Cold Opening – Alien Attack
- A very random, but surely creative setting for Trumpwin, yet I’m sure it won’t help pass this impression over as nothing more than tiring.
- Several snoozeworthy lines from Alec here, and it looks like a chore for him to still do this impression, despite him not doing it for a full season yet. I recall him pretty much giving up in the Fallon episode and onwards, flubbing lines left and right, and half-assing this role even more than here. Yet, we would still suffer FOUR SEASONS with him in the role, despite him claiming that it was “agony” for him to play the president.
- Solid straight man reactions from Sasheer & Leslie in particular, but this open is pretty much a snoozefest.
- An ok premise with the montage that Kenan presents as supposedly celebrating Scarlett’s hosting stints featuring him mostly instead of her.
- Hoo, boy there are some absolutely wretched sketches featured throughout this montage, especially from Scarlett’s DIRE seasons 32 & 36 hosting stints.
- I’m noticing that Scarlett is quite solid on her own here, and she’s providing good laughs with her talk about the Oscars. Making me wonder why SNL never gave her a monologue that she showcases her talents until her classic season 45 monologue.
- A sweet part with the Five-Timers jacket, which is reminding me that in this episode & the finale hosted by Dwayne Johnson, there won’t be any Five-Timers Club sketches, instead in the monologue is where the host is celebrated, and the goodnights in Melissa McCarthy’s coming hosting stint. I do recall many online fans, including me, being very surprised that we didn’t get at least ONE sketch in the three episodes. I can’t complain, in hindsight, as I do recall liking Dwayne’s season finale monologue especially.
Good Day Denver
- Here comes the first of several dirty word-play sketches from Mikey Day & Streeter Seidell. I run hot or cold on these, and I especially recall hating the news report ones. I’ll go into this one with an open mind.
- Some cheap laughs from Mikey’s animal photographer being mistaken for an animal pornographer.
- Scarlett is quite solid here, and is playing her role with enough understated subtleties & contained characterization. You know if it was Kate or Cecily instead of her here, there will be some mugging & vamping.
- Not too many laughs from the later statements here, and this sketch is not on the legendary level of let’s say, Colonel Angus, but it is still good enough.
- I do love the bit with the website address.
- A decent idea for a lesbian counterpart to Fire Island, even though I never saw the former.
- This seems to be one of the shorts that rely on cutting back between extreme contrasts, yet I feel it might get old for me after a while.
- Sasheer is surprisingly pulling off her role here very well, and has been my favorite highlight from this commercial in general.
- This is a sketch that I recall getting some hype online by some SNL fans as a daring one, but I was always one of those who felt it was just average.
- The idea of a dog turning out to be a Trump supporter is good on paper, and might be a blast at the table read, but it is not working for me in live form. Just like the previous episode’s The Chocolate Man sketch, I get the feeling that this idea would’ve worked better as a pretaped piece.
- Great, quick ad-libs from Scarlett & Beck after the mishap when the dog removes the helmet.
- Yeah, I’m not disliking the sketch so far, but it is not working much after the initial reveal, and I do recall not caring for the baffling sequel in Scarlett’s (outstanding) season 45 hosting stint.
- Wow, this is our THIRD consecutive segment tonight where Beck’s voice-over plays a prominent role in.
- A pretty fun premise for this sketch, with Beck as the director giving lots of oddball directions to the performers while filming a commercial for Olive Garden. And Scarlett & the cast are executing this well and are avoiding making it a mugging storm.
- I love Scarlett’s gleeful smile to the camera while holding the menu in her hands.
- Kenan is stealing this sketch, which is expected given the whole “Kenan Reacts” being such a big part of his tenure on the show.
- Love the part where Kenan has tomato sauce all around his mouth & nose. Kenan’s look afterwards slayed me.
- An overall fun, silly sketch.
- A very solid & clever way for SNL to spoof Ivanka Trump’s “complicit” comment which went viral around this episode’s airing.
- Scarlett reprises her Ivanka Trump impression from way back in her season 32 hosting stint. She is doing an excellent job here using her dramatic skills in portraying Ivanka in this commercial.
- Some good lines from Cecily as the voice-over commercial spokesmen, especially her Titanic line.
- A solid ending, and the Trumpwin cameo was actually used better this time.
Musical Performance – “Green Light”
- Jesse Nathan: Lorde’s vocals sound fine here, but I can’t shake the feeling that they’re slightly out of key.
- I’m already liking Lorde’s facial expressions.
- One thing that’s always bugged me: in the beginning, she rhymes “car” with “bar”, which isn’t all that bad, but then she rhymes “truth” with “liar”. Was she not going for a rhyme, or are there just not any words that rhyme with “truth” that she could think of?
- Are they playing the same background vocals from the studio version?
- I’m digging the piano, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I’ve heard this song several times before.
- I like how the stage is suddenly bathed in red during the chorus.
- Not loving Lorde’s moves.
- Lorde’s facial expressions are getting more and more intense as this goes on, which is understandable when you realize that this song comes from genuine emotions that she has.
- Okay, I do like her moves during the instrumental ending.
- I like Lorde’s brief interaction with her backup singers.
- Nice ending visual.
- I’m pretty sure that the joke about the skin tones that the travel ban applies to was used years ago in a Family Guy episode (you readers probably know the meme), and I never cared for Family Guy AT ALL, so I didn’t care for this joke as well.
- A fairly funny visual of the Hillary Clinton portrait having goggly eyes.
- Great to see Alex back behind the Update desk, yet again so soon, and yes Kate’s Sessions is here as well.
- Good Al Franken voice from Alex, even though it could’ve been better.
- Yup, this commentary is not working as much as I wanted to. Alex is doing a solid job here, but Kate’s Sessions is way too “cute” for my liking, and I didn’t care for the gag with him using a fake hand to swear on the Bible.
- Another Pete commentary this season.
- Not really caring for Pete’s commentary, and this segment needs some wit, and Pete sure as hell doesn’t have it. I’m seeing some David Spade shades here, especially Hollywood Minute, but Pete is not as funny or sharp to pull this segment off for me.
- Ok, I did like the ad-lib that Pete just directed towards Michael.
True Tales From The Sea
- I’m not sure that I needed a sequel to the pretty good first sketch.
- Great makeup & look on Beck here, and he feels like an absolute natural in this role.
- And here comes Scarlett, displaying her fearlessness, much like Kate, by playing this grotesque character.
- This sketch, while pretty average so far, is giving me unwanted flashbacks to that horrible Kuato sketch that Scarlett did in season 32. In particular, with her playing a similar looking character to an established recurring one played by Andy Samberg.
- A big laugh from Kate, again proving how fearless of a performer she is, by gobbling a raw fish.
Shanice Goodwin: Ninja
- Yet another sketch that gets a sequel for no reason whatsoever. I do recall liking this sequel, however.
- Ah, I see that Vanessa is playing her adorable character from the first sketch. Interesting how they’re using her in this sequel too.
- Beck looks a lot like how he did in the classic Space Pants sketch, and he is a natural as a mobster.
- The usual laughs from Scarlett & Leslie’s supposedly “secretive” & “advanced” fighting techniques, and the whole sequence while saving Bobby’s character is pretty fun to watch.
Musical Performance – “Liability”
- Jesse Nathan: Jack Antonoff joins Lorde for this performance on piano, which makes sense seeing as how he produced this album with her. I won’t be crediting him in the opening title due to him not contributing too much other than the piano.
- Nice piano melody.
- Interesting outfit that Lorde’s wearing.
- Lorde’s vocals still sound great here, and fortunately, they’re very audible, which I didn’t really think was too possible due to these YouTube uploads containing awful mixing.
- Boy, these are rather deep, personal lyrics. Lorde is selling them well with her facial expressions. I know I said I’m not a fan of these types of songs, but unlike most of those songs I’ve covered so far, this actually seems genuine and rather specific. And for me, that’s way better than just being vague.
- Decent chorus.
- Boy, judging from the metaphors in the lyrics, you can tell that she’s been through a lot, and that these are her genuine emotions. It’s all coming together very well here.
- I’m kinda surprised that this performance is over already. It seemed a bit too short, and I kinda wanted it to go on longer. In the end, I guess I can’t complain, as I really enjoyed what I ended up getting, not just in this performance, but also in the first one.
A Sketch for the Women
- An interesting opening message before the sketch actually begins, which I recall finding out to be a decent, unique way for this sketch to begin with, yet I wasn’t too crazy about it like some fans were, who go nuts each time the show does something meta.
- Beck has been getting tons of airtime tonight, which is always nice to see, even though it is the norm these past two years for him.
- I’m LOVING that this sketch, which is supposedly pro-women, is barely giving Scarlett & Aidy any lines, while Beck & Kyle are going on and on about how women are unfairly treated. The slow realization of where this sketch is going is brilliantly pulled off.
- Great sequence with the other female cast members being shoehorned into the sketch. In a way, this sketch reminds me of the excellent Black History Month piece in the Halsey episode from season 44, which also featured Beck & Kyle.
- Ah, great to see Lorde here, considering how much I absolutely love her as an artist (and she’s been killing it tonight with some great music).
- Excellent ending with Beck & Kyle interrupting Lorde’s feminist song by breaking into her own “Royals” hit.
- Overall, this sketch is even better than I recall it being, as I almost stated that I found it overrated in the past, but now I don’t.
- This sketch is very similar to the very fun one with Harry Styles in season 45, but I’m not sure that I’ll enjoy this one as much.
- Is Leslie playing a rabbi here supposed to be funny? Leslie is coming off her usual likable self at least.
- Yeah, the songs here are harmless enough for me, and I’m not hating this sketch, yet not loving it like some SNL fans did back then. The aforementioned sketch with Harry Styles & future cast member Chris Redd (can’t wait to cover his fantastic first season) is, to me, FAR better than this otherwise somewhat lethargic sketch.
- Ok, I’m LOVING the final song here, and it is extremely catchy to me, so much so that it will make me rate this sketch half-a-star more than I originally intended.
- Love Leslie’s response after the songs sung by Kenan & Scarlett ended.
Cut For Time: Inside SoCal
- Big thanks to the great John for providing me with a video for this cut sketch.
- This sadly ends being our final Inside SoCal piece, despite Beck & Kyle staying on the show together for four more seasons, and it was cut! A real shame, as I always enjoyed these.
- Scarlett is, unsurprisingly, fitting in perfectly in this piece, and is coming off quite believable in her role.
- This installment feels a bit slower than usual, and some of the bleeped parts & moments aren’t as funny as the previous installments, but I’m still enjoying it.
- A funny, but cheap spittake from Scarlett.
- A pretty solid installment, even when it is lesser to me than the previous ones.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
A Sketch for the Women
CFT: Inside SoCal
Shanice Goodwin: Ninja
Good Day Denver
True Tales From The Sea
- Finally, after a decade we get our second good Scarlett Johansson-hosted episode. While I don’t think personally that this episode is better than her unique, creative, and very solid first hosting stint, this one is still pretty good, and with several standout, great segments throughout the night and barely any flops, with most of the weaker material being just average, and aside from the cold open, nothing was terrible to me all night long. Scarlett was also a solid host, and I was happy to see her used much better than her previous three hosting stints. I look forward to covering her upcoming hosting stint as it is one of my personal favorite episodes in recent SNL history.
- Louis C.K. returns for the fourth, and so far, last time.