Anna Kendrick, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

April 6, 2014

Anna Kendrick made her debut as a first-time host of Saturday Night Live. The ‘Pitch Perfect’ star went full-scale Broadway for a musical opening monologue and revealed her comedic range in several skits. But what did the critics have to say of her debut? Check out a roundup of reviews and see video highlights.

Anna Kendrick did not take part in the cold open which saw cast member Kate McKinnon take on the role of General Motors’ new CEO Mary Barra she testified before Congress on the ignition switch recall, parodying a recent event which saw a company being finally held accountable for driver and passenger deaths. As such it stretched on and on with the same joke; the “new” GM and its “new” CEO knew nothing about the culpable old GM.

But thankfully once that was over and done, the 28-year-old actress who rose to fame in George Clooney’s ‘Up in the Air’ gave us an opening monologue that was a standout in contrast. Parlaying her Broadway roots, she delivered a full-scale opening number with a Disney ‘Beauty and the Beast’ theme.

The show has several skits that were polarizing, not least of which was the ‘Dongs all over the World’ skit in which Anna Kendrick teamed up with Swedish pop duo Icona Pop and, yes, they sang about dongs and, Kendrick, in fact displayed some rapping talents. Such a reversal, that is to say objectifying men rather than women does draw notice, but not all were in agreement that their efforts were a success. Either way, it’s not a skit that will leave you neutral!

She dug further into her musical versatility in yet another Disney inspired theme, a Little Mermaid sketch which saw her as Ariel performing for the evil Ursula. She channeled the likes of Britney Spears and Keisha. Later in the program, she took part in a skit which saw her auditioning for the excellent musical guest, Pharrell Williams.

And speaking of, for his part, Pharrell Williams more than delivered, wearing one of his signature big hats, rousing the audience with his smash hit Oscar-nominated ‘Happy’ and later bringing out none other than famed film composer Hans Zimmer and a string orchestra for his performance of ‘Marilyn Monroe.’

As Twitterverse weighs in, so do the television critics. Here’s a roundup of what they have to say of Anna Kendrick as a first-time host.

“….Anna Kendrick pretty much abandoned her no-more-musicals plan on “Saturday Night Live,” by singing during her monologue, rapping about dongs, and playing a baby-voiced Little Mermaid….Other strong sketches included an opening about GM’s ignition key mess, and a “Fox and Friends” segment in which Kendrick played an “Obamacare Survivor.” Among her health conditions: “If I drink a lot of alcohol, I just blackout.”….” — The Wrap

“….Pretty good! The show didn’t ask her to do much besides stand in place and sing for most of the evening, but she was a game host that got somewhat swallowed up at times by material which focused on cast members rather than her. Between “Mermaid” and “Paris,” there was a solid half-hour where she was nowhere to be found. It happens. But it’s still unfortunate. Anytime a show leaves you wanting more of the host, it’s a mixed blessing. It means the host did well, but didn’t get to do enough….” — Hitfix

“…This was a very funny show, and easily the best one of the post-Seth Meyers era. We’re not going to say that it broke any boundaries, but it was a consistently funny edition that at least entertained us from start to finish. ….” — CarterMatt

“… Tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Live saw first time host Anna Kendrick take over and without trying to sound too mean, let’s hope it’s the last for a long time. While she may be an Oscar and Tony nominated actress, her hosting duty on Saturday Night Live was one of the more forgettable things she’s done — and she was in What to Expect When You’re Expecting…..” — FanSided

See the video highlights below from last night’s show with the first-time host Anna Kendrick!

Pictures: PR Photos

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