Launching into his monologue, host Russell Brand kicked off 'Saturday Night Live' in his cheeky-manic comfort zone, with an extended stand-up routine about his fame, his foppishly tight pants, his fidelity to the Queen (and the "fake King" up for an Oscar award this month, Colin Firth) and his life as a newlywed.

Anyone expecting to hear major dish about Katy Perry was disappointed. After all, once you've shown the world what your wife looks like without makeup, you probably need to dial down the oversharing.

For his tepid sketches, however, Brand has been panned, with many critics unimpressed by characters that flailed, despite hard-working cast members laboring to keep them from tanking. There was an American sweepstakes winner, a horny TV chef, a bellowing king, a violent George Washington and a tea-sipping old lady with a seismograph -- all so conspicuously tethered to the Teleprompter, it might as well have joined Brand in a costume on stage.

Take in the 'SNL' monologue here. And then, after the jump, get in the mood for Valentine's Day with a non-Russell Brand highlight, starring Jay Phaoroh and Taran Killam as Lil' Wayne and Eminem, rapping their sexy new single on 'Weekend Update' as Seth Myers points out that "Knife!" isn't a nice thing to say in a love song.