November 6, 2021 – Kieran Culkin / Ed Sheeran (S47 E5) 

Cold Opening – Justice W/Judge Jeanine

Donald Trump (JAJ) streams consciousness

  • I thought this tired impression was retired with Cecily’s ”swan song” from the finale of last season. And, yes, don’t kid yourself she obviously wanted to leave, but I guess having a horrendous last season wasn’t the best way for her to go out.
  • A solid Jeanine Pirro impression as usual from Cecily, even if it’s still the same old schtick.
  • The Aaron Rodgers part was lame and clearly shoved in for some headlines and Youtube clicks. Thankfully, it was short enough.
  • Happy to see Alex getting some actual parts these days, considering how much of a disappointment his tenure turned out to be. Funnily enough, I predicted a Bill Hader-esque legendary trajectory for him, with him being underused for 3-4 seasons and than DOMINATING the show with about a 100+ skits per season the way Hader’s tenure turned out to be in his final five years.
  • Decent laughs from Alex & Heidi here, and they make a good duo, as we will see in the fun Karaoke skit from Simu Liu’s upcoming episode.
  • The SNL debut of JAJ’s famous Trump impression, an impression so good that it’s probably the biggest reason he’s on SNL right now.
  • Fantastic Donald Trump voice from James, and accurate & funny gestures that enhance his performance.
  • Good laugh from James’ Trump calling Cecily’s Judge Jeanine ”Judge Judy”.
  • My God! The tone, vocal inflictions, quick sighs, cadence, and Trump-esque rambling are DEAD-ON to a scary degree.
  • Strong satire with having Trump just rambling nonsensically to no conviction.
  • James’ ”excuse me” bits are a hilarious detail to his impression of the former president.
  • Alex is a great straight man here, showing us how much potential he has still.
  • Very funny part with him talking about Dune & Eternals, the latter I’ve heard is pretty AWFUL, and yes, I do not watch the MCU (thankfully) So I clearly do not know if his comments about it are accurate.
  • We didn’t need another Rambling piece, but I’m getting pretty good laughs due to James’ performance.
  • I remember when I first heard James’ impression in early 2021, on the Sam Seder show on Youtube. I thought to myself ”get this guy on SNL!!”. Since that day, and after seeing his many great podcast appearances, I became a fan of him, still to this day. Very happy to see him crushing it on the show, he certainly deserves it.
  • A good cold open overall, and a great use of James’ Trump with actual sharp satire directed against him, much better than whatever the fuck SNL had with Baldwin’s garbage Trump ”impression” the past four seasons and a half. James was simply incredible here.

Rating: ***1/2 (a full bonus star for James)


host recalls being on SNL at 9 years-old with his brother Macaulay

  • I loved Kieran in Fargo season 2, as he was very memorable there.
  • Man, I really need to watch Succession.
  • Cute footage with young Kieran being lifted up back in 1991, and I love his expressions just now.
  • Good monologue overall, nothing much to say, glad it was short and to the point.

Rating: ***1/2

Cancelling Cable

a series of Spectrum operators won’t help (host) cancel his cable service

  • Another skit this season that uses most of the cast, the last one was great and a favorite of mine, hopefully this one is as good.
  • Mercifully, Aidy’s role here is her ONLY part all night, no complaints from me.
  • Pretty funny & relatable concept of how damn hard it’s to just cancel your cable subscription.
  • Kieran’s frustration & slow anger here is very solid.
  • Pretty good part with Heidi’s breakdown, she’s such a strong dramatic performer when she needs to be, as shown by that disappointing RV Life from Steve Carell’s rough season 44 episode.
  • Great & flawless delivery from Andrew just now, it got a great reaction from the audience & me.
  • Happy to see Sarah again, and she makes a solid duo with Melissa. Sad that this is Sarah’s first live sketch since the Bug Assembly one from Rami Malek’s episode, she’s clearly struggling so far.
  • Funny moment with Sarah & Melissa closing the phone together, pretty good characterization from both, and came off both adorable & funny.
  • Here comes Bowen to steal the sketch, as the look of him & that vocal modifier make him EVEN more hilarious than usual.
  • A somewhat abrupt, yet okay ending, and why the hell is Kenan nearly breaking?
  • Overall, decent enough.

Rating: ***1/2

The Heist

car thief (CRR) is baffled by Lamborghini’s stick shift

  • A pretape in the tradition of having Chris as an incompetent henchmen, yet none of them will reach the classic status of That’s the Game from Harry Styles’ season 45 episode.
  • Ok laughs from Chris’ various flubs, although again, this is NOWHERE as strong as the aforementioned piece.
  • Funny how Chris is NOW able to hear Heidi.
  • A below-average piece overall.

Rating: **1/2

The Dionne Warwick Talk Show

Dionne Warwick [real] is a guest

  • NO!!! I thought this sketch was done with Nick Jonas’ episode last season.
  • I love Ego, and I’m so happy that she broke out last year, but this tired & very lazy format of having a celebrity hosting a talk show, and being clueless with few age jokes is comedy death to me. Ego deserves much better than this.
  • Great Miley Cyrus impression from Chloe, and just like her other impressions, she even manages to look JUST LIKE the person she impersonates, a testament to her talent.
  • (*sigh*) This turns out to be Chloe’s first & ONLY appearance all night. Her airtime this season so far is pathetic, she deserves better.
  • Come to think of it, many cast members are having a sparse airtime tonight, I should be somewhat happy that they’re attempting to use most of the cast, but how come Aristotle is NOWHERE to be seen tonight???
  • The running joke with Ego’s Dionne asking celebs about other people is so unfunny and dumb, and not good kind of dumb humor.
  • Cue the applause break, as the real Dionne comes over to ”confront” Ego and her impression.
  • Dionne Warwick is coming off very likable here, though I’m beyond tired of this SNL trope.
  • Cute singing at least, and I’m hoping that this “confrontation” gives this sketch a closure.

Rating: **

Men’s Room

(BOY), (CRR), (host), (AND), (ALM), (TRM) do office men’s room chit-chat

  • I recall this being a very unique & strong sketch.
  • Conceived by Bowen and co-written by the PDD guys, who also wrote that very solid Lotto Drawing sketch IIRC.
  • Bowen is basically perfect in delivering his lines with this tone.
  • Chris’ ”That was mean as hell!” gave me a big laugh, he’s still able of ringing good laughs from me with the simplest of lines, and I love him for that.
  • Kieran’s mini-monologue just now is great, and was delivered very well by him.
  • Chris: ”See you on the ice??!! We work at a pension fund!!!”
  • Kieran reminds me of Mark Strong here for some odd reason.
  • So far, this is as sharp & dark as I remember it being.
  • By the way, great detail with the blue light when each of the guys tries to reveal something.
  • Here comes with Andrew with his usual killer delivery.
  • Andrew: ”We’re months away from… DASMUATIME!”.
  • I LOVE the confession Alex just made. This is a blast so far.
  • Random & abrupt ending with a Tracy Morgan cameo. I adore tracy, but this was just weird and it hurt the sketch overall. The reason he was thrown in here is because of a cut Sketch that was supposed to parody Succession, in a vein similar to the solid Them Trumps pieces.
  • A great sketch overall, with this one and Lotto Drawing, not to mention their pretapes, the PDD guys are ALREADY taking charge and establishing their style. A refreshingly creative & solid one.

Rating: ****1/2

The Jockey

at the Kentucky Derby, (host) rides a horse as if it were a skateboard

  • I recall this bizarre piece getting some hate online.
  • Great old-timey voice from James.
  • An ok premise of Kieran riding horses like a skateboard.
  • Some solid singing from Kieran so far, and was it the intention to have him look like a vampire?
  • Bowen’s delivery was pretty funny, too bad this ends up his final appearance of the night.
  • Here comes Kyle in useless role #54890, this season has been his low-point so far, sad after having two consecutive great seasons.
  • A good reveal with Kieran being an animal abuser and getting endlessly trampled to death.
  • Overall, better than I remember, even when I can think of a better way for it to rise above being just average.

Rating: ***

Musical Performance – “Shivers”

Weekend Update

Ice Cube’s (KET) vaccination hesitancy has led to many abandoned projects

Goober The Clown (CES) reveals that she had an abortion when she was 23

  • I do remember this overall Update being a trainwreck, hopefully I’m wrong.
  • Yup, so far I’m barely laughing, even the Rudy mention did not get more of a quick chuckle from me.
  • Not much of an attempt to sound like Ice Cube from Kenan, but again he sells it like the pro he is.
  • Some ok comments so far, yet I’m not laughing.
  • To think that this commentary was put on air, and Kyle’s FAR better one which actually got a great reaction in Dress wasn’t is absurd. I’ll get to that when I review the cut for time pieces eventually.
  • A decent dig from Colin at Che regarding gay marriage. Yet again, this is not as funny as some of their other interactions.
  • Here comes a Cecily commentary that I recall some calling a trainwreck and others endlessly praising it, especially in the media.
  • Cecily looks just like the clown from The Big Comfy Couch, I would assume this was intentional.
  • Look, I’m pro-choice, and the rights of women to do what they want with their bodies are under concentrated attacks in states like Georgia & Texas amongst others. But even I could think of a stronger way to comment on that and deliver my point more sharply.
  • This is obviously meant to be a meta commentary, but the technical flubs are getting in the way, at least Cecily is performing this well.
  • By the way, this was Cecily’s first appearance since the open, clearly she should’ve taken the hint and left last year.
  • (*sigh*) This was as much of a disappointment as I remember. Tonight’s episode continues to be a hit-and-miss for me.

Rating: **1/2

Wake Up Rhode Island

weatherman (host) focused on turkey rap & not storm

  • Kieran’s Look is very funny, he has been such a good host all night.
  • Decent concept with Kieran rapping for us, he’s pretty funny here and the visuals compliment his bit.
  • So, his rap song is getting interrupted by an EAS, this is getting interesting.
  • Punkie’s delivery of her ”THE SEAK TOOK THEM!!!” line gave me possibly the biggest laugh of the night so far. Use Punkie more SNL!
  • A funny visual with Kieran’s head being all over the storm.
  • For some reason, parts of this skit reminds of that unwatchable proposal sketch from Jonah Hill’s horrendous hosting stint in season 44.
  • Overall, better than I remember, yet still below-average.

Rating: **1/2

Musical Performance – “Overpass Graffiti”

Please Don’t Destroy – Calling Angie

John Higgins, Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy [real] flub breakup phone call

  • Great to see this recur, especially after how much I loved the first one. Too bad a solid one from Rami’s episode was cut, it could’ve made that episode even stronger.
  • Well-delivered speech from John so far, he’s actually coming off like he could be a pretty decent dramatic actor.
  • That’s clearly Sarah’s normal voice on the phone.
  • Big laugh from John telling his girlfriend a blunt ”fuck you” that came out of nowhere and it was freaking hilarious.
  • Yes! This is getting crazier with the other guys now cursing at her, and like the previous short, the rising escalation is done PERFECTLY.
  • Another nice dramatic speech with good music from John, I love Martin’s face and Ben mouthing off ”wow”.
  • Oh Boy! She just called him, and coming with vengeance towards him!
  • Ah, here comes Angie, played fittingly enough by Sarah Sherman in another great usage of her comedic abilities.
  • For some reason, Sarah here reminds me of Adriana La Cerva from the Sopranos. Possibly the wig and the outfit.
  • Fantastic line delivery from Sarah here, her ”YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!!!” gave me a great laugh, the biggest of the night actually. Again, a harbinger to how much she’ll kill it with the crowd next episode.
  • It’s so great that the first cast member to appear in these pieces is Sarah, she fits their style very well. I’d love to think that this piece is the one that made the four of them friends, helping Sarah with a fantastic commentary from the very next episode.
  • Hilarious ending and on-screen text.

Rating: *****


at closing, CRR & KET pick up host, as KEN did 30 years ago

  • A cute, yet predictable callback to Kieran’s monologue. But, Hey, I shouldn’t be that whiny, this was a nice visual to witness.

Segments Ranked From Best to Worst

Please Don’t Destroy – Calling Angie

Men’s Room

Justice W/ Judge Jeanine


Cancelling Cable

The Jockey

Weekend Update

Wake Up Rhode Island

The Heist

The Dionne Warwick Show

Final Thoughts:-

  • An overall average episode, I was surprised to see so many people call this episode great or solid, when in fact, in my view, it was the definition of averageness.
  • Kieran was a great host tonight, giving it all in many sketches and helping to elevate them. He was especially solid in Canceling Cable, The Jockey, and Wake Up Rhode Island.
  • The thing I would praise this episode most for, is the wide usage of the cast, with many getting to shine like Andrew, Punkie, and especially Sarah.

My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:

Next Week:-

  • Jonathan Majors is hosting with Taylor Swift as the musical guest. I recall not liking the episode that much, with Majors being likable yet very overshadowed by the cast & especially Taylor. I cannot wait to review that open, and the horrendous post-Update half. At least, we get a killer Weekend Update, and I’ll be very glad to review it. See ya till then! Farewell for now!

My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.

4 Replies to “November 6, 2021 – Kieran Culkin / Ed Sheeran (S47 E5) ”

  1. Good to see the review up earlier than expected, since I just tested positive and I’m stuck in the house all day today.

    Going back to the review, I’m relieved to find out that I’m not alone that this episode wasn’t all that great, and that I wasn’t in a bad mood when reviewing it. Like my review, this episode contains the first piece to not get a passing grade since the Kardashian episode.

    I totally agree that Aidy’s reduced airtime is a good thing. In all honesty, I can’t believe that my parents feel that the Spectrum sketch is amazing, as I don’t agree even the tiniest bit. In fact, I could fill this whole comment with opinions they have that I don’t agree with, like the Christmas Cards sketch. In fact, my mom thought that the PDD short was three star-worthy, and not five.

    Speaking of the Spectrum sketch, my favorite part of that sketch is the part with Sarah and Melissa at the end. They actually have good chemistry there, and I would like to see more of that.

    I see that you actually have the heart to not give Update a passing grade. I agree that both commentaries were nothing special, and that Cecily looks way too much like the clown from The Big Comfy Couch, even though my only memories of watching that show were in preschool back in 2008/2009 (I can never distinguish both years), and even then, those memories are pretty vague. I recall the next episode’s Update both having fantastic Update commentaries from the two newbies, yet the next two Updates after that don’t have a single guest commentary I cared for. I don’t understand why my dad loved the Dismukes commentary. It almost makes one wonder if I’m biased towards the season’s newbies, though I know that’s not the case.

    As for the overall episode, I recall it starting a downhill stream with this season where each episode has been a step down from the last, and so far, this season has yet to recover. We’ll see what happens with the DeBose episode this week.

    And finally, the averages so far:
    Owen Wilson – 7.1
    Kim Kardashian – 5.0
    Rami Malek – 7.6
    Jason Sudeikis – 7.7
    Kieran Culkin – 6.5

    Overall average (so far): 6.8

    1. “…since I just tested positive and I’m stuck in the house all day today.“

      Oh man, keep yourself safe, and I’m happy to say that these reviews will most likely catch up before the episode on Saturday. And regarding the upcoming commentaries, you’ll see what I have to say, as they were possibly the most frustrating parts of the upcoming episodes for me.

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