Blake Shelton, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

January 25, 2015

Blake Shelton made his debut as host ‘Saturday Night Live’ and also served as musical guest. Did the country superstar and coach on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ have the comedic touch or not? Find out what the critics have to say. Video highlights and a review roundup are below.

Already popular as a perennial musical guest, it was the country music superstar’s first time around as both host and musical guest. And as we know over the years some have fared better than others in what must be a particularly frenetic 90 minutes late on a New York City Saturday night. Standouts in this role over the years have included Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Drake, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars.

Blake Shelton graced the fame Studio 8H stage with a “Hee Haw” style monologue, as the Oklahoma native took on the country music stereotypes in good form and in good humor.

As he is also a coach on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ viewers might be hoping for a spoof of the show, and indeed, such hopes were met in an entertaining skit which saw ‘The Voice’ and ‘American Idol’ competing against each other in a mock edition of ‘Family Feud”thus creating a mashup of not one or two, but three iconic television programs.

As for the cold open, well, that too was predictable. Just a week away from Super Bowl XLIX we are now in the midst of a scandal involving quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots officially known as “DeflateGate.” So named because, of course, it’s not a real scandal unless “gate” is tacked on as a suffix! So naturally SNL tackles this — pun intended of course — with a mock edition of ‘Inside The NFL’ and a press conference with the New England Patriots and a fun time was had by all even as we are in the real world left hanging as to how it will all play out.

So what did the critics have to say of Blake Shelton doing double duty as host and musical guest, and of all of the usual merriment and attempts at same of this SNL episode? Here’s a roundup.

“…Look, “SNL” has bad shows all the time. And this was one of them. It happens. The fact that the show basically ended at 12:55 am and played out the clock via commercials was the last in the long line of weird things that happened. The stars don’t always align. I can’t even say a lot of tonight was truly horrific so much as almost start-to-finish undercooked. Let’s just forget it and move on, as will every single person associated with tonight’s episode…..” — Hitfix

“….A best-case scenario for a show hosted by the musical guest, tonight’s episode made the most of what country superstar and The Voice judge Blake Shelton could bring to the table. It helped, too, that Shelton turned out to be a competent straight man and was clearly happy to be doing SNL (his earnest “Thank you all! I hosted Saturday Night Live! I hosted Saturday Night Live!” during the goodnights was especially endearing). And while it’s doubtful anyone out there is pitching the Blake Shelton Musical Comedy Hour, SNL used his unassuming, big-lug charms nimbly, not asking him to do too much, and getting some serious mileage out of his musicianship in two of the night’s best sketches. …” — AV Club

“…..The country music star proved an absolutely terrific choice of emcee — scoring laughs in a wide range of scenarios and not relying on cue cards nearly as much as you’d expect for a neophyte. I’ll need a few days to digest the installment before I’m willing to rank Shelton at No. 1 on the list of hosts for the 2014-2015 season, but he’s definitely a contender…..” — TV Line

“…. Sadly, [NBC] chose the path of least resistance, turning the stage over to Shelton and plugging him into a series of forgettable B-side sketches. The good ol’ boy didn’t seem to mind the lackluster material, keeping that trademark goofy grin plastered on his face throughout the night and enthusiastically bellowing, “I did Saturday Night Live” during the sign-off. Nice to know that he enjoyed himself, but we kinda wish we could have excused ourselves along with Jones……” — Yahoo TV

“….While we’re not going to say that this was a perfect show (the wishing boot and the “Family Feud” sketch were weaker), this was a very pleasant show as a whole. Almost all of it was at least fun, even if there were not many classic sketches in here. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Grade: B+…..” — Carter Matt

See the video highlights from last night’s SNL with Blake Shelton as host and musical guest below!

Cold open – New England Patriots Press Conference

Blake Shelton “Hee Haw” Monologue

Celebrity Family Feud

Farm Hunk (‘The Bachelor’ spoof)

Musical performances

Neon Light

Boys Round Here

Pictures: PR Photos

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