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SNL Recap: Seth Rogen and Cecily Strong bring the laughs

SNL Recap: Seth Rogen and Cecily Strong bring the laughs
NBC

He’s goofy, his laugh is deep and he claims he loves pot. These are three characteristics that everyone seems to know about Seth Rogen (“This is the End”). He embraced all of these characteristics from the get-go when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the third time on April 12. Some of those endeavors went well, as evidenced by Rogen playing his typical “straight man” role in the best three sketches of the night, but the sketches that referenced his pot-smoking habits didn’t stand out from the mix.

Best sketch: Blue River Dog Food
It only featured Cecily Strong (“The Awesomes”) and Rogen, but the dialogue between them and a fantastic performance by Strong made the sketch the best of the episode. Strong portrayed a woman who gradually slipped into madness when she realized that she had been feeding her dog chicken-less food all its life. Rogen acted as a foil, playing her calm, composed husband who eventually mirrored Strong’s distress as she lost her mind. From Strong’s piercing sobs to Rogen’s frustrated retorts, the sketch showcased Strong at her best and how Rogen can get away with playing a similar character on all his movies while still being consistently entertaining.

Worst sketch: Undercover Sharpton
Four minutes of Kenan Thompson (“The Magic of Belle Isle”) portraying Al Sharpton as an undercover cop trying to bust cocaine dealers is four minutes too long. The sketch was flat throughout, with many of the jokes being obvious or uninteresting, and it was unable to create any standout character worth laughing about.

Best sketch to show off Rogen’s A-list friends: Rogen’s Monologue
Zooey Deschanel (“500 Days of Summer”), James Franco (“As I Lay Dying”) and Taylor Swift’s appearances may not have made Rogen’s monologue any funnier, but they did add some entertainment value and loud screams from the studio audience. The famous friends were unafraid about making fun of themselves, as Rogen and Franco openly poked fun at the news that Franco flirted with a 17-year-old girl, and Swift joined in the fun by ascribing her cameo to Rogen’s frustration, saying, “Whenever a man shows emotion, I appear.”

Best Bar Mitzvah boy in all of New York: Jacob in “Weekend Update”
Vanessa Bayer (“Despicable Me 2”) and her portrayal of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boy is already one of the most beloved roles on “Weekend Update,” yet Jacob’s first appearance since Seth Meyers left the news anchor desk can still rank as one of Bayer’s best performances. Jacob was as awkward and endearing as ever – he made repeated jokes about his mom’s inedible tuna casserole that only he could find funny, and he flinched and nearly shed a tear when Strong asked him about Derek Jeter’s retirement from baseball. Jacob continues to prove that he is one of the best recurring characters on “Weekend Update.”

Stray thoughts:
*Where was Jay Pharoah in all of this? And why did Kate McKinnon only have three small roles throughout the evening, despite her stellar performance on last week’s episode?

*While Thompson’s portrayal of Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz on “Weekend Update” was mostly unfunny, he did have one standout line: “Do you suffer from depression? Don’t.”

*The sketch about a CNN Pregnancy Test was one of the less interesting pieces of the evening, but any AU students who go to Ward on a regular basis and only ever see CNN coverage of the Malaysian plane crash will understand why “SNL” might not be so fond of the news network.

kavancena@theeagleonline.com


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