Russell Crowe, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

April 10, 2016

Russell Crowe was host of Saturday Night Live, and making what seems a long-overdue debut, and rising country music star Margo Price was the musical guest. A successful night or not? The TV critics have plenty to say, of course, and you can see a roundup of reviews and video highlights right here!

Russell Crowe

To say the very least, we don’t typically think of Russell Cowe as a comedian, not after his dramatic turns in the Oscar-winning ‘A Beautiful Mind’ as well as ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Gladiator’ And, naturally this became the focus of his monologue as he attempted to convince us that, yes, of course, all those movies really were comedies. How could we have missed that?!

Well, this dramatic actor is going to be in a comedy on the big screen for real, ‘The Nice Guys’ with costar Ryan Gosling, who incidentally, also hosted the show last December. Crowe name checked his costar and his SNL efforts, calling him a “beautiful young woman.” And with that, he was off into the possible oblivion of 90 minutes of comedy or attempts thereof.

We had the usual political cold open, this time around with the sparring Democratic candidates being in the news even more so than that certain Republican front runner the show delights in skewering, it was Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton trying to convince New Yorkers to vote for her. A sure bet of course, after her real-life counterpart rode the subway earlier in the week and was already being mocked for making no less than five attempts to get her MetroCard to work in what’s already become one of those viral video moments revealing politicians trying and failing to become regular folks.

And then there was the rest of the show, which saw Russell Crowe showcasing — or not, it seems — his comedic skills in such skits as “Henry VIII: The Experience,” as a hologram of the monarch. And then there Crowe as a German professor with a certain obsession with a certain body part of women.

And, as noted, Margo Price was the musical guest. Her new album, ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’ has received nearly universal critical acclaim, as has her country music aesthetic which harks back to the sort of authentic country we haven’t heard much on the radio, with the rise of country-pop and bro-country.

Now that Russell Crowe has proven — or not proven — that he too can be a comedian, the critics are weighing in on his first-time efforts. Here’s a roundup of their reviews.

“….I think about the fact that Crowe only appeared in four sketches other than the monologue in what I’m guessing was less than 20 minutes of screen time, and that, when he was onscreen, his delivery was sluggish and consistently a beat off the comic rhythm. […] There was a lot of time—in between waiting for Crowe’s lines and staring quizzically, perhaps even longingly at the commercials—to think of what words could describe my reaction to much of the show tonight. Some candidates: “torpid,” “slack,” “limping,” and “Look, let’s just get through this, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is coming back next week.”……” — A.V. Club

“….Make no mistake: the Academy Award winner’s Studio 8H debut wasn’t a home run, but after a harmless (if forgettable) opening monologue that wisely kept Crowe far away from open mics (those Les Misérables vocals still haunt me to this day), the thespian did his absolute best to elevate some obscenely sophomoric humor involving gropey museum exhibits, Western-European accents and a mullet-bearing family friend…..” — TV Line

“…..”Overall – A pretty lifeless show. Crowe struggled early and often, and barely was in the show compared to some other past hosts. Granted, the writers gave him very little to do, and there were many moments that were downright painful to watch. Grade: D+…..” — CarterMatt

“….This had to be one of the worst episodes of SNL this season. Crowe seemed to barely be involved with most of his skits getting pushed later in the show. His monologue was extremely short and ineffective. […] Russell Crowe (and the rest of the cast) were decidedly NOT funny this week. It’s been a reasonably good season for SNL this year so hopefully this week’s show is the low point. It is hard to see this talented group turning out a worse show. Grade: F …..” — FanSided

“…This was a pretty nice monologue– it didn’t overstay its welcome, it based itself on a funny concept that also served as a good introduction to its host, and it didn’t force an Oscar winner to poorly sing and dance (as the monologue reminded us, Crowe already did that with Les Miserables). Crowe definitely isn’t known as much of a funny guy (on screen or off), and it was a good charm offensive to have him start the night with a little self-deprecation on that front….” — HitFix

Well, it would seem the first time was not quite the charm, but it’s given critics and social media plenty to work with! You can watch highlights below from last night’s SNL with host Russell Crowe and musical guest Margo Price!

Pictures: PR Photos

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