Saturday Night Live Highlights: Melissa McCarthy Is THE BEST

Like some newly discovered hidden link between Gilda Radner and Tim & Eric, Melissa McCarthy has quickly become one of the most respected comedic actresses in recent memory. Even if Mike & Molly, the show for which she just won an Emmy, probably won't win a Peabody award anytime soon, it's certainly given McCarthy the visibility boost she's needed to finally let her freak-flag fly. A longtime member of The Groundlings (where she met Bridesmaids co-star Kristen Wiig), McCarthy has a reputation around L.A. for committing to some of the most insane, bafflingly hilarious characters anyone's ever seen. This past Saturday she brought that sensibility to SNL in a big way, and it resulted in the best episode I've seen in years. Let's talk about it!

(Apologies to our foreign readers: Hulu is pretty much our only option for stable, embeddable SNL videos.)

In a rare non-political cold open, we got another installment in the long-running Lawrence Welk / Dooneese series. The first notable thing about it was the obvious ascension of featured player Taran Killam to leading-man status, plus an additional freakish sibling: Melissa McCarthy's strangely buff, buck-toothed sister. The sketch wasn't necessarily mind-blowing, but it did provide fair warning that this episode would contain lots of (1) music and (2) weirdness.

McCarthy's opening monologue was pretty great. After politely asking her children to go to bed because she was about to get inappropriate, McCarthy teamed up with Kristen Wiig for a sincerely offbeat vamping session that culminated in the two women "jazz dancing" in silhouette behind sheets. Almost none of it made any sense and I laughed at almost all of it.

This ad was the stuff of nightmares. I kind of don't even want to talk about it.

One completely valid criticism a lot of people have about SNL is that it lets many of its sketches run way too long. Are nine-minute skits really necessary? Usually I'd say they shouldn't run long, but ones like this definitely make me reconsider. Ostensibly a sketch about an inappropriate woman, this thing just goes on and on and on, but it gets even FUNNIER as it goes? Also, this is the first point where I realized McCarthy wasn't really reading the cue cards and it just made everything so much more thrilling.

I gotta hand it to these guys, as ridiculous as the "twist" of this video was, I was enthralled. I especially loved the blonde lady with the AK-47. You'll know her when you see her.

This was pretty disappointing, mostly because when I saw the title card I thought it was SUCH a good premise for a sketch. Unfortunately the execution wasn't really there. I guess I'd pictured people arguing with with the same belligerence people use in internet comments sections, but instead it was more of a H8R situation where commenters were confronted with reality. Oh well! But again, Melissa McCarthy's commitment to her weirdo character was able to salvage the situation.

Jay Pharoah finally got some screentime this week with his uncanny Chris Rock impression. Uncanny! It's too bad the show can't work his talents into actual sketches, but oh well.

These people seemed nice.

I'm definitely what you would call a not-fan of Seth Meyers. Sorry, that is a rant for another time.

I didn't expect to like this bit as much as I did: childhood friends of Gaddafi who suddenly break into whispered trash-talk. It was kind of perfect, right? We all know people who do this?

This was tough. I love Kenan Thompson, but no Tyler Perry impression could ever be as funny as Tyler Perry HIMSELF in those movies he makes. Have you SEEN Madea Goes to Jail? That thing is insane. There is one split-screen scene between Madea and Tyler Perry (as a man) and the sexual tension is basically UNBEARABLE.

A friend of mine who has performed with Melissa McCarthy at The Groundlings once told me that sometimes McCarthy's written sketches didn't seem too special on the page but then on stage she made them transcendent just through sheer force of will. This is one of those sketches for sure. Her absolute embodiment of this woman is really something to see. The ticks, gestures, repeated lines. McCarthy was just doing laps around everybody, and it all culminated in one of the most fearless, disgusting denouements imaginable. God, I love this woman.

In what's become a recurring staple, we got another Turner Classic Movies sketch concerning lost footage from classic films. In this one, McCarthy played Lulu Diamonds, a brassy broad with tons of catchphrases and almost no ability to climb stairs. I couldn't get enough.

This dude looks like a cool dad, and I bet this lady gives really thoughtful Christmas gifts.

The final sketch was one of the weakest, mostly because McCarthy had to play straight-man up until the end. Still, though, it was one of the few weak moments in an episode that had me consistently laughing through most of it. Plus I loved that the first time she dressed even remotely normal was during the 12:55am sketch.

Because McCarthy is a Groundling, I wonder how many times she's actually auditioned to be part of the cast of Saturday Night Live? Seriously, I'm pretty sure they all audition multiple times. But whether she ever did or not, I'm sure that after this past Saturday Lorne Michaels must regret not snapping her up when he had the chance. I just hope he invites her back tons, and that someday she'll break Alec Baldwin's hosting record. And maybe Zach Galifianakis can be HER Steve Martin? FINGERS CROSSED!


What was your favorite sketch this week?

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Oct 06, 2011
my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here http://tiny.cc/5u3xh
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Oct 04, 2011
Just an Idea, before they cancel H8R, maybe they can film an episode of You and Seth Meyers.
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Oct 04, 2011
I thought McCarty was pretty unfunny, just as the SNL episode. Weakest one I have ever seen. And damnit, just bury that Lawrence Welk sketch
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Oct 04, 2011
She is fine but I watched her show after the Emmies, and honestly, it sucked very badly! Kind of a mix of Car 54 where are you and raymond!

I think other actresses gpt screwed out of an Emmy!

And SNL continues to suck, maybe 1-2 skits that are remotely funny. Gong 'em!
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Oct 04, 2011
Just like many other commenters, I have loved Melissa McCarthy since the 'Gilmore Girls'. This SNL episode was one of the best in a long time, I have never laughed so much watching it. I liked all the sketches except the 'Comments Section'. And I disagree with You, I like Seth Meyers very much, he's great :)
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Oct 04, 2011
Awful episode following a good premiere. The only sketches I liked were the Lawrence Welk Show and Lil Poundcake. I don't blame it on Melissa though. She didn't have good roles written for her. I must admit though, I laughed pretty hard when she exploded the dressing onto her face. I think I gagged too.
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Oct 04, 2011
Without good hosts like Melissa McCarthy who are not afraid to whatever they

want in sketch SNL is realy bad
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Oct 04, 2011
More good shows coming up, with Anna Faris and Ben Stiller. This is going to be REALLY good season.
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Oct 04, 2011
Seth Meyers is not only super awesome in Weekend Update bits, let's not forget he's the head writer of the whole show you just loved many sketches of!
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Oct 04, 2011
Ironic, right?
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Apr 07, 2013
right...also a little bit sarcastic now that i look back at it!
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Oct 04, 2011
I've also been a fan of Melissa since Gilmore Girls (and Samantha Who after that), but this was far from "THE BEST," but it was still good. apart from the Arlene sketch and the one where she kept falling down the stairs and maybe the salad dressing, there was barely anything memorable about the episode, not to mention how it seemed like there was hardly any sketches. i remember back when Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph were there it seemed like it was packed with stuff but now it's just a sketch, commercial for 3 minutes, and repeat.
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Oct 04, 2011
I like her generally, but her performances on SNL were a clear case of more being less. It wasn't entirely her fault; she put in 100% and hints of her talent cropped up here and there, but the writers really let her down. Some of the ideas for skits were good (e.g. Comments Section), but they were written and executed lazily (as most skits have been been since Tina Fey left). The writers seem to think that people acting absurdly is automatically funny. It isn't. You need wit and intelligence to make absurdity funny, and the dozens of highly-paid writers working for SNL seem to lack those qualities.
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Oct 04, 2011
So, basically, I really do hope that she comes back, but I also hope that the current writing staff doesn't.
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Oct 04, 2011
I agree with you Price and disagree with the fellow commenters below. I've been a fan of hers ever since "Gilmore Girls" (first time I ever saw her), and she did a fabulous job this weekend. I'm almost sad because the rest of this season's SNL shows can't possibly be as good as these first two. Baldwin, a staple on the show, and I'm right behind you to have McCarthy back as often as possible. Just loved the opening monologue, and I think I laughed through the entire taste test. I had to turn the volume up so I could hear it properly over my own laughter.
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Oct 04, 2011
Sorry, but this episode pretty much sucked. The only skits I found funny were Weekend update and the comments section bit (which you didn't like). That, and I can't stand the site of Melissa McCarthy. This article should be titled: Melissa McCarthy is THE WORST.
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Oct 04, 2011
You thought this was a great episode? I definitely didn't laugh once and probably cracked a smile twice. Terrible as always, thanks SNL!
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