SNL Recap December 12, 2015: Chris Hemsworth/Chance the Rapper

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SNL: Chance the Rapper, Chris Hemsworth, Bobby Moynihan

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in December 2015.

When Chris Hemsworth first hosted “SNL,” almost every sketch featured the theme “Let’s Ogle Chris Hemsworth’s Body.” Perhaps because of that prurience, the show could not wait even a year to have him back, and his physique is once again a major part of the material. He does not even bother to plug his current movie, except to obliquely reference it in a way that underscores how huge he looks even when having lost weight for a role. Elsewhere, this episode finds plenty of room to address Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims, driving the political material to tip-top shape.

Announcement from George W. Bush – Some time last decade, there was a Doonesbury cartoon recounting how terrible the George H.W. Bush presidency seemed at the time, but now, compared to his son, he looked prudent and reasonable. Somehow, everyone in the current Republican field is either ridiculous or feckless enough to grant W. a similarly favorable reevaluation. Will Ferrell is welcomed back with cheers partly because it is one of the best impressions in “SNL” history, but also because the guy he is playing really would be preferable to this notorious lineup. He certainly provides some perspective. As fodder for comedy, the 2016 candidates may be buffoons, but they are also depressing. None of them are so playfully silly that they could conceivably wonder what happened to all the leprechauns. B+

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SNL Recap May 12, 2012: Will Ferrell/Usher

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Cold Opening – Biden’s Room
Biden’s presence in political sketches the past few seasons has generally worked in SNL‘s favor, as he brings a silly energy that tends to mix up the staid formula that has set in for most recent political sketches.  Biden’s starring role – along with Will’s goofy-at-a-Hall-of-Fame-level Dubya – set the tone for an episode that was at its best when it was seriously silly. B+

Will Ferrell’s Monologue
The cue card gag was on a par with Steve Martin saying, “Line?” at the end of the Not Gonna Phone It In Tonight cold open.  Will Ferrell and Mom = Will Ferrell and emotions, which is always a formula for at least some success. B

One-a-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu
Well, one doesn’t really need any reason to listen to Will Ferrell scream-sneeze, but it would have been nice to have more of a sketch built around it. B

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