Brian Williams on SNL: Solid, Not Hilarious, But TV Critics Swoon

TV Newser sums up the Brian Williams gig on Saturday Night live here. NB fans probably would have found it interesting (if not so funny) that Williams opened a presidential-debate skit by telling the Democratic also-rans several times that Sen. Hillary Clinton will appear in the center of the stage, since "all of us in the media want her to be the nominee!" The joke also included that she would get a 15-minute interview to herself before the event started, since the media so favored her.

Inside the media, the reviews were chummy. Tom Shales of the Washington Post offered a thumbs up:

Brian Williams neither took nor gave a pie in the face when he made history this weekend as the first network anchor to host NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Williams is NBC's, too, and the gig was supposed to help loosen up and polish up his image, making him not just an anchor but a friend.

While it wasn't the most hilarious "Saturday Night Live" ever done, the "mission accomplished" banner can probably be raised insofar as Williams's image goes. He was able to keep his dignity and get laughs, too -- especially when spoofing himself and his need to keep his dignity, ironically enough.

Frazier Moore of AP concurred:

Newsman Brian Williams unleashed his inner comic for all to see. As host of this week's "Saturday Night Live," the NBC News anchor displayed some solid comedy chops — and a readiness to laugh at himself.

NBC News watchers probably found it amusing when Williams was shown throwing pennies from a high altitude at the heads of Al Roker and Matt Lauer, and Lauer says "what a--hole throws pennies" from up high? (That's about how it sounded on TV, too.)

Idle question: in the skit where Williams played a disgruntled actor playing a high school principal on a high-school-years TV show who won't be moving on to the "college years" spinoff, will his denouncing the Andy Samberg character as "gay" prompt a stern press release from GLAAD?

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