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Mediocre SNL Season Finale Well-Hosted by Ben Affleck As Several Regulars Depart the Show (CLIPS)

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood May 19, 2013 at 7:49PM

Mediocre SNL Season Finale Well-Hosted by Ben Affleck As Several Regulars Depart the Show (CLIPS)

Ben Affleck hosted last night's season finale of Saturday Night Live, and jumped right into ribbing "Argo" as well as his Oscar acceptance speech. This is the fifth time that Affleck has hosted SNL, but after a flashy celebration of Justin Timberlake's fifth time hosting, no one made a fuss about welcoming Affleck into that club. Affleck did well feigning disappointment and resisted mentioning "Argo" until almost two full minutes into his monologue. After famously saying that marriage is work in his Oscar acceptance speech, he brought his wife, Jennifer Garner, to dispel naysayers who criticized his characterization of their relationship. They were adorable together. 

Picking through similar material, one of the best sketches of a relatively mediocre night involved a send-up of "Argo." One of several departing SNL regulars, Fred Armisen played Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wanted to set the record straight about Iran's role in the plot. In this movie, "Bengo F#*@ Yourself" Ahmadinejad played Affleck, and Affleck played a sound guy--because he had "long been looking to appear in a movie worse than 'Gigli.'" It also made fun of Affleck gratuitously filming himself shirtless. 

In a mostly worthless sketch about 1930s grifters, Affleck shined by doing a great Jimmy Stewart-type impersonation. Always gifted with quick impressions, Affleck held his own throughout the night--which was a farewell to cast members Armisen and Bill Hader. WeekendUpdate anchor Seth Meyers is set to replace Jimmy Fallon as the host of NBC's Late Night, but he has said he will return for part of the next season. Jason Sudeikis's return is also uncertain. 

Despite Amy Poehler's cameo hosting Weekend Update, Kanye West's performance as the musical guest, and a fantastic commercial sketch about Xanax for Gay Weddings, the best skit of the evening was a lovely sendoff to Hader's Stefon--in which every one of Stefon's wishes was granted.


This article is related to: SNL, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Amy Poehler

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.