The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ With Jeremy Renner

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After seeing his awkward promos, we were a little worried about the kind of show Jeremy Renner would host on Saturday Night Live this week. And we were sort of right to be, though we can’t really blame the failings of last night’s episode on him. Renner was nervous and clearly uncomfortable with the cue cards, but the sketches that failed did so because of lack of good ideas, not because of any flubbing on his part. Our hypothesis? None of the writers could think of anything besides jokes about Petraeus, and so they had to jam some half-baked stuff in there to fill the void. Can’t have a whole show about one thing, after all. Click through to watch the best and worst of last night’s show, and let us know if you agree or think we’re totally off base in the comments.

The Best:

The Standoff

The best sketch of the night came relatively early, before the first musical break, with this wonderful little story about a Mexican standoff taken to the streets. Jeremy Renner is wildly helped by the fact that he doesn’t have to read cue-cards, and the whole thing accomplishes what so many sketches do not — a compelling storyline and acting that made us laugh all the way through.

Weekend Update: Winners/Losers

As we’ve mentioned, SNL spent a whole lot of time on the Petraeus scandal this week, and for our money, this was the best. The Wolf Blitzer sketch was fun, but this had us laughing out loud. You just can’t beat Seth Meyers for snarky commentary.

Identifying the Body

This sketch started out slow, but picked up pace as soon as Bill Hader began involving himself, rolling itself into a ball of absurdity that had us chuckling. Drumming on a dead body gets us every time.

The Worst:

The Californians

Look SNL cast, we realize that you love doing this sketch. Seriously — we haven’t seen Fred Armisen break this much in a long time. But boy, from where we’re standing, is it the worst. It’s like watching a really lame in-joke for five minutes.

Cartoon Drones

It is our feeling that you shouldn’t bring out the cartoons unless they’re going to be really, really hilarious or (as in the Ambiguously Gay Duo) making a comment on cartoons themselves. While this one gestured towards the latter, it wasn’t the least bit funny, and we actually found it somewhat upsetting.

Movie Set

Yes, Jason Sudeikis is looking and talking funny. But is there another point to this sketch? No, there is not. Sigh.