Cold Opening – Russian Disinformation
aides brief Joe Biden (JAJ) on social media propaganda regarding Ukraine
- Quite the topical open especially with the news regarding a probable invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
- Surprisingly, SNL managed to parody and satirizes Biden’s administration without being pandering or throwing the towel in trying to make fun of him. Yet, I’m still waiting for some harsh digs at VP Harris without then going ”YAS KWEEN” or doing a May-esque puff piece around her.
- Some decent laughs from Biden’s cluelessness.
- A good & fun bit with Aristotle & Andrew in this.
- Great to see Chloe getting an actual big part in a piece this season, after how consistently viral & prominent she was last year, hoping for a solid 2nd half for her this season.
- Blah at the shoehorned Aaron Rodgers bit, and this is not the last time some unnecessary sports figure is in this episode.
- Whoa at Sarah’s sexy look in this!
- Some decent bits with badly-made memes throughout this.
- Surprisingly, we are more than halfway through the season, and Sarah, the most popular & divisive of the three newbies has yet to utter LFNY.
- Overall, a better open than last week’s, despite it having some LITERAL meme checklist moments, it made some sense in this. A good minute trimmed would’ve upped my rating by half-a-star.
fellow Appletonians (MID) & (AIB) seem unfamiliar with host’s oeuvre
- Like other legendary actors that possess that brilliant & surrealist aura and presence on stage & screen, the likes of Christopher Walken and John Malkovich, two SNL hosting legends, it feels so great to see Willem here, and I’m still baffled how he’s JUST NOW making his hosting debut.
- Already, Willem is coming of charming here & loose, a sign of how fun he’ll be tonight.
- As with many monologues this year, I’m loving the deep personal bits Willem is giving us here regarding how he started his acting career, considering the legendary & iconic career he would have it’s very heartwarming to see him reminiscing on the past.
- A solid laugh from that famous Willem photo & an ok visual gag with him supposedly reading a book.
- I’m not that annoyed that this monologue took a different turn with a very rare Aidy/Mikey team-up.
- A decent bit with Aidy/Mikey demanding Willem to do that Wisconsin accent, and I do LOVE Willem’s delivery of it just now.
- A lovely & harmless monologue and Willem came off great & very warm.
eccentric NYC residents air grievances at a tenants association meeting
- Our usual parade of idiots skit from this era.
- A good laugh already from Punkie’s appearance early one, and now she just left. Okaaay I guess?
- Lovely to see Sarah here after how she continuously stole the last three ones.
- A hilarious but overused voice from Sarah here, yet again her delivery & brief bit were decent enough, if not weaker than her scene-stealing debut sketch or the bit with Aristotle as the German couple.
- Chloe is a solid straight man here, again showing us the leadership potential in her, and not just being merely an impressionist.
- Great to see Willem in a role like this, and he looks pretty great in that jacket.
- A very solid turn with Willem’s mini-monologue on how New York sucks now as he sees it.
- Ah, here comes Aristotle, missed the hell out of him these past few episodes.
- As with Angelo & Laughingtosh 3000, fantastic & well-realized characterization from Ari here.
- Funny Google translate bit from Aristotle, his expressions and looks here are a riot. Use him more SNL!
- JAJ’s Verizon rant is excellent and steals this sketch for me.
- I hate to say this, but a very lame attempt to recreate the hilarious ”bitch” line from the School Board skit in the premiere, but I did get a solid chuckle due to Andrew’s solid and reliable delivery.
- Very funny brief turn with Kenan’s character & a hilarious details to his look.
- Ah, here comes Kate to try and steal this skit.
- A hilarious initial visual of Kate that it nearly causes a pro like Chloe to break, reminding me of how much she killed me in that Wedding Objections sketch in Martin Freeman’s fantastic hosting stint from season 40, with her blurting out SHUT!! IT!! DOWN!!
- Overall, a pretty fun & harmless ensemble piece.
Now I’m Up
invasive stimuli & thoughts prevent sleep of (CRR) & (KET)
- The usual Chris musical pretape, I prefer these MUCH more than the sloppy and boring Pete ones. Even when I still believe that none of them will ever reach Fresh Prince & Slow absolute classic status.
- For some odd reason, this song is reminding me of Pharrell Williams’ style of music.
- A funny eye acting from Chris as he wakes up, other than his usual scene-stealing line deliveries, Chris always kills me with his facial expressions.
- A solid inclusion of Willem & a surprising pairing with Heidi. Loving the subtle creepiness of their infomercial.
- An okay ending regarding something embarrassing Chris did in high school & a hilarious ending visual.
- Overall, an improvement in my view over the majority of the musical pretapes this season.
28th Annual Badminster Dog Show
entrants in Badminster Dog Show possess traits that make them undesirable
- For some reason, the set reminds me of the great Westminster Daddy Show skit from Matt Damon‘s episode from 44.
- This is giving me flashbacks to the dreaded dog skit from Jonah Hill’s horrendous stint from that season.
- I wanted another cast member aside from Aidy in this, but so far she’s not annoying me throughout the episode & is actually the performer out of the three longest-tenured females to have the most memorable skits.
- Melissa is tripping over her lines left and right! You could tell how distressed and embarrassed she must feel just now. I like Melissa, especially on Update, but how come she ALWAYS flubs and trips over her lines like she missed days of rehearsal while newbies Andrew, Punkie, and Sarah constantly NAIL their delivery all the time and gain big laughs. Sigh, I cannot talk enough of how sad Melissa’s tenure is becoming.
- What the fuck is it with the dick jokes in this?! Did Drezen write this or was it just picked up from the seasons 44/45 unused pile which were FILLED with dick jokes.
- At least Willem is coming off very natural & fitting very well with the cast.
- This is turning into some weird-but-not-funny-enough word salad piece, did Drezen write this again?
Frank Thomas (KET), Doug Flutie (KYM), host are boner-obsessed
- Another dick-centric skit after one with many cringe-inducing sexual innuendoes. Really SNL?? With Willem Dafoe in the house??!
- Is that celebrity that Kenan’s playing supposed to be real? Again, I could not care less about sports, so I really don’t know.
- Solid & subtle frustrated performance by Mikey here though, I shouldn’t have complained that much.
- Great to see Willem front-and-center in a pretape, after having a brief but fun part in the previous one.
- Ah, this feels like a role that Walken or Malkovich would’ve gotten if they hosted in more recent years.
- “I can get very hard.” Mikey Day, everyone.
- P.S thanks John for that tweet it gave me a pretty big laugh.
- A surprisingly busy night for Melissa.
- I’m loving the escalating absurdity with the mechanical sounds of getting hard from this product & malfunctioning screams by the end were great.
Musical Performance – “When I’m Gone”
Trend Forecasters (BOY) & (AIB) report harshly on what’s in & what’s out
Peyton Manning [real] raves about Emily In Paris with football fervor
- Surprised we reached Update already.
- A guilty laugh from the Matt Gaetz line.
- Some harsh anti-Biden digs right from the start, loved the hair sniffing one.
- Ok, so we’re a getting a rare consecutive Update commentary from one of our cast members, and it’s Bowen, so I’m not complaining. Yes, and Aidy is there also, for some reason.
- I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a ”How do you do, fellow kids?” bit from SNL, as I don’t wanna be reminded of that unwatchable Gen Z hospital skit.
- An interesting visual representation to this commentary, but it isn’t doing anything for me, a wash I guess.
- WTF with Aidy nearly breaking? This is way too self-indulgent for me.
- I do love Che participating in Aidy & Bowen’s bit; him wearing the glasses later was pretty fun, too.
- Ok, we get a VERY random Peyton Manning cameo to talk about shit that I don’t give a fuck about.
- The applause feels like it’s going on for a full minute.
- So far, Peyton is coming of charismatic & likable, reminding me of his season 32 hosting stint, one of the strongest episodes of the previous era.
- Now he’s talking about Emily in Paris, a show I never watched, and from what I’ve been hearing, I’m not missing much.
- I guess that this is a cute bit with him wearing that French hat? Should I applaud him and celebrity worship him while some featured performers in the cast are in danger of getting fired and desperately need some Update showcases??? (*CoughAristotlecough*).
- Overall, an average Update with two subpar commentaries, especially the Manning one which I couldn’t get why it’s happening, at least Peyton was very likable as he usually is.
- By the way, it was surreal hearing that harsh jab against RBG not retiring, considering the deified & ”badass” image that the show always portrayed her with.
- Finally, the moronic & insanely pandering writing decisions from this era are baffling to me.
Beauty and the Beast: The Mirror
magic mirror reveals Belle’s (CLF) father (host) acting weird while alone
- Pete as the Beast? Really SNL?
- Ah, I cannot complain when I see Chloe getting more screen time.
- An interesting turn that this sketch takes with us seeing Bella’s father alone in his house.
- Solid French accent from Willem & a great look to his character.
- I don’t need Pete & co. to literally recap the sketch to me.
- So, the twist is that Willem’s character likes getting spanked & listens to some weird French music?
- Willem is very funny here and elevates the material with his usual commitment and looseness.
- Solid frustration from Chloe in this who’s been having a solid night.
- Funny line from Punkie with her again coming off very likable. Happy to see her back especially with the danger of her getting fired looming in the distance. I’m hoping for some lead roles soon, as she got the charisma and stage presence to pull them off.
- An ok ending with Chloe destroying the mirror & fun ending line from Pete regarding having many more.
- With another host, this would’ve been a trainwreck, but with Willem clearly having fun spanking himself and just being insanely fun & weirdly dancing around it made this skit better than it should.
Please Don’t Destroy – Martin’s Friend
a 10 year-old divides Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, Ben Marshall [real]
- YES!! YES!! YES!!
- I CANNOT fathom how we didn’t get ANY PDD pieces on air after the Majors one, as all of them are huge hits with fans and critics.
- I’m loving that this one is focusing on Martin.
- Hilarious visual with Martin having a very young friend.
- The kid named Connor is pretty great in this, coming off cool & likable in his performance.
- As always, John is a great straight man in these pieces & his constant frustrations are very solidly conveyed.
- Oh, I’m loving the always-great escalation of these pieces, with John flat-out forcibly eating the Kid’s steak.
- Yes! I’m loving the visual of choking John with the slow-mo direction of him getting saved by Connor.
- A great ending & a very welcome Colin cameo.
- This was pretty solid as usual with these pieces, solid escalation & fun performances all around.
Musical Performance – “Never Really Over”
Good Morning Columbus
TV news segment accidentally suggests autofellatio
- From the setup this looks like one of those ”hilarious” funny names skits that the Seiday team’s been producing in the last few seasons. I’ve never been a fan of these skits, aside from the ok one from the Liev Schreiber episode.
- An amusing look & characterization from Willem who’s obviously having a blast in this episode.
- To say something nice, Bowen and Ego are well-cast as the anchors, possible hint for the future?
- Ok, the tweet part was hilarious.
- Believe or not, this was actually MILES better than the awful one from Chris Rock’s trainwreck episode from last year, and Willem again elevated the material.
temp (host) busts skyscraper window in attempt to join office jam session
- This is literally starting about five minutes before the show ends.
- Again, this role for Willem feels like it would’ve been given to John Malkovich or Christopher Walken back in the day.
- A big night for Melissa & Punkie, aside from one or two mercy roles for her tonight, Melissa seems well-utilized in this sketch.
- I’m LOVING the weird absurdist turn that this piece is taking, it reminds me of the Hungry Jury skit, a divisive SNL piece, yet I LOVE it and consider it a flat-out 5/5 sketch.
- A big laugh from Willem joining in and throwing a chair through the window to try match their song.
- A solid inclusion of Kenan, who’s helping to keep this sketch afloat with his usual dependable energy.
- A nice turn with Willem being brought back to the fold, I’m loving his unique characterization here once again.
- A guilty laugh with Heidi being hit with the stapler & nearly falling to her death.
- A unique ending with Willem throwing the chair & Heidi’s gruesome fate.
- Overall, this was a solid & unique way to end a Willem Dafoe-hosted episode.
- Lovely to see Heidi supporting her team, and such a lovely, quick & energetic message of gratitude from Willem.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Please Don’t Destroy – Martin’s Friend
Now I’m Up
Beauty and the Beast: The Mirror
28th Annual Badminster Dog Show
Good Morning Columbus
- A pretty consistent and mostly good episode, with barely anything standing out as flat-out horrible, with MANY segments here awarded the four-stars rating from me.
- The great Willem Dafoe was thankfully mostly well-utilized here, as I was DREADING seeing him play a second fiddle to Kate or Aidy in some vanity sketch. He was a strong & funny host, who came to the show wanting to have a lot of fun & gave committed and energetic performances elevating some of the material given to him by extant.
- I also wanted to say how happy I’m with how most of the cast was well-utilized tonight with Punkie & Melissa having pretty big nights in particular.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- John Mulaney hosts joining by that the five-timers club with musical guest LCD Soundsystem. I happen to be a massive fan of both, and I did like all of John’s hosting stints to various degrees, so I cannot be excited more to what will be possibly my biggest review so far! See you then!
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.