SNL Digest: John Cena

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "John Cena" Episode 1713 -- Pictured: Host John Cena on December 6, 2016 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)

John Cena brought hustle, loyalty, and respect to his SNL debut and didn’t give up.

So, I mostly know John Cena from memes and occasional film appearances where he plays on his own image.  He’s been funny in those, but going into tonight’s SNL I had no real idea how that was going to play out live.  I shouldn’t have worried, though  – all those years in the WWE have been plenty of acting practice for Cena, and he definitely knows his comic timing, even if the material chosen for him felt a little expected.

What You Missed:


John Cena didn’t get to sing his Christmas song 🙁

Hook a Hunk

Mikey Day’s magician line had me in stitches, and then John Cena came out and nailed the rest of the sketch.  Kyle and Beck and the end sort of sealed it for me.

Science Final Projects

If I think too hard about the details of what kind of science class this was supposed to be this sort of falls apart, but this felt solid (if a little predictable) otherwise

Dyke & Fats Save Christmas


Weekend Update

  • I continue to love Michael Che talking about the election
  • Angela Merkel as interpreted by Kate McKinnon remains one of my favorite Update desk visitors
  • Both hosts on the black Santa at the Mall of America was [thumbs up emoji]
  • I like Cathy Ann much more as an Update guest than when she would show up in sketches

Where’d Your Money Go?

Keenan’s Charles Barkley felt a little sloppy, but the concept here was great and Cena did a great Gronk

Through Donald’s Eyes

This is the sort of experimentation I’m loving from SNL this season

Erotic Bookstore

As soon as we had an erotic bookstore I knew they were going to have John Cena in a Fabio wig.  Aidy was MVP of this one.

United States of Talent

This was quick, dumb, and perfect for 12:55.

What You Didn’t Miss:

  • For once, the cold open (The Lead With Jake Tapper) didn’t grab me. A bunch of Breaking Bad jokes?  Two years after the show finished?  SNL has been so good about topical humor this season and this just felt like something I’d see the internet do.
  • The Karate Teen had Cena perfectly cast as a Cobra Kai knock-off, but I didn’t find the actual meat of the clip all that funny.
  • I appreciated the logistics of the staging for Joanne & the Tree, but again, didn’t really find it that funny.  ALSO THAT’S NOT HOW YANKEE SWAP WORKS.

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: