Ever since (500) Days of Summer made her the ultimate Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Zooey Deschanel has become a divisive figure in pop culture, with fans embarrassed to admit that they like her shtick (and denying that she even has one), and detractors tearing her every twee affectation to shreds. But leaving aside the fact that, when she hosts Saturday Night Live for the first time tomorrow, her critics’ knives will be out and freshly sharpened, anyone who has set herself the task of guessing which sketches the episode will contain has a special challenge. Given what we know about Deschanel’s sweet, gentle, marshmallowy public persona, must we assume she will veto any sketch ideas that require her to be … you know … mean? I took this into account while speculating about the sketches that could appear in tomorrow’s episode, and the results are below.
11:29 p.m. Cold Open: Gisele Bundchen (Kristen Wiig) tries to console her husband, Tom Brady (Jason Sudeikis) on his Super Bowl loss, but accidentally keeps putting her foot in her mouth, embarrassing him, and making things worse.
11:36 p.m. Monologue: Host Zooey Deschanel performs a song explaining the concept of “adorkability,” accompanying herself on the ukulele.
11:43 p.m. Jess (Deschanel) is pleased to get an incredible deal on a beautiful old Los Angeles mansion, but soon realizes that she’s moved into the haunted house from American Horror Story. Fortunately, Jess is so cute that she charms all the ghosts into being her friends.
11:49 p.m. Commercial Parody: NBC tries to keep the Super Bowl ratings momentum going by making outlandish claims about the sports content of its shows, including Whitney, Grimm, and Harry’s Law.
11:51 p.m. Backstage, Russell Brand (cameo by Jimmy Fallon) tries to reconcile with Deschanel, mistaking her for his ex-wife Katy Perry, and ignoring Deschanel’s protestations that she is someone else.
11:57 p.m. At a luncheon for Oscar nominees, a sullen Rooney Mara (Deschanel) resists mingling with her much friendlier fellow nominees, including Meryl Streep (Wiig) and Jessica Chastain (Vanessa Bayer).
12:05 p.m. [Karmin performs.]
12:13 a.m. Weekend Update features a beleaguered Rick Santorum (Andy Samberg) reacting with shock and fear to his triple primary wins this week, and explaining that he thought he’d be done by now; and a visit from Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Wiig), who’ve prepared Valentine’s Day songs with their friend Bev (Deschanel).
12:26 a.m. As Courtney Stodden (Pedrad) poses for outlandishly vampish photos, her more reserved sister Betty (Deschanel), visiting the set, gives her comically unsexy suggestions for poses to try.
12:33 a.m. A group of Giants superfans (Bobby Moynihan, Bill Hader, and Taran Killam) gets increasingly drunk, obnoxious, and finally maudlin on the sidewalk at the Giants victory parade.
12:40 a.m. Commercial Parody: Chuck Norris (Sudeikis) touts his endorsement of Newt Gingrich (Moynihan) for president, but as he uses karate metaphors to describe all the actions Gingrich will take to the budget, Washington red tape, and so on, the camera cuts to an extremely obvious Gingrich stunt double performing the appropriate motions.
12:44 a.m. [Karmin performs.]
12:51 a.m. Snow White (Deschanel) has a hard time explaining to a date (Hader) that she lives with seven dwarfs but that it’s all completely innocent, particularly when she can’t see the dwarfs making obscene gestures behind her back. (The sketch features her New Girl co-stars Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris as dwarfs.)
12:59 a.m. Good night!