[Ed. Note: Jenny Nelson is a writer, student, and -- most importantly -- Videogum intern. She'll be taking us through this season of Saturday Night Live.]
What’s YOUR favorite Josh Hutcherson story? That guy is always in the media, whether it’s because Jennifer Lawrence is passing by during an on carpet interview to ask him how his rash is doing or a news source has figured out that Jennifer Lawrence is Hutcherson’s first big-screen kiss, or Jennifer Lawrence spilled mints next to him at a press conference. But even though Josh Hutcherson will always live in his co-star’s shadow, very much like how it is with Peeta and Katniss (JK, I would not know if that’s how it is because I saw the first movie once and was only half paying attention), he seems like a very likable and cute person. Are “likable” and “cute” enough qualifiers to make you a great host of Saturday Night Live? Let’s find out together!
The Piers Morgan cold open about George Zimmerman’s new girlfriend felt like nothing too special until Beck Bennett came on as George Zimmer of Men’s Wearhouse, which was great.
Hutcherson’s monologue was a nice reminder that he is a sweet young person, and led to everyone doing Hunger Games stuff. I liked Kate McKinnon’s Elizabeth Banks outfit, but my favorite part is when Peeta gets hurt and has to be piggy-backed off the stage.
I really like Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong’s recurring characters in Girlfriends Talk Show, but Hutcherson was not their best guest. (I liked Miley better from earlier this season.) His rendition of One Direction a capella, however, was A+ great job, and Bryant as always had some great lines in this sketch.
The “Office Boss” sketch was good, and it grows on me the more I watch it. Originally I felt about it the way I feel about Wilfred, which is “This is a very accurate representation, but I don’t like watching a grown man act this way pleeeease can it stop.” But now that I’ve thought about it in a mature, adult, level-headed manner, I’ve come to the conclusion that this piece of physical comedy in which an adult male Beck Bennett smashes spaghetti around like a baby is smart and well-done.
“Matchbox 3,” one of this episode’s three digital shorts (“I thought this was Saturday Night ***LIVE***” -like four blogs I’ve read), followed three of those B-boys who dance on the subway in New York, which is definitely good source material. The idea of the sketch is that these guys, played by Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson, and Josh Hutcherson, only ride on the very packed trains, which is definitely a good idea, but the short itself was pretty low-key, with just a couple laughs, and not even that much Josh Hutcherson.
“Weekend Update” had just one guest, Aidy Bryant’s “The Worst Lady on an Airplane,” which I didn’t really like despite the fact that I’ve ridden on airplanes and should 100% relate and therefore find funny! Well I didn’t like it, so sorry! Sue me, everyone!
Then came my favorite sketch of the evening, naturally one that is not embeddable because of music licensing and THE MAN (that is in charge of music licensing). In this ’80s tribute (because why not?), Vanessa Bayer is wooed by a mullet-ed Hutcherson lip-syncing “Your Love” by The Outfield as dialogue. This week’s musical guest HAIM, who had two excellent performances, jumped into this video for a bit with a keytar in tow. You can watch both of HAIM’s performances plus The Outfield sketch over on Stereogum.
Cecily Strong and Bobby Moynihan reprised their roles as those about-to-be-fired employees spreading hate amongst their co-workers in a sketch that I really didn’t like because why’s everyone gotta be so mean? And why all the angry yelling? BUT I will agree with the rest of the Internet that Taran Killam’s murderer guy and some of the other ones were pretty funny soooo I’ll let you watch and decide for yourself.
The Good Neighbor short “Dancing” was one of their better ones I think (I say that as a fan of these shorts), focusing just on Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, and their absurd humor. This bit had a lot crammed into it, but some of the gems were Kyle Mooney’s version of Stefon, “Practically the hottest club in town… DJ’s,” all the stuff with that camera and VHS demo tape, and the newspaper gags at the end, “ALSO you have to move out, PLUS I’m taking your TV”
In this episode’s final digital short, Mike O’Brien is investigative reporter Winston Sam Bass in a segment asking bugs where the heck they gotta be. O’Brien’s character is very funny, him interviewing bugs is very funny, and all the bad edit jobs and O’Brien’s attempted direction of the cameraman are very funny. Hutcherson turns up for about 10 seconds of this sketch as O’Brien’s younger brother, also an eager reporter interviewing bugs.
Unfortunately, although I will say again that Josh Hutcherson seems like a very nice boy, the two sketches he was in the most (aside from the ’80s one) were two of my least favorite, the first being Animal Hospital nurses who killed all the animals but wait not really, and the second being this Thanksgiving episode’s holiday sketch, in which Hutcherson brings his girlfriend (a turkey, played by Vanessa Bayer) home for Thanksgiving. I guess you can’t win them all, unless maybe that’s what happens in The Hunger Games, but like I said I do NOT remember what happens in that movie.