Cold Opening – A Message From Hillary Clinton
- Ah, a HUGE moment right now: the official debut of Kate’s Hillary Clinton. THIS is the moment where Kate’s trajectory begins to lead to her now-legendary superstar status on the show.
- Pretty good Hillary Clinton voice from Kate, but it will get even more accurate as she plays her more and more to the point of her impression being absolutely dead-on.
- Already, Kate is coming off FANTASTIC in this role, with natural charisma, likability, and solid characterization.
- I love the spot-on Hillary laugh and expressions from Kate, the “Ha-HAAAAAAA!!!” is absolutely infectious and always slays me.
- A big laugh from the Email that Kate’s Hillary sent to Bill.
- The material here is on its own pretty good, but Kate’s excellent performance is elevating it further, and her definitive take on Clinton is one of the many great things I recall loving from her this season and the next few years.
- ALREADY, Chris is coming off FAR more comfortable, charismatic, and at ease than the host of the previous episode.
- Nice to see Liam Hemsworth again after his cameo earlier in the season, and also Luke, as I’ve been enjoying him in Westworld.
- Kenan is very funny as the Hemsworth relative.
- Kate’s stealing this whole monologue with her walk-on, and I particularly love that she used her Clinton/Sovage infectious “Ha-HAAAAAAA!!!” laugh here, it always gets me no matter what.
- Nothing much to say here, a charming monologue that Chris handled very well and came off likable and charismatic. I do, however, recall his second monologue being stronger.
- I bet you know that I enjoyed all the beauty shots with Chris.
- Nothing much to say here, an accurate spoof of these American Express ads, and Chris’ charm and likability is carrying this pretape well.
Brother 2 Brother
- A very popular, beloved sketch from this season.
- This is such an accurate spoof of typical children’s entertainment, and is giving me good nostalgia vibes.
- Cecily’s stealing this sketch with her overlong, damaging descriptions to Taran’s character of the differences between him & Chris. Taran’s fake smiling here to hide his inner turmoil is perfect.
- Funny bit with Taran constantly trying to change the subject but to no avail.
- Aidy’s funny with her reliable as she interjects in Cecily’s pointing the differences spiel.
- Sadly, this is Aidy’s first & ONLY appearance all night. A real shame.
- Huge, cheap laugh from Taran’s blurting “My dick’s bigger!”
- A solid sketch overall. I have zero memory of the sequel when Chris hosts next season, but I look forward to it.
- A spoof of the then-hugely popular Empire show.
- Love Kenan, but I cannot buy him as Terrence Howard, Jay would’ve been a better choice, even though Kenan’s his usual reliable, funny self here.
- Michael in a sketch!
- On the other hand, I’m enjoying Sasheer’s Cookie impression, and knowing Taraji P. Henson well from the various films I saw her in make Sasheer’s take funnier.
- An overall good spoof that was well-paced and directed.
- Ah, here’s the sketch I mentioned back in my Martin Freeman episode. A sketch that I, and I’m sure many others absolutely love.
- Very good American accent from Chris, and he’s PERFECT for the typical sci-fi TV show or movie.
- Aaaaaand here comes the first big laugh of the sketch with the reveal that the “captain” is a chicken.
- I love how this sketch is seriously taking this premise, and leaning full-on toward it, yet with sprinkles of serious, dramatic moments. To lean into the dumb side of humor, without collapsing on it, unlike the Worf tripe last episode, is the proper way to do this type of humor. Like the classic Google Talk sketch, an all-time favorite of mine, from the Jessica Chastain episode in season 43.
- Chris is great in his dramatic “conversation” with the chicken, especially when he mentions when he first met her, and her laugh, which is the part that I recall making me full-on onboard with this sketch back when it aired.
- A huge laugh from the visual of the chicken captain being roasted after sacrificing herself.
- I love the mock-dramatic moments after the reveal, Chris is just excellent here and sells this sketch perfectly with his total commitment.
- Such a great sketch overall, nothing but dumb, fun, and unique humor. I recall that Anderlette wrote this, if it’s true, then kudos to them. And if they also wrote Assembly Line, which I doubt it, as that one seems more Monty Python-esque and old-school, then great job. I only recall loving two of their future sketches, Restaurant Complaint in season 43’s Chadwick Boseman episode as I said before, and Hot Tub Christmas in Scarlett Johansson’s season 45 episode, and I cannot wait to review both.
The Iggy Azalea Show
- Much like some sketches earlier in the season, it feels so JARRING to see this type of sketch back at SNL this season, particularly after the many premise-driven, conceptual, unique, original sketches that we’ve been seeing throughout the season, many of which I personally rated between 4-5 stars.
- Funny characterization and solid performance by Kate as always, but the material is letting her down hard.
- So far, this is the typical dull, uninspired, and creatively bankrupt celebrity-hosted talkshow sketch which rarely, if ever works for me, despite the good commitment from Kate & Chris.
- I’m about halfway through this sketch, and I barely got any chuckles, a sketch that’s just bunch of Australian phrases and accents, and if the Bill Hader season 43 episode taught us anything is that stereotypes & funny accents cannot sustain four-minutes sketches.
- Yeah, this did not work for me AT ALL. A good thing this didn’t recur, as if it were the 2002-2014 years, you’d KNOW that they’ll run this into the ground.
Musical Performance – “Homegrown”
- Jesse Nathan: I said before that I’m not a fan of modern country, but this seems promising.
- Not too sure if the banjo and violin are mixed all that well together.
- I kinda like Zac’s voice, but it kinda sounds a little generic for me.
- Good pre-chorus.
- Meh, the actual chorus is kinda weak. They’re just saying “homegrown” over and over.
- Well, at least I’m not getting douchey vibes from this song.
- The instruments actually sound great together.
- The vocals on the chorus weren’t mixed well.
- Interesting bridge.
- Zac’s mic should be turned up more.
- A good, cheap laugh from Michael’s Bill Clinton joke.
- (*sigh*) Another Leslie Jones commentary. Look, I like Leslie as a person a lot, but the majority of her work on the show, with few exceptions of course, is just a whole bunch of LESLIE SHOUT! and various loud, eardrum-absusing, unfunny outbursts.
- Ok, at least Leslie’s natural likability is showing here, as I’m enjoying her talk about & display of her “Compton stare”, even when it comes off slightly hacky to me.
- Not caring for Leslie’s loud yelling at Colin, and this commentary has been going so well (*sigh*).
- An overall passable commentary from Leslie, certainly better than some of her previous and upcoming ones. I know some of you love Leslie, but I cannot lower my standards in order to enjoy some of her “comedy”. As I said before, there will be some upcoming instances of me praising Leslie Jones, count this one as a faint praise from me.
- Oh, I’m LOVING the “anchor telling the same joke with multiple punchlines each time” bit, I recall this era excelling in that.
- YES! We’re getting the precursor to the beloved joke swap tradition with Michael letting Colin read the jokes he wrote!
- A priceless gaffe with Colin reading “3.6 inches” as “36 inches”, and I love Michael’s ad-lib about how hard his joke are to read.
- Such a fun bit just now, and it solidifies that the already-good Che/Jost era of Update is here to stay, I cannot recall having this much fun watching Update since, let’s say, the first two years of Tina Fey behind the desk.
- Good to see Girl At A Party back, as it’s one of the few Cecily characters that I tolerate, even with her relaying on the goofy voice shtick.
- A pretty good laugh from the whole Jenga bit, and Michael is better in this commentary than he was in the first one, showing more and more improvement.
- Some good laughs here and there, and I especially enjoyed Girl’s rant about what she’ll do in her spring break.
- A very strong Update overall, and possibly this season’s finest, after the Michael Keaton one if my memory serves me right, and a one that finally showed everyone how strong this new era & this new Update team will be (though it hit a slump in 44 & 46, but we’ll leave that to when we reach 44.)
Action News 7 Special Report
- Our obligatory Avengers parody sketch of the night.
- Chris is very funny as Thor, his smugness and celebratory behavior here are a riot.
- A good casting of Taran as Iron Man, and spot-on characterization of Iron Man’s smugness.
- A huge laugh from Bobby’s painful reaction after being high-fived by Chris’ Thor.
- Overall, this was decent, and I’m glad the sketch worked for me as I’m not a Marvel nor comic books guy AT ALL.
- Hoo, booy. The debut of THIS character.
- This character sadly brings up the worst of Kenan’s hammy, over-the-top, unfunny mugging tendencies which he thankfully abandoned halfway through his tenure.
- Also, why is this acting coach supposedly from The Jeffersons? I do not recall that show, from my faint memories of it, having muggy, twitchy, silly overacting. I know this is SNL, but this is just lazy writing to me.
- I’m getting some good, guilty chuckles from the all the goofy mugging, although not enough from me to enjoy this sketch.
- An overall subpar first installment, and if my memory serves me right, I’m going to enjoy the next few even less.
- The debut of these reality show parodies from Beck & Kyle.
- Funny awkward hug between Beck & Kyle.
- Such a silly, yet fun instance to set an entire tense confrontation around, and I love how they get more and more silly as the shorts continue in the next few seasons.
- I’m loving how accurate this short in hitting all the reality show-esque tropes, complete with confrontations & confessionals.
- I just realized that Beck sadly barely appeared in this entire episode, I think he might have had just this appearance and the Avengers sketch, unless I’m forgetting something.
- Loved the elimination sequence, another accurate take on shows like Survivor and The Bachelor.
- A funny ending with the angry outburst between Beck & Kyle.
Musical Performance – “Heavy Is the Hand” ft. Chris Cornell
- Jesse Nathan: Ooh, I like how this has more of a heavy metal sound than the last one.
- Oof, the sound engineers really fucked up on Chris Cornell’s vocals at the start.
- Speaking of Cornell, was this his last TV appearance? I already know it was his last appearance on SNL before his death in 2017.
- I like Zac’s vocals here more than on the last track.
- Geez, did the sound mixers take a day off? I feel like I can barely hear anyone sing during this performance.
- To say something nice, I do like the way the instruments sound.
- I feel like I’m talking way too much about the sound mixing, but…seriously, what’s going on with Chris’ vocals?
- I like the addition of the violin.
- I like the drum patterns during the bridge.
Dolce & Gabbana
- Not too pleased to see the return of this sketch, especially that I don’t need to be reminded of the dreadful James Franco episode.
- A big laugh from Vanessa’s line about snorting off a mirror.
- I’ve been noticing that Vanessa’s lines are usually funnier to me here, maybe because I never liked Cecily’s voices, even though she’s perfectly fine & solid in these sketches.
- A hilarious “I reamed a donkey” line from Cecily.
- Chris’ coming off very well here, and is avoiding the smugness and creepy demeanor that James Franco displayed in the previous one.
- A solid installment, but not as strong as the previous ones. I would say that the Jonah Hill one is probably the last really great one. Yet, this one is certainly a big step up from the last two.
- Sadly, This sketch will die a miserable death when a certain He Who Should Not Be Named hosts, a real shame for a clever, dialogue-driven recurring sketch to go out in such a way, but we’ll get there when we get there.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
A Message From Hillary Clinton
Brother 2 Brother
Dolce & Gabbana
Action News 7 Special Report
The Iggy Azalea Show
- A pretty good, mostly consistent episode, and a huge turnaround from the notorious episode that preceded it. And contributing to the solid quality was our host Chris Hemsworth, who was a very solid, likable, and charming host. A host that clearly came to SNL to have a blast, which was shown in this episode with his energetic, fun, and very confident performances. A total contrast to how iffy, low-volumed, and weak our previous host was.
- I recall this era having a weird pattern in quality where you have a horrid episode being followed by a solid/excellent one, like how the soul-sucking misery James Franco episode was followed by the exceptionally strong, perfect, and very consistent Martin Freeman episode. I also recall the episode hosted by the rotten Jack-o’-lantern being unwatchable, which was then followed by the era-defining & outstanding Elizabeth Banks episode. Kind of a weird, interesting pattern to look at.
- After a one-day break, we return with Dwayne Johnson’s fourth hosting stint with musical guest George Ezra.