When an actual real-deal comedian hosts Saturday Night Live, for me, expectations shift. When you’re dealing with, say, Jennifer Lopez, or even someone you might sense is funny but isn’t really known for comedy like Jude Law, their job as a host is more to be game and comfortable, not necessarily to produce top-tier comedic work (hosts like Scarlett Johansson or Joseph Gordon-Levitt get bonus points when they seem to actively dig into their characters and enjoy themselves). But when Steve Carell or Paul Rudd host, or a former cast member like Will Ferrell or Tina Fey drops by, the possibilities seem purer; the host should be able to hit the ground running and do pretty much whatever everyone decides is hilarious.
Of course, Zach Galifianakis is more of a stand-up comedian than an actor, despite his good work in the otherwise overrated The Hangover. But a lot of SNL folk have come from stand-up over the years, and it’s always a treat to get a monologue from an actual comedian. This episode, featuring a longish bit of stand-up from this Comedian of Comedy, was no exception. Apparently a lot of this material came from his stand-up routine, but whatever, I hadn’t seen most of it and it was funny.
After that, though, the show went wildly uneven, even for an SNL episode. The material oscillated strangely between the kind of Galifianakisified stuff you might expect when a beloved, cultish comic hosts, and a mild Galifianakis touch on the kind of tired, plug-em-in recurring crap that would be better suited to a model, or an athlete, or an athelete-slash-model.
Add comment March 7th, 2010