Judging from these promo spots, it looks promising. But let's not jump the gun yet. Saturday Night Live has been in comedic free-fall this season, and one brilliant comedian can't turn around a bad team of SNL writers, can he?
It's going to be tough to judge how funny this week's episode will be for multiple reasons, one being the expectations factor. People will watch the show wanting to laugh at what Galifanakis is putting out there. It's a blessing and a curse, because he starts out with some leeway since his reputation precedes him, but a single mis-step can quickly turn over-excited, nervous laughter into crickets. One of the biggest problems that Galifanakis may encounter, though, is completely out of his control.
He could expose the newest cast members of Saturday Night Live as comedic imposters. Can you possibly picture Abby Elliot keeping up with Galifanakis as she fumbles through a sketch next to him, looking at the teleprompter every five seconds? The new meat of SNL (Elliot included) has been clumsily steering the ship this season, and they simply won't be able to keep pace comedically with Galifanakis. It's like putting ketchup on a dry-aged steak. Hopefully SNL goes heavy on Wiig, Forte, Sudeikis and Hader sketches for the majority of the show in order to protect their raw cast members.
Galifanakis' style also clashes fairly heavily with the sketches SNL has been pooping out recently. While SNL has been resorting to fart and Vagisil jokes, Galifanakis thrives on making the viewer shift uncomfortably in their seat with situations where awkward, elongated silences are punctuated with a perfectly timed joke.
With that said, one of three things will happen on Saturday night:
- He will outshine the rest of the SNL cast
- He will drink the SNL kool-aid and it will bomb like almost every other show this season
- He inspires everyone to be as funny as he his
Let's hope it's the third.