For the first time since May 2012, Will Ferrell took to the stage in Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H to host NBC’s legendary comedy sketch show, “Saturday Night Live.”
50-year-old Ferrell, who was a cast member on the show from 1995 to 2002, hosted the show for the fourth time on Saturday, Jan. 27. The cold open for the show featured his famous impression of former United States president George W. Bush, with one of his most significant lines being, “Please do not look back at my presidency and think this is how we do it.”
Ferrell’s monologue was not the first musical monologue to hit the stage in 8H (with Ferrell remarking toward the end, “There’s too many song monologues, you know that?”). He approached his monologue as if he had never been on SNL before, citing a (fake) head injury that happened backstage during a quick change, causing memory loss. He attempted to perform “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from Annie, but ended up using random lyrics his apparent scrambled mind came up with.
Shortly after, cast members Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong loaded him onto a stretcher and Ferrell yelled out, “We have a great show for you tonight, Nelly Furtado is here!” However, Chris Stapleton was actually the musical guest that night. The witty monologue had truly set-up the tone for an episode meant to fit Ferrell’s comical personality.
Throughout the show, the sketches provided a nice variety of comedy while also tackling serious issues. With the exception of the cold open, all of the sketches lacked Ferrell’s original characters/impressions. However, Ferrell had hosted three times prior to his most recent appearance, so it is quite possible that writers were looking to switch things up a bit and perhaps go beyond comfort zones.
Sketches for the night included, “The House Sonoma,” a parody of MTV reality television show “The Real World, Reality Stars,” where Ferrell and cast member Cecily Strong play a couple brainwashed by their life of being newly discovered reality television stars and return to their hometown for a barbeque with friends (who find the transformed couple to be complete airheads), and “Office Breakroom,” where Ferrell plays a company CEO that becomes overly frustrated when his employees correct him for mistaking Cracker Barrel for Crate and Barrel.
According to the Nielsen company, 7.47 million viewers tuned into SNL on Jan. 27 to see Ferrell, making his episode the most viewed episode of season 43. It seems as if this season has been hit-or-miss with mixed reviews, but Ferrell put the show back on its original track. With ratings like this, perhaps we’ll see Ferrell, arguably one of the most iconic SNL cast members, on the stage again soon (with a possible cowbell, too).