McCarthy and Meyers steal the show
Published: Sunday, February 2, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 2, 2014 22:02
Melissa McCarthy, who hosted for the third time in four years, has quickly established herself as one of the most reliable recurring hosts for the program. Despite the fact that it was likely the best SNL performance of McCarthy’s career, the spotlight belonged to one man: Seth Meyers.
After 13 years as an SNL cast member, (2nd only to Darrell Hammond’s 14 year stint), and over 7 years as both head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor (also a record), the time has come for Seth Meyers to bid farewell to Saturday Night Live.
Fittingly, Meyers’ final “Weekend Update” segment sent the comic out on a high note.
After the usual jokes were dealt out by Meyers and Cecily Strong, an emotional sendoff featuring appearances by Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader (who appeared character as Stefon). The segment was as hilarious as it was emotional, and even Meyers had trouble staying composed near the end.
As for the rest of the sketches, nearly everything clicked.
“28 Reasons” featured the African-American cast members in an edgy and very funny sketch explaining the importance of Black History Month to high school students. The sketch offered a brilliant commentary on political correctness and the ever-present factor of race in comedy.
The Broadway version of the Superbowl featured in the cold open was refreshingly silly, and the CVS Valentine’s day commercial was hilariously spot-on.
McCarthy absolutely shined in nearly everything she appeared in. Playing everything from a politician with serious anger issues to a very unladylike weirdo on a park bench, McCarthy knows her strengths and plays to them expertly. Other highlights included McCarthy’s kung fu fight with Bobby Moynihan and a women’s group sketch featuring McCarthy as a crime riddled sociopath.
The only real duds of the night were a bizarre art exhibit sketch and a sketch starring featured player Kyle Mooney that fell totally flat for the second week in a row. In particular, Mooney’s awkward “on the street” interview with Superbowl fans just did not work.
Thanks to some great writing, a great effort by Melissa McCarthy, and the obvious emotional heartstrings that pulled by Meyer’s exit, the SNL crew deserves major kudos for pulling off their best show yet this season.
Seth Meyers might not be the biggest star to ever come out of SNL but make no mistake–since the departure of Tina Fey, Meyers has been the single most important figure guiding television’s greatest variety show through the 21st century, both on and behind the camera. Meyers’ presence on SNL will be sorely missed, but starting on Feb. 24 we’ll get to enjoy his comedic talents nightly, when he takes over as host of NBC’s “Late Night.”