About a year ago, Kristen Wiig announced that she was going to retire two of her most famous SNL characters: fast-talking one-upper Penelope and bubble-haired, mischievous Gilly. As it turns out, this declaration was nothing more than a Gilly-style prank: Last night, the grinning grade schooler returned to wreck havoc on Studio 8H once again. The resulting sketch was one of the episode’s few missteps. (There’s a reason Gilly should have gone to that big classroom in the sky.)
But overall, Sofia Vergara’s first outing as host of Saturday Night Live was solid and consistently funny — a pleasant surprise, considering the less-than-impressive promos that heralded her arrival. Modern Family‘s Emmy-nominated star was an energetic, enthusiastic presence, and the show’s writers didn’t reduce her to a pair of boobs with a Spanish accent. The show did lean a little heavily on sketches that skewered ads — we got three pre-taped commercial parodies, including old stalwart “Lil’ Poundcake”; one (awful) skit about a news team filming a promo; and a segment in which Vergara and new featured player Kate McKinnon filmed a Pantene spot. Maybe this ad overload was a commentary on Vergara’s bottomless well of endorsements: the actress was onscreen during commercial breaks as often as she was when the show was actually airing.
The episode got off to a strong start with a better-than-usual Mitt Romney cold open. As the Republican worked harder and harder to ingratiate himself with special interest groups, the sketch got increasingly absurd; I especially loved when Jason Sudeikis-as-Romney started extolling the virtues of adult onset diabetes. After he sent us into the credits with SNL’s iconic opening words — “Hey, New York, let’s start the show!” it was time for Vergara’s monologue, a low-key segment stocked with a few great punchlines. Welcome Sofia with pulled-down pants by watching the monologue below: READ FULL STORY