Robert De Niro returned to Saturday Night Live, and he put on a respectable, if not outrageous, show. Few skits embarrassed themselves, and most were even funny. De Niro gave it his all and even invited friends Ben Stiller and Robin Williams to join him, though we had particularly low expectations after the cheesy opening monologue about New York City. However, De Niro’s all is still not particularly conducive to SNL’s humor. Oh well, it’s still De Niro! Elsewhere on the Internet, Jezebel commenters almost all hated it: “Plain awful,” and “Worst. Episode. Ever.” were popular statements. Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker gave De Niro props: “If he rarely dropped the granite-faced De Niro persona, he fared best whenever the show called for him to apply a costume and make-up.” But, Tucker found the episode inconsistent: “The show in general felt pieced together with bits that might have been lying around for a few weeks.” And Moveline concurred it was mediocre but passable: “It would be going a little far to say that the third time [for De Niro’s hosting] was a charm — but his third time was, let’s say, serviceable.” Twitter we just can’t even keep up with anymore, but most users seemed to like the Diddy performance. Okay, on to watch the wildest, funniest bits:
Best Political Sketch
The cold opening, thankfully, parodied WikiLeaks, comparing Julian Assange’s cable dump to Harvey Levin’s TMZ, pretty accurately. Plus, a Hillary Clinton up-skirt joke that was actually funny! And the line “No matter how I die, it was murder” seems foreboding.
Best Pop-Culture Parody
If the jokes at the Kardashian sisters’ expense were a little easy, Abby Elliott, Nasim Pedrad, and Vanessa Bayer made up for it by embodying the Kardashians family’s ability to constantly seem like they’re posing for a photo shoot, even when they’re just standing around. Plus, they nailed the air-headed, childlike tone the sisters sometimes slip into. Kourtney is the smart one, and even though everyone knows Khloe is actually the funny one, it looks like SNL is at least fairly familiar with the show.
Best Kiss That Could Have Been
Andy Samberg’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark jokes about the messy production have been made all week. But! The adorable awkwardness of Samberg trying to kiss Seth Meyers almost made up for it.
Most Unexpected Use of the Host
For the most part, Robert De Niro seemed like Robert De Niro throughout the show. But having him dressed as an old man and used as Andy Samberg’s sex partner was, um, a surprise!
Best Non–Ben Stiller Cameo
Why not call the whole gang in? Here’s Robin Williams.