We couldn’t wait to watch Ronda Rousey host Saturday Night Live, but after lots of hype and anticipation, her scaled-down appearance made her seem more like a background player than an actual host!
What happened, SNL?
First of all, Rousey’s monologue was all kinds of awkward. The writers went the obvious route, paying homage to the mixed martial arts fighter’s background, and framed the whole monologue as a sort of fighting match (complete with Kenan Thompson playing Mickey to Rousey’s Rocky).
Rousey gave the monologue a lot of enthusiasm, but her presentation felt stiff, and Kenan’s advice to basically distract the audience with catchphrases and favorite SNL characters turned out not to be a gag, but a plan for the whole evening.
SNL‘s lineup for the evening was a series of (too long) sketches made up of regular cast members mugging for the camera while Rousey said the fewest words possible. One of the night’s best sketches in fact — an #OscarsSoWhite skit — saw Rousey doing nothing more than sit next to one of the sketch’s nominees!
The lack of Rousey’s presence felt especially disappointing considering the fact that she was the first female athlete to host since US figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan, did 22 years ago. Which begs the question, was Rousey just unable to deliver during rehearsals?
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. Rousey did get featured in a digital short about a high school girl who gets to one-up (and beat up) the “popular girl” and jock who mistreat her…
But if Rousey is great at playing herself, maybe she’s just not quite as great at playing anything else?
All in all, Rousey may not have stolen the show, but it was brave of her to jump into the lion’s den of sketch comedy without a real performance background to help her through it. But no matter how disappointing tonight’s episode might have been, at least we got that hilarious cold open with Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin.