‘SNL’ Recap: Zach Galifianakis And Of Monsters And Men

Zach Galifianakis is the 10-to-1 of comedians — the more bizarre and absurd, the better. But outside of that final sketch, that’s not the kind of humor SNL typically traffics in; there’s a clear set-up/punchline to most of the show’s jokes, and as Galifianakis admitted during his cold open, he loves the former and doesn’t always include the latter.

This was Galifianakis’s third time hosting SNL since “do I know you from The Hangover? No offense” became a common occurrence in his life, and looking back at the first two, probably his best episode of the trio. It wasn’t great by any means, and Galifianakis kept tripping over his words, but it was less reliant on already established characters than his previous appearances (i.e. no “Affectionate Family”) and the writers were wise to not suppress Galifianakis’s very particular persona. Or maybe I was just happy to see Jaime Lannister and Don Draper, I dunno.

Nothing separates this “Fox & Friends” from any of the other previous installments, outside of maybe Bobby Moynihan believing the “W” in WNBA stands for “Worse,” but the list of corrections is always amusing:

The Bangladesh one is a thing of beauty.

Good job, Internet.

I knew all the Game of Thrones questions and few of the real-life ones. I…don’t want to talk about it. The sight of Zach Galifianakis in a dragon costume was enough to make E!’s game show (???) “Game of Game of Thrones” memorable (even if there was a lot of undue hostility toward the show and its fans — haha, our grandmothers are our best friends?), but then they had to go and bring out Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and I got lost in his eyes. No clue what happened at the end of this sketch. Bill Hader threw wildfire at the audience? Probably that.

This was the first new SNL since the events in Boston last month, and the only time the episode got even vaguely political (outside of the cold open), it had nothing to do with Boston. That’s fine; I usually get mad at the show for going soft on big issues, but I don’t think anyone really wants to see a sketch knocking those Chechens down a peg. Besides, then we would have missed James Carville’s series of casino moves while discussing gun control.

It was good to see Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party, Cecily Strong’s breakout character who first appeared during one of SNL‘s Thursday night specials back in November, again, though I’m dissapointed she didn’t ask if she could say the N-word or C-word this time.

Product placement done right. Shame they couldn’t dress Racist Jim up in a Chocolate Babies costume, though.

Goddammit. Darrell’s House was a long set-up to a great joke (the constant asides to Marcus killed the momentum), but unfortunately, us next-day online folk only get the first, less funny half, not the Al Jolson/Jon Hamm pay-off. (UPDATE: never mind, silly NBC.com.)

Great theme song, though.

SNL has always been good at hyper-specific stereotypes, like how New Balance sneakers are ostensibly for athletes, but they’re only worn by overweight men in their late 30s, early 40s. I can’t wait to own a pair in a decade.

Take note of Jay Pharoah’s Dikembe Mutombo fingers. Horrifying. Anyway, this sketch started horribly slow, but as soon as Zach and Jason began snorting coke, the pace and energy picked up, and while it never hit as well as it could have, the sight of two professional jugglers with white dust on their faces was good enough this late in the episode.

So…the Lumineers but with horns and better hats? Kids today sure love their earnestness.