'Saturday Night Live'--Jeremy Renner Shoots, Sings and Makes Fun of 'Avengers'

'Saturday Night Live' Recaps & Reviews

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'Saturday Night Live'--Jeremy Renner Shoots, Sings and Makes Fun of 'Avengers'

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Jeremy Renner showed off his varied talents on "Saturday Night Live"

After the disaster that was Daniel Craig on "Saturday Night Live," having Jeremy Renner as host seemed like a risky idea. While it didn't all work out, the show had a solid start and some true winner sketches, so this episode will be remembered a lot more fondly than the poor, misused James Bond's.

Best of the Night

"Saturday Night Live" put our fears about Renner immediately to rest with the monologue, where the host sat down at a piano to play the theme music for his films he'd created. The jokes about using ballads and pilfered Kings of Leon songs for action films were amusing enough, but the striking thing was how good the "Hurt Locker" star can sing. He came across as utterly charming, especially when he pattered his way through a sound snafu that left him with a silent piano. If he does "SNL" again in future, he should definitely do more musical numbers.

The sketch show has been scoring with videos lately, and this film of "The Stand Off" was another hit. The guest host starred with Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan as three tough guys, each holding two guns aimed at his opponents. The movie continues as they realize they have other things to do, and so go about their daily lives with their guns still trained on each other. There's also an awesome Adam Levine cameo. Watch the brilliant absurdity over at the "Saturday Night Live" video site.

Bill Hader as a coroner and Jason Sudeikis as a cop joined Renner as a guy who's come to identify his brother's dead body in the morgue. The host was a bit heavy on the cue-card reading, but still got some laughs as he repeatedly "guessed wrong" on the victim's identity, including "Lucy Liu" and "Morris Day and the Time." Sudeikis' reactions were funny, but the highlight was bored-coroner Hader drumming all over Killam's face and chest, with full credit to that dead body for never once flinching or cracking a smile.

Other highlights included Weekend Update, for Seth Meyers' "Winners and Losers" bit on the Petraeus scandal and Jay Pharoah's Katt Williams impersonation--which was funny even if you don't know really know who Williams is. There was also a funny stab at "The Situation Room" and their endless use of the same footage, which this time included a hilarious "reenactment" of the same footage. If you live anywhere in the middle of the country, the jokes in "Visit Your Childhood Home" about small towns and closed Kmarts should tickle your funny bone. Watch all the best "Saturday Night Live" videos here.

Worst of the Night

"Saturday Night Live" had a point, making fun of the less-spectacular characters in "The Avengers." The costumes were even pretty good, and Renner goodnaturedly making fun of his "11 arrows and I'm out" Hawkeye held promise, but unfortunately the sketch never took off. The low production values drew too much attention to themselves, and it all came off as more corny than amusing.

The "Thug #2" bit also seemed to have potential, with Renner playing himself against an overly enthusiastic extra, but the host didn't have a lot to do and the writing just wasn't that funny.

The Verdict

Maroon 5 performed "One More Night" and "Daylight." For the first number, the band was dressed all in red, which somehow made them look as if they were in prison uniforms. I also had a terrible thought that they could have put any guys up there with Adam Levine and said it was Maroon 5 and I wouldn't have known the difference. The much-more-well-known front man's vocals were stellar on "One More Night." He started a bit shaky on "Daylight," but he righted the ship and finished strong.

While it wasn't a perfect night, with a few misses and some middle-of-the-road sketches, Renner's episode goes down as a win for "Saturday Night Live." The show didn't seem interminable and started very strong, and the host had a chance to prove his versatility without looking like a fish out of water.

What did you think, "Saturday Night Live" fans? Did the host do a better job than Daniel Craig?

More From This Contributor:

'Saturday Night Live'--Anne Hathaway Soars with the Sloppy Swish

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'Saturday Night Live'--Bruno Mars a Sad but Wonderful Mouse

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