Cameron Diaz’s monologue wasn’t quite a monologue: It was more a “I’m going to answer dumb audience questions and hope that someone thinks it’s funny.” Sadly, it was not funny — or even entertaining.
Diaz is quite charming, so it’s disappointing to see that charm wasted on a half-hearted monologue that includes her answering questions like, “I think you’re hot” and “was working on The Other Woman, like, so much fun?” It’s obvious the humor is supposed to be in the ridiculousness of these audience members, but they’re not even that ridiculous — they’re just bringing up past Diaz projects (Shrek, Gangs of New York) in a way that seems to say, “hey, remember Cameron Diaz was in these movies too?”
But the monologue was only three minutes of the entire episode, which had some bright spots including the night’s…
Any time the ladies of SNL get together is a good time. Last season they memorably worked together for “Dongs All Over the World” featuring Anna Kendrick — and this time around, they used a similar style for a song called “Back Home Ballers” about, well, lady-ballers returning home for the holidays. It’s over the top and features Leslie Jones going on for way too long about bowls (yes, bowls) — in other words, it’s magical.
Experimental theater is often — okay, always — gratuitously weird, and the “Theatre Showcase” captures that weirdness and multiples it by, oh, 1,000. A group of actors dressed in black moves boxes around between seconds-long scenes, and the camera cuts to parents’ reactions every so often to hone in just how strange it all is. “They moved all those boxes for that?” Kenan says at one point. “That scene was like three words!” We don’t get it either, Kenan.
Diaz recites a poem about a UPS man in “Poetry Class,” which could have amusing but… wasn’t. It was too similar to “Theatre Showcase” in that both sketches mocked a type of art, but “Poetry Class” relied too much on Bayer’s character — a weird teacher who isn’t weird enough to entrance (and who we’ve seen in previous episodes) — to really succeed.
Best Musical Moment
There’s a little boy named Kai who goes on The Ellen Show to sing Bruno Mars songs every once in a while, and he’s adorable — and often more entertaining than the musician he’s inspired by. But last night, Mars gave an impressive performance that proved he can outdo a toddler. It helps that he started off by performing “Uptown Funk,” a new single that’s straight from the ’70s and delightfully upbeat. There were choreographed dance moves and smiles and a mood-making light show, components that all contributed to a fun and funky performance.
Best Commercial for a Strange Product
What America has always wanted: A Nespresso machine that incubates chicken eggs. Vanessa Bayer plays the product’s number one fan who knows little to nothing about the actual product. Case in point: When Kate McKinnon and Taran Killam ask how the machine works, Bayer enthusiastically answers, “I don’t know that part!” Bayer’s positive energy combined with her ignorance about the very thing she’s trying to sell is recognizable and hilarious.
Funniest Turkey Reference
Thanksgiving’s coming up — have you heard? SNL has, and worked in a few turkey mentions. Not all of them quite landed though, including Diaz’s line about Rock Center’s light-up turkey. But the “Night Murmurs” one was weird and wonderful: McKinnon stars alongside Diaz and Cecily Strong in a commercial trying to sell phone sex, but McKinnon is more focused on selling how bad she is at bets. “I lost a bet so now I have to get videotaped while someone throws a 20-pound turkey at my back,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. “That was a bad bet to make. Who knows what I’ll do next!”
Best Weekend Update Moment
Bill Cosby is such a touchy subject right now that it would be easy for a joke about the current allegations to go horribly wrong. But it didn’t here: Michael Che addressed it during Weekend Update by speaking directly to the man himself. “Hey, Bill Cosby,” Che said. “Pull your damn pants up.” Tables turned.
Kyle Mooney shines in the “Theatre Showcase” sketch, and even more so in “The Fight.” Mooney plays a high school kid who wants to beat up Andy Rydell and explains why via a written list that includes fun facts about Andy including that he wears “name-brand circus clothes” and has a younger brother who’s “nicer and plays piano.” The pre-recorded short is an accurate representation of teenage bravado — and a fun change in tone from the rest of the episode.