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SNL RECAP: James Franco Mocks PETER PAN LIVE!, STAR WARS and Kid Mayor Crapping His Pants

Welcome to Edition No. 50 of Popculturology's Saturday Night Live recaps. All of your questions about the James Franco-hosted episode will soon be answered.

How'd James Franco do?

Franco was fully charged for his SNL hosting gig. When you're dealing with Franco, you never know if you're going to get that version. Sometimes the disconnected-for-the-sake-of-art version of Franco will show up. (The Oscars and Anne Hathaway know what I'm talking about.) That wasn't a problem on Saturday. Franco was game for anything — dressing up as a troll, revealing his email password, yelling about crapping himself.

Franco kept his monologue short (something many SNL hosts could take a lesson from). The actor addressed the recent hacking at Sony, revealing that his email account ( and password (littlejamesycutiepie) had been exposed. Franco's The Interview costar Seth Rogen showed up with news that the hack was worse than previously thought. Personal pictures of Franco and Rogen had been hacked ...

What were the best sketches of the night?

I died during this sketch. Absolutely died. I'm sure part of that went to the fact that Franco himself couldn't even hold it together while yelling about a kid mayor crapping his pants and boasting that at least when he crapped his pants, he quietly left work and threw his pants in the woods. Also, points for mentioning that Frozen's Elsa was kind of a bitch. Why don’t you play with your sister?

When NBC did The Sound of Music Live! last year, SNL mocked it. When NBC did Peter Pan Live! this year, SNL mocked it. While the sketch did feature Cecily Strong as the (boyish, she swears) Peter Pan and Franco as Christopher Walken's version of Captain Hook, SNL used this opportunity to bring back Aidy Bryant's Tonkerbell. SNL hasn't done the best job this season when it comes to featuring Bryant, so it was nice to see her so early in the show.

Fun fact: The R2-D2 uses in SNL shorts is owned by Bobby Moynihan. Yes, he made his own R2-D2. As someone who watched the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer a million times, I really enjoyed this short. It was odd that the televised version included unfinished special effects when it came to old Luke Skywalker's lightsaber walker and the window's in old Lando's Cloud City home. SNL polished those up for the online version, but it was odd that the crew hadn't completed this sketch before air.

Mike O'Brien lives! The SNL writer/former SNL castmember returned this weekend in what was billed as "A Mike O'Brien Picture." Interesting for SNL to intro a sketch in that way — that treatment was usually reserved for things like the Lonely Island's "SNL Digital Short" segments and Robert Smigel's "TV Funhouse" sketches.

Once again, Franco was game for some weird stuff, in this case playing a Grow a Guy in an adult diaper who then exploded. #GROWAGUY

This one isn't online, so let me set it up for you. Pete Davidson plays a guy sitting at his computer who is prompted to create a new password. Davidson laments having to learn a new password. We jump into Davidson's brain to see Franco as the man in charge of managing Davidson's memories. To make room for a new password, something has to go. 

Franco was really just the facilitator in the sketch, but he was surrounded by a fantastic collection of weirdos. Taran Killam representing the lyrics to Savage Garden, Jay Pharoah as Will Smith representing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, Nicki Minaj singing the first line from "Anaconda." I'm guessing these won't be the kinds of memories we'll see in Pixar's upcoming Inside Out.

This was the second impression Minaj did during the episode (more on the other one later in this recap). When Colin Jost announced that Kim Kardashian was the next "Weekend Update" guest, I thought the show was going to reveal who would be playing the reality star now that Nasim Pedrad was gone. Minaj was great as Kim, but SNL only delayed picking Pedrad's successor.

I put the latest sketch featuring the pornstar duo under the night's best sketches since it's hard to ever go wrong with Strong and Vanessa Bayer playing these too, but it wasn't the strongest installment. For the life of me, I can't hear what Strong's final line is.

How was 'Weekend Update'?

"Weekend Update" addressed the Eric Garner grand jury this weekend ... and the best way to describe it was by saying it felt off. There's something about Jost and Michael Che's style that makes these moments seem lackluster or half-assed. Having the first black anchor in "Update" history should've given this moment a weight that no previous "Update" anchor could've brought, but the entire segment fell flat.

"I'm not even going to touch this one." "Bing Crosby would."

Leslie Jones didn't get much to during the rest of this episode, but she unleashed more advice as the show's relationship expert during "Weekend Update." I've never taken mushrooms and having the possibility of Harriet Tubman call me a bitch makes that possibility even less likely to happen.

How about the rest of the show?

Love Kenan Thompson's Al Sharpton impression, but this weekend's cold open ended SNL's streak of nailing political commentary during the show's opening minutes.

So Minaj has a pretty great Beyonce impression, which we were lucky enough to see during the Hip Hop Nativity. Killam's Eminem is always dead on. It was sad to see Pharoah's Kanye West without Pedrad's Kim Kardashian by his side.

This one stunk. Is Strong's Kathy Ann supposed to be an attempt at a recurring character?

What's next?

SNL is back on Dec. 13 with Martin Freeman hosting and Charli XCX as the musical guest.
SNL RECAP: James Franco Mocks PETER PAN LIVE!, STAR WARS and Kid Mayor Crapping His Pants Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 12/07/2014 Rating: 5

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