Jolly Old John Goodman Delivers a Funny Package on 'Saturday Night Live'
Last night on SNL, thirteen-timer John Goodman did what he always has: The Inside Llewyn Davis and Monuments Men actor gave us some hilarious, full-fledged characters. And, thus, the episode as a whole actually worked — the hour-and-a-half of television delivered a funny package of sketches, even if the show was a bit holiday-heavy. There was that predictable Bible parody you knew you had coming, two recurring sketches, oddball Hallmark and H&M satires, and a hilarious spoof of It’s a Wonderful Life. The writing worked 9 out of 12 times, but it certainly was boosted by old pro Goodman. In fact, we left the episode getting ready to count down the days until Goodman returned for number 14. It's hard to believe this is a man who actually auditioned, and was turned down, by Saturday Night Live three decades ago. But which sketches were as good as a gift on Christmas, and which were the humor equivalent of a batch of coal? Read on to find out which you should watch, and which you should skip.
WATCH: OBAMA MANDELA COLD OPEN
Kenan Thompson has a ball in this sketch, centered on Obama's presidential address at Mandela's funeral, which came complete with a very, very flawed interpreter. Bonus points and worth the watch for MVP Kate McKinnon in this cold open.
It’s hard not to love the guy who comes out punching the air in a maroon velvet jacket, but while Goodman and Thompson do their best singing “All I Want For Christmas is Booty,” Blues Brothers-style, the lyrics simply aren’t funny. Skip this too-long musical intro.
WATCH: GUY FIERI CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Sure, Guy Fieri might be an easy target for a sendup, but gathering some of entertainment’s most infuriating assholes (Kid Rock, Criss Angel, and Vern Troyer) for a full-throttle Christmas party replete with flame graphics definitely feels just.
WATCH: SNOWFLAKE DANCE
This sketch reveals the dark inner-monologues of the giddy dancing snowflakes. It starts off a little too silly, but don’t dance out of hte room when this one is on.
SKIP: THREE KINGS
Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone make an appearance alongside Goodman in this sketch, centered on the Biblical three kings. But, in this version, they're from New Jersey and Long Island. During the course of the spot, the trio ask: What the heck is frankincense? What the hell is a manger? Better question: Why the hell weren’t these tri-state area jokes funny? Unless you love Festivus, and the Schadenfreude thrill of seeing Stallone and De Niro suffer through corny lines and painful lulls, skip this sketch.
WATCH: WEEKEND UPDATE
A silly Weekend Update, but, also, a racially charged one: First, Thompson played black Santa (take that Fox news team!), and then Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle partnered with Goodman's Drunker Uncle to deliver rants stuffed with of racist jokes.
WATCH: TOO HOT
Goodman turns on the charm in drag as an objectified, Nutella-loving plaintiff. A chuckle-worthy sketch, especially since Beck Bennett got another opportunity to show off his serious physical comedy chops.
Nasim Pedrad hams it up as a loudmouth student infuriating fire safety expert Goodman. The premise of the sketch has lost its luster since the character premiered during Ed Norton's episode, but Pedrad still kills it. Also, who wouldn't laugh hearing the increasingly funny Aidy Bryant deliver the line, “I’m going to hide in a dry cleaning bag."
WATCH: HALLMARK HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN
Saturday Night Live has fun with photoshop in this sketch, parodying Hallmark's ridiculous holiday films. Including one answering the question: If Santa's Not Real, who keeps poking Mrs. Mills on Facebook?
SKIP: KINGS OF LEON
The Kings of Leon sounded powerful, but the band appeared too aloof to make a strong impression. (But bonus fun fact for you all: SNL alum Fred Armisen directed the band’s concert series.
A sketch surrounding a universal fact: H&M's cheap clothes disintegrate with one wash. Goodman, playing the everyman with a low budget and long Christmas list, is a good sport about having to will himself into skinny jeans, but that’s not enough to give this one-note joke any real shelf life.
WATCH: CHRISTMAS WHISTLE
An irritating whistle keeps interrupting the Christmas message delivered in It's a Wonderful Life. Props go to Goodman for brilliantly portraying suffocated rage. This one’s a tad heavy on the schmaltz, but watch this for the hilarious twist.
WATCH: LAST CALL
Yes! Bonus sketch at the eleventh hour. You knew Goodman had to play Santa at some point. This sketch surrounds the chemistry (or lack thereof) between the last two people at a bar during SantaCon. Hello whipped cream beard kisses!
A perfectly enjoyable night of merrymaking, even if we would have been merrier to be given a hint as to which new diverse comedienne will be added to the cast come January. Until then, the show will give us another show surrounding white dudes — Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are next up on the Dec. 21. But you know the two entertainers merit the hype.
Photo courtesy of NBC, Mary Ellen Matthews