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Saturday Night Live Recap: Gwyneth Paltrow Successfully Mocks Self, Andy Samberg Drunkenly Beats Anderson Cooper

Paltrow's likability has been bouncing all over the place lately. She was great on Glee, then less beloved in Country Strong, which is currently tanking. She can be funny! But she's still Gwyneth Paltrow. Last night's Saturday Night Live left her somewhere in the middle. She was generally enthusiastic and endearing in every sketch she was in. But none of them left anybody knee-slapping. Entertainment Weekly noted Paltrow "gets credit for a show that tried to be different and occasionally adventurous." (Though with the exception of one wonderful digital short, adventurous is a bit of a stretch.) Movieline said Paltrow was "attempting to do a couple of things and, instead, just fell flat." On Jezebel, some said: "Paltrow was horrible." HitFix called the episode "a waste of a perfectly game Paltrow." The episode definitely won't hurt Paltrow's rep - she was down to mock herself, and she was even pretty funny, sometimes - but Anderson Cooper still outshone her in only a few seconds of screen time. Check out the clips:

Most Unpredictable Opening:

During Paltrow's opening monologue, she knocked her claims of being a truly British lady. Ha! Seriously, it's annoying when actresses pretend to be British. And making fun of British things can be funny. So that was good. Then she knocked her claims of knowing about country music. "All the old school greats like Roy ... something, and the lady with the hair and the big boobs. I know 'em all," she said. "I really immersed myself in it." Kenny Rogers showed up and Paltrow mixed him up with Garth Brooks. Her country references fell flat. She doesn't know the song, "Islands in the Stream," and she mixes up the words. It's funny, and self-deprecating. And yet ... almost uncomfortably self-deprecating. We knock Paltrow a lot for being too self-impressed, but she doesn't have to pretend to be an idiot, either. Anyway, then Cee Lo came out for their much-anticipated duet. Suddenly, Paltrow took the song seriously, knew every word, and sounded great. It's Paltrow whiplash. It's a mess of mockery. But we'll cut her some slack. Overall, she comes off pretty cute.

Most Accurate Impression:

Even if some of the Fresh Prince jokes fall flat, Jay Pharoah's Will Smith is spot-on.

Most Uncreative Joke:

Cee Lo's hit is called "Fuck You," a problem for radio stations, so they've replaced the word "fuck" with "forget." That's basically as far you can take that phenomenon, so "Record Meeting" didn't quite work. Of course, it led up to a predictably excellent performance.

Most Amazing Sketch:

Have you ever had that dream where you meet Pee-Wee Herman at a bar and get ridiculously drunk with him, then run into Anderson Cooper on the street and ask him if he's ever hooked up with Barbara Walters? Us either. But, someone on the SNL staff has. And, as you would suspect, it ended with talking furniture. This digital short, "Andy and Pee-Wee’s Night Out," was so bizarre, it was practically Bunuel-ian. And awesome. Naturally, it resulted in rallying cries on Twitter for a Pee-Wee Herman-hosted episode.

But let's get down to business: What did you think of Gwyneth?

Photo: NBC