Ok. That was rough. I’m one of the few people left that still enjoys Saturday Night Live almost every weekend. For years I have watched on Saturday night and sped through the DVR with my wife on Sunday mornings , showing her the better sketches of the week. It’s a fun tradition for us. That tradition died this morning. There wasn’t really a lot for me to show her. This was by far the worst episode of the season and in recent memory. Let’s get to it.
One of the bright spots of the episode was the cold open. A sketch about the Democratic Candidate Forum that happened on MSNBC on Friday night is an easy call — SNL is at it’s best during election season, I don’t think anyone would argue this point — but it was a tough sell seeing as few people tuned into the forum. I happened to watch it Friday night and the jokes were spot on. I’m not sure if they would have landed had I not watched the actual forum though. I really hope Larry David has signed on for the long haul to play Bernie Sanders. He is perfect! Also Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong are amazing as usual.
On to the monologue. Yeesh. This was saved by Larry David (again) saving the writers some grief by calling Donald Trump a racist and ending the chance of a random audience member trying to get the reward. Aidy Bryant is great as always. Hey SNL – more Little Baby Aidy! Also – Darrell Hammond for life!
White House 2018
There isn’t a whole lot to say here. It’s the delusional future in which President Donald Trump has solved all of our nation’s issues in 2 years and gets a check from the President of Mexico for building the wall. Highlight of this sketch if there is one is Sasheer Zamata as Secretary of State Omarosa. Donald wasn’t featured much in this episode. This was the only one that he spent a majority of time on screen.
Donald Trump “tweets” mean things about the cast members because he didn’t have time to rehearse this sketch. That’s the entire premise.
Hotline Bling Parody
This particular group of writers and cast seem much better at the pre-recorded bits. This one is not as strong as some of their earlier musical numbers, but it is a bright light in an otherwise horrible episode. Shoutout to Martin Short as Ed Grimley showing up to teach Jay Pharoah’s Drake his dance moves. Also, Beck Bennett’s dad voice gets me every time.
Donald plays the laser harp and doesn’t feel like he gets enough time. We are still complaining about not enough time. We get it. This is clearly a filler sketch, but I don’t think I laughed once. Rough.
In what was probably one of the better sketches of the night (not saying much – this would have been a filler sketch on any other episode), Beck Bennett plays a dad who has been conned by a “producer” named Stacey Steve played by Trump. It’s ok and is really carried by Beck Bennett’s “dad singing” of a few of today’s hits. NBC does not have a link to this sketch unfortunately. Ms. Optimist thinks this is because they had the rights to use the songs he sang, but not to distribute them. Good call.
Another pre-recorded musical number. Another home run. I love the bad girls sketches.
We Aren’t Porn Stars Anymore
One of my favorite recurring sketches makes a comeback. The real Donald doesn’t actually make an appearance in this sketch until the end where our girls are trying to get free hotel stays from “Donald Tramp” played by Bobby Moynihan. Did someone say “It’s Huge?”
Michael Che seemed really not happy that Trump was given the hosting spot. Weekend Update is still one of the stronger segments week in and week out and I think Che and Colin Jost are finally starting to learn how to play off of each other.
Weekend Update Guests
Leslie Jones on Gender Roles! Thank you SNL for finally giving Leslie Jones more airtime. Bobby Moynihan as Drunk Uncle (!!) on Donald Trump. IT’S TRUMP TIME BABY! This is the best part of the episode. Drunk Uncle is always the best part of the episode.
Sia was the musical guest. She still does the thing where she won’t show her face. She still does the thing where there’s interpretive dance. This interpretive dance character is not as fun to watch as Kristen Wiig and the Dance Moms kid but it’ll do. I really love the 2nd song “Bird Set Free” which is below. SNL doesn’t always have the rights to show the musical performances so this is the best I can find.
If you want to skip to what I think was the good stuff, watch the Cold Open, Hotline Bling Parody, Bad Girls sketch, Drunk Uncle, Leslie Jones on Weekend Update and the second Sia performance. Hopefully SNL gets back on track next week with Elizabeth Banks hosting and feature musical guest Disclosure, who will be joined by Lorde and Sam Smith.