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Watch: Highlights from Seth Rogen's Leisurely SNL

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood April 14, 2014 at 2:40AM

Seth Rogen hosted a comfortably funny episode of SNL this week, with short and sweet cameos from Zooey Deschanel, Taylor Swift, and James Franco.
SNL Rogen

"Saturday Night Live" is usually characterized by a frantic and breathless pace. This week's episode, with third-time host Seth Rogen leading the pack, took its time through sketches. It bounced along at an unhurried measure. 

The episode started solidly this week with some brilliant cognitive dissonance: the New Face of the Republican Party Giving an endorsement speech at Coachella. Jokes about conservative bigwigs attempting to appeal to millennials with awkward poses and stilted slang.

Seth Rogen's monologue was unimpressive--a dash of some self-deprecating humor, jokes about his deep chortle, and quick random cameos from Zooey Deschanel, Taylor Swift, and James Franco. These three were, of course, adorable, especially Swift, who cried out: "You were getting really upset, whenever a man shows emotion, I appear!" Rogen, whose kindly humor bears a dash of exasperated skepticism, joked that his presence as host evoked many SNL writers' pitches about smoking weed. None of these quite hit. 

The best sketch of the evening was the commercial parody--a CNN home pregnancy test. Another wonderful sketch was about two monsters with grisly faces, contemplating undergoing surgery that would help them look like people, instead of beasts; there was an expected twist ending. And SNL's interpretation of recent news that Al Sharpton wore a wire to the help the FBI with a cocaine bust was excellently executed with "Undercover Sharpton," with Kenan Thompson at the center. Watch these and more below. 

This article is related to: Seth Rogen, Seth Rogen, SNL, Television, Television, TV, TV Reviews

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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.