11:13pm PT by Ryan Gajewski
Seth Rogen and James Franco Respond to Sony Hack on 'SNL'
Seth Rogen joined host James Franco onstage during the Saturday Night Live monologue to address the recent Sony Pictures hack. The episode also involved Franco dressing up like Captain Hook, a bisexual troll and a Star Wars castmember. But was the episode of Empire Strikes Back-level quality, or was it more like Phantom Menace? Read on to find out.
This week's cold open used Al Sharpton again, who analyzed the Eric Garner grand jury decision. Kenan Thompson's Sharpton had a funny shout-out to Pharrell Williams, but the highlight might have been him pronouncing "two-tiered" as "twottered."
The monologue involved Rogen and Franco doing what they do best: getting shirtless and cuddling. Franco started out by telling the audience his darkest secrets before they come out in leaked Sony documents, like the fact that his email address is CuterThanDaveFranco@aol.com.
Then, Rogen warned Franco that the photos they had taken on their phones would be leaked, like one of Franco helping Rogen try on control-top pantyhose. "I was just trying to look slimmer," Rogen explained. They were also worried about the photo of themselves reenacting a certain image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
It was interesting to see SNL mock Peter Pan Live!, given that both were on NBC. The sketch took potshots at how effeminate Peter Pan was and how non-scary Hook was, and then it introduced a rather feisty Tonkerbell. "I take a dollar, and I leave one of my own teeth," Tonk said, explaining her "reverse Tooth Fairy" routine.
The recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer didn't involve any of the franchise's returning characters, so this sketch imagined what the long-in-the-tooth folks might be up to these days. As it turns out, Princess Leia can't seem to program R2D2, and Han Solo thinks he's at a diner.
The "#Grow a Guy" sketch was delightfully bizarre, with Franco excelling as a blissfully ignorant person whom someone creates to act as his friend, not unlike Weird Science. Come to think of it, a full "Grow a Guy" movie involving these two guys would be pretty great, if for no other reason than to see the various other ways Franco can try to open a beer can.
The Weekend Update hosts shared plenty of commentary on the Garner decision, although the audience seemed to have trouble knowing how to react to it. There were some solid jokes throughout the segment, including one about how a charging baboon still doesn't make golf interesting, and Leslie Jones was as great as always with her dating suggestions about not trying mushrooms.
Nicki Minaj was involved in several music-centric sketches. She played Beyonce in one sketch, which was stolen by KateMcKinnon's always-impeccable Justin Bieber. And an even better sketch was one involving a guy trying to rid his brain of old information. If you think we're going to complain about a sketch that name-checks 'N Sync, O-Town and Savage Garden, you're way off.
Not every sketch was a home run. Franco played a troll in a sketch that was more strange than hilarious. And it was fun to see Rogen return for the final sketch of the night, even if the sketch he was in — with the porn stars-turned-pitchwomen — was only so-so.
All told, this was a strong episode, as Franco's third time hosting was a great one. And in case you're wondering, we're definitely not about to go listen to an O-Town song on Spotify. (Nope, not us.)
Three Best Sketches of the Night
1. Emptying a guy's brain
2. Franco's monologue
3. #Grow a Guy, barely beating out Peter Pan Live!