I can barely hear you.  This is an Altoids box.

Cold Opening – Fox & Friends
Fox & Friends are reliably funny, though rarely excellent.  But, hey, that’s a winning formula when it comes to SNL cold opens these days.  The Fox crew generally needs a reliable “friend” to play the role of straight man, which Fred’s Mike Bloomberg dutifully provided.  His retort that you might as well leave your cars unlocked if you’re not going to have background checks was not too laugh-too-loud, but I did like the logic.  My favorite correction was “Croquettes are not female crocodiles.” B

Zach Galifianakis’s Monologue
Shouldn’t this have been longer?  I’ve heard the deaf couple charades joke before – it’s a keeper.  Stumping Google by asking how many Mexicans live in North Korea – that’s Zach Galifianakis, the one and only.  He is also of course great with setting the tone with the comments he slips in to start off, like “Don’t get your hopes up” and hoping that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. B+

Game of Game of Thrones
I don’t like the implication that GoT nerds (or any nerds, for that matter) are automatically socially awkward, but I’ll excuse this sketch because it did not explicitly say that any nerds besides these three are socially awkward.  Besides that, this sketch was a little by-the-numbers, though well-done, thanks especially to Zach’s performance (of course) and the weird details snuck in (Bill Hader’s character is “O.J. Sampson,” Zach guesses that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is “some old pilgrim”). B

There were some funny lines, but that was not a particularly accurate Martha Stewart impression. C+

Jennifer Aniston Lookalike Contest
The Helen Keller jokes were incredible.  I thought calling the judges “Mr. Magoo and Helen Keller” was something else, and then all the other Helen Keller burns just kept on coming, and I kept laughing more and more.  I figured, here’s the ONE sketch we’ll get tonight that will play perfectly to Zach’s sensibility.  Little did I know… B+

Of Monsters and Men perform “Little Talks”
This performance put me in a really good mood.  Not just because I love this song, but also because I got to behold just how adorable Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is.  (She looks to me like Isabella Rossellini.)  I was in so good a mood that I didn’t register the details of how good exactly the instrumentation was, but it sure sounded good. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: I guessed I laughed a few times, but overall I had a feeling of “nothing special.”  The mention of Clitoris Awareness Week certainly perked me up, though (those ladies in the audience were also happy to hear about it).  Seth’s joke about it was hacky, but solid. C
-The Segments: -James Carville: Bill’s James Carville has gone so far beyond what James Carville is actually like that he is essentially Bill’s own character at this point.  Unless Carville actually is like that.  I don’t know.  He doesn’t appear in the news that often.  Certainly not as often as Seth appears as him. B
-Randall Meeks: The head-whipping was a little headache-inducing for this viewer. B
-The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party: The language of The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party is the New Jazz. B+

M&M Store
What I loved about this sketch was that there was no reason for it to take place at the M&M Store.  The story of a bizarre, hopeless racist could have taken place at just about any workplace, and it’s not like M&M Stores are common enough to be just any workplace.  Apparently the only reason it was at the M&M Store was for the sake of the joke about confusing a brown M&M with Black Joe.  Got to love these bizarre little details that show up when Zach is around. B+

Darrell’s House
Zach Galifianakis hosting his own show – of course, of course.  Vanessa appearing only to have something thrown at her was delightful.  Kenan’s pretend eating reminded me of his All That days.  His whole performance was goofy and enthusiastic.  But Zach owned it, with his fits of rage, persnickety specifications, and disturbing laughter. A-

Of Monsters and Men perform “Mountain Sound”
I was hoping “Dirty Paws” or “Love Love Love” would be the second song.  This song’s all right, but certainly not the classic that “Little Talks” is. B

Michael Jordan Wedding
This sketch looked like it was going to be all about the jugglers, which would have been fine, but it turned out (like much of the episode) that that was just a weird little detail that was part of a bigger sketch.  The stereotype about black women having large penises and Jay’s Dikembe Mutombo were incredible. B+

New Balance
The line about the shoes helping Zach’s character “just stand here” was worth a laugh.  The sketch could have ended right at that point. B-

Darrell’s House (Edited)
Darrell’s House provided the best argument in a while for why it’s worth it to watch SNL live (or at least on the DVR, in the order everything aired). If you’re watching the clips online, you immediately see that there are two editions of Darrell’s House. It’s still funny, but it ruins the surprise. I had more or less forgotten about Darrell by the time the 10-to-1 slot rolled around, so the mere fact of it returning brought me plenty of delight, and there really is a lot to be said for delayed gratification.  This iteration was brilliant in following up on all the specifications from the initial version.  It was incredible to see everything edited in the way Darrell wanted, even though other, simple ways would have made more sense.  The Al Jolson mention cracked me up enough to have to pause and rewind a bit. A

In Zach’s previous hosting stints, the show was good for a monologue and about one sketch that really showed off Zach’s sensibilities, while the rest of the episode couldn’t figure out how to integrate them with the rest of SNL.  But this episode finally figured out that the way to make him work is by making him the focal point of just about every sketch, and the result was a classic.

When watching the best sketch of this episode, watch Part 1, wait 10 minutes, then watch Part 2.