May 12, 2013 at 9:39 AM ET
Former "Saturday Night Live" castmember Kristen Wiig returned to host the show just a year shy of Mick Jagger giving her an emotional sendoff in last season's finale.
In her ridiculously charming opening monologue, Wiig sang to the tune of The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” to show how good she felt about being back on "SNL." She explored backstage to prove how well she knew the show's inner workings, but at every turn she got the details totally wrong.
Wiig misidentified Jason Sudeikis and others, tasered Kenan Thompson, and thought the janitor’s closet was her old dressing room. (Maya Rudolph and Jonah Hill were inside the closet making out.)
But despite Wiig’s charisma, many of the sketches left little impression — good or bad. Among the better of the show’s moments came when Wiig starred in a hilarious 1-800 Flowers ad celebrating mothers. Her mom (played by Kate McKinnon) was pretty terrible, asking if Wiig should keep the flowers because her “apartment is so sad"; demanding to know if there were any nuts in her eggs benedict at a restaurant; and asking for updates about years-old celebrity scandals.
She reprised her role as Target Lady, the cashier from hell who comments on her customer’s every purchase.
“Degree deodorant,” she said in surprise disgust, looking at Aidy Bryant’s item. She asked Vanessa Bayer what she was buying Maxi Pads were for.
Wiig and Cecily Strongteamed up for a totally weird sketch that somehow worked. The women played two 30-somethings working in finance who were double dating with a pair of sixth graders (Bobby Moynihan and Tim Robinson). The women wreaked of ditzy desperation, remarking on how old they felt because the boys didn’t know who Steve Urkel was, and fawning over one of the young lad’s knowledge of dinosaurs.
Perennially unprepared music duo Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Wiig) reunited on "Weekend Update" to Seth Meyer’s annoyance. As always, the pair had not practiced, with Meyers noting the pair had a year to prepare yet hadn’t done so, and calling their effort “terrible.”
In its cold open, "SNL"improbably combined the Cleveland kidnapping case, the Jodi Arias murder trial, and the U.S. Senate hearing on Benghazi. Republican Sen. Darrell Issa (Bill Hader) called on Arias (Nasim Pedrad) to testify. Democratic Sen. Elijah Cummings (Kenan Thompson) accused his colleague of bringing Arias onstage in order to increase TV ratings and draw more attention to the hearing.
“What’s next? The guy from Cleveland who kept those women in his basement?" asked an exasperated Cummings. As it turned out, accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro (Monihan) was on hand to demand when it would be his turn to testify.
"SNL" concludes season 38 next week with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West.
How did Wiig do? Which was your favorite skit? Tell us in the comments!