Aside from a cold open about George Zimmerman (who should really just lay low and try not being in the news for a bit) and an obligatory “Hunger Games”-themed monologue, last night’s “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Josh Hutcherson (with musical guest Haim) refrained from covering many timely topics. One of the highlights of the night, for instance, was an '80s-themed homage to the song “Your Love” by the Outfield, which exhibited Hutcherson's enthusiastic and pleasant (if not incredibly memorable) turn as host. However, without the usual cast members portraying the pop culture icons we most love and are most sick of, some of the newer featured players got the chance to shine in some preposterous (but fun) scenes. It was good news for viewers who dislike recurring sketches, bad news for those who don’t care for the nonsensical or ridiculous.
Beck Bennett, whom you may know from the AT&T commercials in which he interviews children at a tiny table, starred in one sketch that had a silly premise and some pretty great physical comedy. He played Mr. Patterson, a business genius who happens to have the body of a baby. Bennett conducted business by clapping his feet together, stumbling around, throwing spaghetti and clinging to Taran Killam (in a manner a little reminiscent of Chris Kattan’s old monkey character Mr. Peepers.) Mr. Patterson may need to use his face in order to stand up, but don’t you dare actually treat him like a baby (aside from needing to attract his attention with a set of jingly keys.)
The spirit of the '80s from the “Outfield” sketch reignited in Kyle Mooney’s video short about dancing. In the span of a few minutes, Mooney goes from a regular guy to a superstar to a loser, as his roommate (Bennett again) discovers Mooney dancing to his Walkman while ironing. Without Mooney noticing his gigantic video camera, Bennett makes a video demo of Mooney’s moves, gets him into a dance crew, then gets him out of the dance crew into a better gig. But like any “Behind the Music,” things fall apart, as Bennett picks up a newspaper with the headline “Not Popular Anymore” and another article inside with the headline “No Longer Best Friends.” It made very little sense, but since when does comedy have to do that?
Finally, Mike O’Brien took a turn as a hard-hitting investigative reporter who tries to interview bugs to find out where they’re going in such a hurry (occasionally accompanied by sound effects). That’s pretty much all there is to say about that sketch, but it worked, in a slap-happy, making-a-movie-after-high-school kind of way. The sketch also served as a warning to anyone considering moving to New York City who might have a problem with huge cockroaches roaming the streets.
“SNL” returns live Dec. 7 with Paul Rudd as host and One Direction as musical guest.