Martin Freeman, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

December 14, 2014

Martin Freeman made his debut as the host of Saturday Night Live. Find out what the critics say of the former ‘The Office’ star and present ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Hobbit’ star as he took to the famed stage of Studio 8H. Check out video highlights and a review roundup below.

The British actor is known for his role in ‘The Office’ as well as for his role as Bilbo Baggins which he reprises in “The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,’ the latest installment in the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise based on characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. He’s also on ‘Fargo,’ and hHe’s also known, not least, for portraying the iconic Dr. Watson in the BBC series ‘Sherlock’ opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.

Thus with Martin Freeman we have much to draw upon. The raw material is there, but what did the SNL writers do with it? Well, for starters, our host graced the Studio 8H stage in his opening monologue spoofing what the world possibly thinks of famous British actors and music artists; that they all hang out together. Thus he tells us of his sleepover at Mick Jagger’s place with Daniel Radcliffe, Judy Dench and Harry Styles as SNL cast members portraying Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman lend their voices and support to the reverie.

The show would not be complete without a spoof of ‘The Office,’ and naturally a spoof of just that iconic TV show alone would be a lamentable loss of the splendid opportunity for a mashup with ‘The Hobbit.’ So thus we had ‘The Office: Middle Earth.’ Our lives are now complete…for now at least!

So what did the critics have to say of all of this? Here’s a roundup.

“…The Office: Middle Earth: If for nothing else than Killam’s Gollum-as-Gareth, this theoretically stale premise was worth actually airing. McKinnon’s Elven Pam is great, albeit underused, and Bobby Moynihan’s Gandalf/David Brent eventually transcends the surface-level impression and reaches something worthwhile. The sketch really peaked with Gollum, but WHAT A PEAK. This episode is on absolute fire right now. Strongest start to any episode I can honestly remember in recent years…” — Hitfix

“… In his first SNL hosting gig, Freeman’s gift for staring, unblinking, into all manner of silliness worked out just fine, with the star anchoring his sketches with an assured deadpan professionalism. It’s a unique gift to play the one, lone voice of reason for laughs without seeming like a drag, but Freeman’s prickly, exasperated complicity in the situations he finds himself in keeps him compelling. ….” — AV Club

“….The episode started strong — with one of the better cold opens in recent memory (Taran Killam’s Charlie Rose interviewing the psychologists who helped the CIA with their brutal interrogation methods), a weird but occasionally amusing sketch featuring Freeman and Leslie Jones as a mismatched couple getting married after five days of dating (Kate McKinnon is just amazing), and then one of the best pop-culture mashups the show has produced in several years……” — TV Line

“….Overall, this show was certainly uneven. It was a heck of a lot funnier at the start than the conclusion, and we do with that it was a little more involved for Freeman. Also, no “Sherlock” mention at all? Seriously? Episode Grade: B-….” — Carter Matt

See the video highlights below from last night’s show below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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