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Recap: ‘Saturday Night Live’ – Jim Carrey and Iggy Azalea

Will it be third time”s the charm for Jim Carrey and “Saturday Night Live”?  We shall see as the show returns from its first hiatus this season. When Carrey last hosted in January 2011, only five current cast members were still around. That offers up a lot of new comedic combinations tonight. Plus, as Carrey looks to plug his upcoming film “Dumb And Dumber To,” don”t be surprised to see Jeff Daniels pop by, hopefully in full Will McAvoy mode. (After all, “The Newsroom” is already plenty funny, and sometimes even intentionally so.)

As per usual, I”ll assign grades to each sketch while liveblogging all the action. As per usual, I urge you not to get bent out of shape should these grades not align with your own. If you did, well, that would be super strange and kind of boring. See you at 11:30 pm EST when things kick off properly.

Ebola Czar: If ever a show was prepared to deal with the public hysteria about ebola, it”s “SNL”. First, Jay Pharoah's Obama notes that ebola isn't so terrible when compared with other issues in his second term. Next, Taran Killam plays Ron Klain, who takes various questions from the press about his lack of medical background in conjunction with the severity of the disease. The best part of the sketch isn”t about the disease itself, but the way Klain tries to use fear of it to help swing some of the midterm elections. Kenan Thompson”s Al Sharpton follows “Ebola Caesar” Klain, who is “immune to all infectious diseases” thanks to his mustache. Sharpton doesn”t get why ebola should be singled out as a threat. “All of New York is contaminated all of the time!” he declares, to the approval of the audience. This was really three mini-sketches connected loosely by ebola, but all in all a perfectly fine if unmemorable opening. [Grade: B-]

Monologue: Carrey appears as…Satanic Elvis? Oh, “Helvis”. Sure, why not. Carrey sings a song about how Elvis Presley…liked to eat food. OK. As an Andy Kaufman anti-comedy act, this is great. However, I”m pretty sure not that”s the point of this, which makes the monologue technically fine (check out the scale of that gospel choir!) but comedically awful. And even that would be OK if this were entertaining, but everyone but Carrey looks like they are just trying to get this over with already. [Grade: C-]

Matthew McConaughey On Lincoln: Never would have picked this as an impression from Carrey, but Lord knows these commercials are ripe for parody, and Carrey nails it. “You do it because you love it…or because you”re an Uber driver!” The sketch focuses too much on snot humor, but I”m still hoping this is a runner throughout the episode. [Grade: B]

Carrey Family Reunion: What works for Christopher Walken works for Jim Carrey! The cast gets to all bust out their best Jim Carrey impressions, with the concept being Carrey stole all of his best characters from family members. Vanessa Bayer gets the Talking Out Of Her Butt Joke, which means she”s the Alpha Dog this week.  Everyone's good, but Cecily Strong”s Fire Marshal Bill is AMAZING. And lo, as expected, there”s Jeff Daniels, albeit in full “Dumb And Dumber” mode as Grandpa Lloyd. This was slightly sloppy but a heckuva lot of fun, which is really the important thing. [Grade: B+]

Matthew McConaughey On Lincoln 2: YAY IT”S A RUNNER. This time, McConaghey”s driving five miles hours with kids who aren”t his in the backseat. I will definitely not get sick of these. [Grade: B+]

Haunted Graveyard: Paul and Phil are two spirits who totally ruin a spooky song on Halloween for the rest of the spirits trying to haunt a teenage couple. Carrey and Killam are a fantastic pair, and really sell the “aw shucks” nature of this duo. The sketch never really goes anywhere, but also does not outstay its welcome. I also give it a slight bump up for being a large-cast sketch that utilizes everyone onstage. Nothing groundbreaking, but a fun idea that is well-executed. [Grade: B]

Matthew McConaughey On Lincoln 3: Oh no, McConaughey just hit the President from “24”! Liiiiinnnccccooooooln. [Grade: B+]

Weekend Update: Romantic comedy expert Daisy Rose (Bayer) comments on the recent wave of TV rom-coms. At least, she tries to, but keeps getting distracted by her crush on Michael Che. Bayer nails the slightly psychotic nature that animates characters in some romantic comedies, and Che”s real-life rejoinders to her fantasy world are great. (“OK, you better go!”) Afterwards, Drunk Uncle makes his return to the “Update” desk, and is none too happy about the lack of Seth Meyers. He wheels past Che to talk to Colin Jost in a fantastically awkward move that”s totally appropriate for the character. That being said: can you IMAGINE a Che/Drunk Uncle conversation? That would be Must See TV that might have actually been too raw for the audience to handle. As for Jost/Che aside from the guests: Fine, even if Jost refuses to stop doing Lesser Meyers as his persona. [Grade: B]

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