The sketches were mostly funnier, Tom Hanks swung by to show off one of his two Oscar trophies and Stefon was in the house to giggle his way through another classic list of nightlife tips (seriously, google “hoombas”).
Plus there was a sure-to-be-classic-but-so-wrong sketch about a scientist touting his breakthrough teaching an ape to talk that did not go the way anyone intended. In short, Jonah Hill had a pretty good night hosting “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, he couldn’t quite reach the ratings heights set last weekend by Lindsay Lohan.
The magazine reported that the Hill episode, which featured two songs by the Shins, drew a 4.3 rating and a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, which was down 21 percent from Lohan’s turn last week.
Of course, Lohan’s much-hyped return to the “SNL” stage was eagerly anticipated, but mostly for the curiosity factor of whether the fallen actress could pull it off. Critics savaged her stiff acting and obvious cue-card reading. But Hill was looser on his episode, poking fun at himself in a funny cold open about his wild awards-show run and Oscar nomination for “Moneyball” in which he claimed he was still a regular guy, only to treat his pals at “SNL” with contempt and actor-y imperiousness.
The “21 Jump Street” star reprised his obnoxious six-year-old character Adam Grossman, who savaged his dad’s J-Date girlfriend during a tense Benihana dinner and took an endless barrage of tennis balls to the crotch in a painful digital short. A Liza Minnelli sketch fell flat, but people are probably going to still be scratching their heads all week about the Brutus sketch in which Hill was exposed as a scientist who taught an ape how to talk, only to be outed as a pervert by said ape.
The highlight, though, was what seemed like a throwaway sketch at the end when Hill’s character hires a string quartet to serenade his wife on their anniversary, but then grabs the mic and starts inexplicably rapping to Coolio’s dead homie homage “C U When U Get There.” Co-star Kristen Wiig’s character was pissed at first, but when she finally got on board the big smile on Wiig’s face and the rest of the cast’s obvious delight saved what could have been a lame, throwaway bit.
The Shins performed two new songs, including the single “Simple Song” and “It’s Only Life.”