Big Bang Theory star and Emmy winner Jim Parsons used his first time hosting Saturday Night Live to put a little distance between himself and his fussy physicist alter-ego, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
The theme of his monologue? "I'm not that guy," complete with musical number. Sample lyrics: "I'm a well-adjusted man, not a Star Trek superfan/I'm much more than that geek who's on your screen 12 times a week."
But the sketch that's going to get passed around Facebook and Twitter is the cold open, in which he plays NBC figure skating commentator Johnny Weir being interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres (Kate McKinnon).
As Weir, he starts out in the hot pink blazer/leather pants ensemble and every time the camera comes back to him, he's added some new accessory -- a boa, a headpiece, etc.
"Can you believe all this was in Russia?" he asks Ellen.
"Did you have a hard time over there?" she asks.
"Oh no, I just sort of blended in. By the end, I looked like a local ... It was like a gayWhere's Waldo?"
Where did he get his fashion sense? "From my parents. My mother is a school teacher and my father is a Christmas ornament."
Other characters included Peter Pan and creepy serial murderer Mark Alan Henry, aka the Dance Floor Killer profiled on Investigation Discovery's The Killer Files. Henry's, modus operandi? Hiding out in plain sight on 1980s dance shows. He even introduces himself on Soul Train before slaying his victims.
Parsons was game, committing to all of his sketches, but ultimately, he couldn't outrun the uneven writing or what I call the "straight-to-commercial curse." The theory: if SNL does another sketch right after the monologue, it's going to be a good night. If they go straight to a real commercial? Well, not so much.
Meanwhile, head writer Colin Jost gave a solid, if slightly stiff, first Weekend Update.
But he was a bit overshadowed by Taran Killam as catty 1860s newspaper editor Jebediah Atkinson, who had a few things to say about this year's (and previous years') Oscar best-picture nominees.
"Dallas Buyers Club? Sell. The only thing thinner than Matthew McConaughey was the plot."
"Don't get me started on Gravity. If I wanted to watch a depressed middle-aged woman float around for 90 minutes, I'd go to the YMCA pool."
"Annie Hall? I'd rather let Woody Allen watch my kids than watch this movie again."
"Shawshank Redemption? I'll only feel some redemption when there's a Saturday afternoon when this claptrap isn't on cable. Even the theatrical release had a TNT logo in the corner."