'SNL' Host Seth Rogen Gets a Little Help from Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, and Taylor Swift — But He Doesn't Need It!
Seth Rogen, the 31-year-old star of Knocked Up and This Is the End, hosted SNL for the third time last night with musical guest Ed Sheeran. I think Rogen is one of the funniest, most loveable guys in Hollywood today. He’s so adorable! And maybe I’m just being seduced by Zac Efron’s superhuman good looks (or Dave Franco’s, take your pick), but Rogen’s upcoming comedy Neighbors actually looks really hilarious to me. I was definitely looking forward to last night's episode.
Unsurprisingly, Rogen was fantastic. He was so laidback and relaxed — he made hosting look easy. Impressions aren’t really Rogen’s thing, so there were a couple times when he seemed a little uncomfortable with an accent, but generally speaking, he did a great job. As SNL tends to do every few weeks or so, Rogen’s opening monologue was punctuated with several surprising guest appearances. Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, and Taylor Swift all graced the stage, eager to help Rogen with his hosting duties. (Rogen kept insisting that he didn’t need any help, but reinforcements came anyway.) Franco, I get — he’s Rogen’s buddy. Swift, I get — she’s Sheeran’s buddy. But who invited Deschanel and her ukulele? Not me. Not anyone.
It was a big week for British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. On Monday, Sheeran released his new single, “Sing” (which is destined to be a smash hit), and a couple days later, we found out that Ellie Goulding may have cheated on him with One Direction’s Niall Horan! Gasp! Sheeran stopped by the show last night to perform two songs from his upcoming album, X: “Sing” and “Don’t.” Even though he kind of looks like Bilbo Baggins and the frog from Frogger combined, the second Sheeran opens his mouth, I am puddy in his hands. “Sing” was up first and it was great. Sheeran’s live vocals are just as good if not better than his studio vocals — you can’t say that about too many pop stars these days! Up next, we got to hear “Don’t” (a.k.a. the “Ellie Goulding cheated on me with Niall Horan” song). Holy cow, it was amazing. If “Don’t” isn’t Sheeran's next single, there’s something seriously wrong with his team. Last night was an exciting preview — I can’t wait to hear the rest of X!
Check out my rundown of last night's Must Watch and Must Miss sketches below!
Shallon: Drug Safety
Rogen is Officer Kellogg from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (DARE), and he is ready to teach a group of elementary school kids to “Just Say No” to drugs. Unfortunately, the class’s ringleader, Shallon (Nasim Pedrad), has other plans. Shallon, who acts more like a 30-year-old surfer than an elementary school student, misinterprets everything Officer Kellogg has to say about avoiding drugs. Soon, she has her entire class exclaiming things like, “Oh, I get it! Drugs are OK as long as you’re responsible about how much you do!” and “Crack’s the new ice cream!” At the end of the presentation, Shallon declares, “Just say NOW…to crack!” before leading the entire class on a recess adventure to find drugs. The first time I saw a Shallon sketch on SNL, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it, but Pedrad’s ridiculous character has grown on me immensely. I couldn't stop laughing!
We’re at Roanoke’s finest steakhouse for Gloria’s birthday party. Unfortunately, a tragic escalator accident has left Helen (Aidy Bryant), one of Gloria’s closest pals, with both of her arms in casts. Fortunately, Helen’s husband Alan (Rogen) is there to help her through dinner…and also do everything else for her (and I do mean everything). “This is the hardest part of my life so far,” Alan says, “and I was in Afghanistan.” Nope, Alan isn't starting to resent Helen at all! The sketch works so well because of a few hysterical sight gags and Bryant’s total commitment to the part. She almost breaks character once, but I can’t really blame her. It’s impossible to keep a straight face when Alan attempts to apply lipstick for Helen and leaves her looking like John Wayne Gacy, or when Helen directs Alan to “cut it” — meaning her steak — and he breaks wind instead. A classic misunderstanding!
GOP at Coachella Cold Open
Before Outkast takes the stage at The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival (or just...Coachella), hipster hosts Sasheer Zamata and Noel Wells try to pump up the crowd for a little talk from “The New Face of the Republican Party”: Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan (Taran Killam) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (Beck Bennett)! Ryan yells to the crowd, “Yo conservatives, make some noise!” and the crowd is dead silent. (Ironically, the real crowd at Coachella wasn’t very excited to see Outkast, either.) The two men prattle on, trying their best to use “cool” lingo to make their boring political issues appealing to festival goers, but it doesn’t work. The best part of the sketch is when Bush asks the crowd if they’re in favor of gay marriage (they are), and Ryan quickly swoops in with, “Well, you’re in luck, ‘cause the new GOP is…not going to talk about it as much!” Amazing. The sketch closes out with a little Second Amendment “gun show” from Ryan (he's wearing a sleeveless dress shirt under his jacket) and a special guest appearance from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (Pedrad). Naturally, Jindal is decked out in glow sticks and is rolling on ecstasy.
Blue River Dog Food
Couple Cindy (Cecily Strong) and Pat (Rogen) are doing a commercial for Blue River Dog Food — a high-quality dog food made from only the finest natural ingredients. Everything is going fine, until Pat discovers that Cindy is dealing with a lot of intense guilt over feeding their dog Peanut the cheap stuff for so many years. The setup has potential, but the sketch doesn’t really go anywhere. Both Strong and Rogen seem a little unsure of themselves and the material. The only thing that prevents the sketch from being a total loss is when the camera occasionally pans to Peanut — this dog is somehow able to make all the right adorably pathetic dog faces at all the right times. Someone get that pup a treat.
That’s all for this week! SNL will return on Saturday, May 3 with host Andrew Garfield and musical guest Coldplay.