Oscar nominee Jonah Hill may have fallen flat as host of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” but the minute-long man smooch between Seth Meyers and “Stefon, the City Correspondent,” as well as the energetic spoof of Paula Deen on Weekend Update seemed to have made up for it with the crowd.
The first standout from Saturday’s show came as a mock interview between Deen and Meyers, when “SNL” cast member Kristen Wiig took on the satirized celebrity chef, showing off her best twang in a honkey-tonk discussion of Deen’s recent plights.
"It’s been a doozy of a year,” Wiig, a.k.a. Deen, told Meyers on the news parody segment. She went on to elaborate about her latest health scare, commenting that she was “hit by the sugars” -- (diabetes) -- and also addressed the developing lawsuit accusing Deen’s brother of using the n-word with employees.
“Which one are you talking about? There are a lot of n-words,” Wiig asked, stroking her hair with a stick of butter in one hand, and a drumstick in the other.
Trying to refrain from laughter, Meyers replied, “The bad one.”
“Like nutrition? Nutrition is pretty bad,” answered Wiig. “I would rather diet and exercise than use the n-word.”
Soon after, Meyers brought out everyone’s favorite guest reporter, Stefon, and requested a rundown of good places to visit when New York gets warmer. After discussing a club called “Thank You” located inside a “crashing blimp,” the flamboyant correspondent advised Meyers on hot spots for March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day, giving him a sticker that said, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Then instantly, he went in for the kill.
A long-awaited moment for the two, it was comic revelry that had everyone in tears.
Maria Gonzaleztweets, “That Seth Meyers and Stefon kiss has been the best thing about tonight. #SNL.”
Gina Russilloalso writes on Twitter, “Stefon finally got his kiss with Seth! I'm still recovering from laughing so very hard. Another win.”
Adds Alexander Clayton, “Stefon was about the best thing on #SNL tonight, that and Kristin Wiig as Paula Deen. Everything else....meh.”
While Hill, whose new film “21 Jump Street” hits theaters March 16, did find some supporters of his performance, he was admittedly upstaged by the fact he seemed to have gained all the weight back he recently lost. He opened wearing a tailored black suit, and offered a few words of resentment over his Oscar loss to Christopher Plummer. Nominated for his role in “Moneyball,” Hill additionally poked fun at how the honor had affected his attitude with a short accompanying video, and was interrupted towards the end of his stint by a cameo appearance from Tom Hanks, who spouted off on how winning two awards had similarly given him a big head.
“When I won my second Oscar, I had to ask my wife to sleep on the couch to make space,” Hanks joked.
The veteran star may have saved his younger protégé from a lackluster entrance, but it was the “SNL” regulars who kept the momentum alive this Saturday. Hill was able to pull in a few other laughs for his sketches as a scientist studying apes with an unusual fetish, and in an amusing remake of Coolio’s hit song, “C U When U Get There,” but viewers were quick to complain about his obvious reading of cue cards. An increasingly common blunder, Lindsay Lohan drew criticism for doing the same thing when she played host.
And finally, what was with the news ticker scrolling across the screen the whole show? The distraction was definitely unfortunate.
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