Written by Mark Henely
Saturday Night Live with Peter Dinklage and Gwen Stefani
The Host: Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage is an exciting choice as host. As fans of Game of Thrones know, Peter Dinklage is a great actor, but what they might not know is that he also has considerable comedic chops. He was such great part of the incredible British comedy Death At A Funeral that he was re-cast in the same role in the not as good American re-make. He was also in Pixels. I’ve heard that was supposed to be a comedy. Anyway, I was excited to see what he would do on the show and what the show would give him to do.
And it turned out that he was great and he had a lot to do. Most decent hosts find a way to not get in the way, but the great hosts are able to add to the sketches. Dinklage found ways to turn even the most non-sensical of sketches and turn them into something special.
Best Sketch of the Night: Naked & Afraid: Celebrity Edition
This was a tough night for choosing sketch of the night because so many sketches were good, but I’m going to give it to “Naked & Afraid: Celebrity Edition.” In this sketch, Peter Dinklage plays the straight man to Leslie Jones as they try to survive in the wild. Leslie Jones is a force of nature and Dinklage’s soft spoken version of himself is the perfect foil to her. They have real chemistry together and I could have watched ten more minutes of this sketch. Hollywood should think about putting them in a movie together.
I almost gave this title to the sketch “Mafia Meeting”. It’s maybe the funniest sketch of the night, but it’s also kind of bad. It’s hard to explain, but it has my full endorsement as a must watch sketch.
Worst Sketch of the Night:
This was also a really hard night to pick worst sketch of the night. They were all pretty decent. Even the low point, which I’m going to have to give to “Corporate Magic Show” has some good laughs in it. “Magic Show” is a mostly frustrating sketch about the frustrating nature of bad comedy. The jokes in the sketch are telegraphed early on and I found myself waiting for it to end rather than wanting to see what happened next.
Musical Guest: Gwen Stefani
I was surprised when they announced that Gwen Stefani was going to be the musical guest. I hadn’t heard a new song from her or her band, No Doubt, in years. What was she going to play? Was she going to be doing some sort of Punk Rock style performance or was she going to come out with a bunch of Harajuki Barbie girls?
The answer is: she didn’t do either of those. She just kind of sang songs and didn’t move around too much. Her songs were forgettable and did nothing to convince me that I should look deeper into her current career.
She did appear in the “Mafia Meeting” sketch, but only to nearly mess it all up by coming in too early.