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SNL recap: Jonah Hill, Trump jokes can’t save a lackluster show

Jonah Hill has hosted Saturday Night Live four times now, establishing himself as a host who is comfortable performing on the show. Even though Hill in recent years has moved into slightly more dramatic fare in movies, he has never been one to shy away from being the butt of the joke.

This serves him well at SNL where he has been hit in the groin by a tennis ball, smacked by a fake horse, and even has his own recurring character, six-year old Adam Grossman.

Unfortunately, even Adam Grossman couldn’t have saved Hill’s fourth appearance from being kind of a dud. The number of “news” sketches (four in all without Weekend Update), and a possibly out-of-touch studio audience didn’t help this episode — even with one sketch that is bound to be a topic of conversation around the water cooler on Monday.

Cold Open: CNN Presidential Election
SNL hasn’t done a particularly great job with the current presidential election, and while this cold open wasn’t overly funny, it is still one of the better political sketches of the season. One of the reasons the sketch was better, though, was because it featured the stellar return of Jason Sudeikis to Studio 8H for an appearance as Mitt Romney.

Best Sketch: Inside SoCal
Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett have crafted a great takedown of the dudebro culture of American men that is centered in Southern California, and while most viewers may not get the jokes, or blow this off as Wayne’s World redux, this is one of the better social sketches coming out of SNL because it’s a comments section come to life.

If you don’t believe me, check out the comments made on this People article from January about Modern Family star Ariel Winter’s decision to have a breast reduction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lifted their lines for Saturday’s sketch solely from comment sections about Winter’s surgery.

Second Best Sketch: The Champ
This season has had its share of darker sketches with twists (“Totino’s Pizza Rolls” “Santa Baby”), and this spin on the local feel-good sports story is no exception. This sketch isn’t as good those earlier sketches, but from the parents (Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan) who stay proud of their inept son (Hill) to the revelation that a Will & Grace star is a double murderer, it provides some twisted, awkward laughs. And nice moves from Kenan Thompson.

Weekend Update Moment: Jay Pharoah
If we don’t get a “Black Comedians Summit” sketch in the next few weeks, it’ll be disappointing. Jay Pharoah ripped through nine impressions from the super-famous (Eddie Murphy) to the not-quite-a-household-name (Hannibal Buress) in the best three minutes of this episode.

Best Sketch Blasting a Former Host from This Season: Racists for Trump
One of the biggest missteps on SNL in recent years was allowing Donald Trump to host earlier this season. At the time, the producers most likely thought the Trump campaign was a joke that wouldn’t last through the first few primaries, but as his hateful rhetoric somehow helped him become the GOP front-runner, it’s clear that was a poor decision that furthered the agenda of the campaign. That’s why this sketch, while funny, feels like SNL attempting to right a wrong.

Other Notes:
Musical guest Future was joined on stage by The Weeknd during his performance of “Low Life.” He also appeared during Weekend Update to bring us “News From the Future” and performed a portion of “Jumpman” during the monologue with Hill.

SNL poked some fun at local Wisconsin news with its “Fond Du Lac News” sketch. Unfortunately, a few residents weren’t happy with how the cast was pronouncing Fond Du Lac, for the record it’s “Fon Du Lack”:

Saturday Night Live returns on March 12 with host and musical guest Ariana Grande.

Jeremy Klumpp

About Jeremy Klumpp

Jeremy is a contributor to The AP Party. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI.