February 18th, 2013
03:07 PM ET
Christoph Waltz is an award-winning actor and a nominee at this weekend's Oscar ceremony, but all of that talent couldn't guarantee that he'd be a standout host of "Saturday Night Live."
As it turns out, when the "Django Unchained" star took over the hosting spot for the first time this weekend, he once again proved himself to be a strong supporting player, even if his overall appearance was hit or miss.
"He played the straight man in most sketches, but he wasn’t afraid to dance around a bit when the occasion called for it," EW said. "He was endearing if maybe a little awkward, a true professional, not an obvious cue card reader, and articulate and clear (except for maybe in that last sketch)."
The sketch in which he plays a game show host on the depressing "What Have You Become" didn't make any critics crack a smile until Waltz began tap-dancing at the end, but that's more the fault of the concept than the actor.
Rolling Stone thought the Oscar nominee "played his parts exceptionally last night, straight and within the confines of each character, especially during the Papal Securities commercial," which you can refresh your memory with below. Jason Sudeikis also starred in the retirement ad as an insurance salesman helping the Pope adjust to his new lifestyle, which included shots of Waltz rocking out in a band and cooking in a "Bless This Mess" apron.
But the most memorable, not to mention daring, sketch of the night was a riff on Waltz's work in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and "Inglourious Basterds." As New York Magazine's Vulture put it, "Of all the ways to address 'Django Unchained' in honor of Christoph Waltz's presence," having the actor star in a new Tarantino movie called "Djesus Uncrossed" "may have been the one most guaranteed to draw outraged letters of protest."
But the risk seemed to pay off, as the sketch's commitment to portraying Tarantino's trademarks in the revisionist story of a "Djesus" who rises from the dead to slaughter the Romans went over well with critics.
"There's enough blood and guts and callbacks to old Tarantino movies in here to satisfy any fan," The Atlantic said in a review. "It's a wonder they were even allowed to do it."
What did you think of Waltz's "SNL" hosting work?
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