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Saturday Night Live Recap: Kanye Scores, Miley Mocked

Saturday Night Live was, uh, eccentric last night. If last week’s writing had political themes, this week seemed to offer consistent flamboyance: Bryan Cranston in his underwear and a pink boa! Andy Samberg as a little boy smooching a game-show host! Kristin Wiig as the crass (and unbearable) Jessica Rabbit–like "Shanna!" Pepto-Bismol liquor? And Kanye West in a bright red suit, surrounded by interpretative dancers.

Host Bryan Cranston gave it his all. And if you’re into stagy, unsubtle humor, last night might have had you on the floor. But if men in wigs singing a song about sparkling apple juice doesn’t do it for you, then last night was a particularly unfunny episode with some cringe-worthy moments. (Seriously, whistling through your ass? What?) But it wasn’t all awful! Here are some highlights:

Most Relevant Sketch

The only sketch that spoke to current events last night was the cold open. Andy Samberg gave a very solid Rahmbo impression, exuding the former White House Chief of Staff’s humorous scariness, and articulating what has always seemed to be Emanuel’s philosophy: "Everyone in Washington is trying to kill you. All the time. It's kill or be killed. All the time." Kudos, too, to Fred Armisen for making us realize that President Obama’s strong speaking abilities might come largely from his pauses between words.

Most Accurate Impression

New cast member Vanessa Bayer excellently channels Miley Cyrus’s unique brand of airhead, with persistent giggles and impenetrable happiness. We see a confrontation with the real Miley Cyrus coming soon, if this sketch is recurring.

And speaking of new cast members, how ‘bout Paul Brittain, who plays Johnny Depp in this sketch, eh?

Most Unexpected Cameo

His appearance might have been wasted on this tired “What Up With That” number, but, hey, Morgan Freeman, everybody!

Most Awesome Performance

Kanye West made the most of the small stage, emerging from behind white sheets, surrounded by ballerinas doing an interpretative dance. During "Power," we weren’t sure if West's self-seriousness was translating to SNL. The screaming? Falling on the floor? While we couldn’t quite catch all its lyrics, a new "Power" verse was performed, and it sounded promising.

But West's whole act came together during the beautiful (and moving?) “Runaway” performance. The man likes spectacle, and this is some seriously theatrical, nice-looking stuff for a few minutes on SNL; or for anywhere, really:

Most Creepy

Twitter says the creepy game-show sketch below is based on this actual creepy game show. But the comedic version doesn't seem much less weird than its source.

What did you guys think? Did this episode go big and fizzle? Or was it saved by a few key moments?

Photo: NBC