Like Dwayne Johnson and Gina Carano before her, Ronda Rousey is graduating from the ring to the stage, though her turn as SNL host this weekend is the first time she’s really had an opportunity to flex her acting muscles. Unfortunately, the MMA pro is sidelined for much of the episode, her talents underestimated and misused from the moment she walks into Studio 8H. Beck Bennett is seemingly the only cast member who really knows how to take advantage of her skill set, delivering the best sketches of the night. The lack of actual effort to give her something to do does little to disprove the idea that SNL invited Rousey to host based almost entirely on brand recognition. And that’s really too bad. Read on for our ranking of this week’s sketches from best to worst.
The moment Adam Driver was announced as the first SNL host of 2016, we knew a Star Wars: The Force Awakens sketch would be coming, and the NBC mainstay didn’t disappoint. Spoofing Undercover Boss with Kylo Ren was delightful, but who knew Driver had such a tough time keeping a straight face? Watch this SNL behind-the-scenes video to see for yourself.
Last week’s 2016 SNL premiere with Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver proved every bit as delightful as we’d hoped, but will Ronda Rousey pack the same punch? The Furious 7 star’s first official promos have arrived, as Rousey predictably overpowers Beck Bennett and pretty much anyone in New York.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver hosting 2016’s first episode of SNL, a Kylo Ren sketch of some kind was inevitable. After all, you don't get the actor who plays the villain in one of the biggest movies of all time to appear on your comedy variety show and not have him reprise that character. And we'll give the show this much: we never would have predicted a faux episode of Undercover Boss set on Starkiller Base, with the angry, murderous Kylo Ren going undercover amongst his troops as a radar technician named Matt.
It’s a testament to the staying power of certain public figures that they’ve been played by more than one SNL cast member over the years. People like Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady turned former Senator turned former Secretary of State turned current Democratic Presidential frontrunner, linger on long past Saturday Night Live cast rotations. So what is the show to do when one of its guest hosts used to play a vital and very much in the public eye politician back in the day? Put her on stage with the current version, of course.
Sure, there are lots of kids and teens buying Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, but a long, long time ago in a galaxy that is actually this one, Star Wars belonged to another group of nerds — and those nerds are not going to let today’s kids take ownership of their fandom so easily, especially when these kids don’t know that action figures should STAY. IN. THE. BOX.
Maybe you didn’t realize how much you missed Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush impression on SNL until the actor popped in for a surprise appearance during the cold open, delivering a State of the Union address on our current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls — which is essentially just Ferrell’s Dubbya roasting his fellow Republicans in an attempt to make an unprecedented bid for a third term as POTUS.
After taking a bit of a break from acting to make his directorial debut (and to have what I presume is a very adorable baby with Eva Mendes), Ryan Gosling is back. In addition to starring in upcoming films from Adam McKay and Shane Black, the actor is cementing his return with his SNL debut. Gosling can't keep a straight face through most of the episode, which delivers some really weird and delightful sketches with few disappointments. Read on for our ranking of this week's SNL sketches from best to worst.
While traditional live sketches are still the backbone of any given episode, modern SNL is frequently at its best in the pre-recorded segments. The past few years have seen an interesting evolution as the silly “digital shorts” of a decade ago have matured into full-blown filmmaking, with sketches that feel more like short films than just a comedy bit. Last night’s Ryan Gosling-hosted episode peaked with a pre-recorded sketch titled “Santa Baby,” which let both SNL and Gosling himself turn the weird up to 11.