What’s not to like about Emma Stone? The young redhead seems to be one of the most likeable and grounded members of today’s Young Hollywood scene, eschewing arrests and stints in rehab for well-liked turns in films like Superbad, Zombieland and Easy-A. Some might even go as far as to call her the next Anna Faris! However, much like the aforementioned Faris, her first time hosting Saturday Night Live didn’t exactly go as planned.
It wasn’t like Stone was a stiff on the level of the dreaded January Jones, but it was clear from the monologue that she going to be a natural in terms of her ability to connect with the audience (Related: Who chose that outfit? She looks like she’s going to her first day of Boring School, not hosting SNL). Stone is neither a stage actress nor a true comedienne, but we hoped that she would bring a little something more to the proceedings than a look that screamed “I’m just going to try and get through this without screwing up.” Granted, it was not the writing staff’s finest hour, but when you’re given the opportunity to zing Lindsay Lohan, you gotta make it work!
So, we’ve established that Saturday night’s episode was pretty middle of the road, but there were some interesting breakthroughs this week (say hello to Paul Brittain, everybody!). Follow along for our weekly breakdown of how the Not Ready For Primetime Players performed this week!
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE POWER RANKINGS: 10/23/10 (Host: Emma Stone; Musical Guest: Kings of Leon)
1. Kenan Thompson (33 points): Did you know that Kenan Thompson arrived at Studio 8H a full two years before the likes of Andy Samberg, Kristin Wiig, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis? It’s true, Kenan joined the cast WAY back in 2002 (the others were class of ’05). The reason I bring this up is because while it feels like it’s time for Wiig to hit the bricks — more on this below — Kenan is still blossoming. His portrayal of New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan on Weekend Update was one of the show’s high points, and despite his similarities with Grady Wilson, I look forward to seeing more from Googie Rene and his assortment of stained costumewear. Sheeah!
2. Nasim Pedrad (32 points): I still haven’t forgiven Lorne for dumping Jenny Slate into the Hudson River, but I’m really glad that he decided to keep Nasim Pedrad around for another season. So far this season, Pedrad is proving herself to be a future anchor of the show, even if she does have a semi-annoying habit of continually playing characters who are obsessed with members of their own family. And you really can’t put a price on her ability to shimmy, as evidenced this week by her slick moves in Les Jeunes de Paris (not to mention her backup dancing in “What Up With That?”).
3. Bill Hader (29 points): It’s official, everybody loves Stefon! Admittedly, the whole corpsing thing felt as forced as the Tracy Jordan subplot in the live episode of 30 Rock a few weeks back, but when you get lines about fat kids on slip-n-slides with knees like biscuits, why bother complaining? I can only hope that, one of these weeks, we get to go on a Digital Short road trip with Stefon to New York’s hottest clubs.
4. Kristin Wiig (29 points): Criiiiiinge! Oh boy, “Dream Home Extreme” was an exercise in awfulness that showed what would happen if the Target Lady met Surprised Sue on a road trip to Yikesville USA. M
Points for trying out a new character, we suppose, but next time, perhaps she could try something with some new mannerisms? (Thanks to commenter Buffyinindy for reminding me that this wasn’t the first time that Dream Home Extreme sketch has aired; we had wiped this awfulness from our memory. My apologies, all points have been updated to reflect this.)
5. Paul Brittain (26 points): There he is! After we (lovingly) advised Brittain to take last weekend to hone his pitches, he came back firing on all cylinders this week, particularly with “Sex” Ed Vincent (“You can call me Sex Ed, that’s me. Sex Ed, that’s me!”). Even though it wasn’t billed as such, it was the best “digital short” of the weekend. Welcome to the party, pal!
6. Fred Armisen (16 points): Armisen didn’t have much to do this week, but that’s okay. His Obama has never been a strong suit, but his Joy Behar is always, well, a joy. (Groan.)
7. Andy Samberg (15 points): Again, not much to say about Samberg this week. He showed up, said his lines, then got out of there. His Grape Jelly character in the Digital Short was very Aqua Teen Hunger Force-esque, wouldn’t you say?
8 (tie). Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam (13 points): Ok, Taran Killam, you’re on watch! Of the four new castmembers, only Killam has yet to have a character that really connects with the audience. That said, we have no idea what part he had in the Les Jeunes de Paris sketch (which, sadly, NBC hasn’t put up on Hulu, likely due to royalty monies they’d have to pay), but I thought it was the standout sketch of the night.
11. Jason Sudeikis (12 points): Not the best week for my boy Sudeiks. His main involvement in the show this week was his Brett Favre impression, but a few things bugged me about this:
A) I know this is REALLY nitpicky, but Favre is a righty and Sudeikis is a lefty. Don’t know why that bothered me, but it did.
B) This sketch a rip-off of Funny Or Die’s “Dickhole Jeans” (which, I believe, went up on Thursday).
11 (tie). Bobby Moynihan, Jay Pharoah (8 points): Ack, another week, ANOTHER terrible impression of a celebrity. His Jonah Hill didn’t really resemble Jonah Hill in any way, shape or form. BRING BACK MARK PAYNE!
13. Abby Elliott (4 points): The less said about Abby Elliott‘s work so far this season, the better.
BONUS! A huge congratuations to our old Best Week Ever pal and VH1 alum John Mulaney for absolutely KILLING with his new bit, “I Love It.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE POWER RANKINGS: SEASON 36 TOTALS
1. Andy Samberg (122 points; Last Week: #1)
2. Fred Armisen (114 points; Last Week: #2)
3. Kenan Thompson (109 points; Last Week: #3)
4. Kristin Wiig (105 points; Last Week: #4)
5. Bill Hader (104 points; Last Week: #5)
6. Jason Sudeikis (77 points; Last Week: #6)
7. Bobby Moynihan (69 points; Last Week: #7)
8. ⇑ Nasim Pedrad (67 points; Last Week: #11)
9. ⇓ Taran Killam (57 points; Last Week: #8)
10. ⇓ Vanessa Bayer (56 points; Last Week: #9)
11. ⇑ Paul Brittain (51 points; Last Week: #13)
12. ⇓ Jay Pharoah (50 points; Last Week: #10)
13. ⇓ Abby Elliott (44 points; Last Week: #11)
Need a refresher on the Scoring System?
Here’s this week’s sketch-by-sketch breakdown:
Also, did you know that we’re showing classic episodes of SNL every night on VH1? It’s true!