When I heard that Paul Rudd was hosting SNL with musical guest One Direction (1 Direction?) this past weekend, I got really excited. Because I love Paul Rudd! Definitely not because I love One Direction. No, definitely not. I certainly am not a fan of theirs, nor do I listen to their songs on repeat while working out sometimes, because that would be weird, because I’m 27.
But really, I was excited. But then, on Saturday night, I fell asleep on the couch at 10:15 (those 20-year-olds in One Direction probably know exactly what I mean, right?) so I had to watch it later on nbc.com. As I was watching, I realized there were so many great moments. And so few people are watching SNL these days, that I just need to tell you all what you’re missing:
The cold open: a sketch making fun of (but kind of celebrating) NBC’s ratings hit from last week, a live performance of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood. Although I didn’t watch the show on NBC last week, nor have I ever seen the movie version (I know, I know.), I really enjoyed this sketch because… Kristen Wiig returned as the baby-handed Lawrence Welk singer!
I dressed up for her as Halloween one year – that is how much I love this character:
(Just ignore my real hand there… the costume had a few little glitches)
Then, during Paul Rudd’s opening, One Direction came out and made the audience scream with delight. But then the cast of Anchorman came out and made the audience scream even louder, because there probably weren’t any young girls in the audience. And let’s be real – the boys of One Direction are cute, but if you’re over the age of 18, look no further than this silver fox:
That guy is THIS GUY. Tell me how that’s possible:
Oh, it’s possible through the magic of hair plugs and TIME? Ok, got it.
Together, the whole group – “Nine Direction,” as Paul called them – broke out into a rendition of “Afternoon Delight” which was clearly unrehearsed because it sounded terrible. But I love Anchorman and Will Ferrell and anything he ever does, ever, so I was smiling through the whole thing.
Next up was an SNL short featuring Paul Rudd’s middle-aged dad character as One Direction’s biggest fan, which was amazing.
Then, Kenan Thompson (who I still can’t believe is a legit SNL cast member) starred as Al Sharpton hosting a political show on MSNBC. As a rule, I never watch political shows unless they’re on Comedy Central, so I don’t have a good reference point for how ridiculous Al Sharpton’s show is, but I found it funny – especially the part where he told viewers to mail their tweets in via snail mail.
Next was what every teenybopper was waiting for: One Direction’s first musical number.
And you guys: as I watched those cute little baby hipsters sway around stage without real purpose, and sing on-key but not in any exceptional manner, I realized why my parents never agreed with me that NSYNC was THE BEST and SO AMAZING and their songs were SO GOOD OMG and please please PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO RECORD THEIR APPEARANCE ON THE ROSIE O’DONNELL SHOW.
Cuz, guys, like, they’re cute and charming and decent singers, but come on. And not a’ one of ’em is gonna be the Justin Timberlake of the group. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
Also, I’m not saying that they’re not original, but please listen to this:
And then listen to this, a song that was released four years ago:
You said it, Clair. YOU SAID IT.
But, who am I kidding? Great artists steal, or whatever, so bottom line: I love that damned One Direction song and I don’t even care.
Next was Weekend Update, which was a little bit weak except for the return of Jacob, the 13-year-old Jewish boy who awkwardly explains his Hanukkah traditions in a socially awkward way. I have high hopes for Cecily Strong as the new anchor, but it’s taking a while for her and Seth Myers to find their groove.
The next sketch was the 70%-of-the-way-through-the-show-and-this-is-our-B-material piece about dicks. Nothing notable about this one. Then, there was another short about a black Christmas movie for white people, which was funnier than it sounds written out in this here blog.
Then there was a great sketch about Santa losing a bunch of weight and talking nonstop about his new diet regimen and fondness for fitness. The best part of this sketch was that some of the new cast members got to shine. Because it aired at 12:30 a.m. and that’s when they allow the new people to be in sketches.
The next sketch was one of my favorites of the night: about a woman whose old lovers are visiting her memory, including Paul Rudd’s character who played an airport Papa John’s employee that she hooked up with once. I realize it’s not very funny when I explain it… you just have to watch it:
Next up was another One Direction song that I’ve never heard. It sounded like something you might hear on Christian radio… if you threw the word “God” in there a few times, it could’ve passed for a worship song. I will say, they sounded pretty good live (I don’t think they were lip-synching?) but, guys, would it kill ya to learn a few dance moves?
The last sketch of the night was amazing, because Will Ferrell was in it. On one hand, I feel bad for the current cast when they bring back popular former cast members, because they take valuable air time away from them. But then again, I love Will Ferrell, so step aside Brooks Wheelan or whatever your name is (not googling it).
So, there ya have it. If you’re not watching SNL this season… well, I guess that’s fine because no American really NEEDS to be watching more TV. (but really, you should be watching)
And with that, I’m off to listen to more One Direction.