Amy Schumer is one of the most versatile, intelligent comedians of the most recent comedy boom, and probably the most deserving of the kind of national fame that she is amassing. Between her lights out sketch show on comedy central and writing and starring in one of the summer’s best movies, hosting SNL seemed like only a natural extension of Schumer staking her claim to all things funny.
James Franco is a renaissance man if there ever was one, as he points out in his monologue and practically every time he goes on some kind of comedy variety late night program to promote his work. That never really comes out in his SNL appearances, as Franco comes off as just being happy to be there. Sure, we are always safe in the knowledge that at some point Seth Rogen will show up, as is his wont, and he shows up twice in this episode, but nothing of the non-jester side of Franco ever really shows up when he heads down to 30 Rock. You’ll see hints of the strange underbelly of Franco occasionally, like in the “Peter Pan Live” sketch, where Franco does an oddball Christopher Walken impression for the ages, which is really less an impression and more a post-modern performance about how our impressions of celebrities are actually just one singular impression broadened to the point of absurdity. But ultimately, James Franco is just a hard working guy who will break at a line about pooping his pants.