The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Jim Carrey

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Lucky for us, Jim Carrey’s publicity rounds for Dumb and Dumber To just happen to coincide with SNL’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The rubber-faced funnyman auditioned to be a cast member during the 1980-1981 season, but was turned down for the part. He has, however, hosted the show twice before, so he’s in familiar territory. And let’s not forget his stint on another sketch comedy series, the Wayans brothers-created In Living Color. Iggy Azalea joins Carrey on the SNL stage, performing “Fancy” sans Charli XCX (and true Clueless attire) and her recently debuted single “Beg for It” (which contains a little Notorious B.I.G. reference). This is also Leslie Jones’ first appearance as a featured player, and we expect greatness as usual. See how the evening played out, below.

The Best

“Ebola Czar Cold Open”

Addressing the Ebola hysteria is Jay Pharoah’s Obama and Taran Killam’s Ron Klain (who is our official “Ebola response coordinator” aka Ebola czar). Kenan Thompson’s Al Sharpton shows up and lays down some truth: “All of New York is contaminated all of the time!”

“Lincoln Ad”

As much as I love me some Matthew McConaughey, someone needed to take a shot at these ads — and it might as well be SNL. Carrey’s spot-on MM impersonation pops up throughout the night. Viewers just tuning in will probably lose some of that surprise element. The booger humor went on a tad too long, but all in all this is a keeper.

“Carrey Family Reunion”

It’s not as tight as it should be, but this impression-filled sketch is a lot of fun — and thankfully not presented as a game show. (You might remember the show did a similar sketch during Christopher Walken’s hosting stint.) Carrey apparently stole all the best characters of his career from family members. Did Cecily Strong’s amazing Fire Marshal Bill impression just upstage Jeff Daniels’ Dumb and Dumber cameo? YEP. I hope to see her do that thing with her face again sometime very soon.

“Graveyard Song”

The spirits of a spooky graveyard attempt to haunt two teens, but Carrey and Taran Killam, who play a couple of basic ghosts, ruin the ghoulish ditty. It’s all very Lonely Island-esque.

“Weekend Update”

Vanessa Bayer becomes a living rom-com, making Michael Che the target of her demented affection. Drunk Uncle makes a return to the “Weekend Update” desk. In true DU fashion, he refuses to talk to Che. But SNL spares us any truly uncomfortable interaction — though that has its own possibilities (for another network, perhaps). Jost is still here? I’d rather see Leslie Jones as a featured player than a “Weekend Update” anchor, but I’m imagining a Che/Jones team — and I’m liking it.

“Secret Billionaire”

All the win goes to Jim Carrey’s wheelchair-bound eccentric who enjoys masturbating with his robotic hand and staging strange parties attended by hundreds of men named Dennis and one Brian. Kyle Mooney wishes he could be this weird.

“Ghost Chasers”

Here’s Leslie Jones’ first appearance after her promotion to cast member (she’s been a writer on the show since early 2014). As she’s already proven in “Weekend Update” appearances, her energy is infectious — and SNL keeps it simple and lets that shine instead of going nutso with the reality ghost show premise.

“Halloween Party”

Kate McKinnon and Jim Carrey in a leotard and dancing into the audience alert. They would totally win the costume contest at our office Halloween party, but the punchline about Aidy Bryant taking home the gold is perfect.

“Geoff’s Halloween Emporium”

Take the “Ex-Porn Stars” routine, replace the dirty jokes with gags about demonic possession, and you have something resembling this sketch. Carrey performs some fantastic facial gymnastics here.

The Worst

“Jim Carrey Halloween Monologue”

Jim Carrey’s Satanic Elvis (aka “Helvis”) sings a song about pecan pie. It’s not Carrey’s usual slice of randomness and not a particularly original character. If this is an Andy Kaufman tribute, it’s lacking.

“High School”

This one is modeled after the ridiculous Walking Dead series, so I’m immediately feeling lukewarm about the whole thing (and I say this as a lover of horror). Watching Pete Davidson hold back his laughter while Carrey beats him with a baseball bat the entire sketch had its charm — but that’s about it.

Musical Guest: Iggy Azalea