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WATCH: Kristen Wiig's Comfortable Return to SNL

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood May 12, 2013 at 11:47PM

WATCH: Kristen Wiig's Comfortable Return to SNL
Kristen Wiig SNL Return

To the delight of Saturday Night Live diehards, after leaving at the end of the last season, Kristen Wiig returned to the show to host an episode. She revived most of her staple SNL characters: the unattractive sister in a girl group on the Lawrence Welk Show, half of an unprepared singing duo on Weekend Update, a vain ex-wife in "The Californians," Gilly, and the overly excited Target woman. 

While it was marvelous to see Wiig back on the show, the litany of these characters felt too comfortable and grew stale as the show wore on. Of course, Wiig's talent as a comedian shined through, particularly in the fresh sketches. 

After a total flop of an intro skit (turns out the Benghazi hearings aren't interesting, even when they're being parodied), Wiig went with a song and dance number for her monologue. Singing a rewrite of "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters, she visited her old set and made it clear she left a lasting impression on the show. 

The highlight sketches of the evening were two original Wiig skits. Both were darker, gorier, and more understated than usual for Wiig on the show. The first parodied an annoyingly cheerful Disney Channel show in which the mother turned into a "Korean water ghost." Playing a character reminiscent of the ghost from "The Ring," Wiig scuttles across the ceiling and jumps out from the TV, while telling her children it might be time for bed. The other involved an acupuncturist duo, whose work goes awry. It was simple, but perfectly hilarious. 

Watch the clips below:

This article is related to: Kristen Wiig, SNL, Video

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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.