TV

‘SNL’ Recap: Josh Hutcherson Is A Tiny Baby Man (And A Pretty Good Host)

Josh Hutcherson: movie star sucks. Take a look at his career: Zathura: A Space Adventure (“It’s like Jumanji in space!”), RV, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Red Dawn. That’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on movies that are doomed to spend their existence on HBO Latino West, where they’ll never hurt anyone again. Hutcherson also plays the worst character in the Hunger Games franchise, Peeta, a baker’s boy who’s more useless than…actually, there is no one more useless than Peeta. Cecily-as-Katniss carrying Hutcherson on her back is a fairly accurate representation of the kind of fighter he is.

But Josh Hutcherson: the SNL host, well, he’s not half-bad. I’d even go so far as to say his episode was far better than Jennifer Lawrence’s, an opinion that’s practically blasphemy on this website. He was likeable and eager without appearing as overzealous, and while he never blew me away, he didn’t rely on the cards as much as other first-time guests. Also, he is a very tiny baby man with a fine taste in 1980s pop songs.

Cold Open

There’s yet to be a stone cold classic cold open this season, and Piers Morgan covering all things George Zimmerman was no exception. But there was enough here to keep it from being a complete dud: Kate McKinnon as Florida’s mascot/George’s new girlfriend, the tracker that goes from the gun store to the liquor store back to the gun store, and “I guarantee it” AND Limp Bizkit references. Eh, I’ll take it.

Monologue

Just as the writers unloaded all the Scandal references on Kerry Washington during her monologue, the same thing happened here, with Hutcherson playfully mocking his Hunger Games character, Pitiful Peeta. Outside of McKinnon’s Effie and Kenan’s key party, there’s not much to talk about here (it was cute-ish?), so instead: I saw Catching Fire last night, and every time Jeffrey Wright spoke, I kept waiting for him to say something about all the goddamn white people messing things up “for the Libyans.” That moment never came, though. F-.

Girlfriends Talk Show

It’s a good thing I find Aidy Bryant’s stressed out reactions consistently hilarious, otherwise “Girlfriends Talk Show” would join the ranks of “The Californians” (I got that uncomfortable shiver down my spin, too) on the list of “Things That Should Be Sent Straight to Hell.” This was one of the better variations of the sketch, thanks to the masculine presence of Hutcherson making Bryant all kinds of uncomfortable *down there*. His a capella solo was a thing of beauty, and one of two times he broke out in song during the episode.

Office Boss

OK. Where do you think the writers got the idea for a full-grown CEO with the body of a baby? Is this something they’ve been wanting to do for years? Has Beck Bennett been working on his baby stroll since the day he was born (technically, yes, I guess)? Did everyone get drunk one night this week and say, “F*ck it, baby CEO it is.” I have no idea, but I want to know because I’m glad the ridiculous “Office Boss” exists. It’s not often SNL does physical comedy these days, but watching Bennett play with his spaghetti and stumble-walk his way across the set makes me wish they’ll do it more. Like so much of this episode, it was SO dumb, but I still laughed.

Matchbox 3

Here’s a non-Digital Short digital short that probably didn’t play well outside of New York, where subway dancers go from car to car to car, shouting “WHAT TIME IS IT? SHOWTIME,” always playing the same song. It went on for far too long, but if I came across a dancer named Lil’ Peanut holding a red flag while riding the Q train, I’d give him everything in my pocket. So, two pennies and an old Red Dawn ticket stub (curse you, Hutcherson).

Weekend Lady: The Worst Lady on an Airplane

That line about the Dell laptop killed me. So did this entire character, actually. Bryant is so often the odd woman out, so her Worst Lady on an Airplane, who looked like a finer dressed Paula Deen, was a nice moment for her to shine, and she did. Tuna, broccoli, and setting up shop in the bathroom jokes ALWAYS kill.

Best Buy

Nice reuse of clothes from last week’s episode. Anyway: I’m disappointed that the Internet hasn’t already turned the Garfield’s butt putdown into a GIF, because that was the best insult in a sketch full of them. Shame shame. I’m not a huge fan of these characters, but Moynihan and Strong are stellar in the roles, never stumbling over even a single “bitch.” As for this Andrew fellow, I have a sneaking suspicion that /gets chloroformed by Andrew

Dancing

It was no “Blockbuster,” but Kyle Mooney’s “Dancing” was elegant in its execution and a solid parody of every rags-to-riches movie, but in the span of about four minutes. And like “Blockbuster,” it began normal enough before taking a turn for the odd while still remaining grounded by its premise. Also, VHS jokes.

Bugs

Bugs. Do I kill them? Become their friend? Do I eat them? Raw or well done? Do I interview them? About where they’re going? (In order, YES, no, NO, neither, yes, they’re going to the supermarket, apparently.) Oh yeah, and was the tuba sound effect the funniest non-“Josie” gag of the night? YES.

Thanksgiving

Vanessa Bayer was an odd choice to play the turkey who Hutcherson talks home to his suburban family, almost as odd as that sentence, actually. She does a lot of things well, but having a mental breakdown isn’t one of them, and that’s where “Thanksgiving” should have gone when the cooked turkey was revealed. But it doesn’t. Then again, this was the final sketch of the night, in which a woman dressed as a giant turkey eats corn out of the hands of a guy who doesn’t deserve Jennifer Lawrence in a movie, so whatever, happy Thanksgiving.

HAIM

If Hunger Games fans are allowed to be either Team Gale or Team Peeta, then I’m Team Lead Singer of HAIM. I’ve wasted much Internet ink professing my love for this band, composed of three sisters, one of whom has the most exaggerated facial expressions seen outside of The League, so I’m glad “The Wire” was heard by a national audience.

×