Reese Witherspoon, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

May 10, 2015

Reese Witherspoon was the host of Saturday Night Live. As the ‘Hot Pursuit’ star returned for the second time — after hosting the first post-9/11 episode in 2001 — did she deliver? See a roundup of what the TV critics are saying in their reviews and check out video highlights of the episode below!

 Reese Witherspoon

Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon is the costar of the new comedy ‘Hot Pursuit’ alongside Sofia Vergara. Critics have universally trounced the movie and moviegoers have shied away. It’s a box-office disaster by any other name. But aside from that cinematic misfortune, there was much anticipation about her return to SNL which she has not hosted for nearly 15 years, since 2001, and in fact, the first post-9/11 episode of the show. That gives her a special place in SNL and television history although we remember that episode mainly from Loren Michael’s infamously exchange with then NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s (“Can we be funny?” / ”Why start now?”).

Yes, it was a long time ago, in the early days the post-9/11 world and the early days of the new century. There was no Twitter, Instagram or even Facebook and so, how in the world did we collectively share those now-iconic moments? Yes, hard to remember.

Thankfully these days we are not so hampered nor do we have the immediate sadness of those days. So yes, Reese Witherspoon is back after all these years and the worst that’s happened is that ‘Hot Pursuit’ was not so hot. Immediately, on Twitter the monologue, with its Mother’s Day theme began to trend, as Reese Witherspoon and cast members brought on their real-life mothers so as to apologize for all those childhood misdeeds. Naturally, the mothers turned the tables and showed us some home video! A simple premise, and powerfully effective.

It was preceded by what we will have to expect for the next year and a half, the 2016 Presidential election season is well underway, and we’ve already got a crowded field of GOP candidates to mock. So when the majority of them converge for the real-life Southern Republican Leadership Conference, they can expect to find themselves mocked in the cold open. Mission accomplished!

Later on, we had the usual assortment of hits and misses. So what did the critics have to say of Reese Witherspoon’s long-awaited return as host and the episode as a whole? Here’s a roundup.

“….This was not a great show. Most of the sketches were letdown, and we went almost a good half-hour without laughing near the end. We don’t really blame Reese too much for it; instead, the problem felt almost like someone was saving most of the good material for Louis CK. Grade: C-. …” — —

“…Indeed, after the so-so box-office showing of her new comedy Hot Pursuit and the misfortune of hosting a Saturday Night Live episode with a painfully high percentage of unenthusiastically conceived/written/executed sketches, homemade waffles and fresh-squeezed OJ may be the only way the Oscar-winning actress salvages the weekend…..” – TV Line

“….There were two sketches that might have passed for decent lesser material on a good show, but calling them the best sketches tonight should illuminate what a bummer this episode was. The Pictionary-style game show sketch, with both Bobby Moynihan’s husband and Kenan’s celebrity contestant Reginald VelJohnson freezing up at the thought of having to draw “the prophet Muhammad” had the tiniest bite to it (especially considering the recent shooting at a Texas “draw Muhammad” art show/deliberate, racist provocation)…..” — AV Club

“….Republicans can be cool! And being cool apparently involves playing the “ESPN Jock Jams” CD as Cecily Strong’s DJ introduces the candidates. It’s a fairly weak premise, but I could watch Bobby Moynihan dance for about a week, blacklight or not. And if Marco Rubio goes far in the campaign, Taran Killam will have one helluva character on his hand to play….” — HitFix

The critics have weighed in, and now it’s your turn! See the video highlights of SNL with host Reese Witherspoon below!

Cold Open

Monologue – Mother’s Day

The L.A. Scene

Weekend Update

Pictures: PR Photos

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