Saturday Night Live S40 E16 Recap: Like a Rock

(Photo Courtesy of Screen Crush)

Two SNL enthusiasts, Zac Hirschbeck & Marci Buehler, recap the week’s host, musical guests and sketches.

Marci: SNL is back and more muscular than ever this week, thanks to host Dwayne “THE ROCK” Johnson, who did an amazing job from start to finish, giving us musical numbers, fake WWE promos, Presidential Hulk moments, Disney reboots and many laughs along the way. In my book, I found The Rock to be one of the best hosts this season. No wonder people want to see all these Fast & Furious movies. Dude’s got charisma. And he is freakishly huge! I loved watching his opening monologue, where he just totally eclipsed all of the SNL ladies around him in size and stature. It warmed my heart.

The four-time host brought energy to the stages of studio 8H from start to finish. Here were a few of my favorite moments from Saturday night:

New Disney Movie

In this Bambi reboot, The Rock stars as a badass Bambi who is out to get revenge for his murdered mommy. I thought this was so well done. They had a lot of fun with all the tropes of action movies, and Taran Killam’s Vin Diesel playing Thumper made me crack up. A well-played spoof in my book.

WWE Promo Shoot

The Rock pulls from his WWE experience in this sketch, posing as wrestler Koko WatchOut, who gets entirely too personal while trash talking fellow wrestler Trashyard Mutt (Bobby Moynihan). This sketch has it all – silly names, funny costumes, herpes jokes and Catfishing!

AND THAT’S WHAT THE KOKO IS COOKIN’!

The Rock Obama

Things started off great right from the cold open this week, with a nice little sketch where Obama loses his temper and becomes a hulky version of himself (aptly named The Rock Obama). I liked the premise of this sketch and thought it was a fun way to mix political satire with silly humor, which is my jam, as we all know. Also enjoyed the ending where She Rock Obama busts onto the scene. Leslie Jones is killing it this season.

What’d you think of this week’s episode Zac? Did I forget to mention any other great sketches? Were there any you didn’t like so much? How’d you like that musical guest? But most importantly, did you smell what the Rock was cookin’?

 

Zac: Finally… The Rock has come back to Saturday Night Live!

As a fan of professional wrestling, I was more than happy to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson return as an SNL host for the 4th time.

I was ready to go one-on-one with the Great One. I was eager to watch the jabroni beating, pie eating, trail blazing, eyebrow raising, most electrifying man in sports entertainment. I was ready to sit alongside the millions, AND MILLIONS of The Rock’s fans and watch as he yet again entertained the masses on SNL. Needless to say Marci, I very much smelled what The Rock was cooking.

I’ll fully acknowledge the fact that my opinion of this week’s episode is biased due to my long-standing affection for The Rock, but I would completely agree with you that this week’s episode was one of the strongest of the season.

The ‘WWE Promo Shoot’ sketch was my favorite of the night. I loved watching Johnson’s character tear down poor Bobby Moynihan both psychologically and mentally. The Bambi reboot was also right up there for me, and I’d echo your belief that Killam’s Diesel was a highlight. The Rock Obama was an entertaining spin on the current political happenings of the world.

All things considered, I think the strength of this episode came in Johnson’s energy and his ability to turn a potential misfire into an enjoyable sketch.

The Jungle

This sketch exemplifies Johnson’s contributions. His energy, dedication to physical humor, and his ability to play well off of Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson were great.

Dinner Date 

This was another sketch that likely would’ve fallen flat if not for Johnson’s silliness and comfort in assuming a nonsense character. This sketch was once again largely predicated around jokes involving the male anatomy. That seems to be an area of great amusement for The Rock.

As far as sketches that didn’t land, I thought ‘Cooking With Paul’ was pretty questionable. The premise seemed potentially amusing when the introductions announced that Paul was an award-winning chef that was a three-time convicted sex offender. However, the sketch beyond that was fairly flat. Perhaps pedophilia isn’t my particular brand of humor.

George Ezra, who accompanied Johnson as this week’s musical guest, was pretty good. Although I spent most of his first song being confused by how his voice didn’t seem to match up to his body at all, the 21-year-old Brit put forth a solid performance. I always like discovering talented new artists, and since I had never heard of Ezra prior to his performance on SNL, his appearance was a pleasant surprise.

What did you think of Ezra Marci? IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!

Yikes. Sorry about that. After I searched for that initial link to lead off my post I stumbled down a YouTube wormhole of The Rock’s funniest quotes. I just spent the better part of my early afternoon watching upwards of 10 videos containing The Rock’s funniest moments. The guy is simply infectious.

Anyways, did you like Ezra? Did I leave out any sketches worth mentioning be it for good reasons or bad? Perhaps most important of all, did you see The Rock at WrestleMania XXXI the night after he made you giggle on SNL?

 

Marci: I had not heard of Ezra before I watched him perform on SNL this week, and although his voice was fine and his music was fine, it wasn’t anything real special for me and I’m sorry to say that both of his songs were GONGED and fast forwarded at my apartment. I feel bad doing that, but at the same time, I was watching this on Sunday, and honestly the main priority of my day was somehow watching the entirety of the addictive HBO documentary mini-series THE JINX. If you haven’t watched THE JINX, take 6 hours and go do that now. This blog post will still be here when you get back. THE JINX IS SO GOOD. Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Ezra. He was fine.

Speaking of THE JINX though, another sketch that I loved this week (perhaps because I was in a Robert Durst mind coma), was this one, where Kate McKinnon does an amazing impression of Mr. Durst at an improv show. It had me giggling and giggling while I ate my vanilla gelato (Sunday Funday, am I right?!?).

I agree with you that the Cooking With Paul sketch was not up to par with the others in this episode. Another one that I thought was weaker than the rest was Circus. I was expecting to love it, since it features weird awkward interviews by my main awkward man, Kyle Mooney. Unfortunately, I just didn’t get as many laughs as I was expecting from this series of interview questions. I guess sometimes this sort of comedy hits better than other times, oftentimes relying on the innocent people being interviewed. In this case, it just wasn’t working for me, dawg.

But despite a few weaker sketches, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I’m fully on Team The Rock now, and am looking forward to helping the profit margins of Fast and Furious 7, which is supposedly going to win an Oscar. Also, I need to be up on the story, so I can watch the 8th installment of the franchise, which Helen Mirren wants in on, bad.

To answer your last question…I DID NOT watch WrestleMania. Sadly, my days of sleeping over my next-door neighbors’ house and watching WWF on Pay-Per-View ended sometime in the early 90’s. But I would love to hear all your thoughts on that big event – hit me with it!!

 

Zac: I can completely understand that George Ezra took a backseat during your Sunday afternoon to Robert Durst and The Jinx. Although I only watched two out of the six episodes, with one of course being the much-discussed finale, that show was riveting. I’m fascinated to see how things play out both with Durst and the series’ director Andrew Jarecki. I have so many questions still Marci! Perhaps those are better saved for another time though…

I would agree with you that McKinnon’s impression was fantastic. She clearly did her homework on Durst’s twitches and mannerisms.

Despite not stacking up to some of his other awkward street interviews that we’ve made reference to a few times throughout our recaps this season, I still enjoyed Kyle Mooney’s foray into the circus world. I liked his interactions with the children that did and didn’t want to speak with him.

I too am tempted to journey to the theaters to see the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Not too long ago I laughed at the ridiculousness that is embodied within these movies. Nowadays I find myself appreciating them for what they are, which is a consistently fun and entertaining action movie. While Vin probably should cool his jets on the Oscar buzz, it’s difficult to not watch these movies without smiling and laughing throughout. And Helen Mirren definitely needs to be in the next one.

As far as WrestleMania goes, while WWE’s stock may fail to reflect the event’s popularity, the 31st edition of wrestling’s biggest night seemed to well-received by fans. The Rock’s involvement proved to be quite a surprise. Although he wasn’t scheduled or expected to appear, ‘The People’s Champion’ came out with just over an hour left in the four-hour proceedings. After trading some verbal barbs with Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H, The Rock pulled out UFC badass Ronda Rousey from the first row and brought her into the ring. While I’m by no means a huge UFC fan, I do like Rousey quite a bit. Any woman who is incredibly beautiful, super athletic, and a certified beast that could quickly murder me with her bare hands is a 10 in my book. Although it’s not the best video, due to the fact that WWE scours YouTube to remove any quality footage because of copyright claims, here is a video of the end of The Rock/Ronda/Stephanie/HHH’s segment.

Rousey has since hinted at a return to WWE alongside The Rock, which obviously has me pretty excited.

Back to SNL!

Marci, NBC has already announced the next two hosts and musical guests that will be featured on Saturday Night Live. This coming weekend we will see Michael Keaton and Carly Rae Jepsen. On the 11th, we will see Taraji P. Henson and Mumford & Sons.

With that in mind, do you have any hopes or expectations for those shows?

 

Marci: Zac, I’m glad you enjoyed WRESTLEMANIA. And I’m glad that The Rock has not forgotten his roots. Great quality human right there.

As for the coming weeks of SNL, I am quite excited for both musical guests – Carly Rae always seems to provide a boppy jam that I can shoulder dance to, and I am a Mumford & Sons fan as well. The hosts are both great actors, and I’m interested to see what fun places the writers will take them.

In the meantime, I’ll be counting down the days until our beloved GAME OF THRONES returns (note: right now we’re at 12 DAYS AHHHHH).

Until next week, go Bills.

 

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