11:24pm PT by Ryan Gajewski
Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins Joins 'The Office' on 'SNL'
It was perhaps no surprise that this week's Saturday Night Live took aim at The Hobbit, since Martin Freeman hosted the episode. Freeman played a variety of characters throughout the episode, from a Kenny G-esque saxman to a clueless groom. But none of them compared to him combining his two iconic roles — Bilbo Baggins and The Office's Tim — in one sensational sketch.
The cold open kicked things off with some jokes about torture, as Charlie Rose interviewed the two psychologists who devised the CIA's interrogation techniques. Rose claimed he was quite familiar with torture, since he's been "isolated in a dark room for the last 20 years." And it's hard not to be amused by hearing the dignified Rose talk about the Cheesecake Factory.
Freeman's monologue began with him accurately describing himself as "sort of a funny George Clooney." Things got particularly delightful when versions of Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman dropped by to lend a hand.
Watch more 'SNL' Mocks CIA Torture Report in Cold Open
Usually, the show saves the wackiest efforts for the end, but that wasn't the case with Sump'n Claus. It was a little hard to know what to make of this sketch featuring a red-suited ex-North Pole employee who hands out cash to people who are having a rough go of it. Apparently, he's also a Donald Sterling supporter. Whatever you say, Saturday Night Live.
Freeman attempted to get hitched to Leslie Jones' WNBA player, much to the chagrin of everyone close to them — and even complete strangers. "Evelyn, get in there and shut it down," said the kindly old woman, played by the always-awesome Kate McKinnon, of her inner monologue that brought her to disrupt the ceremony.
Another slightly bizarre sketch involved an ad for church, including "rows and rows of little Filipino ladies you've never seen before." The best part may have come at the end, when Pastor Pat's meager living quarters were revealed.
The night's unquestionable highlight was The Office: Middle Earth, as Freeman donned his Hobbit wardrobe and ears to play a Tolkien-ified version of his Office prankster. Indeed, Gollum hates finding his stuff in Jell-O as much as Gareth and Dwight did. Also on hand was Gandalf as David Brent, who refers to Freeman as "Dildo Baggins." Bilbo later laments, "Apparently, there's now giant spiders in the parking lot."
Weekend Update was full of great moments, and not just because we got to see Colin Jost's amazing yearbook photo. Sasheer Zamata aptly criticized the lack of emoji diversity by using a moon that "looks like a baby Charles Barkley" as her face. Then, Cecily Strong played a one-dimensional movie female who was impressed by how Jost had matured over the course of the segment.
Later, Freeman's sketch about shenanigans on a ketchup assembly line was so-so. Better than that was a sketch allowing him to rock another wig, this time as a saxophone player who apparently had bad blood with a mysterious dude named Roman. Regardless of who's right in their feud, Roman definitely looks great in red boots. And Freeman was a very solid host.
Three Best Sketches of the Night
1. The Office: Middle Earth
2. Weekend Update
3. Cold open about CIA torture report (What can we say? We love the Cheesecake Factory.)