Tonight marked the first new episode of saturday Night Live since Seth Rogen hosted the show at the end of April and many were hoping that host and Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield could take the show back to the hilarity we saw in the first half of the season.
While Garfield didn’t hit on every sketch, he certainty returned the show to the level of energy we saw demonstrated in the first half of the season. Plus, he was the best host we’ve seen since arguably that first half of the season as 2014 has been a rough time for SNL.
But Garfield’s raw energy helped reinvigorate the show and it’s clear that the break between Rogen’s show and this one gave the writers whatever time they needed to shake off the so-so writing in the last batch of episodes. When Louis C.K. comes on and is just alight, that’s mainly on the writing and they stepped it up big time for Garfield.
The rest of the cast was great tonight as well, with Keenan Thompson showing up more than a few times to assist with the laughs and Kyle Mooney making his presence felt more so than he has thus far in the season. His portrayal of Skirllex, combined with Thompson’s reaction as Steve Harvey, in the Family Feud sketch was hilarious and one of the highlights on the night.
Taran Killam brought back Jebidiah Atkinson to review the Tony Awards and his slip up of ‘Tommy Awards’ as well as his hilariously bad taste joke about Abe Lincoln’s assassination were also high points. The cold open in which Bobby Moynihan portrayed a dopey Donald Sterling stood out as well.
Garfield didn’t have Emmy winning material to work with but there was just something about his energy that made the show fun tonight. Emma Stone’s cameos were of the take-it-or-leave-it variety but her being there certainly didn’t take anything away from the show.
It wasn’t the best episode of the season but it’s the best we’ve seen in 2014 and the best of the last batch we’ve been given. Garfield is a rising star and will no doubt be back and we look forward to his return thanks to the energy he injected into this episode, something that elevated it above what we’ve seen from recent hosts who have ben unable to do the same.