On, 'SNL,' Host Charlize Theron's Heart's Just Not In It, While Barbara Walters Makes a Surprise Cameo

Actress Charlize Theron hosted SNL on Saturday night for the second time with musical guest The Black Keys and special surprise guest Barbara Walters! The last time Theron hosted SNL was all the way back in 2000 when she was promoting The Legend of Bagger Vance (eek!). This time around, she was plugging Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming comedy, A Million Ways to Die in the West (which, I’m ashamed to say, actually looks kind of funny). When I think of Theron, the first thing I think of isn’t usually “comedy.” Actually, when I think of Theron, the first thing I think of is usually serial killer Aileen Wuornos’ terrifying, wide-eyed monster face. What I mean is, Theron can be funny, as she proved on Arrested Development, but she’s probably more well-known for her dramatic work. Going into Saturday night’s episode, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

Theron did a decent job hosting the show, but sometimes, her heart just didn’t seem to be in it. It certainly didn’t help that she kicked things off by delivering one of the worst opening monologues in recent memory. Theron said that it had been 14 years since she hosted SNL, and if there was one thing she learned from hosting the first time around, it was that she just wasn’t any good at singing. Huh? Uh, is that really what you learned, Theron? Or was this just the writers’ pathetic attempt at shoehorning some singing into your opening monologue? As you probably know, for some reason, the SNL writers really don’t like to have an opening monologue that doesn't have any singing in it if they can avoid it. Moments later, it was time for some of the cast to join Theron on stage to sing a song about how Theron is bad at singing. Seriously. The whole thing just felt so forced and uninspired.

Random tidbits: Was it just me, or was Vanessa Bayer slipping in and out of her Miley Cyrus voice as Hillary Clinton during last night's cold open? Theron’s best character was definitely recently fired high school drama teacher Miss Christine during this week’s edition of Girlfriends Talk Show, but unfortunately, the usually funny sketch just felt a little "off." Finally, sometimes Theron talks like Mira Sorvino as Romy from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. That’s all.

The Black Keys were Saturday night’s musical guest, performing two songs from their upcoming album, Turn Blue: “Fever” and “Bullet in the Brain.” Lead singer Dan Auerbach (who produced Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album, Ultraviolence) couldn’t have looked more bored or disinterested during “Fever” if he tried — but he sounded great! Thankfully, Auerbach turned up the enthusiasm a notch for “Bullet in the Brain” (which was my favorite song of the two). If you’re not already a Black Keys fan, I’m not sure that either of last night's performances are going to do much for you. They were just OK. Turn Blue will be released on Monday, May 12.

Check out my rundown of last night’s Must Watch and Must Miss sketches below!

Must Watch

Weekend Update

In honor of Barbara Walters’ last appearance on The View (coming up on May 16), Weekend Update has a super special surprise guest…Walters herself! It’s cool to see Walters behind the Update desk alongside Cecily Strong, but it becomes immediately clear that Walters is not a comedienne! Or maybe she's just having trouble reading the cue cards. Either way, her appearance is kind of awkward and only a few of the jokes really land, but it’s still a nice send-off for a legendary journalist that the show has been poking fun at since its first season. Besides, it's only fair that Walters finally gets to take a few shots of her own at SNL (it also reminds me that I really need to look up more old clips of Cher Oteri playing Walters ASAP). Drunk Uncle (Bobby Moynihan) stops by as Update’s second guest of the evening. His random commentary on the supposed "sad state" of the world today isn’t quite as amusing as usual, but he does give us a pretty ridiculous mumbling rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” that must be heard.

Heshy: Dating Seminar

Motivational speaker Heshy Farahat (Nasim Pedrad) is back! This time, she’s sharing the secret to finding true love with a group of single women at a Courtyard Marriott. Heshy’s best friend (and biggest “success” story) Gail (Theron) helps her out. The content of Heshy’s motivational speech is occasionally funny, but this sketch is really all about Heshy (and Gail’s) crazy sound effects. Heshy punctuates almost every point she makes with a violent pelvic thrust, accompanied by some Mortal Kombat-esque theme music and various gun shot/explosion noises. She also has a sound byte that’s just someone saying her name in a deep, authoritative voice. Gail has one, too, only hers is a little more high-pitched. At one point during the sketch, Heshy and Gail take turns air humping to the sound of their own names and rapid machine gun fire. Believe me, I was on the floor laughing.

Bikini Beach Party

This sketch is really, really weird, but it’s also really, really funny. Bikini Beach Party is SNL’s take on those vapid beach party movies from the '60s. Taran Killam stars as Darren, a surfer hunk, and Theron plays Gadget, our main beach babe. Darren tells Gadget to meet him on the beach late at night next to the body of a giant dead whale so that she can end her summer vacation with a romantic kiss. Oooh! But wait…what? Yes, Darren wants to meet Gadget next to the corpse of a dead whale so that he can give her a kiss. Strange. Later, while doing the twist on the beach with some of her gal pals, Gadget learns that when whales decompose, their bodies fill up with highly combustible methane gas. Uh, at this point, I am screaming, “WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT DEAD WHALES??” Don’t worry, there’s a good reason — but I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll have to watch the sketch and find out for yourself! I promise, it’s worth it.

Must Miss

Pet Rescue Commercial

(Note: I couldn’t really decide if this sketch was Must Watch or Must Miss material, so I took a gamble.) Barbara (Kate McKinnon) and Kat (Theron) are the owners of an adoption center for cats called Whiskers R’ We. While Barbara is genuinely in love with cats and seems to be committed to finding them loving homes, Kat is really just interested in Barbara. With a super creepy demeanor and a frown plastered on her face, Theron is definitely channeling Wuornos here! McKinnon does most of the heavy comedic lifting while Theron mostly just lurks around ominously in the background. If you’re a cat lover, I suppose you’ll want to watch this one — there are loads of insanely adorable kittens! Otherwise, I’d skip it.

That’s it for this week! Tune in next week for SNL’s season finale with host Andy Samberg and musical guest St. Vincent. Trust me — you won’t want to miss it.

Image: NBC