As a veteran of sketch comedy thanks to his stint on In Living Color — which, at the risk of making everyone reach for the Geritol, debuted over 20 years ago — Oscar winner Jamie Foxx carried fairly high expectations into this week’s Saturday Night Live hosting gig. And while the episode contained what I’d argue was the least funny segment all season (more on that in a moment), it also featured enough genuinely funny moments that Foxx didn’t lose his comedic cred in the process.
After another uninspired politically themed cold open and an iffy monologue (Foxx’s little stint at the piano brings our tally to 7 out of 9 Season 38 hosts who’ve kicked things off with a song or dance routine), Foxx worked overtime — appearing in every single segment thereafter — to help right the ship.
Below are my picks for best and worst sketches:
Best: Swarovski Crystals Ad
Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong scored huge laughs as two former (possibly brain-damaged) pornstars trying to score themselves some free holiday bling. Because crystals are the same as diamonds and they’re the one thing — okay, the one other thing — that never goes out of style.
Best: Alex Cross 2: Madea Special Ops
Foxx puled off an amazing split personality (and body) in this movie-trailer short, channeling two of Tyler Perry’s most recognizable roles. “Boy, stop talking to him and blow his skinhead brains out!”
Best: Weekend Update Ding Dong
Foxx donned one of the more ridiculous costumes in recent SNL history to play Hostess’ less-talked-about snack cake, a victim of “snack profiling” who called out the Twinkie as nothing more than “a punk-ass sponge cake.” Those references to the Sno Ball and Little Debbie left me howling.
Worst: Maine Justice
Essentially, this was a People’s Court spoof set in the state of Maine, but with everybody except the befuddled defendant acting as if they’d come straight from the bayous of Louisiana. Get it? Get it? Yeah, I didn’t either. I’m not sure I’ve found anything less amusing on SNL all season.
Worst: Tree Pimp
Kenan Thompson in a digital short about a reformed pimp turned Christmas tree salesman. Yep, this stagnant piece actually ended with our title character humping an underage sapling in an alleyway.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Foxx’s performance? Sound off in the comments!