Helen Mirren,like any great actor, has suffered through some bad scripts, and you have to add last night’s Saturday Night Live to that list. From the opening monologue, with the actors dressed as sailors from South Pacific singing “There is Nothing Like a Dame” (as SNL itself would say, Really?) with Mirren in a hideous blue spangled dress, to the last mintues when she very briefly emerged in a leopard jumpsuit as an aging stripper, the writers did nothing to take advantage of her wit. Her comic strength is withering delivery, not funny costumes.
Still, the show managed a few funny sketches, even if Mirren was underused in them (or not used at all), including the Reelz Channel’s followup to its derided miniseries The Kennedys. Here’s The Roosevelts:
Mirren has even less to do as Mary Shelley, but this sketch about the creation of Frankenstein is pretty amusing.
And one of the liveliest sketches brought pack Bill Hader’s James Carville, which gets better every time he does it. It’s not even topical, just sharp and funny.