January 15 – May 21, 2022 – CFT pieces (S47 E10 -21)

Immediate Pre-Review Thoughts:-

  • Much like the 1st half, these CFT pieces will be included in the highest & lowest-rated skits by the time the big wrap-up post that I’m constantly updating is posted some time after the finale.
  • These CFT pieces will of course, much like last time, not be counted in the episodes’ average ratings that Jesse graciously calculates for me here, but will be added as previously stated highest and lowest-rated segments by the season’s end.
  • Also, as you would see, most of these pieces were written months in advance, as you could tell by my predictions and concerns, I decided to review as many CFT pieces as soon as I could so they won’t take too much to post after the finale.
  • I’m really intrigued to review these pieces, as the last time I did this post, we had a mixed bag result with both great and terrible pieces, I did see some of the pieces here, and I already have some favorites that I’ll be reviewing. So, without further ado:

(Ariana DeBose / Bleachers – S47 E10)

All on Me

  • Our typical catchy and fun Chris & Kenan musical pretape.
  • Ariana looks very beautiful here, and is pulling off this role quite well; another reminder of how fantastic of a host she was.
  • Is the rapper here a real-life one? Or at least famous enough? I certainly don’t remember him in anything else.
  • I’m really enjoying the whole running gag in this short with Chris losing more and more money as it goes along, his reactions sell this premise well, and adds freshness to an otherwise stale format, yet another example why Chris is such a fantastic performer in general.
  • Ariana’s flow & rapping in her part is very solid, and not to mention catchy with some great visuals.
  • An overall pretty fun pretape. I don’t know what it could’ve replaced in the episode, maybe replace the Sappho sketch (which was still decent), with this pretape.

Rating: ***1/2

(Will Forte / Måneskin – S47 E11)

Please Don’t Destroy – New Personalities

  • It’s always good to get to review these pieces, they are always very fun and creative.
  • A fun, creative premise to this short with the guys trying out new personalities for themselves.
  • As per usual with these pieces, lots of funny, clever, and fast-paced jokes, gags, and references that it’s honestly difficult for me to catch all of them at once.
  • Good Snape voice from Martin.
  • Solid ending to another solid PDD short, their track record has been pretty impressive so far into their tenure.

Rating: ****

ESPN’s First Take

  • Chloe’s looking even more beautiful than usual in this sketch.
  • I’m not a sports guy, but I sure know ESPN and shows like this, with their unintentional comedic scenarios and shouting matches that are more fun to sit through than the actual games.
  • A spot-on and hilarious Stephen A. Smith from Chris; he’s been having a pretty strong season so far, which makes me quite pleased, as he is my favorite male performer in the cast at the moment, now that Beck’s gone.
  • Kenan’s doing a pretty solid job on his own here too.
  • I love Chloe’s quivering voice as she reminds Chris & Kenan that they have an hour and 58 minutes left on the show; the subtle despair she’s displaying here is nothing short of excellent.
  • A huge laugh from the main topic of this installment: “Tom Brady: Exceptional or very exceptional?” a pretty great take on these sports-related shows, and how they fight all the time over the most ridiculous of topics.
  • Forte! His yelling is always comedy gold to me.
  • I love the whole gag with horse neighs as Will’s yelling throughout the sketch.
  • The energy here is excellent, and Chloe’s doing a great job anchoring the whole sketch; a sign for the future of her tenure on the show?
  • The cast’s brief giggling here is hilarious, and is coming off more endearing than indulgent.
  • I love the “apples or oranges?” question, so ridiculous in the right possible way.
  • Alex is great at the end; a shame he’s barely utilized well outside of his character work behind the Update desk.
  • Overall, this was pretty much a laugh riot, so many great little moments sprinkled throughout, tons of energy, and a solid anchoring role by Chloe. This sketch should’ve made it on the air, as it was FAR better than almost every single live sketch that aired in the actual show.

Rating: ****1/2

Architect Presentation

  • Now here’s a piece that I heard good things about.
  • I did NOT need Kristen in another skit, and why did she dominate the show where we have dozen or so cast members barely on?!
  • Sad that Chris’ other appearance in the episode was also cut, absurd!
  • A good laugh from the proposed model for San Francisco.
  • Bowen in sassy role #3748.
  • So, the whole skit is them just singing and shouting every two seconds? How did this make it to dress?
  • I certainly do not need too much REACTING/EXPLAINING for me nor others, and here is when I realized that Mikey is nowhere to be seen in this dull skit.
  • Oh, thanks writers for DIRECTLY TELLING US about all of the quirky things this new model consists of, very considerate of you to prioritize the blind in your audience tonight, and those who do not pay any attention whatsoever to the sketch.
  • This feels like it’s going on FOREVER!
  • Like almost every single other skit in this episode, this again feels hollow & empty, and some weird energy issues with it. (ESPN’s First Take had tons of energy, and I’ll chalk that to Chris & Kenan especially)
  • Overall, a meh skit, certainly better than some of the garbage that I suffered through during the actual show, it should’ve replaced the Cinema Classics one. This episode seems to be also hollow even in dress, hopefully the Sarah and Church skits are as strong as everybody who attended dress said they were. WTF happened during that week’s writing SNL?!
  • This skit & some big bombs from this episode has me worrying that we’ll return to season 46’s mostly-weak quality in live skits, considering the strong upswing in the quality of the live pieces that the 1st half had (as you could tell by the many four, four-and-half-a-star, and five-stars rated live skits that I gave) I sure hope Forte’s episode is just a minor slump.

Rating: *1/2

(Willem Dafoe / Katy Perry – S47 E12)

Nice Jail

  • Now here’s a skit I remember absolutely loving when I first saw it.
  • Written by newly-hired writer Alex English, who’s specialized from what I’ve gathered in writing gay and black-centric skits, both parts of his and Punkie’s identities. Still saddened that we barely see any ethnic or LGBTQ+ centric skits that aren’t pandering in modern SNL. Aside from the classic Sara Lee, the fantastic CFT Beanie Babies, and the recent Sappho skits. I might’ve forgotten one or two more skits.
  • A unique look & as always solid characterization from Willem.
  • I’m loving the very unconventional, unique concept to this sketch, and with it being presented as a commercial to this jail feels very promising.
  • Willem’s pronunciation of “Vampire head ass” is absolutely priceless, or maybe because it is Willem Dafoe, of all people, saying that phrase?
  • Andrew’s testimonial is excellent, his demeanor and the ways he’s disclosing the weird features in this Nice Jail are even better with always-reliable delivery.
  • Great to see Punkie in this sketch, and her underrated delivery, and uncomfortable demeanor through her testimonial is great.
  • I LOVE the sudden dark turn at the end of this sketch with Willem’s “I’d like to see them try” about the potential prospect of his Nice Jail getting closed and then returning to his earlier, nice personality. The dark subtleties that have been building around the general atmosphere of this sketch have now taken the forefront, and Willem’s excellent sudden turn makes the whole punchline of this sketch even more impactful.
  • An overall great, great sketch, even better upon a rewatch. I rated this sketch originally lower by half-a-star (which would still qualify it as “best of” the season in my book), but now upon another rewatch, and discovering these dark subtleties and the excellent performance by Willem Dafoe urges me to go all the way with this sketch.

Rating: *****

(John Mulaney / LCD Soundsystem – S47 E13)

Podcast Set

  • Already, this piece reminds me of the great Father-Son Podcasting Microphone pretape from David Harbour’s episode in season 45.
  • A solid premise for this fake ad.
  • Meh at Cecily’s tone as the voiceover, while I generally like her work in that aspect, she seems out-of-place here. I’m still somewhat surprised they didn’t use James as a voiceover in at least few more sketches this season. As he seems perfect for that.
  • John’s weight gain is noticeable in the scene where he rants, he looks healthier than ever now, good for him.
  • Some solid jabs at toxic masculinity, especially the part regarding BLM and protesting at the NFL.
  • Pretty strong & brief supporting performance from Heidi, always excelling in selling suburban despair.
  • While some parts of those are too on the nose, as this pretape seems like a Michael Che-written piece, it gets to its point right away, introduces a creative concept, and links it in a clever manner to everyday events and our society at large. A solid piece overall and I would’ve loved it if it replaced the Covid Dinner Discussion Sketch, as it would’ve made this fantastic episode even stronger.

Rating: ****

Family Band

  • I’m NOT caring for that voice that Kyle is using, it’s just sketch #463737 in which he’s using that same voice and mannerism in his tenure so far.
  • Andrew looks particularly adorable here.
  • I love Heidi, and I HATE to criticize her, but, she’s using the same exact voice that she uses for her Bailey Gismert character, and some other roles of hers.
  • Boy, I don’t want to judge a sketch only one minute or so in, but I sense that I won’t care for this one.
  • NO! Is this a singing sketch? This is already giving me massive Anderlette vibes.
  • Just got a chuckle (my first of the sketch) from John’s Slim Shady line.
  • What is this? The hell am I watching? I’m now more than halfway through this sketch and I have to yet get an actual good laugh or understand the supposed comedic through line of this mess.
  • The hell is it with them ending each song with “and a big old bottle of gin”? Is this supposed to be amusing?
  • (*sigh*) Here goes Mikey once more EXPLAINING the sketch and the oddities of the situation to us. Thanks to whomever wrote this for prioritizing the blind and deaf in your audience, and those dumb enough not to pay any attention to what’s transpiring in front of them.
  • Not caring for Heidi’s singing, although she’s coming off endearing as always and looking more attractive than usual in that dress.
  • This sketch serves as a prime example to the problems that plague current SNL. The headwriters from Season 43 and onwards and the decline and incompetence that they’ve caused in the writing supervision allowed such a dogshit, incomprehensible, confused piece to make it to dress, when it shouldn’t even have made it through the table read in such state.
  • Ok, so is the “comedic” conceit here that Heidi’s character creepily loves her siblings? or that they’re old-fashioned and coming off like a bunch of weirdos? If so, why isn’t it funny? Where is the joke again? So many questions, so little laughs.
  • I guess I should appreciate the sweetness of this piece in general, and the slice-of-life feel. Yet, this one comes off to me as confused, meandering, annoying, bloated, and most importantly UNFUNNY. I cannot tell after rewatching this sketch for three times while writing this mini-review what in the world in it’s main conceit or or the alleged comedic through line is.
  • So, I’ll rate what I just witnessed, and I hope that whomever wrote this skit can tell us what it was actually about.

Rating: *1/2

(Oscar Isaac / Charli XCX – S47 E14)


  • Already, I’m all on board with this unique, creative, and hilarious premise.
  • By the way, this commercial reminds me of the classic Undercover Office Potty commercial, for obvious reasons.
  • Solid commercial spokesman delivery and performance from Kate, a role that I think she’s generally underrated and underutilized in.
  • Yet once again tonight, Oscar is very solid in this piece and sells his parts incredibly well.
  • A solid laugh when Oscar nearly falls from the inflatable toilet.
  • I’m enjoying Oscar’s characterization here, he was such a fantastic host all night long; a host that I’m going to have no problem with potentially recurring. Such a gifted, committed performer.
  • Some good, cheap laughs throughout this commercial from the way you would you use the Aerotoilet, the bit with Kate inflating the toilet is hilarious, yet disgusting at the same time.
  • A great ending with the inflatable toilet releasing too much air, Kate’s reaction was also excellent at the end.
  • Overall, this should’ve made to air instead of that awful Harassment Seminar sketch, as the season so far barely had any commercial parodies, and this also features a very solid, rare commercial spokesman role from Kate; a role she’s so underused in.

Rating: ****

(Zoë Kravitz / Rosalía – S47 E15)

Can I Talk to You?

  • Interesting camera movement at the beginning, and I love how the title of the short briefly appears just before Ego comes out. Was this directed by the same people who did the classic The Negotiator short last year? It certainly has a similar feel & color grading.
  • Ah, a Chris Redd showcase.
  • A great look on Ego, looking even more attractive than usual.
  • I’m loving how Chris is carrying this short on his own, with solid straight man reactions from Ego & Zoë.
  • A big laugh from the visual of the burning car.
  • Man, these absurdist escalations are pulled off flawlessly, and the nonchalant smug attitude from Chris the icing on the cake.
  • A great, yet disturbing visual of the baby stroller heading towards the moving truck on the road.
  • I guess I spoke too soon about this being a Chris Redd solo showcase, as here comes Mikey, which makes me think he had a part in writing this piece.
  • By the way, I do not dislike Mikey at all as a performer or writer, as his record for me is mixed, with some SNL classics (FBI Simulator, David S. Pumpkins, Matt Shatt, and Google Talks or the Burt Sampson sketch in Jessica Chastain’s episode), and some annoyingly bad sketches like that Snapchat sketch in Adam Sandler’s episode back in season 44 and those dirty names sketches.
  • I’m enjoying Mikey’s parts in this short, especially the tail & missing teeth, performed expertly & professionally as always by him.
  • A great ending to a great short.
  • A very strong & creative piece overall. A shame this was cut from the live show as it would’ve given it a big boost in the average rating.

Rating: ****1/2

(Jerrod Carmichael / Gunna – S47 E16)

Please Don’t Destroy – Three Normal Goths

  • Great to see these guys back.
  • I like the very casual reveal of the three guys dressing like goths. Martin surprisingly feels at home here, and Ben looks even cuter then usual in this sketch.
  • This is such a spot-on recreation of the typical cheesy sitcom, and the theme itself is just perfect here.
  • A pretty creepy visual of John’s eyes being tattooed, good makeup or effect on them.
  • I really don’t know what make up of that ending, still another pretty good PDD short, even when it’s a step down from their usual work for me.

Rating: ***1/2 (I think this the first PDD piece that I rated below four-stars)

Angelo Wedding

  • This is Aristotle’s first meaty role in a sketch since his standout Update piece in November.
  • I don’t want to sound mean towards a struggling newbie, but is this the only thing Aristotle’s been pitching these past few months? If so, is he expecting to survive with only this piece & like one Weekend Update pitch in the previous week? He needs to step it up or he’s done; as the writers strangely do not cast him even in the smallest of roles for some odd, unknown reason.
  • While I was very high on the original Angelo sketch, like many other fans, and while I would admit overrating the 2nd installment by half-a-star, I certainly don’t need this character to pop up every few months with the SAME format, and without any arc or something interesting happening outside of a few catchphrases thrown out every minute.
  • Yeah, this has been going through the same route as the first two, while still providing some quick laughs, it’s not enough for me to rate it higher than I would.
  • Solid energy & performance from Jerrod, and a far better usage of him than how he was used in the live show.
  • Overall, this sketch had its moments, but I’m already getting SO tired of this character and we’re only in its third appearance. I do hope they change the format & for Aristotle to try and get on Update with some character work, it’s starting to become very rough for him, and his future on the show is becoming more and more uncertain by each passing week.

Rating: ***

(Jake Gyllenhaal / Camila Cobello – S47 E17)

Dinner With the Dean

  • UH-OH, a Cecily showcase in this late stage of her tenure. I’ll say it right now: THIS certainly spells doom.
  • I do know that this is parodying Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but is the reference their only shtick instead of jokes?
  • So, are the cute dog photos being “unfinished” supposed to be the whole joke? As a dog lover and owner am I supposed to enjoy this tripe because of that? How did this sketch make it to dress?! why did it nearly get to air in such a confused, meandering, unfunny state?! How did they allow the the sets to be built and the costumes to be tailored when this sketch shouldn’t have made it outside of the table read in such a state??!!
  • The use of cute dog images reminds me of how many cute pets & dogs especially were heavily featured in early season 45 ( a strong season overall, but it got well-deserved criticism when it used cute animals to hide shaky writing).
  • Wow, I’m now more than halfway through this sketch, and it’s fucking AWFUL, just the same joke repeated over and over and over and over…
  • Yeah, this sketch just a one-joke sketch, that is pure torture for me to sit through.
  • I’m still not caring for Cecily’s performance, as usual she’s committed and a professional, yet I’m not impressed with her acting & THAT voice she’s using.
  • This sketch kinda died an absolutely miserable death toward its end, if that’s even possible.

Rating: *1/2

Serious Night Live

  • A Kyle Mooney backstage piece. I’ve gotten tired of many of his showcases this season, but I’ll go into this one with more of an open mind. My problem with Kyle this season, while I still love him, is that he has shown us everything he has and now has NOTHING left to give us. So, he’s fishing more and more in familiar waters, which ends up making him look out of place and expendable.
  • Che! It feels so surreal to see him in a big role in this cut piece.
  • Jake is doing a great job in trying to act really badly, Kyle’s also a natural in these due to his anti-comedy sitcom homages.
  • A very ambitious structure to this piece, with it being even more meta than the usual Kyle Backstage ones. It already makes me feel really bad that this was cut and those awful Update showcases (Baby Yoda, influencer), and that blah restaurant sketch got on air and this promising one did not. It would’ve been a good showcase for Kyle in this uneven, potential final season.
  • The bit with Kyle asking if he’ll got on air this week doesn’t make any sense, considering that he appeared a lot (surprisingly) and got some unhinged hate online for supposedly “stealing” airtime from a certain very struggling featured player.
  • Overall, pretty good, but nothing outstanding to me. This has been done by Kyle to DEATH before this season. How many times do we need to see him get shut down from Lorne and acting awkwardly around others? He did it better in previous pieces of his. I would put this on air instead of that awful cowboy sketch though.

Rating: ***1/2

(Lizzo – S47 E18)

Costco Meeting

  • I recall the first installment of this being both cringeworthy & completely laughless early on in the season, hopefully this is better.
  • Sarah’s looking gorgeous, and her delivery improved from the first installment, where it’s now more modulated and contained, which shows us her growth as a performer in this one season alone.
  • Lizzo’s entrance is ALREADY making me feel better about this installment, as she’s most certainly more talented and fun than KIM. KARDASHIAN.
  • Man, Lizzo’s killing her moments in this sketch, the energy is just so infectious. Again, it reminds me why I loved this episode so much in the first place.
  • Overall, I surprisingly enjoyed this FAR more than the first one, I would chalk that to having an actual talented, and fun person as one of the lead singers, unlike Kim Freaking Kardashian.

Rating: ***

Food & YouTube

  • It feels so odd seeing Bowen & Chris together in a music video. This is a collaboration that I don’t think I ever expected, yet I’m most certainly not complaining about it happening.
  • A pretty unusual, yet fun concept to this music video. I’m already onboard with this idea.
  • Lots of good visuals through this music video, and much like the other ones from this era, this is doing an absolutely spot-on job capturing the feel of these type of music videos (you know which type).
  • I love the awkward part where Bowen throws his plate and sings “And I’m never doing that again”.
  • Such a relatable, funny music video so far. Indeed food & YouTube are what made many of us survive through the pandemic.
  • Lizzo’s part is stealing this entire short, and much like how she was in the aired episode, she’s bringing tons of energy here and her rapping and flow are both flawless. She STEALS this entire music video, can we already have her back next season, please?
  • The ending with Bowen & Chris singing, Lizzo twerking and their full-mouthed singing is hilarious, and yet again Lizzo steals this short with her laugh at the end.

Rating: ****

(Natasha Lyonne / Japanese Breakfast – S47 E21)

Forget About Lorne

  • Bah, I guess it’s appropriate that we have a Pete Raps! for Pete Davidson’s final episode.
  • Much like some of his other rap videos, this one is obviously a play on and a reference to a famous song by a rapper, this time being a reference to Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre.” Yet, making a cultural reference with nothing else to stand on does not equal comedy, it equals creative bankruptcy. A big gripe I’ve always had with Family Guy where references are the joke with nothing else backing them.
  • WTF at that shirtless guy with Lorne’s face?! That’s some really weird fascination with Lorne Michaels here, to an almost creepy extant.
  • This is a very dull & tepid music video so far, very low energy for some reason.
  • This piece, like I said, has nothing else to stand on aside from that reference. The reason that the Stu short worked so damn well, aside from being co-written by the brilliant Steven Castillo, is that it used the Eminem reference which was a hilarious big reveal early on, and built from it, not only referenced it and then crumbled immediately afterwards like how this piece did.
  • An overall big waste of my time. Yet, a fitting way for a mediocre performer to go out with a subpar, weak piece. A fitting microcosm of his tenure on the show.

Rating: **

Cigarettes Show

  • According to fellow reviewer & frequent reader of this blog, John, this sketch was co-written by former headwriter Anna Drezen, which is why it already feels too wordy, meandering, and confusing to me.
  • I certainly did not need to see Fred Armisen in another sketch tonight, and now being joined by Maya Rudolph. This is giving me unwanted flashbacks to the season 43 finale, which I’m most certainly dreading to cover from now.
  • Also, why in the world is Armisen dominating the night with airtime, while most of the cast are sitting in their dressing rooms?! It’s similar to how Kristen absolutely took over Will Forte’s episode earlier in the year, which is another episode that I don’t need to remember at the moment.
  • Some eye-rolling, baffling, and hacky lines so far, not even Natahsa’s infectious energy can save this for me.
  • Seeing Bowen & particularly Chloe here makes me a bit sad that this was cut, even when I’m not caring at all about anything that’s happening so far. This sketch, much like the Mr. Dooley one earlier in the evening, feels like a security blanket to some that the show will be fine without Kate & Aidy; Chloe’s role here feels exactly like a one that Kate would’ve played (and did earlier in her tenure), it’s just in the service of a meandering piece.
  • Overall, one or two good lines, and a fun novelty of seeing Bowen & Chloe starring here. Yet, the eye-rolling lines, Armisen & Rudolph, and the confused and padded material will bring down my rating to the one that you’ll see right now.

Rating: **

ESPN’s First Take – NBA

  • Damn, another ESPN sketch cut? But why?! I hope this one is as hilarious as the first.
  • Man, Chris is already coming off FANTASTIC early on here, that guy is a powerhouse of a performer.
  • Ah, I love that they fight about if this is a good morning OR a great morning; a solid parody of sports fights.
  • Whoa, how many men did Natasha play in dress? No complaints from me, as this shows her fearlessness as a performer, but it’s quite interesting seeing her in male drag THREE times in one show, the dress version that is.
  • Some great energy from Natasha early on, and now she’s saying that it’s a SPECTACULAR morning instead of good or great, this sketch is just bursting with energy.
  • Chloe’s a solid straight man here, her facial reactions to Chris’ rant gave me some good laughs.
  • Natasha’s ranting is hilarious, this sketch continues to be a laugh riot with tons of fun energy from everyone involved.
  • I LOVE Chloe’s question being: “Is a hot dog a sandwich?”
  • WOW, a very rare character break from Chris, but this being dress rehearsal, I’m sure he would’ve been stone-faced as always on air. I don’t think he EVER broke on air, but I might be forgetting a sketch or two.
  • Overall, a great sketch, while not as strong as the first one to me, it’s still pretty great. A shame how this sketch never became officially recurring so far.

Rating: ****

Final Thoughts:-

  • An overall pretty enjoyable experience for me doing these cut-for-time reviews. These pieces were mostly solid to fantastic, including one of the very best sketches from this season (Nice Jail) and an excellent pretape (Can I talk to You?). We had a few bombs here as anticipated, but the highlights FAR & AWAY outnumbered the lowlights not only in this post, but this entire season. A good way for the 2014-2022 SNL era to go out with. A fitting ending to an overall strong era of the show that will hopefully age well, aside from Trumpwin that is…

Up Next:-

  • We close the books on season 47 and the 2014-2022 SNL era with the final wrap-up post with overall thoughts, hot takes, and data. stay tuned!

6 Replies to “January 15 – May 21, 2022 – CFT pieces (S47 E10 -21)”

  1. Angelo is the one character I don’t mind becoming a recurring sketch. Angelo Wedding may not be as good as the others, but Jerrod’s drums, Melissa’s… thing, the new situation (wedding) and Aristotle’s thorough commitment prove that he’s still attempting to change it up each time. I’m still laughing! Maybe it’s just me, as Angelo Christmas was literally my #1 favourite sketch of the season, but I wouldn’t mind a million Angelo sketches if it meant Aristotle got some more screen time. I say let him do what he wants before he inevitably gets fired. Poor guy, his tenure has been TERRIBLE so far. Angelo Wedding is a 3.5 stars for me, maybe even a 4.

    As for the rest of the CFT pieces, I don’t really have much of an opinion on any of them, and haven’t even seen some of them. I’ll check out Nice Jail, Podcast Set & Can I Talk To You? soon, they sound good based off your ratings.

  2. Thanks Blood. You’ve inspired me to plow through these, so I’ll leave my takes as they come. Here’s what I’ve watched thus far:

    Forgot About Lorne **1/2
    Those stars are really only for the concept, and for what I consider to be a sweet farewell gesture from Pete. The execution is… not good. Blood put it very well – the Eminem thing isn’t going to work if your reveal comes 96% of the way through the sketch. And of course Em adds nothing whatsoever here, leaning on the “I’m still a dark, tortured badass at 50+” crutch. Nobody thinks you’re dark or intimidating anymore, Marshall. If you’re going to walk onto a fawning comedy sketch, at least do/say something funny. It reminded me of Jason Mamoa’s brief cameo in Beck’s Enough is Enough short from S46. If the only joke is “celebrity pops up to call someone a loser 35 times then storm off”… then what’s the joke? Why am I laughing? Why even take the time to shoot it? Not to mention… why wasn’t Lorne in this? All the crap he’s been willing to wander into over the years, but he couldn’t be used fire 3-5 seconds here? Yeesh.

    Dinner with the Dean **1/2
    I wanted to like this one more, as Jake really performs the hell out of it, while Andrew and Chloe are awesome in their utility roles. I especially love “Beige College” and Chloe’s desperate asking of “Why has it prevented you from having kids…?” But ugh, the Cecily of it all. It’s not all her fault, either – it’s just a jumbled concept, which is a Kent Sublette hallmark. No idea where it really wants to go, just rooted in a silly, overdramatic idea in the hopes that the fake drama (and inevitable breaking) will carry us through. But this idea simply isn’t strong enough, and Cecily is no longer capable of carrying those sketches anyway. We’re a long, long way from Space Chicken at this point.

    Nice Jail ***1/2
    Extra points for effort here, but this could’ve been a 4.5-5 star piece with a better host. Don’t get me wrong – I love Willem Dafoe, and he clearly did his best and had fun as host. But a piece like this really needs a comedian – it’s so goddamn silly, and the rapid-fire dialogue needs to be read cleanly so the jokes can land. Poor Willem stumbled over the cue cards like he was Robert DeNiro. However, unlike with DeNiro, I at least appreciate Willem’s effort here. As for the sketch itself, just a dynamite concept and script. Just imagine Ferrell or Mulaney or even (ugh) Jon Hamm anchoring this.

    PDD: New Personalities ****
    Yeah, PDD keeps doing the same sketch over and over. So what? As soon as they slip up, I’ll complain, but it just hasn’t happened yet. These are so well-performed and well-edited that they can twist any stupid concept into something subversive and funny. This one isn’t quite as strong as their New Song and Good Variant films, but it’s very good and I laughed consistently.

    Food and YouTube *****
    Finally I hit a true gem, one that had no business whatsoever being snipped. Man, Bowen is just fantastic in everything he’s asked to do. He’s one of those Hader/Wiig/Sudeikis/McKinnon types who’s looked like a seasoned, beloved veteran from Day One. Rarely flubs, rarely breaks, and more importantly – he’s ALWAYS in on the joke and ALWAYS nails the tone from start to finish. No flailing or desperately searching for a funnier angle (coughbeckbennettcough) – just an innate understanding of what’s funny in every sketch. Here he takes a good-not-great concept that’s EXTREMELY relatable and elevates it through the roof. “And I’m never doing that again” was just a KILLER moment, one of the season’s best.

  3. All on Me ****
    Here’s a great one that might even deserve an extra 1/2. Chris is just worlds better at these hip-hop videos than Pete ever was. For one, his are original and not just Eminem rehashes. There’s more to laugh at than just “oh wow, that sounds just like that Eminem song!” But more importantly, Chris is just funnier. Unlike Pete, Chris has a real grasp of what comedy is and isn’t, and he’s willing to sink into a role without mugging. This one works great, especially for those of us who watch “in the club” rappers just (pretend to) spend silly amounts of money in these videos. Funny, relatable, catchy as hell.

    1. And may I say… Chloe just takes my breath away in All on Me. Just a truly stunning creature, wow.

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