‘SNL’ Recap: Joseph Gordon-Levitt And Mumford & Sons

It was all too fitting that Mumford & Sons would be the musical guest of last night’s episode of SNL. They’re not a great band, but their enthusiasm and earnestness makes them hard to dislike, even if all their songs sound identical. The same was true of SNL, as hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt: there was nothing remarkable about the episode and there’s not a single sketch we’ll remember come “best of season 38” time in May, but I still enjoyed myself. It’s because the cast’s energy was high, and even if everything blended together and was light on the comedy (like installment #49 of Jason Sudeikis and Friends Drinking In a Bar), I never found myself checking to see when the episode was over. That’s something, I guess? I dunno, let’s get to the Magic Mike.

I have never seen a woman move quicker to a TV than I did this morning, when my fiancée literally shot out of bed when she heard JGL mention Magic Mike. Is he the new C-Tates? Haha, no. A doberman pinscher made out of metal with rocket launchers for legs and lasers for eyes couldn’t even be the new C-Tates.

I know that SNL used their best political material during Thursday’s night special, but still: it’s nearly November in the most hateful, bitter, and unintentionally hilarious year for a presidential election in…maybe forever, and the show begins with a Kelly & Michael parody? Not to take anything away from Nasim and Jay, who were both fantastic, but SNL could have tried harder than an R-Pattz spoof.

It’s peculiar seeing two prerecorded sketches this early in the show (along with Undecided Voter), but whatever, it was fun and continued SNL‘s well-meaning pandering to the meme crowd. Adding Jason Sudeikis in the second installment was a nice way of keeping things from getting too stale.

Like I said earlier, there’s something to be said about the enthusiasm a host brings, and how it can liven up the entire cast. If January Jones looks dead, for instance, everyone else will, too. JGL brought out the best in everyone, especially in this sketch, with Taran Killam as a hypnotized female Tyrannosaurus Rex. It only works because Killam goes for broke, stripping off his clothes, making that awful noise, and humping Kenan. Terrifying image, but amusing enough.

A premise that works better as a Twitter joke, rather than an actual sketch, but at least it had the decency to only last two and a half minutes.

Props, SNL folk. Last season, whenever Seth didn’t have Amy Poehler next to him for “Really?” it blew. The way the bit is designed, it’s supposed to be a back-and-forth between two anchors, not one. “What Are You Doing?” is essentially the same thing, but Seth can do it by himself, and what do you know? It was actually funny. Yay for improvement!

I almost want Mitt to win, just so Kate McKinnon can keep doing her Ann Romney impression. Almost.

This might have been my favorite of the night. That’s not to say it was amazing or anything, but the references were specific enough to work and it’s shocking how often Kenan and Jay do something together, which is to say, not at all. My boy Teddy Graham showed up, too.

Ah, the simple pleasure of a mediocre skit about d*cks getting cut short for time.