Whether he was actually as positive as he claimed sarcastically or just positively into it, host Jim Carrey brought some serious energy to SNL this week. Introducing not just episode one of 2011, but “the very first show of the last year of our existence,” he owned the stage, but shared the love, working the crowd (not cast plants) during his opening monologue in a way we rarely see.
Why, then, did someone hit the snooze button by running a baldness fauxmercial repeat? If you can answer that your name is probably Lorne Michaels and your answer is probably lame.
Luckily, the show’s pulse started racing again as Bill Hader auditioned two dancers for the lead in “Black Swan.” Carrey was terrifically twisted in his black tutu as he gave Nasim Pedrad some (forgive me) stiff competition. If you ever loved Kevin McDonald’s clumsy ballet moves back in the Kids in the Hall days, this one will please you as well.
Joining Kenan Thompson’s silly sexual guru Grady Wilson, Carrey got down and dirty as an erotic shaman. On the one hand, he helped to show off some new “Tantric ‘n Tasty” moves. On the other hand, I think we were also treated to a few unscripted subtle moves, too.
As a psychic medium, the man of so many funny faces got an opportunity to put on some of his best voices, too. And though Carrey demonstrated a great range of male, female and fictional icons, there was one classic he simple refused to do.
All in all, even Carrey’s quick moments had big payoffs, whether as an animatronic in an amusement park ride or just the distant physical comedy of falling forlorn to the snowy ground after being dumped. He was a true team player in an episode that had hardly a dull moment.
Next week’s host is Gwyneth Paltrow with musical guest Cee Lo Green. Maybe we’ll see a reprise of Paltrow’s “Glee” appearance and hear a little “Forget You,” too?