Immediate Pre-show Thoughts:-
- This episode means a lot to me personally, as it is, to this date, the first and only time I ever attended an SNL episode, even though I was in the dress rehearsal.
- This review is written partly as an response to Jesse’ very generous offer when he reviewed the all-timer Adam Driver episode from this season.
- Edit: This review was deleted for some weird reason, it’s reposted now, sorry for the mistake.
Cold Opening – Press Conference
- (*groan*) ALREADY, the review starts badly with a fucking Trumpwin, in a freaking Will Ferrell-hosted episode.
- My biggest issue with Baldwin’s Trump, now that he’s thankfully replaced by JAJ’s sublime & uncanny biting takedown of the former president, is that there’s no satire here. Just pure parody, and you cannot parody a self-parody.
- The usual half-assed & snooze-inducing performance and line delivery from Baldwin.
- Ah, here comes Will, trying to save this like the usual pro he is.
- Not even Will’s performance could do anything to save this.
- Overall, this was pure nothingness, aside from Will’s presence, the typical boring & attention-seeking lines, from a show with a boss with parasitic relationship with power & fame. SNL’s biggest low was to have this piece of shit of a president on & and have him attempt to literally dance his way to the voters’ hearts. A low for SNL followed by even a newer low in this very episode.
Rating: *1/2 (the latter for Will)
- Ah, already Will is coming off energetic and charming like the usual.
- Some decent funny comments from Will early, elevated again by his performance.
- An interesting inclusion of Ryan Reynolds, an underrated SNL host, who should’ve hosted WAY more. Certainly more than Paul Rudd for me, but I digress.
- Ok, we get it Ryan is hot & awesome, I don’t disagree Will.
- Solid straight man work from Ryan, too bad he hosted an episode from the dreaded 35-37 seasons, the lowest point since 1993-1995, and one of the most uninspired & lazy eras. At least Ryan has an amusing & fun appearance later tonight, which is probably why he was shoehorned into this monologue.
- Surprisingly decent Tracy Morgan from Will, I would assume due to working together for six seasons, and Will being very kind & helping of Tracy as documented by the latter.
- Ah, a Tracy appearance with the usual funny lines.
- Sadly, even Tracy is not saving this as much.
- An average monologue, elevated by the performers.
- Here comes what it is widely regarded as a modern classic SNL commercial & the first of many strong pieces tonight.
- I recall John, the SNL reviewing legend in-the-making, praising this piece. When a praise comes from John, that’s a pretty big deal.
- Funny & decent beginning with the family jokingly accusing Will of farting, and Will is giving a solid restrained with anger performance.
- BIG laugh from the reveal of the “relaxing” noise of the product.
- Pretty funny moments showing the other noises made by the other bottles, and the mustard one is particularly hilarious.
- A great ending, and a perfect length for a perfect commercial. A masterpiece.
Democratic Debate 2020
- Here comes the fucking cameo orgy tonight.
- While SNL had a surprisingly strong & sharp political sketch in the Impeachment Town Hall piece in the premiere, the main highlight of that episode in my view. This one is a wandering mess in general with few, if any highlights.
- Melissa is a great impressionist in general, when they actually use her, but her Rachel Maddow is weak for me and sounds JUST LIKE her actual voice.
- Now they are doing LITERAL memes with Maya’s insufferable Kamala.
- I always loved Woody’s ever-brutal takedown of Biden, it’s good the new season has a solid take on the president still, after Carrey’s Mugfest & cringey portrayal nearly ruined the comedic potential of spoofing the Biden administration.
- Some harsh lines & jokes regarding Biden’s behavior in the past.
- As always, a fantastic Elizabeth Warren voice from Kate.
- Lovely to see Rachel Dratch, barely given anything, yet she always makes the most of what she gets.
- Some funny lines from Larry’s always hilarious Bernie, especially the city bus line.
- So far, this is mainly bunch of one-liners, meme checklist, and mad libs for the sole purpose of headlines & maximum YouTube profit/clicks.
- Will! Please save me! I beg thee!
- Ah, even when it’s not accurate, Will’s Tom Steyer is an absolute blast to watch, his eyes and expression are priceless. It just reminds me of how fearless & reliable will was always.
- NO!!!! We have Fred fucking Armisen to continue sinking this already-average piece.
- A particularly groanworthy & desperate series of lines from Fred that just sound like white noise to me, and with the “funny” visual of him holding those cups, am I supposed to be laughing right now? What is this SNL?!?!
- Ha, forgot that Cecily’s still in the cast here. Considering how mostly-horrible this year was for her, and the upcoming one is even lower.
- A pretty lame take on Tulsi Gabbard, and Cecily’s self-satisfied portrayal isn’t helping.
- My biggest issue with this piece is that I do not even know what’s the point of it? While SNL had solid debate skits in season 42, and one or two very strong both GOP & Dem debate skits in 41, this one feels just like a checklist & a skit to just have turns by a cameo list that feels endless.
- Mercifully this ended, while it had somewhat some positives, Will’s fun Tom Steyer, Dratch being her reliable self, Larry’s hilarious Bernie, and Woody’s ever-ruthless Biden.
- Those positives are the only reason saving this piece from getting a one-star rating from me, an honor or rather dishonor that’s reserved for our next piece, and boy what a notorious one that is.
- Here comes a particularly notorious SNL skit, at least amongst us hardcore fans.
- While this skit is not Hot Plates/Munchkinland/The Casting Couch level of bad, at least to me. It’s still a despicable piece. While those season 20 & 30 lowlights (considering those seasons, that’s saying something) This piece, on the other hand, is basically equating historically-proven genocide by white supremacists and equating it with modern xenophobia in a lighthearted “thanksgivingy” spirited way, absolutely disgraceful.
- I do remember watching this in dress, thinking it will be a cut-for-time piece by the live show, due to the mostly-tepid reaction from the audience, including yours truly. I sat there with just pure shock & disgust when watching what transpired.
- Shocking that this got on air, and a certain legendary skit did not, a skit that I remember killing with me & and the audience.
- (*groan*) Maya & Fred are here too, mostly due to them being of color, as all others are either White or White Hispanic people, and in order to suppress claims of whitewashing.
- WHAT THE FUCK is this skit’s aim? I’m seriously asking all of you to tell me.
- VERY lame meta commentary which was done much better previously in this era & others, including the brilliant Jheri’s Place/Inside SNL sketch.
- (*groan*) these references to Fox & certain other networks are fucking lame & landing with a thud with me.
- A despicable & dangerous comparison is being made right now, comparing the proven fears of natives from genocide by the hands of European colonizers to the modern xenophobic and racist fear of immigrants.
- This is not only an ignorant sketch, but a very dangerously ignorant one, as we live in a world with an ever-increasing hatred not only against immigrants, but queer people, Muslims, Jewish people, the entire rest of the LGBTQ+ community, and all others who are different and refuse to confirm to the supposed norm, I being one of them.
- (*sigh*) Not even the always-reliable Will could save this.
- Still FLOORED that Michael Che had a hand in writing this dogshit, as a big fan of his standup and this era of Update, I’m frankly shocked as he wrote the very solid Kool-Aid commercial, now that piece was the clever one.
- Is this show fucking kidding me now? Having a lighthearted and “Thanksgivingy” ending to a skit that flat-out brushes off the historically-documented suffering and genocide of Natives??!!
- An absolutely insulting ending to an insufferable & ignorant sketch. A new low for SNL.
- Please Mikey save me!
- An interesting twist to the usual musical pieces from this era, and a low-key believable performance by Will.
- Alex in that outfit is pleasing to my eyes.
- I love that we are getting another twist, when we are led to think of Will’s character as some sinister figure, perhaps being here to even prey on students.
- A solid dark twist with us now being introduced to Will’s wife, and seeing the melancholic undertones of his character just wanting to have fun & make friends.
- A solid, rare sentimental piece from this era, and what a palate-cleanser from the two previous bad pieces.
- Speaking of sentimentality and palate-cleansers, here comes a favorite of mine.
- I recall panicking when Kate delivered her intentionally-corny one liner, thinking that this episode will sink even further with a whacky self-indulgent vanity piece starring her, with Will, of all people playing second fiddle to her.
- Even into commercial break after suffering with the debate and that horrendous thanksgiving bullshit, I started to wonder to myself if coming to the show, a dream of mine, was a simple mistake. I recall saying to myself: boy this will be a night to remember!
- Back to the sketch, I love how Kate turns her emotions completely & effortlessly in just second, showing us how damn strong she is when utilized well.
- Did not need too much Mikey in this, but thankfully he is not explaining/reacting too much for us to derail the sketch.
- Very solid delivery from Kate, and her outburst and back-and-forth with Will and Kyle and Heidi are very believable & relatable.
- Also, Kyle and Heidi are very solid here in their performances.
- Great turn with Kate just leaving the table in tears.
- Will: “honey how’s your period? And son, fight me!”.
- An absolutely FANTASTIC turn right now, with Will and his children speaking of how much they love her behind her back.
- Will has countless funny lines with emotional core & heart.
- As a boy who lost his father in his early childhood, this is really getting to me.
- A great ending & tagline as a callback to the beginning to conclude what I seriously consider to be an underrated and hidden masterpiece.
- As this sketch concluded as I’m watching it on my laptop, I feel choked with tears remembering how much my mother means to me, she’s my rock, especially when I suffered from severe depression during my teen years. Seeing such a great & sentimental sketch after that unredeemable bullshit is really making me happy, and to know even that this piece is not the strongest of the night is the icing on the cake.
- Funny enough, another skit that I found to be an underrated & an absolute masterpiece also involves pizza. The criminally-underrated and hidden gem that is the Pizza Place skit from JJ Watt’s episode later this season.
- Ah, Colin and Michael coming in to keep the refreshing change in the episode’s quality.
- A funny takedown of Devin Nunes, and the resting spongebob face gave me a good laugh.
- Ah, here comes Alex as GWJBAB.
- Great series of lines as usual by Alex here, and it’s getting some good laughs from the audience.
- Alex: ”No, fighting over C’s. She wanted B’s, but I said I’m paying for ’em we’re getting the “cupgrade.”
- Some great rhyming lines & delivery that’s getting the usual big laughs & groans from the audience tonight.
- Loved the turkey twerking line, enhanced by Alex always-flawless delivery as this character.
- Ah, here comes our special guest tonight.
- Solid & funny imitation of GWJBAB from Ryan, one of the more underrated hosts in my view.
- The detail with Ryan’s eyes looking toward the distance, in an empty manner is freaking hilarious & he’s pulling it flawlessly.
- Loved the friendzone/ in-zone line.
- Ha! getting good laughs from the limp dick comments.
- And now, Update ends with strong commentary & funny takedowns, as usual from this era.
- This type of one-liners and non-sequitur dialogue delivered effortlessly is amongst my favorite types of humor, and Alex is a master at this. This is why, despite one or two ok commentaries as this character, this character is actually my 3rd favorite Update character of all-time (I’m sure Jesse will be very happy after hearing this) right after Drunk Uncle, and our favorite bitchy & brutal critic Jebidiah Atkinson.
- Full disclosure, Stefon & Tim Calhoun are my fifth and fourth favorite Update correspondents, to give a clue how much I love non-sequiter & subtle absurdist humor.
- A strong GWJBAB commentary from Alex, even when I still think that the Covid dating one was fantastic & particularly brutal. A great way to end an already-solid Update
Cinema Classics: The Wizard of Oz
- A big favorite recurring piece from this era with mostly great pieces.
- Ah, Kenan! Missed the hell out of him so far into this episode.
- Kenan: “I’m Reese D”WHAT!!!” With a noticeable big & infectious laugh from a female cast member.
- The usual funny “worst ever” story from Kenan’s Reese, this one happens to be amongst my favorites.
- Weird Judy Garland impression from Kate, continuing her strong night, in parts it’s dead-on and other it’s just Kate.
- Accurate old-timey voice from Aidy.
- Boy, Beck is sure looking at those cue cards.
- Alex in thankless role #34561.
- Oh, here comes the munchkins, and so funny that I mentioned that all-time infamous skit with this strong one in the same review, the difference between the two in quality is day and night.
- Cute voice from Chloe & like a pro she ad-libs and tries to fetch Chris’ hat for him, yet he gets it before her.
- Solid straight man work from Kate here, an area were she is very underrated in, loving the various ways she fails in turning the story around.
- Funny comments regarding the race & costumes of the munchkins, Bowen, Kyle and the others are performing this very well.
- An ok ending with Dorothy sleeping to dream more, yet I would’ve preferred another ending, this thankfully won’t lower my overall rating for this piece. A solid way to have the flagship performers of two eras meet once more in another great sketch that showcases some of their strongest talents.
- A very strong & famous piece from this episode.
- Ugh, Cecily is here to remind me she’s still a cast member.
- Surprising to none, Will is coming off great so early on in this, perfectly capturing his character’s essence & what an essence that is.
- Already a big laugh from Chippy’s first response.
- This is another skit that I recall getting scared when Chippy started repeating that joke about having Wally’s hand up his butt, little did I know what would later transpire.
- To say something nice, Cecily’s hysteria here is very solid & Kenan is delivering his role well, as always.
- A HUGE guilty laugh from me when Chippy responds by saying “I spent Hours on the toilet hemorrhaging you Monster! My insides are pulp!” I remember witnessing this part still so well to this day.
- You could faintly hear what’s probably Kenan stifling his laughter when Chippy says “Help! Help” it’s obviously him as he’s miced. The fact this breaking if from Kenan, who’s a total pro is amusing me, and I cannot blame him in this case.
- A very solid & masterful straight man performance from Will, he’s having a fantastic showing in general tonight.
- Great bit with the audience booing Will into stopping his act.
- A particularly dark and hilarious turn just now with the lube bit, and the hilarious screams of pleasure from Chippy makes it funnier.
- Great dark ending & tagline
- Just as I remember, a daring & particularly dark masterpiece, with a beyond flawless straight man work from Will.
Cut For Time: Jeans Commercial
- This is certainly a unique concept.
- Alex in useless role #39329 yet I cannot deny that I’m very much enjoying what I’m seeing of him, and he looks even more attractive in this pretape.
- Ok, so the premise is that a jeans has a heart-shaped hole amongst others that shows your crack? That’s it?
- Look I appreciate weird or random humor, as some of my highly-rated skits so far in this days-old blog are very random & either hate or like it (longhorn Stakes,Winter Prom recently) but even I cannot make up my mind around this piece, so I’ll go with a generous average rating.
Cut For time: Date in Mexico
- I recall not caring for this skit AT ALL when I first saw it.
- Seeing Chris being wasted here reminds of how damn strong he is when used, the great Eric Adams piece from few days ago proves it.
- LOL! Melissa in useless role #38373 of her tenure, it’s so pathetic & frustrating to see how underutlized she is, and how’s that affected her mental health and happiness. With newbie Sarah Sherman gaining steam & having a THIRD major well-received showcase, she will be even more disrespected and neglected.
- Will is performing this well, yet he’s still not saving this from being below-average.
- A meh ending to this, good that it was cut.
Cut For Time: Harry Styles Sketch
- Big thanks to John for helping me find a video for this forgotten and supposedly wiped out skit from the internet.
- Some interesting meta announcement from SNL at the beginning of this.
- Hearing Styles’ name being brought up reminds me of how surprisingly decent his episode was, especially Sara Lee, That’s the Game, and Update (excluding Kate) helping to elevate its quality.
- A good laugh from Will’s look in this, and he isn’t even trying to sound English.
- Boy, Will looks GIGANTIC in this skit, I do know that Aidy/Cecily/Kate aren’t that tall but still.
- Ok moments with Will’s character showing his tattoos & displaying some of the usual Ferrell physicality.
- A different voice on Kate here.
- An overall okay sketch & I surprisingly barely remember it, I guess the highs from this episode really made it pale more in comparison.
Cut For Time: Cast List
- Needless to say, a criminally-cut sketch that would go on to become amongst the most famous, revered, and iconic pieces of the modern era, and possibly the whole existence of the show.
- Already, the sketch is starting off fantastic, with the very realistic & layered performances by our cast members.
- I’m LOVING Mikey’s demeanor & general attitude, and as a previous student of Dramatics back in high school, I’ve met countless like this, those generally nice but low-key douchy without knowing it.
- Heidi’s maintained hysteria in this is fantastic, and when it comes to her that’s saying something, as she’s a true pro that barely makes any selfish unfunny vanity pieces like certain other females in the cast.
- A solid laugh already from Will’s look with that hair & outfit.
- ALREADY, Will is coming off phenomenal here, his posture, tone, and general demeanor is flawlessly realized & exhibited.
- The unexplained tension between Heidi’s character and Will is great, and both are doing a great job in simple looks and brief words, flawless writing in this sketch so far.
- Hilarious visual with Will’s eyes popping through the mask in the door.
- Will: “tell God I need an answer now!”
- (*sigh*) Seeing Beck here reminds me of how much I miss him, great that he had a strong tenure with a very strong final year.
- Funny bit & another very solid acting from Beck & Cecily as the couple.
- Solid & funny bit with Bowen being potentially cast in a thankless role as the mayor. I loved Will’s “mime suspenders, please” and his mocking look afterwards.
- A priceless & famous part from the skit with Mikey singing from freakin Beauty and the Beast, and Will’s perfectly shouted and delivered: “Stop! God! You’re talented!”
- So far, the sketch is killing it with the crowd and me amongst them, the laughter in the studio was loud to an insane degree.
- Great “Mr. Mayor” delivery from Will & another solid bit from Bowen in reaction to his humiliation.
- Ah, Will still has it, pushing Aidy and causing a giggling meltdown amongst the cast, including Mikey’s incredibly rare break.
- An absolutely priceless quick appearance from Kenan, causing another giggling storm between the cast & Will.
- Hilarious brief appearance from Kate.
- A fantastic twist ending & reveal that the show was double-casted with each of these tortured students getting to do only one night.
- A fantastic & famous ending line & visual with Will’s eyes popping behind the mask in the door, saying in gleeful manner: “Yes!, gorgeous, sweet, chaos!”.
- Overall, simply an SNL masterpiece, it frustrates me to no end how in the world that this piece, which got huge laughs nonstop gets cut, and the unwatchable First Thanksgiving skit gets on air. Also, believe it or not, this is not even my favorite skit of the season, it’s my fifth, Del Taco, Peter Paula & Murray, Eleanor’s House, and Marrying Ketchups are in the top 4 spots.
- The only other five-star worthy live piece that got cut that I could think of right away is the enthralling & dark Children’s Show skit from Michael Keaton’s fantastic hosting stint in season 40, that one is one of my top 10 favorite live pieces from this era. (ADDENDUM:- I just remembered another five-star worthy cut piece, also from season 40, the Morning News sketch from James Franco’s episode) It’s only second to me, behind Switcheroo which is one of my top 3 favorite SNL pieces of all-time.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
CFT: Cast List
Cinema Classics: The Wizard of Oz
CFT: Jeans Commercial
CFT: Harry Styles Sketch
Democratic Debate 2020
CFT: Date in Mexico
- An overall fantastic episode, despite starting and nearly-ending this review with shaky material, the political dreck & that First Thanksgiving sketch being major lowlights, the latter not only a lowlight in this episode,season, and era. But, of the show’s existence in particular.
- Will was beyond excellent in this, having to prove to us why he’s an SNL legend. Some of his performances here, like the Bertucci’s Commercial, Cinema Classics, and particularly Ventriloquist and Cast List, were in my view some of the best work Will has ever done in 8H. Truly an outstanding showcase for him and much better than his previous very average stint. These showcases above, and the highs being higher than his other stints, makes this episode my definite hosting stint of his.
13 Replies to “November 23, 2019 – Will Ferrell / King Princess (S45 E7) [THROWBACK REVIEW]”
Hey imalive you’ll see me in your comments a lot you probably already know who I am but annnnywaaay
Cold Open ***
Heinz Relax **** you should note that this as of 2022 is the last time there has been a post Monologue pretape
Democratic Debate 2020 ****
First Thanksgiving ***
Party Song ***½
Bertucci’s Commercial **½
Weekend Update ***½
Cinema Classics ***½
Cut for Time sketches
Wrangler Peekaboo’s ***½
Date in Mexico ****
Harry Styles **½
Cast List ****½
Lovely to see your here Imalive, I would love to hear your reasoning behind your ratings & thoughts on the reviews, as brief or long as you want, thanks for your comment.
I’ll also be here plenty, obsessing over our shared little obsession here.
Also, Blood, if you ever want a hand with some content, I’d love to provide it. I’m a professional writer myself, and I watch multiple full eps most nights. Happy to chip in!
Hey! Great to see you here, loved your commentary regarding my thoughts over season 44. That would be great & I’ll probably be reviewing some old episodes in the month-long hiatus, If I need help with something, I’m more than certain that you’ll be up to it. Also, if you do reviews, it will be great to read & compare them to mine and others.
Yeah I’ll be chiming in with thoughts here in the comments in the meantime.
I have JUST seen that you have numerous reviews up here! Tonight I’d like to go through and add some comments on some personal favorites.
I know I’m late but I’ve been very busy but here are my reasons
Cold Open – enjoyed it I like it enough and I didn’t really hate Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression do I understand why people didn’t like it because Alec is not a cast member and Will coming in was nice too and interesting and sometimes we don’t see a host in cold Open also I think will has appeared in every cold Open he’s hosted
Monologue – Will being star strucked by Ryan Reynolds was hilarious as was Will taking like tracy and tracy actually coming in and his ending line
Heinz Relax – Good premise not much to say else though not meaning I didn’t love this and the ending with Kyle was solid
Democratic Debate – good opening line from Melissa and the button part with Warren and Sanders was good too Will’s Tom Steyer was hilarious especially with him not blinking chris cory Booker part was funny as I liked maya part with TV promos didn’t love the social media stuff and good hive five at the end with Ferrell
I’ll finish the rest later on
Hi Imalive, do not worry, I just meant that I would love to see your opinions on the review/episode itself. Not only this one, but also others. You do not need to give me reasons for every single segment that you think I overrated or underrated. And, to make you feel happier, I would’ve given the R. Kelly cold open a full 5/5 as it was one of the show’s best in YEARS. Till of course, the Dershowitz in Hell one. You are welcomed to comment here every time, thanks.
Oh ok and thank for saying that about R. Kelly and I also like dershowitz in hell but dont neccesarily love it when Jesse reviewed it I gave it ***½ though that episode in general was awesome and I was VERY surprised he gave that five stars as I didn’t care for that but found some charm in it
Edit and when I was saying I was very surprised by that Jesse gave that five stars I was talking about marrying Ketchups as i gave that **½ but found some charm and got a few chuckles in that sketch
I remember being rather disappointed by this episode when it aired, due to my high expectations, but I’ve softened on it a little bit now. This seems to be a trend for me whenever some alums host; it happened later that season with Mulaney’s third hosting gig and not long ago with Forte’s. But with those two episodes and this one, the passage of time and some good cut sketches have helped me grow to like them more.
I recall being mad at the cold open because the cast literally had nothing comedic or significant to do. Just stand there and ask the “grown-ups” questions. I want to say Chris Redd had a part as Kanye in dress that got cut, but that at least would have been SOMETHING. Even the “Live like a lost boy” extra was more memorable than any of the cast. The best thing I can say about that cold open was that it was short. Okay, venting over. On to the good stuff…
The highlights from what I can think of were Party Song, Bertucci’s, Wizard of Oz, and of course Cast List. What a perfect sketch Cast List is. Honestly I’m kind of glad it didn’t make the live show, because that dress rehearsal performance looks hard to top. It’s taken on such a legendary aura that I don’t recall there being for a cut-for-time sketch since Old Prospector Gus Chiggins, which of course also featured Will, so I find that very fitting.
That was nicely put together Thatchos. I’m very glad that you enjoyed the review. I do try to be as fair and as moderate in my ratings as possible. Thanks once more for your lovely and in-depth comment, you are always more than welcome to come back here anytime soon.
I’m loving your reviews Blood (first time commenter but I’ve read all your stuff). You are an excellent writer and remind me a lot of Stooge. Of course, you are your own writer with a distinct style. I meant that as a compliment as Stooge is a legend.
I love the ventriloquist sketch and consider it to be a classic Ferrell sketch, so I’m happy you agree! I also repressed that Thanksgiving sketch. Jesus, what a fucking disaster.
You’ve also mentioned John has his own reviews now too. Does he have a page as well and do you have a link?
Keep up the great work 🙂
Very grateful for your kind comments, and to be compared to a reviewing legend like Stooge is an honor truly. I’m more than pleased that you enjoy these reviews and hope to see you chime in more in the future. Yes, Ventriloquist is a favorite of mine from this season. A dark, brilliant, daring concept with excellent performance from Will. Sadly, John does not have his own blog with SNL reviews, but he does quick reviews as the show airs on his Twitter account @soapsandscifi thanks yet again for the kind comments.