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Zach Galifianakis brings the weird for third time hosting 'SNL'

May 05, 2013|By Claire Zulkey


If Jennifer Aniston’s ears were burning Saturday night, and then burning some more and then more, off and on for several minutes straight, it was probably due to one of the stranger sketches from “Saturday Night Live”: a Jennifer Aniston look-alike contest.

After kicking off the bit with a falsetto rendition of “You Are So Aniston to Me,” Jason Sudeikis announced that host Zach Galifianakis’ character came in eighth and last place in the contest, news that Galifianakis greeted with fury, clad in a long wig and a “Friends” shirt. The majority of his competition came in the form of male “SNL” cast members, each also wearing a long blond wig but not much else in the way of costuming or makeup.

After Galifianakis made a record number of non-sequitur Helen Keller jokes, the sketch momentarily turned into an actual Aniston impression contest between Vanessa Bayer, Nasim Pedrad and Taran Killam. The winners of the competition ended up being Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, (Galifianakis’ “Hangover” costars, whose names are never pronounced correctly throughout the sketch). The scene ends with a rendition of “That’s What Friends Are For,” which is the “Friends” theme song, according to some of the characters.

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If reading that recap gave you a ridiculous type of headache, it was a “you had to be there” type of sketch, with enough weird independent moving parts so that there was something for everyone. Especially if you’re Jennifer Aniston.

Weirdos, nerds and losers were the targets of the majority of the sketches Saturday night, those being the type of characters Galifianakis most seems to find himself playing. In “Game of Thrones,” he played the ultimate fanboy on a “GOT”-related game show, who despite his impressive dragon costume kept getting questions about current events and real life, which he was unable to answer. (“GOT” fans will thrill at the sight of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau making an appearance, while weird-name aficionados will enjoy Bill Hader’s host character’s name: “OJ Sampson. “It’s been a long, hard life.”)

In “Darrell’s House,” Galifianakis played a guy with a cable-access show, shooting an episode about having people over to his house for the first time (that someone being, specifically, Jon Hamm) as he constantly shouts editing suggestions to someone off camera named Marcus. On its own, the sketch wouldn’t have been quite that noteworthy if we didn’t see the fruits of Darrell’s labor in Part II later in the evening, presenting Marcus’ editing efforts and an actual cameo from a confused-looking  Hamm.

Finally, “New Balance” was the type of sketch where a viewer could easily imagine the concepting process (it probably involved the writers and/or host looking down at their own feet). The idea was simple: New Balance shoes are crafted with elite athletes in mind but are frequently sported by Galifianakis-shaped, plaid-shirt-wearing nerds. Check your own closet to see if this applies to you!

This coming Saturday “SNL” returns with host Kristen Wiig (so place your bets on which of her characters will pop up) and musical guest Vampire Weekend.

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