Bruno Mars is a very popular singer, which I guess qualifies him to act as both musical guest and host on Saturday Night Live. I don't know who saw something in him that made them think he would be funny on the show, but that person wasn't entirely wrong -- while Mars never really got any big laughs (special guest Tom Hanks got more in just a few minutes of screen time), he had lots of energy and enthusiasm and was game for being silly and trying anything. That's code for "he put on a dress."
We're just five episodes into the new season, and it's been pretty uneven so far. There hasn't been one standout episode that's been really strong, but there hasn't been any total train wrecks, either. This was probably the weakest show yet this season, but there were a few sketches that were ok. One sketch, about Pandora Internet radio, gave Mars the chance to sing in a bunch of different styles and imitate famous musicians (which, it turns out, he's pretty good at). Another sketch on the opposite side of the spectrum found Mars playing an eyepatch-wearing desk worker at a mountain hotel going on and on about the Yeti. It was interminable. Most of the episode existed somewhere between the two sketches, meaning it ranged from "bad" to "not the worst."
(Read the full Saturday Night Live Bruno Mars recap)
Photo courtesy NBC