Harry Styles is famous around the world thanks to both One Direction and his new solo career in music. But is he funny? That was the big question going into his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live, and while his monologue was a little worrisome at first, I’m happy to say that Harry Styles turned out to be one of the best stars to pull double duty as host and musical guest. The singer had no problem putting on a funny voice and showed why he’s been becoming a hot commodity in Hollywood. He impressively played a variety of characters and was clearly having a blast.
Let’s run through the best and worst sketches from the Harry Styles hosted Saturday Night Live below.
That’s the Game – Chris Redd doesn’t get a chance to shine on SNL too often, but when he does, it’s outstanding. This sketch is no exception as Redd plays a drug dealer looking to take over the whole operation, but he has absolutely not clue what he’s doing. The confidence combined with his clumsiness and lack of knowledge about the drug trafficking business makes for some big laughs throughout, but I think the bit with the gun might be the funniest part.
Joan Song – It’s not often you get a sketch that is hilarious and oddly charming, but here we are. Aidy Bryant puts on her adorably quirky persona for this wonderful song about her dog Doug. It’s all pretty cute at first, but then the sketch becomes downright hilarious when Doug is personified by Harry Styles. Watching him get into the trash and scared of the vaccuum makes for some great sight gags, and it really showed his dedication to physical comedy in addition to playing characters.
Childbirth Class – I feel like these characters would fit in perfectly with The Art Dealers that Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph played during their time on SNL. This Icelandic couple is totally clueless as to how out of the ordinary their easy pregnancy experience has been, and the accents are what really make it soar. If this were any other “hot” couple in a sketch like this, it just wouldn’t be as funny. Heidi Gardner and Harry Styles put forth some great physicality with this sketch too.
Funeral DJs – The gradual escalation of this sketch is what makes it land so firmly for me. The initial arrival of the Funeral DJs is funny immediately, but it’s how their approach to hyping a funeral that continues to bring the laughs. From that deep techno voice saying the weirdest things to the reaction of the family members evolving throughout the sketch, this one just cracked me up. And again, Styles surprises me with his comedic energy, which never seems to come through in any other part of his career.
Even though the latest 007 movie has been pushed to a release date in the fall, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, still hosted last night’s “Saturday Night Live.” It's actually been eight years since Craig last hosted “SNL,” and you know what? After this second time, while he may not be playing James Bond anymore, he can host any time he wants.
Host: Daniel Craig
If there's one thing Daniel Craig makes clear in his opening monologue, it's this: “I'm not a nerd. You're a nerd.” Fine, while he may not be a nerd, he's certainly not afraid to go all-in on a joke or, even better, be the butt of one. That is the key to this episode, and it's really amazing to realize while watching that this man's only hosted twice, despite how good he is at it.
It's always nice to see an “SNL” monologue step outside the box, and this one does, featuring pre-tape “footage” from the upcoming James Bond movie. It seems like it takes the live audience a moment to realize what's going on, as the first “SNL” cast member to show up in the sketch is Chloe Fineman, who still kind of blends in, as good as she is. Craig's “favorite scene” in the movie is apparently the one where Bond ends up becoming a craps guy and it's filled to the brim with the most un-Bondlike characters ever, on top of Fineman's progressively frustrated Bond girl. You've got Heidi Gardner and Beck Bennett as messy gamblers, old lady gambler Kate McKinnon, bachelor party boy Kenan Thompson “THIS GUY! HIM!”, and Mikey Day as the craps dealer-turned-villain.
It's simply a fun sketch to open things up with, with Bond getting way too into craps and becoming “Simba,” as he's the “king of the jungle.” In fact, Craig singing the opening music from “The Lion King” is arguably the best thing any James Bond movie has ever given us, even tangentially. Thompson showing up to do the “HIM!” bit in both the Bond entrance and live on stage then brings it all together. “SNL” also knows how good it is, as it’s provided a version of the scene without the monologue.
You can't go wrong with a pre-tape rap or otherwise from both Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd, and the live audience — who are pretty good this episode, other than the moment in the cold open with the “WOO!” for white chocolate — realizes that before it even really gets going. It's worrying at first that this is a hacky sketch about ending up “on the couch,” but it thankfully takes its first interesting turn when The Weeknd comes in. “We make dinner like lovers do / I pour wine / And I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.” That's...