By Hal Boedeker
6:50 AM EDT, May 12, 2013
What should have been a celebration turned into a yawn.
Kristen Wiig returned to "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, and the show gave her exactly one good sketch. She played a Korean water ghost who skitters across the ceiling and amuses her living children in a Disney Channel sitcom called "Aw Nuts! Mom's a Ghost!"
This "SNL" episode had only one other inspired skit. In the provocative opening, Rep. Darrell Issa (Bill Hader) brought in Jodi Arias (Nasim Pedrad) to testify at the Benghazi hearings, thereby gaining media attention and bolstering ratings. Arias, who had just learned about Benghazi, asked: "Well if you know who did it, then why are you holding these hearings?"
Otherwise, Wiig repeated her familiar "SNL" characters in mostly laughless routines. The Target Lady sketch was the worst, but almost as painful were "The Californians" soap (about driving directions) and the return of Garth and Kat (the unprepared singing duo) to "Weekend Update."
At least on "The Lawrence Welk Show," Wiig's sassy, small-handed singer had some wacky moments of physical comedy.
The show gave Wiig sketches that were gross (an acupuncture treatment becomes a bloodbath), creepy (women date sixth-grade boys) or flat (Newark socialites sing on a CD). At least Wiig's wig was good in that last one. Even the show's Mother's Day sketch turned sour: In a flower commercial, Wiig dealt with her incredibly annoying mom (Kate McKinnon).
Wiig's opening monologue was awkward; she sang "I'm So Excited" while backed by the entire cast. But the show gave her, or viewers, few reasons to be excited.
The musical guest was Vampire Weekend. "SNL" ends its season next weekend with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West. Maybe their lives will inspire the "SNL" writers. We can hope.
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