If you wanted a house of representatives, you built one yourself.

Cold Opening – Mitt Romney’s House
I chuckled at Mitt telling America that it hurt his feelings “very, very much.”  What was up with the heart forming around the scene and then going away before the scene ended? B-

Anne Hathaway’s Monologue
Another singing monologue?!  Well, Anne’s a good singer.  And the entire cast was involved!  That actually makes it all better.  I couldn’t quite make out the lyrics while they were all singing at the end, but it definitely came together quite nicely. B+

Girlfriends Talk Show
Cecily sounded like she was doing the same voice she does for The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.  Her character reminded me of Dalia Royce from Suburgatory, in that she wasn’t a straight-up mean girl; instead, she was weird and clueless and her meanness derived from not realizing how weird and clueless she was being.  Her rapport with Aidy was quite strong.  For some reason, the “you have a basement?” line cracked me up. B

The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish
Well, SNL, if you are going to be this weird and this original, then I am not going to complain about you not being all that straight-up funny. B+

Okay, SNL, we get it, you watch Homeland.  Now make a joke! C-

Without Bobby (and to a lesser extent, Cecily), this sketch would have been patently terrible.  As it was, it was just weird enough to work.  “You should be at the end of a sentence, you huge period” was the highlight. B-

Rihanna performs “Diamonds”
I always like it when the musical act messes with the SNL stage, so I was intrigued at the beginning when I saw the green screeniness.  Plenty of folks on the Internet have already identified those images – accurately – as something out of a Windows 95 screensaver.  So … I don’t know what that was all about.  But, Rihanna sounded about as good as she has ever sounded live.  And she really needed to, because “Diamonds” is far from her best song. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: I thought that the David Petraeus-All In bit was a Story That Was Funnier Than the Punchline, but the crowd just ate it up.  The pantsuit industry joke was just too true. C+
-The Segments: -Barack Obama: Man, was there an angle here?  Jay, what was up with the (un-Obama-like) mugging?  I did laugh at the “one-debate head start” line. C
-Gay Couple from Maine: Hmm, Maine.  A New England accent, but much tamer than Boston.  Tame – that’s the right word for this segment. C+
-Drunk Uncle: While Drunk Uncle hasn’t yet been dragged out for every holiday, it still seemed like he covered pretty much everything he had to say about how the holidays aren’t being celebrated properly anymore.  Besides, he always gets off-track and talks about all the other holidays anyway.  So it was a mild stroke of genius to give him his soapbox for an election commentary: different enough from a holiday and also the perfect prism for him to explain how the country is going down the crapper. A-

Oh yeah, she is Ellen.  Anne’s Katie Holmes is apparently pretty good, too.  Whoa, this sketch ended fast. B-

American Gothic
This felt like the sort of thing that you do to get the crowd pumped up at a concert before the band comes on.  Perfectly adequate in that context, but there needed to be a whole hell of a lot more to be a legit SNL sketch. C

Rihanna performs “Stay”
Wow.  Rihanna was plainly at the top of her game last night.  Maybe she went out of her way to be as good as possible to make up for skipping rehearsal during her last SNL stint earlier this year. B+

Fake-allergy panic had to be taken on at some point.  The idea that medication for dealing with this problem actually makes it easier for you to bullshit was a solid one. B

Did Anne disappear for much of this episode, or was it just the normal host going AWOL at the middle of the show (first musical performance, then Update) that made me think that?  The only sketches in which she really had a lead role were the Girlfriends Talk Show (which was really a showcase for Aidy and Cecily) and American Gothic (which was stupid).  She had things to do in all the other sketches, but … not as much as she could have done.  There were a few moments in this episode that really sagged.  Thank God for the originality of Mokiki, and for Rihanna being at the top of her game, and most especially, for Drunk Uncle.

Why did the chicken cross the road?  Say it with me: to get away from the immigrants.

I would highlight Rihanna’s light show as the best of the night, except that Drunk Uncle was absolutely on fire: