Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, January 20, 2018

SNL Recap: Anna Kendrick delights in SNL debut

SNL Recap: Anna Kendrick delights in SNL debut

Though she is already a force to be reckoned with on the silver screen and on Twitter, on April 5, Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect”) took on the world of television when she hosted “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Pharrell Williams. Kendrick embraced the persona of naïve, passive-aggressive and musically inclined woman of the 21st century throughout most of the episode, allowing her to poke fun at the very character she portrayed.

While the episode was not always laugh-out-loud funny and often unnecessarily flashy, it was charming and satirically on-point. Kendrick’s SNL ultimately succeeded in at least two main aspects: showcasing Anna Kendrick’s vocal range – there were four musical performances and she sounded impeccable in each one – and poking fun at white people. A lot.

Best “sketch”: ”Best of the White Guys” NCAA Tournament Commercial
SNL saved its funniest bit for last with a fake ad for a DVD featuring the best moments of white guys during this year’s NCAA Tournament. Clips of white guys getting their shots blocked are playfully mocked, and one player’s basket is dubbed as one of the white guys “accidentally banking three-pointers.” SNL’s Mike O’Brien and his faux enthusiasm for players who appeared to do everything but make baskets were golden, as were Kenan Thompson’s reactions to his excitement.

Even for AU students who don’t care for hilarious commentary on select basketball plays, the clip is worth watching just to see AU men’s basketball senior center Tony Wroblicky play solid defense against University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Frank Kaminsky in one of the video snippets. Consider it one last reminder of AU’s initially glorious run in that second-round game before the clip ends and you remember that AU went on to lose to Wisconsin by 40 points.

Worst “sketch”: Big Joe
Of the numerous attempts in the episode to poke fun at white males who overestimate their capabilities, the “Big Joe” sketch did the worst job by far. The nearly four minute sketch focused on a large man named Big Joe who seemed tough and intimidating but was actually weak and incapable of lifting heavy objects. While the first time Big Joe, played by Taran Killam (“12 Years a Slave”), failed to pick up a rock may have elicited a laugh from viewers, the joke wasn’t enough to carry an entire segment of the show.

Best musical number doubling as a satirical piece on the oversexualization of women in media: Dongs All Over the World
If you’ve ever seen a music video featuring one or two men surrounded by a horde of women in bikinis, then this video is for you. Kendrick and four of the SNL ladies parody the ubiquity of these videos in their roles as “international nasty girls” whose mission is to go around the world and have sex with a man from every country. The men are reduced to sexual objects with the majority of their camera action focused on their pelvic regions. Their clothes are raunchy, Cecily Strong rhymes “dong” with “thong” and Kendrick compares dongs to snowflakes. To quote Beyoncé: “Who run the world? Girls.”

Best Disney related sketch: “The Little Mermaid”
When Ursula asks to hear the pretty little mermaid sing, Ariel, played by Kendrick, emulates the girls on the surface by singing songs by Ke$ha, Britney Spears and Selena Gomez. Kendrick’s choice of tunes throughout the sketch, including a mini-rap courtesy of Iggy Azalea, drive the piece that shows viewers just how removed pop culture might be from the Disney princesses we once all admired.

Best meta reference and aww-worthy sketch: Backup Singer Auditions for Pharrell
While Pharrell’s musical acts, which involved kids dancing and playing violins in the background, were both welcome performances, his sole appearance on an SNL sketch showed just how happy of a guy Pharrell seems to be. He donned his famous hat, which SNL promptly poked fun at, and Pharrell couldn’t help but smile and break the fourth wall at the sight of Killam and Bobby Moynihan wearing similar headgear.

It was also Kendrick’s last sketch and more evidence that she’s got some serious singing chops.

kavancena@theeagleonline.com


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.