Cold Opening – Press Conference
- Ah, the return of Melissa McCarthy’s killer Sean Spicer impression, after its legendary debut last episode.
- Like last time, Melissa is crushing it here, and has tons of great lines & priceless moments.
- Some huge laughs from Melissa’s Spicer using props to explain the travel ban for reporters, the usage of Barbie & then Moana is absolutely priceless.
- A pretty huge laugh from Melissa’s defense of Kellyanne Conway’s unethical promotion of Ivanka’s product turning into a promotion of Ivanka’s gold bangle, complete with QVC-esque graphics on the screen with the price & phone number to call-in.
- Hoo, boy. The debut of Kate’s Jeff Sessions impression.
- A pretty big laugh from both the initial visual of Kate’s Jeff Sessions & how brief his whole part was.
- Aaaaaand here comes the podium attack yet again this time, with it being revealed to be a motorized podium. I absolutely LOVE this whole sequence, with Melissa’s Spicer driving all over the place, attacking the reporters. I’m honestly pretty much on the floor from laughing.
- Great, energetic LFNY delivery from Melissa to start the show with a high dose of energy.
- Ah, it feels great that I get to review an Alec Baldwin-hosted episode, considering that he is both amongst my favorite SNL hosts & comedic performers in general.
- Interesting to see Alec doing a retrospective monologue, much like his season 31 monologue.
- Ok, with Pete coming out right now, and this monologue focusing more and more around how older Alec is looking, it is starting to lose me a bit. I think Alec can handle a monologue on his own without the help of anybody else.
- A charming ending between Pete & Alec at least.
Russell Stover’s Black History Heart Shaped Box
- Holy hell at the reveal of this commercial’s premise, an absolutely priceless reveal.
- This ad is such a perfect takedown of “inclusive” posturing by companies & individuals in society without being too on-the-nose and shouting “woke” at people. Just clever, sharp satire.
- Alec & Leslie can surprisingly pull off this couple look in real-life. It kinda reminds me of how Leslie & Liev Schreiber felt like a real-life couple in the legendary House Hunters short.
- Ah, this ad is perfectly using Sasheer’s underrated & fantastic straight man reactions to the fullest extent, as her moments with Alex in particular are providing many laughs.
- I absolutely love the detail of the chocolate still around Alex’s mouth, despite Sasheer’s uncomfortable reaction to this product’s attempt to be “woke” and inclusive.
- An overall excellent fake ad, and has always been amongst my favorite social takedowns that this SNL era managed to do quite well.
- Seeing Cecily here, and the corporate setup of this sketch is reminding me of that fucking horrible Harassment Seminar sketch from the season 47 Oscar Isaac episode, and it makes me worried about what type of a sketch awaits me.
- An interesting & good conceit to this sketch, with it addressing the so-called “inclusive” posturing by companies & individuals. Between this sketch & the terrific previous commercial, this episode isn’t pulling any punches regarding posturing in society.
- I’m getting some good laughs from Alec’s delivery, but that delicious plate of Cheetos behind Alex & Cecily is distracting the HELL out of me.
- A better sketch than I expected, considering how slow its pace was early on.
- Great to see yet another Kellyanne Conway short, paired yet again with Beck’s Jake Tapper.
- A very solid movie parody to base this Kellyanne short on, with this one parodying Fatal Attraction.
- Like last time, great chemistry & back-and-forth between Beck & Kate throughout this short, and the latter’s increasing paranoia is pulled off incredibly well, with a terrific performance and writing to boot.
- Kate’s delivery of Glenn Close’s famous “I will not be IgNORED!” line was fantastic, and yet another example of what a phenomenal performer Kate McKinnon is in general.
- Great ending with Kate’s Kellyanne falling from the window, and then slowly coming back to life. The visual effects here, and Kate’s creepy head-turning sequence were excellent.
- Good airtime for Alex so far in tonight’s episode, continuing his good first season, which will only get better as the season goes along, and I do recall the upcoming season being possibly his best so far into his tenure.
- Bah at the conceit of this sketch, not even Alec’s always-reliable deliveries is helping it.
- A very funny line flub from Alec, and a solid recovery with his funny ad-lib towards Alex, who shows here his consummate professionalism by being completely STONE-FACED in reaction to that sudden ad-lib from Alec.
- Sadly, that line flub is my biggest laugh from this dull sketch. I’m not miserable while watching this sketch, just zoned-out.
- An actual cute & charming ending with Aidy’s mom character.
Musical Performance – “Shape of You”
- Jesse Nathan: The intro sounds a bit off.
- What’s the point of having Ed bring his guitar if he’s not gonna play it?
- Ed’s vocals sound great, and they’re not being rendered inaudible and/or unintelligible so far.
- To nitpick though, he really shouldn’t be in his upper register during this portion of the song. Then again, I’m more used to the studio recording, so maybe that explains why I feel that way.
- I’m not entirely sure if the drummer’s going at the same pace as the beat.
- Oh, so Ed does end up playing his guitar after all. Still not entirely necessary to the song, though.
- Hmm, the more I think about it, I’m not entirely sure if the song itself is being executed well here, either. Or maybe it’s not the execution, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the song itself doesn’t give the band too much to work with.
- The drummer is killing it during the bridge.
- I feel like some of the guitars are trying their best to pitch in. There’s one moment in the song where you start to hear the bass in the background, only for it to drop out and never be heard again. What’s the deal with that?
- A big laugh from the whole Batman spiel about Trump, the graphic alone is worth a solid laugh.
- The debut of another very noteworthy political impression from Kate tonight: Elizabeth Warren.
- A fantastic Elizabeth Warren impression from Kate, nailing her demeanor & voice to an eerie degree.
- Great meta approach to this Elizabeth Warren commentary, with her questioning Colin & Michael about why they are paid the same as the other cast members despite not regularly performing in sketches.
- Kate’s uncanny impression of both Warren’s voice and demeanor is slaying me in this commentary, probably one of my favorite things Kate did in this entire season.
- I absolutely love the cutaway to Michael calmly sipping from his drink during Kate’s Warren grilling of Colin.
- I know I shouldn’t have laughed this hard at that baby photo, but I did nonetheless.
- Ladies and gentlemen, we have a major recurring character debut!
- Ah, our very first visit to the Update desk by Alex, his first of MANY throughout his tenure. And better yet, debuting in his first commentary, one of my personal favorite Update characters of all-time.
- Great look & excellent characterization from Alex right out of the gate; you could tell this is a character from his improv years from how well-defined & lived-in it already feels.
- So many solid line deliveries from Alex in his debut as this character, and the word-play that he’s nailing flawlessly is quite impressive. Even the running gag with his penis size is giving me good, cheap laughs.
- An interesting pairing of Mikey & Leslie as a couple, and it is good that we are seeing some character work from Leslie behind the Update desk for a change.
- Nothing much to comment on here, but this commentary is decent & I’m getting some good laughs from both the personality AND size difference between the couple that Mikey and Leslie are playing.
- Another great Update edition, for the second episode in a row. It’s good that Update finally moved on from its mild slump these past few episodes.
The People’s Court
- Our obligatory Trumpwin sketch of the night with Alec.
- I see that this is another piece in this era that is now more of a history lesson than actual humor.
- Yeah, not really caring for Trumpwin’s very self-aware portrayal here, which is a major departure from how he was portrayed earlier in the season.
- No laughs to be heard from me so far into this sketch…
- Ok, I did get a laugh just now (my first of the sketch), from the visual of Bannon in that Grim Reaper outfit in the background.
- Cecily’s very solid here as the no nonsense judge at least, and she’s giving me some mild chuckles.
- Not even Beck’s walk-on as shirtless Putin is saving this dull sketch for me.
- An overall weak (yes even for SNL’s standards) Trumpwin sketch. It could’ve been much worse though. So, I guess that’s a positive?
- A pretty random concept to base an entire sketch on, as this one feels like a Tina Fey-era sketch, with its focus on celebrity news.
- I would say that it feels nice seeing Sasheer in a lead role for a change, considering that we are more and more nearing the end of her tenure.
- A pretty random Tracy Morgan cameo, yet with Alec hosting, I guess it should’ve been a given. Seeing him here & interacting hilariously with Kenan is not only putting a smile on my face, but reminds me of how much I loved him both as a cast member & in his two hosting stints.
Leslie Wants to Play Trump
- I’ve always absolutely loved this short in the past and considered it to be amongst my absolute favorite things that Leslie ever did on SNL. I’m so excited that I get to cover it now.
- A very funny & random premise of Leslie wanting to play President Trump instead of Alec. Back when this originally aired, I knew immediately that I’m going to absolutely love this.
- Well, to be fair, even the show is addressing the fact that a non-cast member is playing the President instead of an actual performer on the show. Too bad they didn’t do anything to change that for the entire Trump presidency.
- Solid sequence with Leslie practicing her Trump impression, and the good continuation to the Leslie + Kyle storyline here was nicely done.
- A hilarious reveal of Leslie in full costume & makeup as Trump, Leslie’s gleeful smile in particular absolutely slayed me.
- Great angry outburst from Leslie in Lorne’s office; I’ve always admired how great of a sport he generally is by appearing in these backstage pieces that this era brilliantly did in this & the coming seasons.
- Brilliant twist with Vanessa being the new Trump impersonator, and her mean girl portrayal and taunting of Leslie here is excellent.
- Very solid ending with Melania Trump inviting Leslie with her into her car.
Musical Performance – “Castle on the Hill”
- Jesse Nathan: Ed’s acoustic guitar is more audible than the rock guitars. The problem here is the fact that, well, the song is more of a rock tune than it is a folk tune. So maybe Ed shouldn’t be playing his guitar right now, if ever.
- Okay, the bass actually is more audible during the verses. Good.
- I kinda like the addition of backing vocalists, but I feel like I can barely hear them during the chorus.
- Now this is a strong chorus. Unfortunately, the way it’s being executed is missing the big, grand feeling that the studio version had, mainly due to the fact that the acoustic guitar is more front and center.
- I like how Ed starts furiously strumming his guitar during the gap between the end of the chorus and the start of the second verse.
- The guitarist on Ed’s left is really digging it.
- Ed’s vocals on the chorus are working just fine, but sadly, they’re kinda inaudible.
- Ed’s “ooo” fell fat.
- The two guitars sound great together during the bridge.
- Ed seems as though he’s conflicting with emotions as he starts singing the final chorus, which is kinda understandable, as this song is about memories and how he misses them.
- I like Ed’s strumming at the end.
- Great to see both Mikey & Alex dominating tonight’s episode, especially the latter.
- Now, this is just sad. The epitome of one-joke, sophomoric, desperate humor that caters to the lowest common denominator possible. How in the WORLD did this sketch get past the table read?! Or even the dress rehearsal for that matter?!
- The most interesting thing in this laughless hell of a sketch is that Steve Higgins is the one making all of these “hilarious” fart noises off-camera. Other than that, this was pretty much an all-around disaster of a sketch.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Leslie Wants to Play Trump
Russell Stover’s Black History Heart Shaped Box
The People’s Court
- While this episode doesn’t compare to Alec’s fantastic season 37 episode, this one was still a pretty good episode as a whole, and with several standout, great segments all night long, even with the few flops along the way, including that abysmal final sketch. Alec provided solid laughs throughout the night, and was his usual funny, charismatic self as the host, yet I would’ve loved it if they utilized him much better in this episode than they did, as some of his roles here felt like a waste of his talents, even though he committed 100% to the material. If this turns out to be his final hosting stint ever, then it’s a shame that it wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been.
- Octavia Spencer hosts with musical guest Father John Misty.
2 Replies to “February 11, 2017 – Alec Baldwin / Ed Sheeran (S42 E14)”
Not one of the more memorable episodes from this season, but this is still fine. I do recall enjoying that Cheeto sketch when it first aired, and Leslie’s outburst at Lorne has always stuck with me throughout the years. In fact, I believe I did something similar to my mom a month later when she wouldn’t let me watch an R-rated movie. I don’t remember too much about this episode, despite it having been less than a year since I last watched it. The Warren commentary is a good example.
And as always, the averages:
Robbie – 7.7
Miranda – 6.3
Blunt – 7.1
Hanks – 8.1
Cumberbatch – 6.6
Chappelle – 8.0
Wiig – 6.5
Stone – 6.9
Cena – 6.7
Affleck – 5.2
Jones – 6.0
Ansari – 7.9
Stewart – 7.1
Baldwin – 6.5
Another episode I’ve seen in full
Cold Open ***½
I haven’t seen the first one but I have seen this and I loved it.
A nice interaction between Alec and Pete and a pretty good monologue.
Russell Stover ****
Hilarious premise that was well executed.
Pitch Meeting **
Never really cared for this that much.
Jake Tapper ***½
Good performance from Kate the ending was weird but in a good way.
Drill Sargent ***½
Actually like this more than some people. A very cute ending with Aidy.
Weekend Update ***
Good jokes from Che and Jost didn’t care for the commentaries except from Guy who just bought a boat.
People’s Court **½
A mostly boring sketch but a few things in this gave me a chuckle.
Beyonce’s Babies ****
A funny sketch and always enjoy seeing Tracy Morgan on the show.
Leslie Wants to Play Trump ****½
I will always laugh at Leslie yelling at Lorne especially at Lorne’s deadpan face, this also had a great ending.
Gym Class ***
Another sketch that most people do not like that liked when I first saw it and still do Aidy and Kyle’s reaction were great.