Cold Open – A Holiday Message from former Vice President Joe Biden
- Much like the use of the Fly, Bob Ross, and Mr. Rogers, this cold opening is using a beloved cultural figure to mask the lack of premise. This time doing Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” as the basis from Which Carrey’s Biden anchors the open. I guess it makes since due to this being the Halloween show, but there’s no clever twist here or a thing of value to be found in this recital of a favorite poem of mine.
- Man, what’s with Carrey’s various stumbles & line flubs? Did he mess rehearsals?
- As usual, Carrey’s delivery and smug performance as Biden is boring me to death, James Austin Johnson cannot come any faster.
- Maya’s Kamala Harris is here, and no, sadly she will not be replaced after the election with Punkie, who is black and has the same skin tone as the future VP. I still sit in awe with how moronic a lot of the decision-making is in 8H.
- Thankfully, this is now over. It wasn’t as bad as the previous ones for me, and is not the 10 minutes hellscape that contain zero laughs, got a chuckle or two from this, which is why it will get the rating that I’ll give it right now.
- Oh, I love the how homebase stage is decorated for Halloween.
- Already, we’re getting the usual big laughs from John’s ad-lib while the audience is still applauding.
- A big laugh from Mulaney calling himself a ”First Responder”.
- As usual, John is great in getting close to the audience and having them on his side. I always believed that John always had certain approachability, certain characterization, and aura that makes listening to him for the first time feel like you’ve known him for ages. This certain feeling surrounding Mulaney makes him even more likable and his stand-up feel more relatable than others.
- I’m absolutely loving John’s whole bit regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo, and his impression of him is surprisingly not bad and is slaying me.
- John is now going political with his solid ”elderly man contest”.
- The ”nothing will change” bit may seem nihilistic to some, but I’m enjoying it, and as a fellow liberal (an actual liberal, not an establishment version of liberalism), I see it as a biting political take, yet with the comedic slant & delivery that makes it funny more than preachy.
- John’s whole story about the DMV Licence is absolutely hilarious and a quintessential Mulaney bit.
- A great ending to a great monologue, as Mulaney’s are usually some of the strongest in the current era of SNL.
- I would rank this monologue by John as his fourth strongest to me, just ahead of his first monologue, which was still very strong, and the seasons 47, 44, and finally 45 in the top three spots. His season 45 monologue, and especially that Make-A-Wish bit is some of his strongest material (which is saying something), and a standout SNL monologue in general.
Cinema Classics – The Birds
- Ah, I always love these sketches, especially the ones with John as the host.
- The usual funny ”Worst. (insert event here). ever.” from Kenan’s Reese De’What.
- I’m loving how this Cinema Classics installment is horror-themed and about a movie that I actually watched unlike all the other ones.
- Kate’s doing an absolutely spot-on and very funny impression of Tippi Hedren’s performance in the classic movie. I don’t think Kate gets enough credit of how usually strong she is as an impressionist in general.
- John’s is doing a spot-on job as the sheriff in typical Mulaney fashion.
- Some great visuals of the birds attacking Kate in the phone booth.
- A big laugh from the visual of the bird holding a gun to John’s head.
- An overall funny & solid Cinema Classics installement even with this not being as strong as the To Have and Have Not, The Wizard of Oz, and particularly the Casablanca installments. It still featured the usual strong performances and a solid movie parody.
- A favorite of mine, and I’m sure many others from this season.
- IIRC, this piece is supposedly parodying a certain music video. But unlike the horrid Cecily inside-joke sketches, I do not need to get the reference or homage in order to enjoy it.
- Chris & Kenan’s vocals are always underrated, as evidenced by their many fun music videos.
- Fantastic satirical take on the race-based voter suppression by the GOP.
- A hilarious usage of John, whose trademark delivery is perfect for his character.
- Punkie is coming off really well here, which saddens me greatly to see her wasted so far into her tenure.
- A great laugh from the visual of the group strolling in the middle of the highway.
- Chris’ look at the Proud Boy (Played by future headwriter Streeter Seidell) is slaying me.
- A great, great ending.
- An overall SNL masterpiece. Not only one of their best recent music videos, but one of their best political takes in all of their 40+ seasons.
- Great that we’re getting another horror-themed sketch.
- This set looks to be the same one used in the great Graveyard Ghosts sketch from Chance the Rapper’s episode in season 45.
- A great look on Beck’s character.
- John looks handsome in that outfit, and is surprisingly pulling it off very well.
- Pete seems way out-of-his-element between John and Beck. Yet, knowing his surprisingly strong season, I’ll give him some slack.
- Big cheap laughs from John’s questions regarding Beck’s physical appearance, and yet again, John’s delivery makes them funnier.
- I’m loving Beck’s frustrated reactions toward John’s questions and comments, I guess you could also put this sketch in the ”Standout Beck Bennett showcase from his final season”.
- A fun, fourth wall-breaking ending.
New York PSA
- Kate sure played many old ladies throughout her tenure.
- So, is the joke that Kate is popping into frame as her old lady character? That’s it?
- Nothing much to say here, but this was not as bad as I thought it would be, a faint praise I know.
- Funny to hear the audience’s boos after Trump’s speech.
- That ”constipated accountant” gave a laugher bigger than I expected, and Colin’s follow-up to it made it even funnier.
- OH FUCKING NO. Baby Yoda is back!
- (*groan*) THAT voice Kyle’s using is abusing my eardrums, make it stop NOW!
- Baby Groot? What is this? 2014?
- This commentary is destroying my patience, between Kyle’s annoying Baby Yoda voice, and the lame photo-based jokes, I’m sitting here wondering if I should contemplate throwing my laptop across my bedroom and jump to my death through my apartment’s window from the 10th floor, and that would be less painful than sitting through this dreck.
- Mercifully, this is over. The several solid jokes and expected fun commentary from Colin & Michael are the reason this Update will get a passing rating, as that Baby Yoda commentary was BRUTAL, and knowing that a certain upcoming episode feature him, and even there he’s somehow not the worst thing to happen on Update makes me shudder in fear.
Rating: *** (the insufferable and torturous Baby Yoda commentary lowered my rating by a full star)
- Our obligatory epic Mulaney musical sketch of the night.
- A good cheap laugh from Pete’s willing to buy the stained underwear.
- I love Kenan’s look in that Minion costume.
- Poor Lauren, I just realized that she’s a cast member, and by god, she does look like Aidy in some shots.
- The performers keep messing up their lyrics with some singing ”those” and others ”these”, I find it more charming than annoying though knowing the circumstances of the time.
- Good to see that SNL still remembers that Melissa is still a cast member, considering this season is gonna be her low point as a performer, she should be pleased with her airtime in the first half of the season.
- Kate’s portion, while still solid, is not as sketch-stealing as her previous ones and her upcoming in Mulaney’s great future hosting stint in season 47.
- Yeah, this feels lethargic and low-energy so far, despite it being a love message for New York in times such as these.
- NOT caring for Maya’s portion of the sketch, yet she performed it as solid as she always does.
- Ah, Chloe is absolutely stealing this whole sketch with her show-stopper bit, yet another example of how extremely underrated Chloe’s sketch-stealing abilities generally are.
- An overall solid Mulaney musical, even when it does not HOLD A CANDLE to how damn strong the previous three musicals were and the upcoming one will be. I’ll give SNL some slack due to COVID, even with some of the sloppiness in certain portions, it came off more charming and fun than worrisome and troubling.
- Meh, I did not need a rehash of the ok first sketch.
- This going EXACTLY the same route as the first sketch, which I wasn’t THAT crazy about in the first place.
- I recall this sketch & the sloppily-performed musical being the ones that made it clear to me that John is kinda half-assing his hosting stints. As we all know, his four episodes all turned out to be fine in general, but his third and fourth too formulaic. Thankfully, we all know now how his entry to the Five-Timers Club was.
- Ok, I just got a big laugh from that sex cult meme, again due to the combo of the picture and John’s delivery of it.
- Not terrible for a rehash, but still mediocre.
Cut For Time: Democracy PSA
- Lots of PSA pieces this season.
- Poor, poor Andrew. The Mulaney jokes write themselves by this point.
- Some solid lines in this piece, and it feels a bit sharper than some other political pretapes this season.
- An overall decent piece, should’ve replaced the mediocre Kate pretape. Then again, we need to give our forever star a few minutes each week to suck up valuable airtime for her own self-indulgence.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Cinema Classics – The Birds
CFT: Democracy PSA
New York PSA
A Holiday Message from former Vice President Joe Biden
- Yet another reliable John Mulaney episode. This episode was more consistent than his previous one, had looser, fun-feeling, and more energetic atmosphere. Also, the Halloween-themed sketches helped make it stand out more & were some of the night’s best segments as shown above. Not to mention that the centrepiece of tonight, Strollin’ is a particularly standout SNL piece.
- This episode seems to be more divisive than his previous one, while his episode from season 45 to me, and others, his weakest and most frustrating, especially knowing the very strong cut sketch for our umpteenth Kaidy wacky piece and that snooze-inducing final sketch. Yet, reviewing this episode just now, it seems overall good, but NOWHERE as strong as first two, and particularly his upcoming hosting stint, an episode that’s universally lauded as a true return to form for John. Still, I would rank this his fourth best out of five, just slightly above his previous hosting stint. This one had, aside from Uncle Meme rehash, some solid and fun sketch concepts, again not as strong his very fun & creative as next hosting stint, but still decent and fun.
- Dave Chappelle hosts the post-election episode with Foo Fighters as the musical guest.
2 Replies to “October 31, 2020 – John Mulaney / The Strokes (S46 E5)”
“knowing that a certain upcoming episode feature him, and even there he’s somehow not the worst thing to happen on Update makes me shudder in fear.” Dude, seriously. You just implied both Krasinski and Musk, though I’m assuming you mean the latter since the former doesn’t have him on Update. Still though.
For some reason, I can’t find anything else to say here after reading this review. I will add that it’s a funny coincidence that the previous season’s Mulaney episode is next in my coverage. It was gonna be posted yesterday, but in the end, I didn’t feel like writing it. Hopefully, I’ll get it done tonight (even though I haven’t started).
And as usual, here are the averages:
Rock – 4.6
Burr – 7.0
Rae – 6.5
Adele – 5.9
Mulaney – 6.8
Overall average (so far): 6.2
Yes, I meant Musk. And yeah, I’ve been missing your reviews, a good thing that you just felt it wasn’t the right time to right it (cannot WAIT to hear your thoughts on David Byrne, Airport Sushi, and that CFT talk show sketch) and not being sick and not able to do it properly. And as usual, the coincidences in these reviews of mine & yours are both funny and kinda eerie. Cannot wait to see how the average will change in the next few episodes (aside from Chalamet’s beloved episode obviously).