Saturday Night Live

Season 36 Episode 7

Anne Hathaway/Florence + The Machine

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Nov 20, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • A host that brings a lot to the table, and a musical guest I want to see.

    Saturday Night Live
    Anne Hathaway/Florence & The Machine
    Originally aired November 20 2010 Saturdays, 11:30/10:30c NBC

    Inconsistency from episode-to-episode aside, I like SNL a lot. During this time of year, my social life is dead anyway (homework Saturday nights, working Sunday mornings) so it's good to have some entertainment. The first few episodes of this season have been unusually good, actually. They just introduced several new castmembers who are gelling with the vets quicker than most newbies. They've had a string of good hosts. The one-off sketches are more engaging than ever and the recurring sketches aren't as obnoxious. This week's host was Anne Hathaway, a talented actress who usually does critically acclaimed works I don't get around to seeing (Brokeback Mountain, Rachel Getting Married) or popular fare I intentionally avoid (Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada.) She was funny in Get Smart, though, and from her monologue seemed genuinely excited to be hosting for a second time. The show has really been into recurring female hosts lately, with her, Scarlett Johanssen (who has her own recurring sketch) and former castmembers like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The "five-timers club" currently contains only two female members (Candice Bergen, who last hosted in 1990, and Drew Barrymore, who is still current.)

    One of the highlights was Fred Armisen and Bill Hader as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as Eastender British thugs roughing up Royal fiancée Kate Middleton (Hathaway.) I honestly don't know whether anyone in the United States truly cares about the Royals (or for that matter, anyone in Canada or the UK,) but given they're all over the tabloids in all three countries, they're fair game for material, and seeing Armisen pull up his knee, hiking up his old lady dress to intimidate Hathaway was worth the price of admission.

    Also great was Vanessa Bayer's second go as the titular host of the "Miley Cyrus Show." It usually takes a few awkward attempts for a newbie to get a decent impression or recurring bit out there (anyone remember Bobby Moynihan's first couple weeks? Better you don't) but I think the first MCS skit was in the second episode of the season, with Bryan Cranston as Billy Ray (now replaced by Jason Sudeikis.) Her impression is that valuable combination of authentic-plus-exaggerated. Authenticity itself isn't funny, but you need to start with what's there before you can start making comedy out of it. Speaking of which, her interviewee was Hathaway doing a scarily accurate Katie Holmes/Kate Cruise. Throughout the course of the show, Hathaway showed great versatility (using a different voice in pretty much every sketch) and it was put to good use. The last great sketch of the night was "Mega Mart," a short that played a lot like (possibly the greatest skit of the past decade,) "Underground Rock Festival," from last season. It shows that the writers are really getting the hang of the Internet generation's sense of humour (less dialogue, more hilarious nonsense without elaboration.)

    Florence & the Machine put out one of the great albums of 2010, so it was great to see her on the show. She's not as flashy as some of the performers who've come out lately, but she's approximately 1,000,000 times as talented with material that is also that much better.

    If I had to criticize the episode, I... probably wouldn't, actually. The rest of the night was uneven but entertaining. A good episode of SNL doesn't need to hit a home run in every sketch, but the bad ones shouldn't be hard to watch, and here all the lame ones ("Horse Play," and the 1000th Penelope skit) entertained at least a little. The writers served both the cast and the host well, and Florence & the Machine probably inspired a lot of people to download her CD. I have a feeling the show is going into one of those period where it's assured of itself enough that even the worst bits are pretty good.