'Saturday Night Live' Opens With 'Silent Night' in Honor of Shooting Victims [Video]
"Saturday Night Live" closed out 2012 with its strongest episode in weeks.
"SNL" alum Martin Short, who appeared on the 1984-85 season, livened up what's been a dull string of episodes with his kinetic, sprightly style. He brought with him a bounty of celebrity cameos (more on that later). Plus, we'll never tire of seeing Paul McCartney perform.
The episode started with, instead of a cold open, the New York City Children's Chorus singing a beautiful rendition of "Silent Night" in a nod to Friday's heartbreaking school shooting tragedy. It was classy and dignified, and incredibly moving to hear the kids sing, "Sleep in heavenly peace/Sleep in heavenly peace."
The rest of the evening didn't hold back on trying to be funny, and for the first time in weeks, actually succeeded. The monologue set the evening's zany tone, with Short singing a lascivious version of "It's a Wonderful Time of the Year," with Paul Shaffer at piano. The cameos kept on coming as Short made his way backstage -- Kristen Wiig! Jimmy Fallon! Tom Hanks! Samuel L. Jackson! Tina Fey! Merry Christmas to all!
BEST: Kate Middleton Pregnancy Exam
Short played a royal family liaison sent to teach proper protocol to the Duchess of Cambridge's OB (Bill Hader). He instructs the doctor on how to approach the royal … ahem … and what to call that area of her body. "The governess, the kingmaker, her 'Downton Abbey,'" Short ticks off, as Hader can barely keep a straight face, "The chunnel, Dame Judi Dench, Piccadilly Circus, and Thomas's English Muffin." Then Fred Armisen showed up as Queen Elizabeth, who needs her Judi Dench looked at. We haven't laughed this hard during an "SNL" sketch in … can't even remember.
YES, IT'S BACK!: What's Up With That's Christmas Spectacular
As a little gift, "SNL" brought this out of sketch retirement. The major buzz around last night's edition is that Samuel L. Jackson apparently dropped an F-bomb (he claimed on Twitter that he said "fuh"), and definitely really did say "bulls---." Aside from that, it was a pretty typical "What's Up With That." Jason Sudeikis was hilarious (as usual) as the Running Man. Watch the sketch here.
YES, IT'S BACK! 2: A Tony Bennett Christmas
Alec Baldwin reprised his dead-on impersonation of Tony Bennett, who teamed up with his brother Jerry (Short) to interview Kanye West (Jay Pharoah). The sketch's potty humor had us cracking up: "It sure is easy to get down in the dumps when you can take one." Classic!