Chris Hemsworth was the host of Saturday Night Live, returning just a few months after his debut in an episode also saw Will Ferrell make a cameo as George W. Bush. See a review roundup of what critics had to say this time around and watch video highlights right here!
Not only is this the second time Chris Hemsworth has hosted Saturday Night Live, but it’s the second time this year; he was also among the hosts during SNL’ landmark 40th season. This time around, it coincides with In the Heart of the Sea which sees him in a dramatic role in a high seas adventure.
In his monologue, none of this was lost. He immediately took note, saying, ““Oh my God, why was I wearing that? I was such a kid back then!” He then proceeded to show just how familiar he was with the cast members, likening the whole scenario to life back home in Australia with his brothers. So we had a backstage tour with some surrogate sibling rivalry or perhaps, more to the point, he was big brother terrorizing his hapless brothers and sisters. It got the show off to a rousing start, let’s say.
And this after the cold open which, of course, we knew would be political. But instead of the expected Donald Trump skewering, we saw the return of Will Ferrell reprising his George W. Bush impression. This time around, the “former President” was here to save the day by declaring another Presidential bid. We were treated to a feast of Bush-style malapropisms as only Ferrell can deliver them. Given the way the election season has unfolded, the fictitious possibility of two Bushes in the race, one of them, unconstitutionally so, barely eclipses reality.
The “On the Record” skit with Kate McKinnon as Greta Van Susteren was the much-expected Donald Trump Muslim ban skewering. We saw the “host” try to get the “candidates” — Ted Cruz (Taran Killam), Chris Christie (Bobby Moynihan) and Ben Carson (Jay Pharoah) — to condemn the ban, and the results were, let’s say, unexpected.
Weekend Update was also tasked with the Trump skewering and they were quite unsparing of the candidate who just weeks ago they had worked alongside when he hosted the show. Not least, Kate McKinnon’s “Angela Merkel” replies to Trump’s dismissal of her being honored as Time’s Person of the Year, and his criticism that she’s “ruining Germany by saying “Oh yeah. I guess he preferred our earlier stuff.”
And with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakening’ just days away from opening in theaters, we got ‘Star Wars Action Figures’ but that’s about all. There was no deep dive into the galaxy far away, but then again, we had to remember that it’s Disney’s movie, not Universal’s.
Yes, and the usual blizzard of skits, some that were more successful than others. And in the midst of it, history made as Chance the Rapper not only made his debut as SNL musical guest, but he’s the first ever independent artist, i.e. not signed to a major label, to perform on the show in its 41-year history.
Here’s a roundup of what the critics have to say of Chris Hemsworth as SNL host and of the episode as a whole!
“….“Weekend Update” featured the strongest writing of the season so far. The jokes were hard-hitting and prompted more “oh snap” oooooohs than any other “Update” in recent memory. The segment began with more jokes about Republicans, but it did it better than the other two sketches. The best moment of this segment was a quick bit about Jeb Bush’s sagging campaign, highlighted by a Sarah McLachlan song, in the tradition of her SPCA commercials…..”– The Wrap
“…. Overall, it was far from SNL‘s worst, and somewhat of an improvement on Hemsworth’s first time as host, but the writing still left much to be desired, much like the Rotten Tomatoes score for In the Heart of the Sea…..”– TV Line
“….As in his first hosting stint, Chris Hemsworth isn’t unfunny in any objectionable way. It’s more that he just doesn’t speak comedy, and so whatever laughs he gets on SNL are a result of careful and assiduous laughs built around him. He’s a game lunk, grinning and blundering through his sketches tonight—I counted two flubbed lined, one dropped prop, some klutzy fake piano playing, and, weirdly, two times when he flat-out ran into doors. (One might have been a bit, but not both.) …..” — The A.V. Club
“….Despite the rough post-“Weekend Update” sketches, we’ll still say that we really enjoyed watching this episode. More than anything, Hemsworth proved in here that he is a capable returning host, someone who should be invited many more times in the future….. ” –Carter Matt
Yes, the second time around for Chris Hemsworth has come and gone, but if you missed it, you can watch the SNL video highlights below!
Pictures: PR Photos