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Saturday Night Live Recap: Jim Carrey Dances the Black Swan

If you like Jim Carrey–type humor, last night's Saturday Night Live did not disappoint you. The show gave him everything he needed to work with: some seeming improv, some physical comedy, and a large gamut of impersonations to run through. And if you don't like Jim Carrey–type humor, you have no sense of humor. No, you do. We're kidding. And you might still have enjoyed the show. It sent up Black Swan. It mocked the Birds. And bloggers enjoyed it: Entertainment Weekly rightly said that Jim Carrey "radiated positive energy." Jezebel appreciated Carrey's good sportsmanship: "It was a valiant effort, Mr. Carrey," wrote one commenter. Another said: "Jim Carrey is great tonight. He could play the whole SNL cast and I wouldn't notice." Deadline's Nikki Finke noted, "I personally felt Carrey's physical comedy talents could have been put to better use with stronger material, though he made the most of what he was given." Movieline said the show "felt like one big Jim Carrey therapy session ... We have a more mature, certainly a more damaged Carrey hosting for a second time." We don't doubt that Carrey's been through some stuff since his last SNL-hosting gig. But we thought he seemed to put that aside last night. Anyway, HitFix was even moved to admit, "SNL is never quite as dead as people like to proclaim." On that note, here were the highlights.

Most Surprisingly Funny Opening Monologue:

This season has seen opening monologues that were either pure promotion for the host's movie or just unfunny. But Carrey's enthusiastic opening ditty about the 2012 myth — featuring a convincing, impromptu marriage proposal — killed it.

Most Belated Parody:

Well, they got the set, music, and costumes right. Carrey put his heart into the Black Swan skit, literally putting his chest as far forward as possible. It worked as physical comedy, but it wasn't a particularly incisive send-up of the film.

Best Take on Semi-Current Event:

Perhaps we did overreact to the snowpocalypse/tsnumani. The cold opening worked as an excuse to parody Mayor Bloomberg's strange dialect, if nothing else. And the SNL team missed the opportunity to make this joke last week.

Most Crowd-Pleasing:

Jim Carrey. Singing. Crass jokes. "Worst of Soul" train worked.

Most Crowd-Pleasing, Runner-Up:

Even Jason Sudeikis was impressed with Carrey's repertoire of impersonations.

Photo: NBC