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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy didn’t waste any time getting right to the funny stuff in last night’s episode of SNL, with musical guest Phoenix. She entered the stage staggering in sky-high stripper heels, face-planting in front of the band. The gag was more nuanced than we’re describing, which is what we love about the actress. You can watch it, below.

McCarthy is easily as gifted as Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and SNL’s other greatest ladies. Her commitment to a role is unwavering, and her physical comedy skills show courage and a willingness to stretch boundaries that’s on par with other uninhibited SNL all-stars like Will Ferrell and the late, great Chris Farley.

For McCarthy’s second hosting appearance, the writers leaned a little too heavily on the Bridesmaids star as the same crude and ridiculous character for nearly every sketch: the clumsy, oblivious, frumpy woman. She’s certainly adept at playing the loose canon, but just as things started to venture somewhere different, tired comedy like the food jokes — this time ham and pizza — returned. Also, where the hell were the other women? This ep felt more guy-heavy than usual. We took a look at more of the best and worst of last night’s episode after the jump.

The Best

Melissa McCarthy in Heels Monologue

As we mentioned, McCarthy’s physical comedy prowess was in full force during the opening monologue. Perhaps the best part about it was seeing the host charm the pants off the band and spread the laughs beyond the audience cam.

Outside the Lines

SNL spoofed the firing of Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who abused his team. McCarthy appeared as another nutty sports manager, Sheila Kelly. The thuggish coach throws toasters at players (“Because you’re toast!”) amongst other random objects. The sketch went on a little too long, but seeing McCarthy run amok was hilarious.

Weekend Update: Drunk Uncle on Taxes

Drunk uncle (Bobby Moynihan) was moderately funny, but the appearance of Peter Dinklage as Drunk Uncle’s brother-in-law, Peter Drunklage, made the Weekend Update sketch the best part of the evening. Sorry, Melissa! Drunklage and company ranted about kids these days, threw back the scotch, and performed a duet of Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Show. Stolen.

Weekend Update: Bar Mitzvah Boy on Passover

We’ve seen Vanessa Bayer as Jacob before, cracking corny one-liners about homework, and her ability to capture teen awkwardness is delightful as ever.

Honey Baked Ham Bake Off isn’t online due to music copyright, but it was goofy fun — even if it felt too close to the Timberlake Veganville joke from last month. McCarthy’s Jean returned to the stage and performed an absurd choreographed routine to a medley of 1990’s dance hits — including Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It,” and MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” — with piggy backup dancers. She wanted to win the Honey Baked Ham Bake-Off, and this time, victory was hers.

The Worst

The Voice: Season 4

This was another one of those bummer moments when we wondered if any of the SNL writers actually watch the show they’re spoofing. In the case of the network’s reality singing series, it sure didn’t seem like it. Bill Hader’s Adam Levine was disappointingly off-key, and we were hoping to see him bring his bromance with Jason Sudeikis’ Blake Shelton full circle. Even Kate McKinnon as an amusing Shakira couldn’t make this one funnier.

Million Dollar Wheel

The joke about McCarthy as a Wheel of Fortune-esque Vanna White turning the wrong letters was lame. McCarthy wasn’t to blame — just watching her twirl and pose with wild game show hands was entertaining. The fact that the episode took a big dip the moment McCarthy was cast as an “attractive” character speaks volumes about the writers relying on a one-note thing when it comes to this funny lady.

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