March 5, 2022 – Oscar Issac / Charli XCX (S47 E14)

Cold Opening – Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular

right-wing telethon benefits oligarchs inconvenienced by the Ukraine war

  • After last week’s classy message to Ukraine and its people against Russian aggression. SNL takes the usual route in these last few years with the usual mad libs, overlong, bloated opens that contain little to no laughs and non-existent satire.
  • Alex’s Tucker vocal impression sounds even more accurate than usual tonight, absolutely spot-on. It should’ve gotten better material than this, though.
  • On a more positive note, Sarah looks even more beautiful than usual in the background.
  • Just groaned and rolled my eyes at Kate-as-Laura’s line “I’m Laura Ingraham, and when I watch Harry Potter, I root for Voldemort” this is just… I have nothing to say to explain how lame this open is so far.
  • (*sigh*) With James stealing the show as Trump & Biden, slowly becoming an MVP, Sarah getting huge laughs and gaining massive following, going viral for her Update commentaries & getting some solid sketches on air and seemingly becoming more and more prominent in the second half, what does Aristotle do? Well, in background extra role #46363.
  • Meh at the racist line from Alex’s Tucker, it’s not only unfunny and lazy, but also cowardly from SNL to present a ghoulish right-wing fascist thug in this manner. And it simply shows us that this era already knows who these opens are targeted towards, so no actual attempt at clever satire or strong and sharply-pointed lines are even considered during the writing process.
  • This type of delusional, unfunny pandering from SNL towards its targeted demographics of wine moms and Trump haters hit a nadir during the whole Mueller saga, which was BRUTAL and embarrassing to sit through back in the day when people thought that Mueller would bring down Trump and his cronies and end his presidency.
  • Not even Bowen can do anything to help this open with his reliable sketch-stealing and sketch-saving abilities.
  • Boy, this open is DEAD. No real laughs from me nor the audience, aside from few laughs by Kate superfans whenever she mugs a storm or vamps as Laura.
  • OH GOD, now they’re throwing Cecily as Guilfoyle into this mess in order to “save” the open.
  • Oh, I see. This sketch #463764838 in which Cecily sings a long, unfunny, rambling, unrelated-to-the-event-song that we were particularly bombarded by in these past few seasons.
  • Mikey is sure mugging up a storm as Don Jr. Mug a little more Mikey, it might become funny.
  • OH GOD, we’re now getting a rambling, long, unfunny song from James’ Trump. STOP THIS NOW!
  • This setting reminds me of the classic ”I will not gloat” cold open from season 24. Yet, back then SNL was sharper, stronger, more bold, and clear in its parodies. This open on the other hand, with others is nothing, pure NOTHINGNESS. How can something THIS underwritten, THIS slight, THIS unfocused makes it to air, I’ll never know.

Rating: *


to boost weirdo kids, host shares clips of home movie made when he was 10

  • Happy to see Oscar hosting SNL, as I’ve always been a huge fan of his work, especially in indie cinema were he carved a niche for himself with his many multilayered, realistic, brilliant performances. I just hoped that he would be promoting something that I would watch. Yet, I cannot complain about seeing Oscar up on that stage, hopefully the first of many times.
  • Yes, and Oscar looks uhh… uhm… pretty hot, and really pleasant too look at…
  • Oh, yes. Back to the monologue, I’m loving that this so far a host-only monologue, Oscar seems somewhat too excited but he’s handling this with his usual charm and charisma.
  • Ah, loved the turn with Oscar introducing some footage from his childhood, a solid twist to the usual gag from SNL with them being fake home videos. This is quite heartwarming to see.
  • A short and sweet monologue overall.

Rating: ***1/2

Paw Patrol

(host) seeks to recall Adventure Bay mayor for her Paw Patrol governance

  • Is SNL freaking kidding me with this concept?! Look I’m all in for unique, different sketches, but THIS SNL really?! This is the type of humor that I most dislike & hope SNL never focuses on.
  • Solid characterization from Oscar as expected.
  • It’s always good to see Ego lead in a sketch.
  • Boy, this going WAY over my head, too many niche references only known to those who know this franchise.
  • Man, Oscar is performing the HELL out of this sketch as one would expect from an utmost professional like him to do so, making it far better than it should be.
  • Ok laughs from the various dogs, it’s more cute than funny, I’m still slightly enjoying this.
  • I’ll admit, the 911 call part is really funny.
  • An average, but not terrible sketch overall.

Rating: **1/2

Inventing Chloe

CLF channels Anna Delvey to manipulate SNL castmembers

  • Ah, a Chloe Fineman showcase. It’s about damn time.
  • Never saw the show that this piece is parodying, but I don’t think I need to, as this one seems to be a personal, backstage piece featuring an underrated cast member whom I love and cannot wait to see what she will do in the future.
  • By the way, I’m loving how this season has been leaning more and more into the backstage feel as it goes along, a unique side of the show that we barely see.
  • Chloe looks fantastic in that getup, absolutely breathtaking. Even more beautiful than usual.
  • The NBC page that Chloe is ordering is a very solid straight man to her in this.
  • Some funny moments with Chloe’s new personality ordering various oddball things. She’s coming off very well here as usual and with fully-realized and lived-in characterization as always.
  • A hilarious bit with Michael just having his suitcase ready when Chloe tells him that she’s the Update anchor now.
  • Good inclusion of Kate, and I’m loving how this is turning emotional with Chloe not needing to change herself to appeal to others.
  • A very solid ending to a solid short.

Rating: ****

Harassment Seminar

harassment seminar conducted by (host) & (CES) exemplifies improprieties

  • Uh-oh, seeing Cecily here, is this gonna be one of those wacky Cecily sketches that hit a nadir in seasons 39-40 producing some of the worst sketches in the show’s history? Tripe like Engagement Party and Dino Bones amongst others?
  • My god, is this wackytown sketch #546644 of this era??!!
  • OH GOD!!! As soon as Cecily’s character started yelling out her words as some wacky character I panicked. This is going to be brutal to sit through is it?
  • Oh, why drag Oscar into this wacky suckfest? This seems like a lame variation of that unwatchable and mercifully CFT Superhosts sketch from earlier in the season.
  • I’m NOT caring for that booty line, another lame attempt at being ”edgy” and ”cool”.
  • NO! that lame intentionally-annoying delivery by Oscar of Aidy’s line is PAINFUL to watch. Poor Oscar.
  • Those booty lines are freaking lame and come off even more desperate than usual.
  • NOT caring for the REACTING/EXPLAINING portions in this tripe.
  • Oh god, this endless, unfunny, seemingly lightly-scripted repetition of “Raw Intercourse” is FUCKING. BRUTAL. TORTURE. End this now, SNL.
  • An awful, AWFUL ending. Yep, it’s official: this sketch is hands down, HANDS DOWN, one of the worst sketches that I’ve EVER seen. I’m sure Cecily Strong is a great person behind the scenes at SNL and everything, but how she was allowed to stay for 10 fucking seasons, and at the same time contributing and starring in some of the worst sketches not only in this era, but of SNL’s ENTIRE EXISTENCE!!! I’ll truly never know.
  • This sketch is one of the worst showcases of Cecily, and considering the lows and how she continues to sink by each passing episode is saying something. Sure Cecily is talented, but at her best she’s merely a solid utility-player, and at her worst? Ooof! The self-amused bullshit, the inside joke sketches that go on forever, those lounge singer sketches that STILL contain a homophobic gay stereotype sidekick to this day, staying on forever and taking time from those who deserve it, those insultingly bad pieces (New York Show, Engagement Party, Dino Bones, Outdoor Cabaret, Half Brother, etc.) while some other female cast members remain underused or underrated makes my blood fucking boil. Just fucking leave already! Seeing my list of this era’s and ALL-TIME worst sketches and Cecily’s name, there’s an eerily large amount of both of them there.

Rating: *


on their third date, (CRR) meets (SRS)’s singing skin-tag meatball men

  • Fuck yes! A Sarah Squirm sketch!!!
  • Sarah continues her solid first season.
  • Let me clap for myself when I predicted, based on Sarah’s solid trajectory in the 2nd half, that we will be seeing a Sarah Squirm audience-alienating piece soon. This hopefully will continue her path to have a Forte-esque tenure. Thankfully, she’s not Amy Poehler 2.0 who took a different route when she joined SNL, with her UCB-abandoning, audience-pandering shtick which hit a particular nadir in seasons 29-31.
  • Ah, Chris and Sarah in a piece together, my two favourite performers this season.
  • By the way, this is Kenan’s 1500th sketch. An outstanding milestone.
  • A hilarious and unsettling reveal of Oscar as a singing meatball.
  • I’m LOVING this creative, absurdist, audience-aliantaing, brilliant premise.
  • Great straight man performance by Chris, and once more his mere unsettled expressions are giving me more laughs than I thought.
  • I love how Sarah’s nonchalantly talking about the meatballs like they’re a normal thing, solid work from her in that regard.
  • The song that the meatballs are singing did not need to be this catchy.
  • Love that a Sarah Squirm version of Sarah is one of the singing meatballs.
  • Some good dramatic acting from Sarah, she’s great in general in this piece.
  • A solid inclusion of our obligatory Charli XCX sketch of the night, and I’m liking the tender absurdist emotional song she’s singing here.
  • A great ending with Chris being infected with the meatballs.
  • This was yet ANOTHER great Sarah Sherman showcase, she’s ON FIRE so far in the second half of the season. In each episode so far in this half, she either stole a sketch, starred in her usual oddball solid piece, killed on Update, or had a memorable presence. I seriously believe with this piece, Sarah will not be Amy Poehler 2.0 who abandoned her comedic roots, this the THIRD sketch that featured Sarah being herself, and I would argue that this is the best of them so far.

Rating: ****1/2

Musical Performance – “Beg For You”

Weekend Update

KAM responds to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law by repeatedly defying it

weary mom Pauline’s pregnancy isn’t as glamorous as that of Rihanna

  • Great dig at Lindsey Graham.
  • Surprisingly, this is Kate’s first visit to the Update desk since coming back in December, considering how heavily she’s associated with Update, and the SEVEN appearances she made last year, and how she usually averages six to eight commentaries per season, this is quite shocking. I would’ve guessed a bloated overlong commentary in the Billie Eilish episode as a welcome back to her, thankfully we didn’t get that.
  • It’s amazing how lovable, charming, and approachable Kate is when playing herself outside of those Kaidy pieces and her many self-indulgent and prosthetic-heavy ”impressions”.
  • Oh, this quite a personal commentary from Kate, as a lesbian commenting on the despicable and homophobic ”Don’t Say Gay” bill by Trump crony and possible future GOP nominee Ron DeSantis.
  • Interesting open by Kate getting the wrong idea about the bill.
  • Some ok moments with Kate being disappointed and saddened by what the bill is actually all about.
  • Ok, this is thankfully getting to the point of it, I feared it would be the usual bloated and overlong Kate Update piece.
  • As well with other emotional, personal Update commentaries, this feels somewhat all over the place, yet Kate’s usual reliable presence and pointed performance keeps this piece afloat.
  • Ah, loving the part with the audience saying “gay” in as Kate’s playing the guitar with her hands.
  • A good, emotional, important commentary by Kate.
  • Very pleased to see Ego back at the desk, considering she surprisingly only appeared once in seasons 45, 46, and none in her debut season, it’s good that she’s starting to show up behind the desk, considering how generally strong and what a total professional of a cast member she is.
  • This seems to be the same character from back in the Elon Musk (*shudder*) episode.
  • As with last time, Ego’s character is coming off likable, relatable, and has tons of funny lines and observations elevated further by Ego’s always-reliable delivery.
  • Funny bit regarding a comparison between Ego’s character pregnancy and someone as famous as Rihanna, helped by Ego’s delivery and the likability of her character.
  • Another solid update overall, with two good commentaries, some funny jokes, and nothing else to say but that I enjoyed it and it felt shorter than it was, which is always a good thing.

Rating: ****

Aidy’s Dream

AIB invents Sexual Woman character to trick host into canoodling sketch

  • Interesting open to this sketch, with a meta, backstage feel to it. The show has been recently experimenting with both sketch concepts and unique transitions between pieces. A welcome change for me.
  • It’s incredible how likable Aidy comes off as herself outside of those cringefest collaborations with Kate. It reminds me of how damn strong she used to be right till the end of her 8th season, which was her strongest in my view.
  • A fun and very creative meta premise to this with Aidy writing herself as a sexy, seductive woman to a desperate Oscar.
  • I’m loving that the sketch cuts between the live part and Aidy’s pretape backstage.
  • Oscar is absolutely hilarious in this, his characterization of utter desperation and love for Aidy here is priceless.
  • Very solid fourth wall breaking, and a fun ending. A good Aidy showcase in this late stage in her tenure.

Rating: ***1/2

In Over Your Head

(KET) derides & embodies home improvement incompetence

  • An interesting premise, and Kenan is perfect for sketches like this.
  • Once more, solid voice and characterization from Oscar, he’s really been impressing as a host all night.
  • A funny story by Oscar on how arrived at his current state.
  • Always great to see Ego getting some good screen time.
  • As always, Ego is solid here and is commanding the stage. It’s great to see considering how low-key solid and underappreciated her first two seasons were, despite being under the radar to many people and how fantastic her breakthrough season last was.
  • Good reveal with Kenan’s character being an imposter.
  • A decent ending helped by the performances and Ego and Kenan’s charisma and chemistry.

Rating: ***

Musical Performance – “Baby”

Fiction Workshop

janitor (host) recites Dua Lipa fantasy erotica to creative writing group

  • Another solid role for Oscar. He is, unsurprisingly, coming off a natural here.
  • A funny reveal with the Dua Lipa fan fic, can’t say I blame the poor janitor.
  • I’m getting good laughs from the increasingly raunchy details of this story, especially becoming funnier with Oscar’s soft delivery in a deadpan manner. This is one of his best of the night.
  • I’m pleased that the REACTING parts are kept to a minimum, and in this sketch they kinda make sense.
  • LOVED Oscar’s delivery of “Oh honey we got 800 pages in book one, strap in.” He’s been great in general tonight.
  • Solid ending, and a great way to end the night.

Rating: ***1/2


  • Boy, between Oscar and Charli XCX as our host and musical guest, the amount of eye candy in front of me is quite much.
  • Cute seeing Bowen and Sarah Jumping up and down.

Segments Ranked From Best to Worst


Inventing Chloe

Weekend Update

Fiction Workshop


Aidy’s Dream

In Over Your Head

Paw Patrol

Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular

Harassment Seminar

Final Thoughts:-

  • A solid episode, that aside from two misfires in the first half, had the usual comfortable, consistent, and refreshing feeling that this season generally brought after a dreary depressing season that preceded it. The episode started with the usual boring, bloated, borderline unwatchable hellscape cold open, after it, we got our usual charming and personal monologue of the season that was handled beautifully by Oscar. And, after a particularly wretched sketch, the rest of the night ran smoothly starting with our usual oddball, brilliant, audience-alienating Sarah Sherman-written and starring piece. A piece that sat the tone for the rest of the night.
  • Oscar Isaac was a fantastic host tonight. I’m still impressed by how well he transformed into these various roles and voices. He had fun, reliable, memorable, and energetic presence in all of his pieces. I would say that he’s my third favorite host of the season so far after John Mulaney my second and Ariana DeBose being the first. I did hope, however, for him to have standout host-only sketches, yet I cannot complain much with what I got to see tonight.

My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:

Next Week:-

  • Zoö Kravitz is our host with musical guest Rosalía.

My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.

12 Replies to “March 5, 2022 – Oscar Issac / Charli XCX (S47 E14)”

  1. I can’t come up with much to say here, seeing as how we’re pretty much on the same page about this episode, and I’m not fully done with my review.

    And as usual, here are your rating averages:
    Wilson – 7.1
    Kardashian – 5.0
    Malek – 7.6
    Sudeikis – 7.7
    Culkin – 6.5
    Majors – 5.8
    Liu – 6.3
    Eilish – 6.3
    Rudd – 6.0
    DeBose – 7.9
    Forte – 5.7
    Dafoe – 6.8
    Mulaney – 8.0
    Isaac – 6.1

    Overall Average (so far): 6.6

    I think this might be the first time where the average doesn’t accurately reflect your opinions.

  2. Even though you mightor not have seen them before I’ll still say them because I enjoy doing this

    Cold Open *½ (½ for jaj trump but not the singing)
    Monologue *** (the throwback footage was great)
    Paw Patrol (in my opinions this probably wasn’t the best decision to have this as the first sketch of the night and I like with you said more cute than funny but still decent)
    Inventing Chloe ***½
    Workplace Harassment Seminar * (Terrible plain and simple)
    Meatballs **** (congrats to my favorite current cast member 1500 sketches interesting how kenan and snl themselves address this do they know about the SNL Network)
    Weekend Update ***½
    Aidy’s Dream *½
    Home Repair Show ***
    Fiction Workshop *½ or **

    To me How this episode stacks up against the preceding one (John Mulaney):
    A big step down

  3. Its disappointing your “meh”-ness for Cecily. I think its obvious that this seasons peaks and troughs have coincided with Cecily being on the show (ish)

    I thought this was a REALLY GOOD episode. I can’t stress this enough. I thought every sketch had something in it that crackled with energy, Even if it was just Alex’s spot-on Tucker Carlson Impression in the cold open.

    I’d like to talk about the HR sketch. It seems to be a well SNL like to go to often – Office board room kinda thing. However, it just felt like this had a little something extra. It felt like either PDD had written an edgy sketch and Colin Jost had come in to “normalize” it for his palette. Or Jost had written a run of the mill dull sketch and PDD had done their best to spice it up with a few lines. It wasn’t my favorite, of course, but it had something a little more than the “Charlie” sketch of Yesteryear.

    I seriously would put this in my top 3 of the season.

    Ok, I will then…

    1. Sudeikis
    2. Mulaney
    3. Isaac (though I could put it in #2)
    4. Malek
    5. Dafoe
    6. Wilson
    7. Majors (Because 3 sad virgins is my sketch of the year so far)
    8. Eilish
    9. Culkin
    10. Forte
    11. DeBose
    12. Liu
    13. Rudd
    14. Kardashian

    1. Great to see you comment here Nic, the thing with Cecily is that she’s clearly a talented performer, but her solo showcases are almost entirely godawful and rely on goofy voices and exaggerated movements. When SNL tried to make her the “it” girl and its designated star in seasons 38-40 the result was some of the most unwatchable sketches that I ever had to sit through. She’s best used in utility roles as I said above, and never EVER be considered as a cast leader. I do think she barely had any good moments this season aside from Mulaney’s episode, an episode that I highly praised her in. And yes, I was extremely disappointed that PDD had anything to do with that HR Meeting sketch, but seeing Colin’s name, they probably tried to “save” it, and the result turned out the trainwreck that we saw. Thanks for your comment Nic.

  4. As Cecily is probably one of my favourite SNL cast members of all time, I never really thought about all those random, useless sketches in which she just says the same thing in some wacky tone over and over again (in this case, raw intercourse) and the ones in which she just starts singing for no reason. I love reading other points of view as I am often blinded by fandom.

    Love to see your appreciation for Chloe, Ego & especially Sarah. They’re 3 of the funniest people on the show and are constantly being under-utilised and then get unnecessary hate for it. Chloe’s update piece a while back about the Oscars and the steering wheel thing, her Drew Barrymore Sketch, ***HER PERFORMANCE IN SEARCH PARTY*** (not snl, but she was just amazing in it), and most recently Inventing Chloe really prove that maybe the problem is less with her and more with the writing. Could say the same for most of the cast, unfortunately.

    Also I think Sarah might be my favourite this season – her update piece back in the Taylor Swift episode is probably my fav sketch of the whole season. If you haven’t already, check out her amazing short film ‘The Sarah Vaccine’.

    Was Andrew in this episode??? I thought Heidi and Melissa were missing too, but no they just forgot about them until the dua lipa sketch. Glad to see Kenan made it to 1500. That’s a lot… but Kenan is just so consistently good I love him. No Please Don’t Destroy and no Aristotle at all. When I saw him and Sarah in the background of the atrocious cold open my heart sank.

    I think my biggest gripe recently has been that there’s all these hilarious young comedians whom are so talented, and yet are constantly being overshadowed by the older, “safer” cast members.

    If SNL wants to survive in this new generation they need to
    1. Get rid of Kate McKinnon.
    2. Consider getting rid of Mikey Day, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong (love her but its time), and i just dont think Melissa Villaseñor fits in anymore. (maybe Punkie too)
    3. Get new, younger writers
    4. Make use of this new community of SNL cast members who have been here for quite a while and have not really had a chance to properly shine !!!
    5. Turn Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Please Don’t Destroy, Sarah Squirm, Chloe Fineman, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Aristotle Athari & Andrew Dismukes into the stars they’re destined to be !!!

    Sigh, I’m really tired and I’ve just been rambling for a while. Sorry. But I love SNL so much but there’s so much missed opportunity in every episode.

    Can always rely on Update tho <3

    1. Glad to see you comment here, and I’m pleased that you enjoyed the review. Let me start by saying that I absolutely agree with your points entirely, and just to comment further on the third, the season does have many new writers, which is why we are saying so many solid, refreshing, creative sketch concepts throughout the season. Especially, when we compare the quality of 47 to the shaky and mediocre 46. I do think Kate will leave this season, as I remember reading back in 2019 that she signed a three-year extension which seems to be true as she’s still on, and we both know that she’ll be getting a massive farewell when she decides to leave. A farewell on the scale of Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig’s finale episodes.

      I love Chloe & Sarah especially, which makes me sad in regards to Chloe’s season so far, I did enjoy her newest solid (as usual) showcase, but she’s still somewhat underused so far compared to her episode-stealing, memorable, viral appearances in last season. A season that was great for her, Bowen, Ego, Beck, and Pete. I think Sarah is awesome, and I’m actually a fan of hers pre-SNL. I’m happy that her season is just getting stronger by the episode, and she doubled her airtime to near 30 minutes after being in just 13 minutes in the first half. Using her to open the pretaped promo of Oscar’s episode, and giving her the airtime and budget to showcase her unique humor in a patented body horror piece seems to me, and many others, as a great vote of confidence by the show towards her. Lorne and others must’ve known that Sarah will be important to the show’s future. I cannot wait to see what she has for us in the final 7 episodes.

      Aristotle’s tenure is getting sadder by the episode, he’s being extremely underused to the point it turning into a sad recurring gag on the show. I do not think he even passed 12 minutes of airtime, around 2 MINUTES in the 2nd half. Absolutely absurd. It’s either the writers refuse to write for him or put him in their sketches, or he is barely contributing & pitching ideas for sketches & WU commentaries. Yes, Bowen & Sarah amongst others will be the stars of the show soon enough. Pleased once more to see you commenting here, thanks.

  5. You were a lot harder on the CO, Harassment Seminar and Paw Patrol than I was but other than that I’m with you 100% on this episode. This, Mulaney and Lizzo would probably be most peoples’ top three of the second half of this season. I’ll try getting to your Mulaney/LCD review after I get a good head start on your season 40 ones.

    1. Thanks! I actually admitted on Twitter how harsh I was on Paw Patrol, and would’ve bumped it up with Fiction Workshop & Aidy’s Dream by possible full star. This was a solid & fun episode, and the majority of ratings show that, but I guess the CO & Harassment Seminar clouded my judgement of some other sketches. Enjoying your comments! Have fun reading my other reviews & my season 40 coverage. Amy Adams’ episode will be posted sooner than usual, so keep an eye for it too!

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