Melissa McCarthy's 2011 hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" was a thing of beauty. Not only did the actress net an Emmy nomination for her performance, but she also introduced the greater public to two amazing characters: Arlene and the Manic Taste Tester. Whether these creations came from the minds of the show's writers or McCarthy herself (she did get her start with the famous Groundlings improv gang) doesn't really matter, considering how hilariously go-for-broke she was at whatever was thrown at her in each skit.
McCarthy returned this past Saturday to promote her buddy-cop comedy "The Heat," not only outdoing her last episode but setting the bar high for future hosts who want to make a lasting impression. (Justin Timberlake who?) New York Magazine's Vulture blog said the episode was like a DVD of McCarthy's Greatest Hits, which was a pretty apt description — it seemed as if she was part of the cast and had been performing with them for years, as opposed to only rehearsing for the past week.
Of course, your enjoyment of these skits depend on your tolerance for "SNL" and McCarthy herself (yes, I'm talking to you, Rex Reed), but you have to, at the very least, commend the actress on how committed and focused she was in every scene, even when the writing would falter (as is the "SNL" way).
The whole episode is online (with a skit or two cut for music licensing reasons), but here are my favorite sketches for your viewing pleasure:
PIZZA BUSINESS: The character here is a quasi-hybrid of the aforementioned Arlene and the Taste Taster, and probably one of the funniest things I've seen in many a years.
"THE VOICE:" "I live in a basement, except there is no roof." "You're talking about a hole."
"OUTSIDE THE LINES:" A spoof of the Mike Rice controversy, but with more brick and toaster throwing.
MONOLOGUE: A master class in physical comedy, Melissa McCarthy is really just the best. EAT IT, REX REED!