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WATCH: Bruce Willis Hosts a Flimsy SNL with an Excellent 'Gravity' Parody

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood October 13, 2013 at 12:52PM

Bruce Willis hosts a mediocre episode of SNL, with a few highlights.
Bruce Willis SNL

Saturday Night Live opened with two untethered astronauts calling Houston in a "Gravity" sketch. However, with the government shut down, only a couple janitors were in the office to provide suggestions and take a message:  "Janet from Space called and I'm going to say this is very important."

Bruce Willis seemed to call it in for a passable monologue. The last time he hosted was 24 years ago. He said, "If you had told me back then there were going to be six "Die Hards"… I might have said that seems a little too many." In lieu of much else to say, Willis showed off his bluesy harmonica prowess. The vibe veered towards high-school-talent-show. The actual, hired musical guest Katy Perry carried off her anticipated performance of "Roar" with the requisite bubble-gummy enthusiasm. 

Bruce Willis SNL II

The show began with a last-hour quality skit: a black ops team forms a new plan with an action hero (Bruce Willis, can you believe it?) describing the outlandish way he usually captures bad guys. This set the pattern for a series of below par sketches. The commercial parody was an irritating ad for "24 Hour Energy for Dating Actresses"--did you know they're a difficult bunch?

Weekend Update was solid, especially the various riffs on the shutdown and the most recent Kardashian. Cecily Strong makes a smart and amusing news host. 

Despite a glut of mediocre and trying skits, a few sketches amused: "Boy Dance Party" imagined the football-oriented man cave as a raving club. This and other highlights embedded below. 

This article is related to: Bruce Willis, Video, SNL, TV, TV Reviews, Television, Television

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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.