I can get behind (man, I really get off on the pain of others...) and Aidy Bryant continuing to do stellar work. Sweet tap moves from Christ, too.
(I love Nasim, but it seems like whenever SNL creates a character that the office idiot will say "I SO KNOW SOMEONE LIKE THAT" on Monday, they're never funny. Buh-bye.)
"JESUS H. CHRIST." "The 'H' is silent." Excellent. Waltz's giddiness was apparent and justified, Taran Killan’s wonderful Brad Pitt impression returned, and it was smart for the sketch to not just focus on Django, but Quentin Taratino's entire filmography, including Pulp Fiction-era Ving Rhames. Best of all, there are going to be some upset Christians today. Dejesus is ready.
"Where Does My Penis Go? Point to Where" is my "Imagine." Great premise, great execution, great everything.
Impressive performance from Taran, but I don't think anyone's displeased to see this in Weekend Update.
Kate McKinnon was born to play a sad Russian woman.
"My milkshake brings all the boys to the haunted mineshaft."
Except the real-life Stephen A. Smith to clarify later today that, "My main man Kobe Bryant and I did NOT have a romantic night on top of the Empire State Building. It was the Chrysler Building."
Pretty sure the writers only included "Regine" because two of them bet whether Hader would break in under 30 seconds.
It was over. A new personal best.
Always worth it, if only for THE CRAWL.
Yeah. Get it right, Fox. It's spelled, "Kurp," not "glacier."
Take a bow everyone. Ya done good.
SNL returns on March 2nd with Kevin Hart and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.