Saturday Night Live: Bryan Cranston/Kanye West

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This episode of Saturday Night Live started off with a lot of promise, as Bryan Cranston joyfully walked on to the stage. He was quick to show photographs of himself in Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle, and from Joy Luck Club, in which all three images showed him wearing his white briefs. Cranston then made a remark about how it was nice to get away from the crystal meth, and be in New York, where crack was readily available. He followed by addressing how despite his success, he is still not a household name, by equipping himself with a cane, a hat, and a backing candy striped quartet of men that could not get his name right to sing in third person:

"There is a man/
A certain man/
Whose very name/
Means entertain/
And he'll do all he can/
What is that name/
It's Byron Crampton/
You may not know him yet/
But soon you'll be his biggest fan/
He played a dentist/
He played a dad/
But he is best when making meth/
Over on Breaking Bad/
And if you're not convinced/
Oh boy then just listen to this/
He'll make you laugh/
He'll make you cry/
He's got a style that's versatile/
That you can not deny/
So what's his name/
It's Bryan Cranston/
It's the name that you can't forget/
Even if you try/
He's Bryan Cranston/
Bryan Cranston!"

And just like that, Cranston covered everything that was on the minds of all of his fans. He also did what also needed to be done later on in the show: during the What's Up With That sketch, he made his mandatory appearance in his white briefs, but this time, he was also wearing a bright pink robe.

The rest of the sketches fell into the usual Saturday Night Live flaw: they were based on one predictable joke, and that horse was then beaten to death. Although this was true of the Kid Smartz sketch wherein Cranston came off as a child predator under the guise of a game show host, he played the part to perfection. He had the cheese, the disturbing inappropriateness, and the ability to affect his audience on more than just a surface level. But if there was one thing about Cranston's acting that stood out, it was his ability to show restraint, whereas every other performer on the show all resorted to overacting their parts.

Weekly Update resorted to making bad puns, such as confusing lesbian with Lebanese, or mask with mosque. The Shanna sketch catered to the lowest common denominator with its poor attempt at humour derived from sexual implication. The Miley Cyrus Show sketch would have come off better if Cranston got more time playing Billy Ray Cyrus, but he was mostly relegated to making the odd comments. This episode would have benefited greatly, had Cranston been provided better material to work with. Though this episode of Saturday Night Live had a talented actor for a host, not even Bryan Cranston could save the it from its poor writing.

Tags: Saturday Night Live, Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle, Joy Luck Club, SNL, Emmy, MIley Cyrus

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