The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Jonah Hill

Fresh off an Oscar-nominated performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill returns to SNL for his third hosting spot. He brings some of that manic Scorsese energy with him for a number of screamy sketches that don’t all cut it, but he breaks a sweat trying his best. Two guests pop up to lend Hill a hand. Wolf of Wall Street references were kept to a minimum, and there were no big goodbyes just yet for Seth Meyers who is on his way out (SNL head writer Colin Jost will replace him at the “Weekend Update” desk next month). See what you make of last night’s episode, below.

The Best

“Men’s Figure Skating Cold Open”

I was torn over this one, which spoofs Putin. The physical comedy is refreshing, but SNL always goes for the low-hanging fruit when it comes to this stuff. That’s a shame since the Russian President is fertile comedic ground.

“Jonah Hill Monologue”

Jonah Hill wants you to know he’s a very important person, but everyone’s more interested in his Wolf of Wall Street co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio — and then the actor joins him on stage. They re-enact the iconic (ridiculous) moment in Titanic, and it feels like we’re watching a GIF-tacular scene for the ages.

“The Hit”

Three hit men (Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson) lose focus and become mesmerized by snow. We get the same joke 10 different ways, but things escalate nicely.

“Couples Quiz”

Pure, pathetic potty humor. Still, I like that we go into this one thinking it’s going to be another predictable game show sketch, only to find out we’re wrong. Also: “This is a historical building!”

“Weekend Update: The Officer Who Arrested Justin Bieber” and “Olya Povlatsky”

“Little swagger leprechaun” is the perfect way to describe Justin Bieber. Kate McKinnon’s anxious Russian woman Olya Povlatsky discusses dog lawyers (real canines!), her favorite childhood sport (running away from angry wolf!), and the English translation of her village’s name (Desolation of Smaug!). If only we could get Olya and Tina Fey’s Albanian refugee, Blerta, together for a sketch.

“Lamborghini”

I was certain SNL killed the ex-porn stars funnies once and for all during its last appearance, but the women are totally invested in this darker, nastier bit.

The Worst

“Benihana”

Welcome to one of many sketches in this episode where Jonah Hill scream-monologues the entire time. The Adam Grossman character is funny for a hot minute, but it wears on me quickly. The “Shell Silverstein” joke is the best of the bunch, and it’s a shame to see our new cast member, Sasheer Zamata, sorely underused.

“Spike Jonze Trailer”

The writers finally woke up and decided to tackle Spike Jonze’s Her. Clearly they were stumped on how to approach this one, because they give the joke away almost immediately — and then it’s XX minutes listening to Hill mumble about testicles. Michael Cera shows up, which reminds us that he does the whole wistful, sad sack thing better.

“Boss Dinner”

“Boss Dinner” is the kind of weird, late-night entry I love on SNL, but this becomes another the-cast-sits-in-silence-and-lets-Hill-scream-his-head-off joke. The actor channels Chris Farley and Norman Bates for an awkward dinner party. With minimal interaction from everyone else, the “please excuse me for one moment” deflates quickly. However, Hill really sells the rage face, eyelid tremors, and makeup.

“Inside SoCal”

A Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett pre-produced short that nails everything about West Coast bros, but isn’t very interesting. The frat sketch that aired during the start of the season played on masculinity in a more compelling way.