The most recent host of “Saturday Night Live,” “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, asked the audience to remember his name in the opening monologue, and for good reason. If he hadn’t, his underwhelming late–night performance would already be forgotten.
As one of Hollywood’s B–listers, Cranston probably jumped at the chance to host SNL, since he’d be joining the ranks of such celebrities as Robin Williams, Michael Phelps and Al Gore.
So SNL viewers used to big name acts like Justin Timberlake or Alec Baldwin were probably scratching their heads when Cranston walked on stage.
Cranston is perhaps best known for his role as Hal, the father of three troublemaking sons on the 200 sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.”
In his most recent part on AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” Cranston plays Walter White, a chemistry teacher suffering a mid–life crisis who resorts to crime to cope.
This dramatically–charged role earned the actor more recognition, as well as three consecutive Emmys.
But Cranston is not likely to earn any awards for his performance Saturday night. His musical monologue, although funny in parts, was not enjoyable.
Cranston’s sing–songy opening is just one example of an ongoing lame trend. Such a large amount of celebrities have been resorting to a song instead of a more creative opening that the musical numbers are becoming tedious and a bit predictable.
Previous singing monologues include Jake Gyllenhaal’s rendition of the classic Dreamgirls ballad, “And I Am Telling You,” and “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe’s “I’m Gabourey.”
It may have been funny at first, but how many more times can we suffer as a celebrity pierces our eardrums?
The other actually scheduled musical performance of the night was just as unpleasant. When Kanye West emerged on top of a staircase wearing a gold crown on his head, it seemed that his ego was too big for the stage, and that was even before he started singing his latest song, “Power.”
King Kanye may have been surrounded by a bright white light and his own personal dancing ballerinas, but his performance was anything but heavenly.
With all of the rap artist’s ostentatious props, it was hard to believe he was performing on the once–simple SNL stage on which guests used to just sit on stools and sing.
The skits, unfortunately, were not much better than the singing.
A few did include some laugh–out–loud moments, including New cast member Vanessa Bayer’s spot–on imitation of Miley Cyrus for the Miley Cyrus show, but most fell into the category of plain unbearable.
One such sketch, about two washed–up singers, centered on one annoying song, and a game show called KidzSmart featured Cranston as a host getting a little too friendly with his underage contestants.
Despite the many low points, there were a few skits toward the end of the night that reminded me that I was watching a comedy show.
In one the final pieces, Cranston played a Green Beret attempting to give his adolescent son a lesson in self–defense. The scene quickly became hysterical as the Green Beret turned his socially–awkward son into his own personal punching bag.
Despite the occasional funny moments, last week’s SNL is not a memorable one. Instead, it has just raised anticipation for Jane Lynch’s stint as host this Saturday.
On NBC primetime, Cranston was not just breaking bad, he was hosting ugly.