January Jones’ SNL hosting gig came a year after Jones’ now-ex Mad Men husband Jon Hamm went on. January Jones’ SNL appearance also came just after the Mad Men finale, as a last goodbye before Mad Men goes hibernating for the winter. Jon Hamm’s SNL episode came with cameos from Mad Men co-stars, and was on the night that Amy Poehler gave birth. January Jones’ SNL appearance didn’t have those elements, but Mad Men fans still got to see Betty Draper in a new and old element.
January Jones may have surprised some as an SNL hosting choice, since she plays the humorless, often childish Betty Draper. But she is showing a comedic side in the new film Pirate Radio, and paid her own comedic homages to Mad Men as well.
Jones squared off with obsessive “Mad Mennies” in the monologue – including Elisabeth Moss’s new husband Fred Armisen. But technically, Mad Men already has a self-named cult of fans called “Basket Cases” from the show’s leading fan site, Basket of Kisses.
Jones is often compared to Alfred Hitchcock’s icy blondes, so it seemed like perfect SNL casting to have her as Grace Kelly in a Rear Window spoof. Unfortunately, they wasted it in a slew of farting jokes. But Jones fared better in a Mad Men-esque informational film about how 50’s women host dinner parties – in an only slightly less sexist fashion than Mad Men.
Aside from January Jones doing more SNL Mad Men parodies, the show did their traditional gags involving Joe Biden, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Bon Jovi. SNL managed to do another Today Show parody of Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb, although Michaela Watkins is no longer around to do the put-upon Hoda.
The Black Eyed Peas were just as big an SNL attraction as January Jones, as they went on the show for the first time in a decade. They even got driven mad by Kathie Lee’s singing in the Today Show sketch, and got to perform three songs instead of the usual two.
When Jon Hamm was on SNL, he surprised many with his comedic timing, and got to go on 30 Rock a few months later. January Jones’ SNL bits may not have been as big, but it may have been refreshing just to see her smile and laugh for once, after all her Betty Draper brooding.
With January Jones now an SNL host along with Hamm, Mad Men fans now have little more to distract themselves as their long wait for Season Four starts. SNL fans still have a long way to go before the off-season, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt coming on board next week.
NBC.com- “Saturday Night Live- All Videos – Newest”
Basket of Kisses- “January on SNL”