Seth Rogen Slays Third 'Saturday Night Live' Gig, Mocks James Franco

·Writer

Seth Rogen is such a big star now that when he does "Saturday Night Live," he doesn't even bother to mention the film he's currently out promoting — "Neighbors," which is out next month — or, as he explained, feel the need to lean on celebrity cameos.

Then of course, a slew of stars showed up within minutes as he masterfully made his way through his opening monologue. Zooey Deschanel, James Franco (though, technically, he appears in a later sketch), and Taylor Swift, who apparently appears "whenever a man shows emotion," all took the stage during the 31-year-old actor's spiel where he playfully joked about Franco's online flirtations with underage girls.

In his third turn as "SNL" host, Rogen brings a sense of comfort and ease to the important role (not to mention star power!), making him a sure bet to join the Five Timers Club.

BREAKING AWAY

There is a fine art to laughing or "breaking" on stage. Many find it unprofessional, but audiences love it; it makes the performer relatable and it highlights the danger of doing a live show. Jimmy Fallon is famous for it, but the true master does it just enough to not be noticeable.

Rogen takes a goofy but forgettable sketch about a needy wife and her imposed-upon husband and puts it over the top for the crowd by giggling at a fart joke. This, of course, takes nothing away from Aidy Bryant sitting with her blouse open to the belly-button saying, "I am sitting here in Roanoke's finest steak place with my flying saucers hanging out!" in her best Southern belle accent.

RETURNING CHAMPIONS

Vanessa Bayer's Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy is back on Weekend Update and, even though it's his second time explaining Passover, his bashfulness with Cecily Strong is always fun to watch.

And Nasim Pedrad's weirdly confident fourth grader, Shallon — last seen with John Goodman — derails a well-meaning D.A.R.E. cop, who ends up sending the wrong message. "Sorry, I think your kids like crack now," says a defeated Rogen.

This is the first time Shallon has come back, and the structure — a wild child leads a class full of children to revolt — is broad and funny enough to fit any number of guest hosts. Also, Kate McKinnon's resigned teacher who heads out to "sit in my car and call a man" should appear in every sketch with children.

WE WERE THE REAL MONSTERS ALL ALONG

James Franco stuck around to do a short about a monster getting plastic surgery to look like, well, James Franco. It's a sweet little piece; after the operation, his friend goes looking for him, frightening people on the street and complaining that "Monsters Inc." "took a lot of liberties" with the monster lifestyle.

Poor Mike O'Brien ends up as the butt of the last joke — that he got the cheap surgery and looks goofy next to Franco. Let's face it; everybody looks goofy next to Franco.

SKETCH OF THE NIGHT

Any acting coach who knows anything will tell you: It's not about the dog food. This simple sketch features Strong and Rogen as one of those smiling couples in a commercial for fancy pet chow, but we soon find out it's really about Strong's desire to take everything personally. "It's not OK, Pat! Like, they think I'm dumb!" she wails as the commercial spirals into something out of an Edward Albee play.

"Bend over, Pat! They wanna get that ass!" she sneers as Rogen tries to keep the commercial on track. The frequent cut-aways to the sad little puppy as she rants are pure genius.

SOMETIMES, IT'S JUST ABOUT SILLY ACCENTS

Boston Red Sox star David "Big Papi" Ortiz was in the news recently for taking a picture with President Obama that turned out to be part of a paid endorsement deal with Samsung.

None of that matters for Kenan Thompson, who used the entire Update segment as an excuse for him to make his Dominican accent as cartoonish as possible ("You got bass in your house? Hit 'em wid a bad. Bass for bass."). Though there's also room to do some good, like his short and sweet PSA: "Do you suffer from depression? Don't."

BEST OF THE REST

"Chain me to the couch so I don't go on the prowl like some gay werewolf!"

Aidy Bryant screaming across the stage with a shopping cart full of bodily fluids is almost worth it, even if just reading that description made you a little nauseous.

"Quit playing games, Doug! Be a man and put a ring on it!"

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