Classy start, solid show


In an unusual move, NBC will have two "Saturday Night Live" reruns on Dec. 22, the first in prime time.

That one, at 10 p.m., is a shortened version of the excellent Dec. 15 episode. (It will be followed at 11:29 p.m. by the Bruno Mars episode.) Here's the mini-review I wrote after it aired:

By MIKE HUGHES

It's not easy to do loose comedy the day after a national tragedy. Tonight's "Saturday Night Live," however, was a classy effort.

The show started with a kids' choir doing a beautifully uncomplicated rendition of "Silent Night." Then, after going dark for a second, "SNL" boomed ahead with its usual nonsense.

"SNL" has always been erratic, but last week's show (with Jamie Foxx) was one of its best and this one came close. Martin Short had a  zestful song that saw him meet Tom Hanks, Tina  Fey, Kristin Wiig and Samuel L. Jackson. Sir Paul McCartney did three songs (instead of the usual two) and appeared in a sketch as Short's triangle player.

There were some so-so sketches (there always are), but one was masterful. A British protocol expert visited Kate Middleton's gynecologist to inform him of proper procedures. If you forget its poor finish (please do) this was a superb sketch, comparable to when Hugh Laurie played a palace representative, setting up the queen's requirements for her hotel stay.