Cold Opening – Justice W/Judge Jeanine
Kyle Rittenhouse verdict is celebrated
- Ok, the first cold open was good thanks to James & Alex’s performances, yet we didn’t need another Judge Jeanine cold open after just having one.
- Due to Kate’s absence, they’re having this setting clearly instead of having Kate’s Laura Ingraham having Trump on.
- Surprised to see them discuss the Rittenhouse acquittal here instead of saving it for Update.
- I love Chris, and I would never critique him, but the mugging with his eyes needs to stop.
- Ah, Chris just won me over with his ”You were? Cause I wasn’t”
- Chris: ”Any American??!”
- Great line about the mail box being full.
- Cecily: “Well, your segment’s over and my mug is empty.”
- Funny brief bit with Alex’s Kevin McCarthy.
- Great to see James’ Trump return and funny how much more prosthetics they’re adding to his face, some disgustingly funny details in certain places.
- James’ portion is about the same as the last one, yet it’s less funny despite James’ efforts.
- Creative turn with the usage of Word Search and I loved the Dua Lipa bit and how he connected it to Bob the Builder.
- Overall, slightly below-avergae, and despite having some good satire with Chloe and Chris’ part, it mostly was a rehash of the previous cold open. Rehashing things and general laziness is a recurring theme as I remember in this episode.
host has gone from birthday party Spider-Man to actual Marvel superhero
- I’m loving the motioning that Simu did just now.
- He’s coming off very likable and loose as expected.
- Fun bit regarding Simu asking Marvel to cast him as one of their heroes.
- I’m loving Simu’s story so far.
- I love Simu’s “I’m Shang-Chi Bitch!” and lovely how the crowd responded.
- Another short monologue, I think this was just about 2 and 1/2 minutes which is probably one of the shortest in a long time.
- Great to see our SEVENTH host-only monologue, and this happens to be my second favorite of the season so far.
(CLF) & bar owner (KET) review injudicious song stylings
- Another one of these ensemble skits that use most of the cast.
- Right out of the gate, solid voice work from Chloe, and a good pairing with Kenan.
- Hilarious brief bit with Bowen.
- Great Homer & Marge Simpson from James and Melissa, respectively.
- Poooooor Melissa as this ends up being her last appearance of the night. She still has better screen time than last year, where she was shut out of around 25% or more of that season.
- An absolutely hilarious & brief bit with Aristotle and Sarah as the German tourists singing ”Call Me Maybe” and I love Aristotle’s delivery of his ”Come and MAKE ME!” line. Great details on their looks too.
- Sadly, this Aristotle’s only appearance all night, absolutely absurd.
- As for Sarah, this turns out to be her second consecutive big night.
- Unsurprisingly, Simu is coming loose and funny here, and the screaming girls are cracking me up, not that I blame them.
- Great & creepy bit with Alex and Heidi as a father/daughter duo, to the degree that it nearly causes an ultimate pro like Chloe to break character. It’s funny how she’s trying so hard not to crack up, and not that I would blame her in this instant.
- Not caring that much for Cecily’s part, but she’s performing it well.
- Overall, this was a blast and a step up from the previous ensemble skit.
Target has all of the things needed to accommodate a family Thanksgiving
- Lovely colors to this piece so far.
- An accurate & funny parody of real-life family gatherings.
- In a lesser comment, Simu looks pretty hot with this wig & outfit combo.
- Pretty good characterization from Simu and an accurate parody of people like his character.
- Coming as no surprise, James is doing a funny & spot-on grumpy old man impression.
- Decent overall, a trimming could’ve been fine too.
Dog Head Man
at the Pentagon, Dog Head Man is unveiled as a hybrid-species weapon
- I’m flat-out shocked that they did this again, after the solid first one.
- James is pretty convincing as an authority figure, and this makeup makes him look much older than he is.
- The funniest info regarding this sketch is that these are Martin’s hands from PDD.
- So far, this is following the SAME pattern as the first bit, but without the silly surprise that made the first one work.
- Meh, this is now just devolving into a giggling storm from everyone, except a stone-faced Simu, props to him for that.
- Interesting seeing JAJ completely LOSE IT here, as I thought he would be a Chris Parnell-esque performer. Clearly, I’m not that mad at him.
Republican or Not
contestants (host) & (EGN) parse political ambiguity
- A very promising concept.
- So far, Ego is all over this episode.
- Kenan’s gleeful manner is damn infectious.
- Great to see Sarah in another actual role tonight, especially after how she & Aristotle stole the Karaoke skit.
- A good Jewish voice from Sarah, and it’s coming as no surprise due to her Jewish background.
- A good reveal that Sarah is actually against teaching the Bible.
- Ouch at that Rachel Dolezal slam.
- Funny how Liz Cheney is getting dragged here (deservedly) but a while after this episode she became a media darling due to her anti-Trump stance.
- Pretty sharp digs against both sides here, without having any clapter moments or sounding pandering.
- Overall, pretty good but it could’ve been MUCH stronger with darker writing & reducing Kenan’s parts.
Walking in Staten
PED, Big Wet, Marc Cohn, Method Man [real] go “Walking In Staten” Island
- Another Pete music video, these are always either average, or absolute boring trainwrecks.
- Pretty good cinematography for this piece.
- Happy to see Method Man here, reminding me of how much I loved him in The Deuce.
- A very rare Colin Jost appearance outside of Update.
- I guess this is supposed to be parodying something?
- The guy from the Squid Game video is in this too, I bet he got more screen time than poor Aristotle.
- An ok music video, despite Pete’s voice being obviously auto-tuned, and not getting the references.
Musical Performance – “Tap In” & “Best Friend”
Baby Yoda is riding high thanks to spot in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
on the heels of COP26, Mother Earth (AIB) advises humans to cool it
- Funny reaction from Che due to the camera being late in cutting to him, and I love his face afterwards.
- Colin: “Steve Bannon, seen here ordering ‘One new liver, please’.” These jokes, like the Mitch ones always give me big laughs.
- A very funny bit regarding Che’s high school and an insulting ”Michael Che sucks butt” written in a bathroom, and a great response from Colin.
- Not another Baby Yoda commentary…
- As a testament to how strong his tenure was in the last eight seasons, this is actually the ONLY thing that Kyle does that I would say that I HATE, and boy I do despise this character, the nadir of his tenure frankly.
- A VERY lame and desperate photo joke from Baby Yoda.
- Overall, oof.
- Here comes an Aidy commentary, after how much she drove me insane with that unwatchable cold open last episode I just cannot stand her anymore.
- To say something nice, Aidy looks beautiful here, the blue hair and the dress showcases how gorgeous her eyes always were.
- Now she’s referring to and touching her breasts, this just comes as desperate and attention-seeking.
- I’m about halfway into this, and I’m bored as hell. Aidy is coming off charming enough & likable, but this isn’t funny at all to me.
- I do believe that this failed Update is a big reason why we need a big overhaul with the cast and let the newbies shine. Even though I recall having a mixed reaction regarding Next week’s newbies-led Update, but I still stand by my point regarding the much-needed overhaul.
- Come to think of it, this is the worst Update since the Regina King episode, mainly due to how rough the commentaries were, and I know that the commentaries weren’t as rough as Lauren’s bombing with the audience or that wretched self-amused and self-congratulatory witch vanity piece with Kate, yet this came of too self-centred and not to mention UNFUNNY.
Thanksgiving Baking Championship
cakes are inedible grotesqueries
- The first installment of this is an absolute classic to me, with Kyle’s part in it giving me possibly the biggest guilty laugh I’ve ever had while watching SNL. Yet, I never liked the idea of this becoming recurring, as the current era barely has any actual recurring segments, which allows for far more creativity & freshness.
- Sarah looked like Chloe from afar in this.
- Sarah looks fantastic in this & is masking her voice very well.
- The more Sarah speaks, the more she reminds me of Emma Stone, she looks UNCANNY to her here.
- An ok reveal of Sarah’s cake and she’s performing this well enough.
- Some pretty solid gory effects on Simu’s cake, was Sarah involved in its improvement? And is this why she had a big part at the beginning of this? I’d like to think the reason for her solid airtime this episode is due to how huge of a hit her Update piece was, which is probably 100% true in my view.
- Decent reveal of Simu’s cake and he’s doing an ok job in hiding his panic.
- This sketch is following the EXACT same formula from the previous ones, at least Timothée shoving his hand up the cake’s anus gave me a guilty laugh.
- By the way, I cannot believe I wrote that sentence just now.
- A solid laugh with Kyle’s cake reveal, and the visual & Kyle’s flawless delivery helped elevate this skit overall.
- (*groan*) Here comes the breaking, with Aidy and Pete hiding their laughter, great poker face from Ego though.
- In summary, meh.
Simu & Bowen
BOY & host rack up awards for being the first Asian to do various things
- I love this premise and it’s pretty great, and especially with Bowen starring in this.
- As for Bowen, I’m pretty surprised that he pretty much disappeared halfway through the episode, especially with them having an Asian host and MG.
- Funny IBS line that only Bowen could sell well.
- This Andrew’s first & ONLY appearance all night, considering the solid season he’s been having so far, this is shocking.
- Loved Bowen’s ”mom, I’m hot!”.
- Pretty silly escalation to the different awards both are getting.
- Funny “openly bottom” bit just now.
- Sarah is having a great night so far, this is her FOURTH appearance and I couldn’t be happier for her.
- By the way, Sarah looks A LOT like Margot Robbie here. Yes, I may have a huge crush on her.
- Interesting to see Sarah using her natural voice for this pretape, I’ve always wondered why she barely uses it, maybe the Spectrum sketch is the only other skit that I remember her using it also, and yes that garbage Skims skit too.
- A very solid dark turn at the end, and a convincingly-intimidating acting from Bowen.
- That photo and Bowen’s face in it KILLED ME when I first saw this pretape, and a great reaction & scream from Simu here.
- Fantastic ending & piece overall, my favorite thing that Bowen did since the classic Iceberg commentary from last season.
Musical Performance – “Icy Chain”
911 operator (EGN) receives flustered calls from professors high on weed
- A sketch about people getting stoned, in fucking 2021??? Was this a leftover sketch from season 23 or something?
- Mikey is annoying me here for some reason, and I never say that about him.
- Cecily continues to use a voice we’ve seen in another thousand skits.
- Funny look & characterization from Simu.
- Ego is a solid straight man here.
- Funny that you could see Kanye’s wanted poster from Taylor Swift’s great monologue from season 35 behind Ego. Too bad this the only amusement I’m getting from this.
- I just thought of Sarah in Aidy’s place, other than that she would’ve dominated the episode, this part would’ve been FUNNY. Instead of this tired shtick.
- Pretty abrupt ending to this, clearly the show ran long.
- Overall, meh and a disappointing way to end this episode especially after the previous segment. Also, this one ruins the season’s streak of having strong final segments, aside from Kim’s episode, every single other one except this and next episode, ranged from solid to flat-out fantastic.
- Is that Michael or Chris wearing that hoodie? I really cannot tell.
- Good speech from Simu & Saweetie looks great here.
- I love the Aidy/Bowen/Sarah friendship especially after seeing their Instagram live a few weeks ago. It was a blast to watch.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Simu & Bowen
Republican or Not
Walking in Staten
Justice W/Judge Jeanine
Thanksgiving Baking Championship
Dog Head Man
- A VERY mixed episode, having almost as many great parts as well as weak.
- Not shocking to many, the stinker parts heavily featured some of the vets, like the horrid Update commentaries, 911 Call, and Thanksgiving Baking Championship. Presenting yet another argument for a major cast overhaul.
- Simu Liu, despite being wasted in some pieces, came of great & even more likable than before, and as a fan of him pre-MCU, it warms my heart to see him get the spotlight and host an institution like SNL.
- so far, the season is decent, despite having two episodes that ranged from weak to subpar (Kardashian,Majors) and two average episodes (Culkin,Liu) and three episodes that were even stronger than I remember (Wilson, Malek, Sudeikis). I do remember liking Billie’s hosting stint, despite the hit-and-miss path that it takes pretty much like this one, and the Rudd episode, despite being a depressing one, contains an absolute masterpiece that I CANNOT wait to review.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- Billie Eillish pulls a double duty hosting stint. I’ve never been a big fan of her music, despite thinking that she was the best part of season 45 premiere. I find her likable & very down-to-earth in her interviews & she has a good sense of humor. It’s also somewhat weird that she’s only the 2nd female host out of eight so far. Hopefully, SNL will rectify this in the second half. And yes, I’m attempting to catch up so I can review this Saturday’s episode on time.
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.