Let’s get the obvious out of the way now: This was a dud episode of SNL.
I’m not sure whether to call it bad, or boring, or both, but it was something not good, and the laughs were few and far between. I actually expected tequila slammer Russell Crowe to be a surprisingly good host, someone whose grumpy persona could be mined for humor (Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, his noir-comedy with Ryan Gosling, looks fantastic); instead, we got sketches where Crowe played a hologram king touching Aidy Bryant’s boobs.
Not just any hologram king, mind you, but an interactive museum hologram of Henry VIII, whose real-life history with his six wives can be summed up with the mnemonic device, “Divorced, beheaded, died/Divorced, beheaded, survived.” Crowe portrays Henry as a sexist pig, someone who, when he encounters a woman, yells, “Bear me a son.” Later, but before the flat-out weird boob fondling, Kenan Thompson says hello to Hologram Henry (not to be confused with Hardcore Henry), to which Crowe replies, “My god, a blackamoor. I’ve only seen your kind in paintings.” Kenan’s response: “…and goodbye.” Pretty much sums up my feelings for this episode.