When it’s a host’s 13th time on “Saturday Night Live,” there are a few givens: first, there will be mad special guests. Second, it’s definitely going to be funny. Both were true for John Goodman, whose lucky 13 on Dec. 14 saw special guests like Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone perform in a solid lineup of funny sketches.
Let’s revisit them:
Mandela Sign Language Interpreter Cold Open
The “SNL” opening sketch is often a snoozer — something political-themed and not laugh out loud funny — but Kenan Thompson as a “sign language” interpreter gesturing nonsense behind Jay Pharoah’s President Obama was hilarious.
Nailed it — we assumed Goodman would sing in his monologue, though it wasn’t a folky “Inside Llewyn Davis” tie-in, instead a duet with Thompson on the surprisingly catchy “All I Want for Christmas is Booty.”
Guy Fieri Christmas Special
This commercial for a completely insane faux Food Network Christmas Special from celebrity chef Guy Fieri went full fhrottle with the fake celebrity guests, including cast members as Kid Rock, Verne Troyer, VH1’s Big Ang and Goodman as Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Dance of the Snowflakes
So it wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but this skit, which featured the inner monologues of grown adults embarrassing themselves in a community theater holiday pageant, was definitely amusing.
Three Wise Guys
Goodman brought in big guns Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro to play a couple of waste management consultants — wink wink — in this skit, which was probably pitched as “what if the three wise men were mobsters?” and essentially played out like that.
Three very special guests showed up. First, Thompson was back (good night for him!) as Santa, who is actually back and was responding to Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s remarks that Santa is white. Second, Drunk Uncle made a holiday appearance, but brought along his own Drunk Uncle, a.k.a. Drunker Uncle (Goodman).
The timeless joke of putting a manly looking dude in drag was the punchline of this skit, featuring Goodman as a 23-year-old woman fired for being too hot. Taran Killam’s argument as the plaintiff’s lawyer: “I mean.”
Look, Nasim Pedrad is still on the show! She took the lead in this recurring sketch about an elementary school class that misinterprets their guest speaker’s advice. Goodman played an exasperated fireman giving holiday time safety tips.
This “take a look at a fake old movie” sketch featured an “It’s a Wonderful Life”-like Christmas movie with an overzealous whistle operator. Amusing, but not one of its best.
H&M Shopping Ninja
Any person who’s ever been to an H&M can identify with this Jay Pharoah rap, which also featured Wale and every cast member wearing extremely bright clothing — there’s long lines, too many floors, the clothes are incredibly small and low quality, and nothing’s on a rack because it’s piled on the floor.
This (recent) oldie but goodie is still funny and incredibly cringeworthy with the host du jour and Kate McKinnon playing two drunk strangers who give up at last call. This one featured the “lady and tramping” of a peanut, some disgusting whipped cream kissing, and a possible break from McKinnon.
Kings of Leon
These guys are pretty good at what they do. If you like their music you probably enjoyed their performance.