The thing about “Saturday Night Live” is that any given week could be a classic episode or a complete dud — and if you think you can predict it based on the guest host, think again. Who would have guessed — especially after her painfully unfunny promos — that Ariana Grande would kill it as “SNL” host? With the April 9 guest host duties filled by Russell Crowe, not too many were expecting absolute hilarity, but instead the episode was a painfully unfunny one filled with flubbed lines, uninspired sketches and a sleep-inducing lack of energy.
Although Crowe himself was the host, he didn’t really have anything to do with the show’s awful overall grade. A few of his appearances — most notably as a hologram of King Henry VIII wanting to impregnate modern-day museum visitors — were decent enough. But such minor gems were drowned in an avalanche of unfunny — below, the three worst moments. We dare you to watch them and not wince in pain.
The unfunny comedian
Kyle Mooney has appeared in the past as Bruce Chandling, a veteran stand-up comedian still doing mind-’90’s schtick, and it was funny enough. But in a case of art imitating life, this time around Mooney seems to have not written any jokes beyond the “running gag” that women don’t know anything about sports. The “Weekend Update” guest spot goes absolutely nowhere, to the point where you can see Michael Che reacting at the end like he wants to end Mooney’s misery, without any clear conclusion in sight.
Al Sharpton goes on his own show
Like Bruce Chandling above, Kenan Thompson's Al Sharpton is a semi-recurring "SNL" character that has simultaneously managed to never be very funny or unfunny. But that was until now, because someone seems to have thought that simply putting the real Sharpton opposite Kenan's impersonation would be enough to bring the laughs -- and it so wasn't.
First off, Sharpton's appearance seemed to underscore that the real Reverend doesn't do half the things Thompson exaggerates about him. Then, the real Sharpton's line readings were so poor that it was difficult to understand what was being said for much of the sketch. Finally, Sharpton is so frail these days, he's not really someone you want to see mocked.
Mike O'Brien plays Oprah
Much like the Al Sharpton sketch, this "short film" is painfully unfunny because someone seems to have fallen in love with a one-note premise ("Hey, let's have Mike wear a dress and be Oprah!) and assume that the rest of the sketch will write itself. O'Brien has been on the show for a while now and at his best moments displays a fun, offbeat sense of humor -- but simply putting on a dress and re-creating the Tom Cruise-couch-jumping thing is hardly cutting-edge comedy. The final sketch of the night, O'Brien has been relegated to the "SNL" equivalent of Siberia -- and if this is the best he can come up with, it's clearly where he belongs. It seems pretty obvious that this "SNL" short won't be going viral, even among Oprah fans.