Saturday Night Live had Cameron Diaz as the guest host on Saturday and it was, sad to say, pretty much a yawn fest for the entire show. This was the Annie star’s second time on SNL, the first was back in 2005 when the Sex Tape star was at the peak of her career with Charlie’s Angels, Shrek, and Vanilla Sky as the follow up to her breakout performance in There’s Something About Mary. Time is a harsh mistress and while Diaz is still a great performer, given the right scripts, that young sexy package has been replaced by an older, more mature version of Cameron. The 42 year old actress looks fantastic, but forty something has to work harder to be cute and funny.
The star’s monologue fell flat and at no point was there any real connection with the “live” studio audience. The Saturday Night Live open, which poked fun at President Obama via the old children’s “info-toon” Schoolhouse Rock. Taking the president’s move to make an immigration reform executive order as the punch line. This partly animated show open was almost the highlight of the entire episode, even out-doing the musical guests Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson, “with special musical guest Mystikal,” who was so special that the rapper did not get a mention during the opening credits.
The initial skit was musical in nature, obviously the first nod to Diaz’s upcoming film Annie, and it was a close second to the Schoolhouse Rock open in terms of clever humor, although the middle of the Saturday Night Live skit fell a bit flat not, however, because of anything that Cameron did. Like a few of the show’s intended comic moments, the bit with “Baby Aidy” where she interacts with a neighbor woman was worthy of a yawn or two while waiting for the “bowls” portion of the rap, and the world’s longest WiFi password (which were very funny and almost worth the wait).
The Annie “preview” was funny, but Diaz felt like an addition – or an extra – rather than a main player in the skit. Leslie Jones, who also gave a star turn in the Back Home Ballers sketch, was the world’s oldest orphan, aged 43 in the skit, and she did a splendid job. Jamie Foxx, played by Jay Pharoah, doesn’t adopt the old orphan, but he does hire her as a security guard. After Diaz started off the Saturday Night Live Annie skit with the amusing, “how do my boobs look” line, she then moved back and fluttered while the main cast members performed. Disappointing to say the least.
Which pretty much describes the entire output from the Bad Teacher star. The poetry skit, was clearly a nod to the recently announced Bad Teacher 2 and it also fell very flat, as did the other school sketch where Cameron played a student. The eclectic piece prompted chuckles from the audience apart from the odd laugh generated by the “parents” in the skit’s audience, Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer.
Beck Bennett as “Man Baby” was a comic highlight of the show, Diaz had the job of playing straight man to Bennett’s executive who displays the mannerisms of a baby perfectly. The sketch was not hysterically funny, but the material was chuckle worthy and Kenan Thompson had a lot trouble keeping a straight face during the skit. Diaz was, again, under utilized in the skit. The final sketch on Saturday Night Live was, like the rap number earlier, pre-recorded and the idea was funny, but ultimately boring.
Cameron Diaz, along with Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong ended with The Other Woman star playing one of three late-night erotic chat girls. This last Diaz skit was as yawn worthy as the rest, except for the splendid holiday themed Ballers. Saturday Night Live did have a couple of other skits, one of which featured Kenan Thompson as a wildlife presenter who has had his genitalia ripped off by a monkey and the less said about the Charles Mansion skit, the better. SNL struggled for laughs on the Diaz hosted show and it is a shame that after waiting so long to reappear again on Saturday Night Live, the actress was given very little to do that could be deemed funny. Perhaps the next time she hosts, after another nine year hiatus, the writers will dig that little bit deeper. The video of Back Home Ballers is below, just to prove that the show was not a complete waste of comedy time.
By Michael Smith