Third time's not a charm for Seth Rogen on 'SNL'

James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift help out Seth Rogen during his monologue on...

James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift help out Seth Rogen during his monologue on "Saturday Night Live". (Supplied)

Marianne Dowling, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

GRADE: C-

It’s painful to say, but third time wasn’t a charm for Seth Rogen on Saturday Night Live. The Canadian comic was almost invisible last night, his talents largely underutilized – and no amount of James Franco or Zooey Deschanel playing the ukulele could save him. Alas, Toronto, no Rob Ford jokes either!

Here are the high and low lights.

COLD OPEN:

Whether or not concert-goers are impressed with the OutKast reunion at Coachella this year – just be thankful, sun-drenched fans, that you won’t be subjected to members of the G.O.P. on stage. Who needs Arcade Fire, and Pharrell Williams, when you can be entertained by DJ Rand Paul on the 1’s and 2’s while Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush promote reducing regulations on small businesses and Bobby Jindal stumbles out high on Molly? This sketch is a bad trip – but it's the most interesting any of these Republicans have been since Paul Ryan posed for TIME magazine lifting weights.

MONOLOGUE:

For a third-time host, Rogen sure needed a lot of help getting through that monologue. Instead of just doing some standup or talking to the audience (a song and dance number was out of the question – he’s no Anna Kendrick) he read from a “journal” about his experiences that week on SNL. Not a lot of laughs with this bit, he did take a jab at pal James Franco’s teen Instagram scandal – which led, of course, to a cameo by Franco himself. The monologue cameos didn’t stop there. By the end of the segment, there was one surprise cameo (Ed Sheeran’s pal Taylor Swift who said to a flustered Rogen “Whenever a man shows emotion, I appear.”) and one confusing cameo (Zooey Deschanel and her ukulele.) Cut to commercial, please.

BEST SKETCH:

MONSTER PALS:

Two ugly monsters sit at a bar feeling self-conscious about their green skin and bad teeth as they are bullied by the bar patrons. A week later, one of them looks like James Franco, after some major plastic surgery. The following week, the remaining monster meets up with Franco after his own plastic surgery, revealing himself to be SNL cast member Mike O’Brien, who says he’s happy with the new look, except for his nose. When Franco asks him why he chose that particular nose, O’Brien says “It was cheaper.” O’Brien’s talent for mixing alienation and sadness with humour and heartwarming sweetness is in fine form here.

He also wrote this Sad Mouse sketch featuring Bruno Mars as a lonely mascot in Times Square, which has that same sweet sentiment.

WORST SKETCH:

ENGAGEMENT PARTY:

A groom-to-be is humiliated at his engagement party when his trashy gum-smacking cousin from Southbend reveals to the group he had a sexual experience with a man. Then she revealed the man he had sex with was asleep the whole time and was oblivious to the whole thing. Hmmmm, what do you know? Rape jokes aren’t funny when they involve two guys either.

MUSICAL GUEST:

ED SHEERAN:

Sheeran didn’t have as much flash and hat as last week’s musical guest Pharrell Williams, but the guy sure knows how to spit out lyrics. In both songs last night (Sing and Don’t) he was almost rapping at times. He’s no ginger Twista or Busta Rhymes – but still, he’s not bad for a British guy with an acoustic guitar.


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