Saturday Night Live Recap: Zooey Deschanel, Kooky on Schedule

Zooey Deschanel on Saturday Night Live. Photo: NBC

From her vanity band to her website to her vintage wardrobe, Zooey Deschanel has firmly established her public image as the ultimate girl. And based on the sketches she agreed to do in her Saturday Night Live début, she’s not that interested in dismantling the persona she’s built — for instance, by doing anything that made her appear unattractive or gross or mean. (Contrast Deschanel’s roles in the episode with those undertaken by, for example, the fearless Melissa McCarthy last fall.) As a result, the episode was entirely boring, and only barely funny, but — and know that I was grading on a major curve — I did find a few highs amid the many lows. (At least we have Maya Rudolph to look forward to next week!)

Best Cameo:

“Get In The Cage” has been a nice recurring showcase for Andy Samberg’s Nicolas Cage impression, and gives visiting movie stars a venue to show their faces when they have movies to promote. So naturally, the week before the Ghost Rider sequel premieres, who should Get In The Cage but…The Cage?

Best Recurring Sketch/Second-Best Cameo:

Given the similarity in Deschanel and previous host Emma Stone’s ages and looks, it makes sense that SNL producers would choose to reprise more than one sketch this week that had originated with Stone. “Technology Hump” was one; “Les Jeunes De Paris” was the other. And though I might have thought the show had done as much with “Paris” as there was to do with it, I hadn’t counted on a visit from Jean Dujardin, the Oscar-nominated star of The Artist.

Best Obvious Payoff:

The long buildup of this crab sketch made the ending obvious. Yet somehow, even though I knew exactly how it was going to wrap up, the execution was one of the few things in the episode that made me laugh out loud.

Worst Runner:

One take on the infamous Chrysler’s infamous Super Bowl ad, starring Clint Eastwood, would have been enough (or too many, actually, given how clunky the first iteration was). Three was way too many.

Worst Closer:

Traditionally, the very last slot of the night is where producers stick the weirdest sketches of the night, and this episode is no exception. Certainly I have no problem with the payoff, celebrating the defeat of California’s anti-gay Prop 8, but the several nonsensical minutes leading up to it felt endless.

PS: I had predicted that, for her monologue, Deschanel would sing a song about being adorkable, while accompanying herself on the ukulele. So I’m taking partial credit for these two sketches.

Saturday Night Live Recap: Zooey Deschanel, Kooky on Schedule