A juicy sex scandal featuring the head of the CIA? That should be comedy gold for "Saturday Night Live." But just like last week, with the election, "SNL" falls flat when it tries to tackle current events.
The cold open featured Paula Broadwell (played by Cecily Strong) reading from her biography of David Petraeus, "All In," except it sounded more like "50 Shades of Grey." That was the extent of the joke. When the reading's audience members started to leave, I couldn't blame them. None of the evening's Petraeus sketches had any zing to them.
Jeremy Renner did a decent job as host. While most of the sketches simply played off his intense on-screen persona, he was actually most appealing during the light-hearted monologue.
Musical guest Maroon 5 performed admirably, with Adam Levine making a perfect cameo in the best sketch of the night.
BEST: The Standoff
This digital short looks like one of Renner's movies -- three assassins all pointing guns at each other. But over a couple days, they start to bond. They read "Good Night Moon" with Renner's daughter. They share a Thanksgiving feast. They shower and sleep together. And they even run into a celeb, Adam Levine, who pulls out his own guns on them!
WORST: The Cailfornians
Why... why ... does this sketch keep coming back? Armisen clearly enjoys it; he almost cracks up a few times. Maybe the first time the driving directions, shocked poses, and group shots in the mirror were funny? Maybe.
This week's monologue again revolved around a musical number (which we normally hate), but wow ... who knew Renner could sing like that! He sang theme songs he'd "written" for his movies, like one for "Bourne Legacy" set to the music of "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon."
"You know I'm gonna shoot somebody ... You know I'm gonna shoot somebody." Get this man out of action movies and into a romantic comedy, please!
BEST CAMEO: Chris Christie
The New Jersey governor made a welcome appearance on "Weekend Update," and showed he's got a real sense of humor. He made fun of his love of fleeces ("I'm going to die in this fleece") and reverence from Bruce Springsteen ("He's more of a saint.") Definitely a "Weekend Update" winner.
DEPRESSING: Movie Set
Ah, an "actor plays himself, is accosted by overeager extra" sketch. Renner plays himself opposite Jason Sudeikis's Dick Juice (yes, really). There just wasn't much going on here, and Renner had absolutely nothing to do but look angry sometimes. What a waste of both Renner and Sudeikis.
PROMISING: Cool Drones
Yay, "SNL"'s animated shorts are back! While "Cool Drones" wasn't as sharp as previous TV Funhouse-era installments, it made a funny addition to a dull night.
CONFUSING: The Avengers
Um ... was this sketch cut half a year ago? I get that Renner is just hosting now, but wow, did this feel dated.
What did you think of this week's "SNL"? Sound off in the comments with your picks for the best and worst sketches.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Jeremy Renner
- David Petraeus