Dec. 8, 2013 at 1:29 PM ET
Paul Rudd, the never-aging man-child of an actor, proved to be the perfect "Saturday Night Live" host on a night when the British boy band One Direction was the musical guest.
The opening monologue and a skit set in a concert line both seized on Rudd's ability to have fun with the One Direction fascination. Rudd's "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" co-stars helped raise the bar in the monologue in particular.
Rudd, hosting for the third time, said he was overshadowed in his previous two opportunities by the musical guests — first Beyoncé, and then Paul McCartney. "But tonight, finally, it's the Paul Rudd show," he said to screams and applause, which were actually directed at Harry, Liam, Zayn, Niall and Louis, who filed in behind the 43-year-old actor.
Not to be upstaged this time, Rudd told the lads, "I didn't want it to come to this. But I'm also a bit of a singer. You got your boy band, I brought my man band."
"Anchorman" stars Will Ferrell (Ron Burgundy), Steve Carell (Brick Tamland) and David Koechner (Champ Kind) joined Rudd (Brian Fantana) on stage.
"Why don't you beat it, Menudo," Ferrell said. But Rudd defused the tension and said they weren't there to fight. The two sides then launched into a rendition of "Afternoon Delight." "Now we are Nine Direction," Rudd said.
In another skit, set in a concert line at Madison Square Garden, Rudd stars as Dan Charles, One Direction's biggest fan. Surrounded by pre-teen girls, Charles (a married father) outwits them all on everything related to 1D.
"Oh, oh oh, you don't know your basic facts," Charles says to one girl who doesn't know that Niall's natural hair color is not blond. Charles also take a cell phone call and announces to those around him, "My wife just had a baby!"