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VIDEO: Anna Kendrick Hosts a Sweet SNL

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood April 6, 2014 at 5:24PM

Anna Kendrick, with her shy yet spunky charm, did not shine as brightly as expected hosting Saturday Night Life this week.
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Shyly spunky charmer Anna Kendrick was underwhelming as the host of Saturday Night Life this week. She went musical, singing during the monologue an auto-tuned Little Mermaid sketch, and went on to the viral-baiting (but stupid) Spice Girls parody "Dongs All Over the World." Her vocal impressions during the Little Mermaid bit (not online unfortunately) were skillful and humorous--Kesha, Iggy Azelea, Britney Spears. And trotting out her famous "cups" party trick in a likable sketch about French New Wave-types dancing was sweet. 

The highlight of the evening was Weekend Update, particularly Kate McKinnon's outstanding Angela Merkel impression. Vulnerable, flirtatious, and exasperated, McKinnon brings out the most lovable parts of Merkel's persona. Next, the under-used Brooks Wheelan told a personal story to warn people to drink responsibly; his confessionals could seem odd or tacked-on, but his earnest, self-knowing delivery is lovely. 

Another new cast member, Kyle Mooney, continues to shine, this time in a sketch with Vanessa Bayer about flirtations between neighbors. These and other sketches included below.

This article is related to: Television, Television, Reviews, TV Reviews, SNL, Anna Kendrick

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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.