Anna Kendrick Is "Pitch Perfect" on 'SNL,' Could Give Pharrell a Few Pointers
Anna Kendrick, the 28-year-old star of Pitch Perfect , hosted SNL for the very first time last night with musical guest Pharrell. Everyone knows that Kendrick was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for her work in Up in the Air opposite George Clooney, but did you know that she was also nominated for a Tony Award? It’s true! In 1998, at the ripe old age of 12, Kendrick was nominated for her role in the Broadway musical, High Society. She also had a role in the classic indie movie musical, Camp. Actually, she will be appearing in three upcoming movie musicals: Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, and Pitch Perfect 2.
Whoa, I had no idea that Kendrick’s musical talents extended so far beyond Pitch Perfect and her subsequent hit single, “Cups”! It’s strange, then, that she recently said that she never wants to sing again. Wha? Well, I got news for you Kendrick: you’re doing an opening monologue on SNL — there’s going to be singing whether you like it or not! Kendrick is a wonderfully talented actress and her promos for this week’s show with cast member Taran Killam were seriously funny (way funnier than Louis C.K.’s — and I thought his were pretty good!), so I was definitely looking forward to last night’s show.
Thankfully, Kendrick did not disappoint! From the moment she first walked out on stage, she was just this adorable, bouncing ball of energy. She committed 1,000 percent to every sketch she was in and her comedic timing was spot-on. Actually, last night’s episode was so good, THERE WERE NO MUST MISS SKETCHES. Sure, some sketches were funnier than others, but nothing made me want to hit the mute button on the remote! I was laughing the whole night through. As predicted, Kendrick only got about 10 seconds into her monologue before breaking out into song. In fact, the majority of her sketches involved singing (but she looked like she was having so much fun, I kind of find it hard to believe that she actually wants to stop). It was a fine first-time hosting job, indeed.
(Side note: last night was the Brooks Wheelan-iest episode of the season. He even had his own segment during Weekend Update. Perhaps he won’t be leaving us after all? DUN DUN DUN!)
Okay, musical guest time. I wasn’t going to make a “Pharrell found the fountain of youth” joke, but then he came out on stage and I was like…"Ya’ll, Pharrell found the fountain of youth.” Yesterday was his birthday — he turned 41. He looks like he’s 19! The ageless wonder performed two songs from his new album, G I R L: “Happy” and “Marilyn Monroe.” I’ve always thought of Pharrell as more of a music producer than a singer, and that belief was upheld last night. Vocally, Pharrell did not impress, but I did enjoy his performance of the super-catchy “Marilyn Monroe." (We’re not going to talk about “Happy” because it was boring and everybody is sick to death of that song. Though I did appreciate that at least four of Pharrell’s "Happy" backup dancers were wearing denim jackets.)
Check out my rundown of last night’s Must Watch sketches below! (Really, you should watch the entire episode, but I'll give you the highlights!)
For my favorite sketch of the evening, we head under the sea where Ariel (Kendrick) is preparing to strike a deal with Ursula (Aidy Bryant, in a role she was born to play). But when Ursula asks Ariel to sing for her, it’s not the angelic sound we're used to hearing, no — it’s Ke$ha’s grating talk-singing from “We R Who We R.” Ursula is not impressed, yelling, “Stop! That is your voice??” Suddenly, she remembers that she doesn’t really need a voice, after all — she’ll just take $10,000 instead. Ariel can’t pony up the cash, so she tries on a few other pop stars' voices in an attempt to impress the sea witch. First, she imitates Britney Spears, which Ursula says sounds like “a baby having sex.” Next, she tries out Selena Gomez. When that doesn’t work, it seems like Ariel’s going to revert back to her familiar chorus of, “Ahhh-ahhh-ahhh’s,” but then suddenly she starts rapping “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea. Ultimately, Ursula decides that she really prefers Sebastian’s singing voice, and the whole gang breaks out into a deep-sea dance party as Sebastian (Jay Pharoah in a giant crab costume) belts out a Sean Paul song.
Dongs All Over the World
SNL rounds up most of its ladies for a Pussycat Dolls-esque music video for the raunchy song “Dongs All Over the World” — and it’s perfection. From the gaudy, blinged-out styling to Kate McKinnon’s hilarious “party girl” singing voice, everything is amazing. You’ve heard of men having women in different area codes? Well, these women have dongs in different time zones! Kendrick nabs my favorite line of the song: “Each dong is like a snowflake…except that it’s a dong, and we’ve gotta catch ‘em all like sexual Pokémon!” Pure poetry. Somewhere, Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin's Botoxed monster face is twitching in anger. She's shaking her first and yelling to the sky, “Why didn’t I think of this!” And then, just when I thought the sketch couldn’t get any better, Icona Pop stops by for some reason! I'm going to make this jam my ringtone.
I adore this strange recurring sketch about dancing French youths. The scene: a young tough (Killam) is leaning up against the jukebox in a café. When he spies a cute waitress (Kendrick) across the way, he moves in for the kill. At first, the waitress just brushes him off, but when the jukebox starts to play, she can't resist dancing with the mystery man. After working up an appetite, the two take a break from breaking it down to nosh on some frogs because...France. Then Wheelan shows up as a pirate and steals the waitress away! Then Kate McKinnon shows up as a Victorian society woman and tries to give the young tough a million kisses! Then Kyle Mooney shows up as someone from Star Trek! Then the school girls from the Madeline books walk through the shot! And then, finally, Pharaoh makes an appearance in drag as Chris Tucker from The Fifth Element. Whew. In between all of these moments, there is wild, insane dancing — sometimes synchronized, sometimes freestyle. The sketch makes absolutely no sense, but I just can’t get enough.