Jim Carrey gets weird, hosts season's best episode of 'SNL'

Jim Carrey
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Jim Carrey gets weird, hosts season's best episode of 'SNL'
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Jim Carrey' Episode 1666 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jim Carrey and Iggy Azalea on October 23, 2014 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Jim Carrey' Episode 1666 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jim Carrey and Aidy Bryant on October 21, 2014 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 11: Jim Carrey arrives at the Hammer Museum's 'Gala In The Garden' Honoring Joni Mitchell And Mark Bradford at Hammer Museum on October 11, 2014 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Director Peter Bogdanovich and Actor Jim Carrey attend 'As You Wish' Book Launch at Pearl's on October 6, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for El Cuarton Films)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Actress Selma Blair and Actor Jim Carrey attend 'As You Wish' Book Launch at Pearl's on October 6, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for El Cuarton Films)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: Jennifer Lopez and Jim Carrey attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by MTV/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: Actors Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels perform onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by MTV/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0072 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Jimmy Fallon, actor Jeff Daniels and actor Jim Carrey during the 'Fake Arms: Burger Joint' skit on June 10, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Jim Carrey, guest and Susan Sarandon attend the Philadelphia Flyers vs New York Rangers playoff game at Madison Square Garden on April 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
THE OSCARS® - THEATRE - The Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, MARCH 2 (8:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m., ET/5:30-9:00 p.m., PT), at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Jim Carrey speaks onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actor Jim Carrey arrives at the David Lynch Foundation Gala Honoring Rick Rubin at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 27, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 23: Recording Artist Steven Tyler and Actor Jim Carrey arrive at 1 OAK LA Grand Opening With Special Performance By Steven Tyler at 1 OAK on January 23, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: 71st ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actor Jim Carrey poses in the press room at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 -- (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Actor Jim Carrey signs copies of his new children's book 'How Roland Rolls' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on October 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 06: Jim Carrey attends his book signing for 'How Roland Rolls'at Indigo Yorkdale on October 6, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 06: Jim Carrey hosts a signing for his children's book 'How Roland Rolls' at Indigo at Yorkdale Mall on October 6, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Actor Jim Carrey promotes the new book 'How Roland Rolls' at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Jim Carrey looks on prior to the start of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA- APRIL 27: Actor Jim Carrey attends actress Jane Fonda's Handprint/Footprint Ceremony during the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 11: Jim Carrey arrives at the 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' - Los Angeles Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 11, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Jim Carrey is one of those comedians who always seem to be a walking contradiction. On the one hand, his over-the-top delivery, penchant for bizarre comedy and experience on a live sketch comedy show should mean that he'd the perfect guest host for SNL. But his enthusiasm and manic energy frequently seemed to sabotage his best bits during his previous two times hosting.

However, while starring in the Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, everything seemed to fall into place (minus a few striking missteps), and Jim Carrey managed to set the bar for the rest of the season with one of the funniest episodes in recent memory.

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The night started off shaky, with a cold open that seemed to sit there like a dead fish, and things were only made worse by Carrey's bizarre and jokeless musical monologue. But then we got introduced to Carrey's Matthew McConaughey impression, and all was right with the world.

So, let's take a look at some of Carrey's crowning achievements, and the sketches that almost sunk the evening.

Sketch Of The Night

Carrey's hilarious three-part recurring Lincoln Town Car parody commercials were definitely the most consistently funny and memorable. And, as seems to be the norm for SNL, the best sketch of the night was pre-recorded.

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In the fake commercials, Carrey rocks an incredible Matthew McConaughey impression to satirize the Oscar-winner's recent string of bizarre and unintelligibly philosophical Lincoln commercials. The first in the three-part joke played after the (insane and terrible) monologue, then again before two other commercial breaks. Each time, McConaughey got weird and more hilarious.

There have been more than a few parodies of this particular ad created in recent weeks but SNL's is easily the best.

Carrey's Weirdness In All Its Glory

In the funniest, weirdest and most intelligently written sketch of the night, Cecily Strong plays a contestant on the dating reality show Secret Billionaire. She has to ask questions to four potential suitors, one of which is a billionaire while the others are just pretending. Essentially, it's a Dating Game set-up.

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However, that doesn't really matter because Jim Carrey is so brilliant that the premise falls to the wayside. In the sketch, Carrey plays Abbot Bonneville King, a paraplegic 70-year-old who may or may not be a billionaire member of the Illuminati and has a robot hand. Eventually, the joke just gives way into Abbot telling truly insane stories of the crazy things he does to keep from being bored, including renting out an airplane hangar and filling it with 250 men named Dennis and one named Brian just to see what would happen. It's surreal humor at its finest.

The Chandelier Costume Contest Is Awesome

Sometimes, a funny sketch doesn't have to be complicated. Here, an office party has a costume contest. Kate McKinnon's character dresses up like the dancing, leotard-wearing little girl from Sia's "Chandelier" music video. Then, Jim Carrey's character also comes out dressed in the same uncomfortably tight beige leotard. Then they have an interpretive dance-off.

Guilty Pleasure Sketch

Just because a sketch is kind of goofy or dumb, that doesn't mean it can't be funny. In The Haunted Graveyard, two young lovers come into a graveyard to get "faded" on Halloween night. But, the graveyard comes to life with grave stones, a tree, and a grim reaper statue all singing a rehearsed musical number.

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However, two well-meaning ghosts named Paul and Phil (played by Jim Carrey and Taran Killam) keep interrupting their song with their own verse about how their names are Paul and Phil, annoying the haunted sculptures. Sure, it's stupid, but for some reason the clear friend-chemistry (friemistry) between Carrey and Killam just sells it.

The Sketch Everyone Will Talk About

One of the night's early segments was the Carrey Family Reunion. It was a chance for every cast member to do their best Jim Carrey impressions from different movies, and for audience members to realize how hard it is to actually do a good Jim Carrey impression, because they mostly fell flat.

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That is, of course, except for when Jeff Daniels comes on to the set dressed as Carrey's character Lloyd from their classic (and its upcoming sequel) Dumb & Dumber. And really, that alone is worth getting through the rest of it.

Worst Sketch Of The Night

Now, we get to the downside of the evening. In the sketch, a group of zombie apocalypse survivors are approached by an outsider who hasn't been bit and wants to join. However, the outsider's son is a zombie already, and the man refuses to believe it, so he keeps his son on a leash at the end of a pole. And that's the sketch really. It doesn't progress from there.

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The joke suffered from all the classic pitfalls of a bad SNL segment. It didn't have a clear objective, there was no real central joke, it was filled with needlessly over-the-top accents, and it lasted way too long. And it's sad, too, because there is so much good zombie humor, but SNL never seems to pull that off.

What Is Going On?

Jim Carrey's monologue might have been the strangest part of the whole night. Now, admittedly, most SNL monologues aren't very good. Some are downright terrible. Carrey's was something else entirely.

He dressed like "Helvis" which is just Elvis in a red, spangly jumpsuit and demon horns. Then, he sang a song about pecan pie, and almost every lyric was just the words "pecan pie" while the cast and backup singers came out dressed like demons. There wasn't a joke to be found in the whole thing. It's not like he told jokes that just didn't land, there were no jokes. Just a demon Elvis singing about pecan pie, non-stop, forever. Maybe it actually gave an insight into what hell is like.

Additional Notes

Weekend Update was more solid this week than it has been in the past, and a lot of that might have been due to the triumphant return of Bobby Moynihan's Drunk Uncle.

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The cold open was about Obama's Ebola Czar and, like almost every cold open, it wasn't funny. Kenan Thompson tried to save it with a solid Al Sharpton impression, but it was too late.

Another pre-recorded sketch about ghost hunting shows was short, sweet and to-the-point. Newly added cast member Leslie Jones (who had been a writer before getting added to the cast this season) plays a "skeptic" on a team of paranormal researchers. Only thing is, she's as terrified of ghosts as most people, and watching her freak out and be terrified is oddly hilarious.

Finally, the night closed with an ad for Geoff's Halloween Emporium. Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong are employees talking about their discounts and Jim Carrey plays Geoff, the owner, whose body was possessed by a hell demon. Not exactly high-brow, but some of the costumes the store sells include, "Sexy Katniss Everdeen. Sexy Her Sister. Sexy Woody Harrelson. Sexy Tracker Jacker." Also the store is in Appleton, Wisconsin, for some reason.

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Over all, Carrey proved to be a superb host. After Bill Hader's turn last episode, it seemed unlikely that any guest would top him for at least a few weeks, but Carrey's segments were (mostly) solid, and didn't rely on playing fan-favorite characters.

Next week, former cast member Chris Rock hosts with Prince as the musical guest. So, that should be something. In the meantime, check out the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at Chris Pratt's SNL episode.

Behind the Scenes with Chris Pratt at 'SNL'

For more SNL coverage and TV news, you can follow Zach Seemayer on Twitter @ZachSeemayer

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