Cold Opening – Retweets
- (*sigh*) It is becoming more and more clear that SNL never had a backup plan in case Trump wins the election, once again showing us the smug attitude that many had back in 2016 about him losing, and how that Hillary is sure to be president.
- Not too thrilled about this cold open’s premise, even when it’s coming off far more tolerable than the death march cold opens that I’ll be reviewing eventually.
- Meh at the premise of Kellyanne increasingly getting worried about Trump’s tweeting habits. It is yet another example of how this era’s depiction of Trump’s family & associates is so confused and frustrating. I’m waiting for Kellyanne’s portrayal to go full psycho mode, as it was the best use of Kate’s talents in this role.
- Bobby’s look alone in this open has me laughing so hard.
- We now get the short-lived, yet very memorable debut of Mikey’s Steve Bannon. I absolutely love how he’s dressed as the Grim Reaper.
- It feels so good to review Emma Stone, as I greatly enjoy her as an actress, even though her SNL episodes do not use her talents to the fullest extent, yet I do recall this episode being the best of her four episodes by far.
- Great to see a backstage monologue, these are always favorites of mine.
- Solid continuity to the Kyle + Leslie storyline with the brief glimpse of them being affectionate to each other backstage.
- Ah, always happy to see our traditional showgirls and llama backstage.
- A pretty good monologue overall.
- (*sigh*) Our final Theatre Showcase sketch, these had such a great run and brought lots of laughs.
- Interesting to see Mikey performing this sketch with the rest of the cast, and like a pro, he’s coming off like he has been performing this sketch for years.
- So many laughs from the supposedly “deep” social commentary that these quick acts are supposedly commenting on.
- I absolutely love the whole part with Aidy’s pro-AIDS monologue, as it not only steals this sketch, but is easily one of my favorite moments from this entire episode.
- A very funny & random “gay son” act in this installment, even when it feels similar to an earlier installment of this recurring sketch.
- The usual great Theatre Showcase sketch. I’m sure going to miss the hell out of these sketches, as these provided so many laughs and were amongst this era’s best when it came to social satire & commentary.
The Christmas Candle
- Ah, a variation of the classic Wishin’ Boot piece from season 40.
- A pretty funny, relatable premise for this short, and is absolutely perfect near the holidays.
- Great visual quality and aesthetic to this short, and it does make it feel vintage and old-school in a way.
- Ah, I see that Aidy is continuing her solid season (and it only gets better from here), as her singing in this short, and facial expressions are both slaying me & stealing this short.
- Man, this short is getting even better with Aidy’s whole big solo, her facial expressions while epically singing her part is incredibly memorable. One of my personal favorite Aidy Bryant moments in her entire tenure.
- What the FUCK was it with Pete’s very long, awkward, and inexplicable pause during Kenan’s scene?! Was he like high or something? Geez.
- An interesting premise to this sketch, and some solid performances from the cast.
- As expected, very funny delivery from Kate and solid characterization.
- Great voice that Emma’s using for her character, as well as her pose her is also adding further to her overall characterization.
- A good sketch overall. I do not remember the sequel sketch to this in Emma’s next episode in season 44, but I do recall hearing that it was a step down from this one.
The Hunt For Hill
- A pretty funny, random premise for a short, and a solid use of Kate’s Hillary Clinton impression.
- This is such a spot-on recreation of these types of shows, from the credits to the direction, and right to the camera angles used.
- Seeing Beck & Kyle here, and how dead-on their parodies tend to be in capturing the look and feel of what they’re parodying is making me think that they had a hand in writing this short.
- Kenan steals this whole short with his hilarious appearance, even when he looks kinda creepy to me with those eyes.
Musical Performance – “Mercy”
- Jesse Nathan: Shawn Mendes–another artist who I wrongly assumed was black when I first heard his voice. Not only that, but I felt he beared a slight resemblance to Charlie Puth.
- Not loving Shawn’s opening vocalizations.
- The way Shawn sings kinda makes the lyrics unintelligible. Now, I could turn on captions, but for some reason, the YouTube uploads of his performances have the captions switched. So instead of seeing the lyrics for “Mercy”, you instead get the lyrics for “Treat You Better”.
- Decent addition of strings, but that doesn’t really equal a strong performance. I’m finding this kinda boring, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with my musical tastes.
- Not caring much for the chorus.
- Is it just me, or are some of the audience members screaming once Shawn approaches the mic? In fact, the next time Emma Stone would host, the musical guest (BTS) would also get screaming audience members, only more apparent.
- Why am I getting the strange feeling that Shawn’s vocals were slightly autotuned?
- The backing vocals during the second chorus are kinda unnecessary.
- Now Shawn’s facial expressions are more in pain. Unfortunately, they’re not winning me over, as this song doesn’t really justify that.
- Yeah, Shawn’s vocals near the end are kinda terrible.
- Great & creative bit in this Update with the whole segment treating Trump’s tweets as a weather forecast.
- Yet another Leslie Jones commentary this season.
- (*yawn*) I’m getting REALLY tired and bored from this Leslie commentary. How many times am I supposed to laugh at how horny she is?! What a waste of precious airtime. I do recall her having a rough Update commentary in the Chris Pine episode later in the season.
- The return of Vanessa’s dead-on and uncanny Rachel/Jennifer Aniston vocal impression after its very memorable appearance last season. I’m always happy to see Vanessa getting a showcase this season, considering how very invisible she feels one third into the season, and aside from the great Short Film Festival sketch, there were barely any pieces where she shined in so far.
- So far, this is going through the exact same path as the first commentary, but I’m still getting my laughs from Vanessa’s excellent impression.
- Ah, and now we get Jennifer Aniston coming in to “confront” Vanessa’s impression of her. This has always been easily one of my favorite “confrontation” moments in SNL history, where the real-life person is meeting their SNL impersonator, up there with the very fun sketch between Mark McKinney’s Steve Forbes & the real Steve Forbes back in season 21.
- A fantastic, memorable moment right now, with the very in sync & uncanny sudden Rachel-esque vocals from both Jennifer & Vanessa in this commentary. I remember being taken aback with great amusement as this moment happened as I was watching it as it was airing.
- Bah, I’m already getting worried from this sketch, as it reminds me of that awful strippers sketch with Chris Hemsworth last season.
- Surprisingly, this turns out to be Cecily’s first & only appearance in this entire episode. No complaints from me.
- Great character voice from Emma, who’s feeling more and more like a cast member as the episode progresses.
- God, this sketch is BORING so far. Not helping it also are the constant cutaways to others as they REACT with puzzled reactions, a tired James Anderson trademark.
- Awful ending.
Paley Center Event
- Great to see this character back from the season premiere.
- Very happy to see Jennifer Aniston being featured in a sketch in tonight’s episode.
- Interesting how everyone, aside from obviously Kate and Sasheer, are playing themselves in this sketch.
- Very solid straight man reactions from Sasheer; a talent of hers that was barely used throughout her tenure.
- Like last time, Kate has tons of solid lines & is providing many laughs, and her many revelations of past Hollywood experiences are executed very well.
- A hilarious line regarding toot from Kate’s Debette Goldry, and the perfect delivery from Kate makes it even better.
Wells For Boys
- A very famous, beloved fake ad from this era.
- An absolutely brilliant concept for a fake ad. This particular piece comes to my mind when I think of how memorable & fantastic the fake ads of the 14-22 SNL era generally were.
- Emma Stone is FANTASTIC here, her interactions with her son in particular are both performed and escalated very well.
- An excellent touch with the accessories that come with the product: a shattered mirror and a balcony.
- Great angry, dramatic delivery from Emma as she tells another kid off.
- Overall, this was just as phenomenal as I remember it being. I’m looking forward to reviewing The Actress, which is yet another Julio collaboration with Emma from her next episode, as that one is in my personal top ten favorite shorts from this entire era.
Musical Performance – “Treat You Better”
- Jesse Nathan: Interesting shirt that Emma’s wearing, which reads “La La Land or Nowhere”, which is obviously referencing the movie she was promoting at the time…Moonlight.
- Not caring for the opening guitar, and I’m usually a sucker for the sound of that instrument.
- Oh, that’s Shawn playing the guitar. Who knew?
- Still not loving Shawn’s voice.
- Boy, the chorus fell extremely flat in the mixing, as the instrumental is pretty much a mess.
- Speaking of the chorus, when you hear it, you can’t unhear the slight similarities it has to “Stitches”, Shawn’s first big hit. Hell, even at the age of 12, I could still sense that.
- Well, on the bright side, at least Shawn’s singing of “better than he can” didn’t sound so bizarre and inhuman like it does on the album version.
- Ugh, Shawn, will you please wipe that stupid smirk off your face? It’s really irritating.
- I’m sure that his singing of the bridge has plenty of girls cheering their hearts out, but it’s making me more angry.
- The guitar line is falling flat near the end.
- Stop vocalizing, Shawn! I get that you want to show off your vocal “range”, but you don’t have to do it all the damn time! I swear to God, this guy is just making me more angry than I expected.
- A pretty questionable premise for a sketch, with Mary being played in a modern-day way of speaking and acting.
- I’ve always, and for some weird reason, confused this sketch with an awful one from next season with Kevin Hart and a llama.
- Emma is pulling off this potentially-corny sketch premise of a modern-day Mary rather well and is helping in making it work.
- Not the ending that I would’ve chosen for this sketch, but it was an overall harmless, decent effort for the show to close on.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Wells For Boys
The Christmas Candle
The Hunt For Hill
Paley Center Event
- Yet another pretty solid episode from this season. This season is on an absolute roll. This episode had two fantastic, era-defining SNL shorts, and lots of other enjoyable & solid sketches, moments, and performances that added a fun & energetic vibe to the whole night. Emma Stone was also a fantastic host, who’s becoming more and more of an honorary cast member. I’m looking forward to her upcoming season 44 episode, as I’m eager to rewatch it for the eventual review.
- This is my 100th post on this blog! I can’t believe how fast time flies by. Thanks everyone for supporting this blog!
- John Cena hosts with Maren Morris.