Anne Hathaway took her third turn as host of “Saturday Night Live,” and she’s now been on the show enough times to have at least one recurring bit. It didn’t come until the second half of the show, but in the meantime she and the cast delivered a pretty strong episode.
Here’s how it went:
Election night, Mitt Romney’s house, and darn it all to heck if Mitt isn’t feeling a little salty — and sneaking swigs of milk when Ann and the boys aren’t looking.
There was no lack of post-election material for the show to tackle this week, but this was a pretty mild way to go — even if Mitt (Jason Sudeikis) did throw Karl Rove (Bobby Moynihan) over the balcony and lash out at Paul Ryan (“I’d like to see him carry Wisconsin!”).
Hathaway, who stars in the movie version of “Les Miserables” that comes out in December, found herself in the middle of a version of “One More Day.” Two things here: 1. Hathaway has a legitimately good voice that really broke through on screen. 2. She also got the best line of the song: “Oh the show I could have done, if they let me play Stefon!”
“Girlfriends Talk Show”
Hathaway is the cool-girl interloper on a show hosted by BFFs Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong, much to Bryant’s chagrin. It’s a thin premise, but Bryant’s mounting dismay and anger (“You should be called Roach Warehouse!”) sells it.
“The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish”
A truly weird filmed piece with Kenan Thompson sing-narrating (in a Caribbean accent) the tale of Mokiki (Taran Killam), a crazy man who does a goofy dance and spits venom on his admirer (Hathaway). Funny, yes, but really, really odd.
If you don’t watch Showtime’s Emmy-winning series, this probably didn’t make a lot of sense. And it overplayed the “Carrie’s nuts” aspect of the show by quite a bit. But oh, so very, very funny. Hathaway does a brilliant crying Carrie, and Bill Hader‘s Saul is pretty much note-perfect.
Moynihan and Strong think they’re about to be fired from their burger-flipping jobs and proceed to insult every one of their co-workers (the entire cast is on stage for this one). Some of their takedowns are pretty funny, but the fact that they’re not the ones getting fired was obvious about six seconds into the sketch.
Musical guest Rihanna
She led off with her single “Diamonds,” and the performance was fine. The green-screen backdrop that, according to the Twitter consensus, looked like a Windows 98 backdrop, though? Not good. Her second song, a stripped-down version of “Stay,” worked better.
The sharper election humor landed here, with Jay Pharoah doing a very confident Barack Obama (“Republicans, what happened? The election was yours to lose. … I even gave you a one-debate head start”) and Seth Meyers running through several other election jokes.
The segment also had two other guests — Hader and Fred Armisen as a gay couple from Maine (complete with cable-knit sweaters and waders) trading innuendos and Moynihan as a more belligerent than usual Drunk Uncle.
“The Ellen Show”
Hathaway gets to break out her Katie Holmes impression again — it’s very good, and it’s much kinder than the one she did the last time she hosted (Hathaway also made a point to name-check Holmes and “Homeland” star Claire Danes at the end of the show). Kate McKinnon‘s Ellen DeGeneres, though, comes off as a cross between Ellen and a half-baked Bill Cosby.
The “real” story behind Grant Wood’s famous painting. It’s a nice premise that Hathaway and Sudeikis run with, but it drags on a little bit. Also, the two really clunky ethnic jokes at the top of the sketch were both bad and unnecessary.
The medicine for when you want to really play up your made-up allergy.
What did you think of “SNL” this week?