Cold Opening – Trump National Golf Club
- Our very first cold open with Alec as president-elect Trump. I recall how surprising it was to online SNL fans that he was still playing Trump even after the election, showing us that SNL really thought that it would be a fun to have Alec as a stunt-casting for a few episodes, much like Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for fun, till Trump actually shockingly (for them) won. Which again reminds us of the delusional and smug thinking that many had back in 2016 that Hillary had it in the bag.
- A very big laugh from Alec’s Trump Googling “What is ISIS?”
- Kate’s stealing this whole open & getting a huge audience reaction from her confused facial reactions and her “all of this” line.
- A good laugh from how brief the Romney/Trump meeting was, and I can’t complain at all about seeing another Jason Sudeikis cameo.
- Beck is doing a solid job in his scene with Trumpwin near the end of the open.
- Ah, I absolutely love the concept of this monologue, with an almost full-cast use and such fun & silly lyrics sung beautifully by Kristen that have so many inaccurate details about Thanksgiving. I only wished that her season 46 monologue had a tone similar to this, with Christmas-themed, full-cast monologue, instead of the annoying mug-off that we got.
- Ah, Beck is so good at milking laughs from me and the audience with his facial expressions alone in this monologue.
- A very cute & fun quick appearance from Melissa in this monologue.
- Will Forte & Steve Martin! It also feels so good to see the audience giving the former such a big round of applause, as Steve Martin would easily get his due when it comes to that aspect.
- I’m loving how more and more crowded the homebase stage is, with not only almost the entire cast, but also what I assume are some writers as well. It gives this monologue & the episode in general such a joyful, fun atmosphere right from the beginning.
- A big laugh from an audience member’s head exploding due to a mind-blowing fact about Thanksgiving that Kristen just shared.
- Here comes a piece that I recall enjoying when it aired, but was surprised to see some think of it as some brilliant masterpiece. While very well-written and presented, it always struck me of having “lol stupid liberals!” tone that the Election Night sketch had last episode. Even though SNL were the epitome of stupidity & delusion when it came to covering Trump before and after his election win. I’ll go into this short, however, with an open mind.
- A pretty clever, solid concept, and a rare, yet fitting pairing of both Kyle and Sasheer.
- I love Melissa’s facial expression after drinking that raw milk, she’s been having a surprisingly decent first season so far into her tenure on the show, being featured more so far than she would be regularly as her tenure progresses.
- I love the line about celebrating color from Kyle, and Sasheer’s facial expression to it is just perfect.
- OH, NO.
- Ugh at the “Choad” gag with Kenan’s character’s surname. the usual typical Anderlette immaturity & lowest-common-denominator approach to humor in most of their writing.
- Melissa continues to get good airtime tonight, even though she’s playing a boring straight man to a tired Wacky Wiig character.
- Not caring for the ham-off between Cecily & Kristen in this sketch so far, yet I bet Anderlette must be living in heaven right now.
- Why is Kenan trying not to break? It is like he never saw Cecily & Kristen ham it up in both rehearsals all week & dress? I love Kenan, like most fans do, but sometimes his hamminess and self-indulgence at times makes by blood boil, and this is not the first time this season that he annoyed me with his expressions & acting in certain sketches, excluding this one that I’m currently reviewing.
- How many times am I supposed to be laughing at Mindy saying the secret word? Or her breaking into various ramblings about previous works of hers? It’s just like what Kristen did in that wretched Liza Minnelli sketch from season 37.
- Overall, this was weak, but surprisingly not as insufferable as some of the other installments, faint praise, I know.
Anderson Cooper 360
- Good to see the return of Alex’s Anderson Cooper impression.
- Funny brief back-and-forth between Alex’s Anderson Cooper & Kate’s Dana Bash.
- Knowing the sketch’s twist ending beforehand, I’m loving how more and more the political debate’s conversation in this sketch is being more and more repeated in an endless loop in a manner filled with frenzy & subtle darkness.
- Kristen is fitting perfectly into this sketch, and it is feels so good to see her in an original sketch early on in the episode, unlike how very recurring-heavy her previous hosting stint was.
- Solid Westworld twist ending to the sketch, and impressive physical acting by the cast as they remain perfectly still, reminding me of the classic TV news channel theme song sketch from the season 25 Garth Brooks episode, even though this one is on a much larger scale than the aforementioned classic.
- It is kinda funny that this piece is about Target, and in an episode where our host’s breakout character has the same first name.
- A very well-shot and directed commercial so far, and this one seems to be going for the realistic approach in its parody.
- A very funny visual & scene in the massive empty parking lot.
- Pretty solid, funny commercial overall.
- Man, Anderlette must feel in heaven right now, as we get their two biggest muses for a muggy/twitchy ham-off. I surprisingly recall this one not being a straight-up disaster like one would expect when pairing these two performers in a piece by these two writers.
- Unlike some Anderlette sketches, this one has an actual structure, progression, and solid performances that aren’t too hammy or twitchy as I feared.
- The shouting match between Kristen & Cecily is making me laugh more than I thought it would, as well as the energy in their performances make this sketch much more tolerable than their usual output.
- One of the better Anderlette/Cecily sketches, which isn’t really saying much.
Musical Performance – “On Hold”
- Jesse Nathan: Romy’s mic wasn’t turned up high enough.
- Not loving Oliver’s voice.
- Good chorus.
- I’m liking this instrumental from Jamie xx. He’s always had a knack for great production.
- Nice usage of a sped-up Hall & Oates sample.
- Uh…what the hell is with these sultry moves from Romy and Oliver? Seriously, what are they going for?
- The bass is turned up very high during this performance, certainly more so than anything else. I mean, it’s a good bassline, but it shouldn’t be so obviously audible.
- It’s actually very impressive how Jamie is able to pull off that beat live.
- Oliver’s vocal delivery of “every time I let you leave” during the third chorus seemed kinda off-key.
- Good guitar line as the song nears its end.
- I’m getting some laughs from the whole Trump/Bannon breakdown early on in this Update edition, but it is starting to get more and more tiring to talk about Trump, and this is when he was president-elect! I can’t imagine the fatigue that will become so clear in this era halfway through season 43.
- Good laughs from Che’s imaginary positive Trump headlines.
- I’m not really caring that much for Pete’s commentary, not because of how much I got sick of him in real-life and the trash press surrounding his mediocre talent, but that his commentary is mostly clapter & rambly one-liners with nothing to stand on.
- Hearing Beck’s voice-over here is reminding of how absolutely shocking it was for him to make his very first Update appearance halfway through this 4th season of his.
- Sadly, this commentary of Willie seems to be retreading old ground, and feels like a lesser version of his summer & winter commentaries that he made in the past, as Thanksgiving is too happy of a holiday to have a dark twist to it.
- A very unique & fun sketch concept that feels so refreshing to see in our Thanksgiving episode of the season.
- Beck’s costume here is almost identical to Alex’s soon-to-debut Guy Who Just Bought A Boat character.
- An excellent, if not slightly disturbing visual of the performers as giant balloons outside of the window.
- Great look on Kristen’s character, and her grin is both unsettling and funny.
- Bobby is absolutely terrifying as the clown balloon here and is stealing this entire sketch with his scary smile outside of the window.
- Such a solid sketch overall, and the increasing subtle darkness in it only added to its quality.
Whiskers R’ We
- Unlike some fans, I do not have the seething hatred that some have for this sketch. It is just an average, yet very harmless recurring sketch in general.
- Kate & Kristen are pretty much a perfect pair in this sketch, and the latter is doing a dead-on imitation of the former’s way of speaking in this recurring sketch.
- An absolutely hilarious line about ghost cats.
- Ah, it feels so good to see Bobby everywhere in this episode, considering how underused he is so far into the season.
- Bobby absolutely steals this entire sketch & provides me with a pretty huge laugh with his quick appearance. Making this sketch the second time in this episode where he absolutely steals an entire sketch.
Musical Performance – “I Dare You”
- Jesse Nathan: This beat isn’t anywhere near as impressive as the last one, and it’s overshadowing the vocals.
- I like the guitar line.
- Romy’s vocals are kinda weak here, and I don’t mean just the mixing. In fact, I’m not entirely sure if she’s a strong vocalist.
- The chorus is okay, but it’s not as memorable as the last song.
- Speaking of people who aren’t strong vocalists, Oliver.
- Okay, I do like the way the beat dies down during the second chorus.
- Romy’s vocals during the bridge make the words she’s saying sound unintelligible.
- I’m kinda having a hard time trying to pay attention to this performance while I’m watching Jamie being able to pull off the beat.
- And now we get the return of Oliver and Romy’s sultry moves. Yippee…
- Wow, I’m kinda shocked that Oliver actually kissed Romy on the cheek at the end.
- (*groan x infinity*)
- OH, GOD. Not the return of THIS character.
- Per usual, I’m sitting here staring at my laptop’s screen completely stone-faced as the usual, tired, by-the-numbers routine of this character is being played out. This character never even worked for me in her very first appearance, and could be used to pinpoint the beginning of Kristen’s massive decline on the show and how her tenure would turn from being a solid, beloved utility-player, into an over-the-top, hammy, “look at me!” attention-starved performer that would use the other female cast members as basically background extras in her vanity pieces which would go on for FOUR DAMN SEASONS.
- (*groan*) and to make this sketch somehow WORSE we’re now getting our obligatory Leslie character break. Fucking hell.
- Such a terrible way to end a fun episode on.
Cut For Time: Goddess of Creation
- This is a short that I haven’t seen for several years, possibly since it originally aired. It will be fascinating to revisit it for this review.
- A perfect, deadpan voice-over work from Cecily as the titular Goddess of Creation here, as her various questions & observations are delivered pretty much flawlessly.
- I’m absolutely loving both the very creative, oddball, and unique concept for this short & the tone of its direction and cinematography.
- This short is an excellent usage of Kristen’s low-key, deadpan line delivery, as her various ways of suggesting new creatures & her general shy, yet excited demeanor is fantastic throughout this short & is providing tons of laughs.
- Solid frustrated reactions from Kate & Vanessa in this short, as their far superior suggestions keep getting ignored in favor of Kristen’s less impressive ones.
- A pretty solid laugh from Kristen’s whole spiel about the creation of the volcano, as a mountain but is a total bitch.
- Great angry reaction by Kate as she throws a lightening bolt away in frustration.
- Oh, I’m absolutely loving that Kristen’s next suggestion to create is singing.
- Very funny & impressive singing from Kristen near the short’s end, between operatic, pop, and then turning into a Britney Spears impression. A dead-on one as one would expect from a great impressionist such as Kristen.
- I absolutely love the short’s ending, with the visual of countless Kristens being dropped into Earth, and Kristen’s brief giggling is so endearing.
- An overall true hidden gem, and another winner Julio Torres piece. This man continues to be an absolute killer so far into his first season.
Cur For Time: Thanksgiving Foods
- Ah, another installment of these great, creepy holiday-related sketches.
- Kristen’s aforementioned low-key, deadpan delivery is always reliable. She is absolutely PERFECT for this sketch’s general atmosphere and non-sequitur one-liners.
- Funny bit with the candid yam inexplicably having a photo of John Candy on it.
- Kenan is a solid creepy sidekick to Kristen’s character, and his childlike demeanor is displayed quite well here.
- Very solid part with the supposed peas turning out to be birth control pills, and Kristen’s line afterwards saying: “Donald Trump can’t take away what he can’t find” was the perfect way to conclude it.
- Didn’t care much for Bobby’s whole bit, as it was just a lazy rewrite of his role in the classic An Easter Message sketch with Michael Keaton.
- A very cheap, yet pretty big guilty laugh from Kenan’s turkey painting.
- Solid ending with the “Wisten Kriig” reveal even when it feels like an imitation of the excellent reveal that Michael Keaton was playing himself all along in the previous installment.
- A great sketch overall, and another winner in these holiday-related sketches. I’m looking forward to reviewing the cut one from Bill Hader’s episode next season, as I recall it much better than almost everything in that absolutely wretched episode.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
CFT: Goddess of Creation
CFT: Thanksgiving Foods
Anderson Cooper 360
Whiskers R’ We
Trump National Golf Club
- The long line of good episodes continues, as tonight’s show was a very fun, joyful show filled with several standout, solid segments, and very fun and energetic atmosphere. While not as strong as some of the previous fantastic episodes this season, this one still contained several great pieces and was mostly wall-to-wall filled with solid & enjoyable sketches. Kristen Wiig was also utilized much better than her previous hosting stint, with several solid original sketch roles that used her great talents much better than not only her previous hosting stint, but the entire second half of her tenure.
- Emma Stone hosts with musical guest Shawn Mendes.