In his fifth time hosting Saturday Night Live, Jonah Hill didn’t do anything more or less than he had during his first four outings. That sounds like damning him with faint praise, but there’s a consistency to his shows that is admirable. Like many hosts that appear on the show as often as he has, Hill blends into the cast to the point where it doesn’t feel as if there is a host present. He can play lead and supporting roles with equal aplomb, and he never has his presence in a sketch come at the expense of the rest of the cast. The star-studded but under-rehearsed “Five-Timers Club” monologue was the rare miss on a night in which most sketches were at least solid if not spectacular.
Recurring characters — whether performed by cast members or oft-returning hosts — are a tricky proposition. It’s rarely unclear when a character will reach its expiration date, and often it only becomes truly obvious live on national television. Bringing out Hill’s long-running Adam Grossman in the post-monologue sketch could have reeked of creative desperation but, instead, it set the stage for a very successful run that lasted through “Weekend Update.”
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