Cold Opening – Trump Interview
- OH. GOD.
- I will say that it feels good seeing Michael back as Lester Holt, considering how solid of a straight man he was last time.
- Boy, Alec flubbed the HELL out of his Beyoncé line. He’s becoming more and more sloppy in this role as the episodes go along.
- Not caring AT ALL for the lines that Trumpwin is delivering about him admitting his obstruction of justice. This new self-aware portrayal of Trumpwin not only contradicts how he was established earlier in the season, but is also both weak satirically & NOT FUNNY.
- I do admit getting a guilty chuckle from Trumpwin calling Michael’s Lester Holt “Kenan”.
- Another rare laugh with the Anderson Cooper eye roll bit with Alex.
- Great to see Melissa back hosting SNL, this will sadly be my final time reviewing her, unless she hosts in the following seasons that I’ll be eventually reviewing.
- Really sweet moment when Melissa asks the moms in the audience to stand up for them to receive applause from the rest of the studio audience in honor of Mother’s Day.
- This now turns into a backstage tour monologue.
- A very charming backstage monologue so far and the mom that Melissa is taking around the studio is adorable.
- Ok, I did NOT need to see Trumpwin again, even though it is just Alec out of character.
- Traditional backstage llama!
- VERY random Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively cameos. I’m happy because of how much I absolutely loved both of them in their hosting stints from season 35.
- Nice to see our musical guest HAIM in the monologue.
- Really cute ending with the mom Joan entering through the homebase stage.
- Yet another gameshow sketch with Mikey as the host this season.
- A funny detail with the Kenan-voiced exclamation of “PIE!” each time Melissa is hit by one.
- Melissa is committing to the concept like the revered sketch comedy professional that she is, but this is getting old FAST for me.
- I sure hope Melissa’s coughing right now is in character, because it feels way too real and is making me worried.
- The sequence with the cleanup added some life to an otherwise very repetitive sketch.
Amazon Echo Silver
- Now, here comes a beloved classic SNL commercial from this era.
- Kenan is always great at playing old people, and his performance here is both realistic & endearing.
- The bit with the MANY names close to Alexa is very funny.
- I do love that we have both Beck & Cecily doing the voice-over in this commercial, both are as solid as usual in their respective roles here.
- Kate is, unsurprisingly, absolutely nailing her scenes in this commercial.
- Love the scenes where the old people are struggling to hear Cecily’s voice-over, some relatable humor here that is being executed flawlessly.
- Leslie’s whole scene was hilarious, and she was always great at playing old ladies throughout her tenure.
- Very funny “black Jazz” scene with Kyle, who’s doing a surprisingly solid work as an old man here.
- Great ending scene with Kenan & Cecily’s voice-over in response to his rambling is perfect.
- An overall yet another classic SNL commercial from this era.
- Our obligatory Sean Spicer sketch of the night.
- This sketch has also the debut of Aidy’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders impression which I’ve always found spot-on & solid.
- A hilarious initial reveal of Melissa’s Sean Spicer peeking from the window.
- The usual good laughs throughout the sketch so far, the bits with the fire extinguisher & pillar were both quite funny.
- An interesting change of pace with Melissa’s Spicer wanting to meet Trumpwin back in New York.
- A very well-filmed and funny outdoors sequence with Melissa’s Spicer traveling to Trump Tower using his motorized podium.
- What’s with the awkward silence just now? I assume someone forgot a line. I so want to blame Alec, as he’s been half-assing his Trumpwin so hard, and knowing the consummate pro that Melissa is, it is near impossible that she would miss a line of hers in this sketch.
- Didn’t care for the Spicer & Trumpwin making out session just now.
- Overall, this was good with a killer Melissa McCarthy performance, but it felt lacking at times & had a weak ending with Trumpwin. This sketch at least feels like a good conclusion to the Sean Spicer impression on the show at least, and it is good that it was retired before getting old.
Musical Performance – “Want You Back“
- Jesse Nathan: Did Melissa miss her cue to introduce HAIM? Because that felt like a rather awkward pause before the introduction.
- Already off to a good start with the intro.
- Not loving Danielle’s voice.
- Alana and Este now join in the backing vocals, and they honestly sound far better.
- I like the brief guitar riff in between each utterance of “want you back”.
- All three members sound great together during the chorus.
- Kinda wish the bass was turned up more.
- Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda wish either Alana or Este got the second verse instead of Danielle. After all, they did something similar in “The Wire”.
- What’s with Este’s weird facial expression during the second chorus?
- Ah, now Alana starts singing after the second chorus like I hoped she would. Unfortunately, she’s not as strong a vocalist as I thought she would be.
- I like Este and Danielle’s interaction during this third chorus.
- I don’t really like how Este and Alana’s vocals have dropped at one point, leaving Danielle solo, as her voice isn’t too strong, and kinda inaudible.
- I love Alana’s gleeful facial expression at the end.
- A little bit of makeup is still visible on Michael’s forehead from playing Lester Holt in the cold opening.
- Aww, Michael’s not doing his funny Trump impression as he’s reading Trump’s tweets.
- I’m not really that into this Pete commentary, as it feels like a precursor to the show’s heavy focus on his personal life (which was one of my MANY problems with season 44, but we’ll get there), yet I’m happy that he’s sober here and looks better than usual.
- Some good lines at least from Pete, and he is coming off FAR more likable than he will later be in his tenure, where I would really sour on him, even though he was never anything special to me to begin with. Yet, I’ll save my opinions till I eventually reach that part of his tenure.
- Solid recovery from Michael when he stumbled over his introduction of the next guest commentary.
- Cathy Anne??! Get this shit off my screen!
- Solid jokes from Colin & Michael like usual, but I didn’t care for the two commentaries which will make me lower my rating for this Update edition by a full star.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
- Great to see this priceless character of Kate’s back.
- A good change of pace with us having Melissa as a similarly-traited character to Kate’s Debette.
- The usual funny lines from Kate’s Debette, and her delivery remains as sharp as ever here.
- The more this sketch goes on the more I’m having mixed feelings on Melissa’s role in it, especially with the voice she’s using as this character.
Kyle and Leslie
- John: Thank you again to Blood Meridian for letting me contribute to one of their reviews.
- As Blood Meridian has already mentioned, season 42 was not a good season for Kyle. There is, as is always the case, a certain fan revisionism that Kyle had 8 golden years with Beck and then crashed without him. I would say the Beck and Kyle partnership was heavily backburned starting in season 42, and with a few exceptions, this remained the case. Kyle had to further concentrate on other avenues of the show to stay viable.
- While Kyle and Leslie didn’t last that long as a comedy duo (three pre-tapes in a year, followed by a final appearance a year and a half later which now reads like a goodbye to Leslie), they burned very brightly. I think that’s because they subverted lazier tropes that one might have expected (like Leslie on a rampage, or Kyle just being a loser).
- It’s oddly sweet to see Kyle and Leslie “getting married,” as you get something of a family feel with the ensemble modern SNL rarely has.
- Kyle “married” Miley Cyrus and Leslie Jones in the space of two seasons…
- Kyle’s measured performance naturally leads us into not only the wedding, but also the reveal that within these few months they also have a young child, Little Lorne.
- The part where Leslie flat out says that Kyle is not working, aside from Neighbors 2, cracks me up.
- This is such a clever way to work the Leslie/Colin Update relationship into the Kyle/Leslie universe.
- Funny reveal that the “therapist” is actually Melissa, wanting no part of their drama. If you’re going to shoehorn a host into your pre-tape this is a good way to do it.
- Again, Kyle plays the pathos (now about Little Lorne’s piano recital) so believably, you almost forget this isn’t real.
- Kyle pulling out a gun and shooting Colin when he shows up with Leslie is HILARIOUS.
- What takes this up to full masterpiece is Lorne casually watching the chaos, and saying, “I don’t usually support cast members shooting each other…but Colin CAN be annoying.” One of the very best comedy bits Lorne has ever done on SNL
- Good closer with the reveal that Leslie and Kyle are having another baby, whose name makes you question just how close Colin and Leslie were…
- I’m glad I got to watch this again. I grew tired of the Kyle backstage pieces in his last few seasons, and the overly familiar ground they tread, but this reminded me of just how good they could be.
Musical Performance – “Little of Your Love”
- Jesse Nathan: Why did one of the members start the guitar before the song even began? Did she miss her cue? Either way, it kinda startled me.
- Nice addition of horns.
- Sadly, the horns are the most noticeable aspect of the instrumental here, as there are no guitars heard. I don’t understand why they’re doing this, as HAIM is essentially a rock band.
- Good chorus. In fact, I actually like this more than the last song’s chorus.
- Mixed feelings on Este’s facial expressions during the first chorus. Some work, but some feel unnecessary.
- Alana’s “don’t let me down” prior to the second chorus fell kinda flat.
- Would it bother the sound team to lower the mics of the instruments? Because they’re rendering HAIM’s vocals sorta inaudible.
- Now the instruments have mostly dropped, and Este and Alana are the only ones singing the chorus, and we can hear this time. However, I didn’t really love the way Alana sang it.
- I like the choir vocals (for lack of a better term) during the third chorus.
- Now we actually do hear some guitars, but it’s very brief and seems tacked on.
- Ah, there’s the rock vibe that I was hoping to get from this song. And I do like Alana’s guitar work, and her interaction with Danielle.
- I like Alana’s smile during the string part.
- Mixed feelings on the portion where HAIM starts playing guitars during the string portion. They don’t really mesh well together for me.
- Okay, now Este’s really upping the mugging factor during this guitar portion, and it’s very distracting.
- I’m enjoying Danielle’s guitar work near the end.
- Overall, this song was alright, but for me, it lacked the whole “70s rock/Fleetwood Mac” vibe that was present on their first record. In fact, this song and the one they performed prior to this absolutely pale in comparison to the two songs they performed on SNL in Season 39: “The Wire” and “Don’t Save Me”. Hell, they even pale in comparison to “The Steps”, which they didn’t even perform on the show. I advise you readers to check those songs out and judge them for yourselves.
- Am I in another world? Or is that Melissa Villaseñor in another LEAD ROLE this season?!
- Ah, this seems to be a variation of the great sketch with Brie Larson last season.
- Man, it feels like AGES since the last time Melissa had something to do on the show. It is so sad that this season is quite possibly her best so far into her tenure in that regard, and it is her FIRST!!!
- Ah, like last time, Vanessa’s monologue about her receiving her calling is excellent and steals the entire sketch. I’m sure going to miss this terrific performer after tomorrow’s review.
- Solid, semi-disturbing moment with the ladies making aggressive animal sounds.
- An overall solid sketch as excepted.
- I assume that this sketch is yet another promoted sketch this season, like what fellow SNL fan & frequent commenter (yet not in the blog, yet) Monette Moradi has stated in her comment about my Emily Blunt review back in Twitter about this season having several promoted sketches. I guess that explains both the Apple laptop & the odd, non-comedic message before the sketch started.
- Now this is a sketch that Melissa was born to do, as this sketch’s concept is both creative & right in Melissa’s wheelhouse.
- Solid moment between Melissa & the kid, and by the way, great look & characterization from her.
- Very funny recurring line from Beck with him saying “Feast your ass on this”.
- As expected, Melissa is OWNING the sketch with her comedic energy, and her actions throughout the sketch are having me in stitches so far.
- I love the visual of Melissa yelling & holding a knife. It has always stuck with me from past viewings.
- A good ending, and a very solid way to end tonight’s show.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Amazon Echo Silver / Kyle and Leslie (tie)
Film Society of Lincoln Center
- Another pretty solid season 42 & our second solid Melissa McCarthy-hosted episode. This season has been very strong, as solid as I remember it being, and knowing the finale, it will end on a very solid note as well. Melissa McCarthy did yet another very solid job hosting & I was pleased that she was given solid pieces that showcase her strong comedic strengths, much like her previous hosting stint, especially with the final sketch of the night. I hope she gets to host again, as it would be very fun for me to review her yet again in this blog.
- Thank you to the magnificent John for his terrific writeup of the great Kyle and Leslie short, and for his generous & consistent support of this blog since its very inception.
- Season 42 comes to an end with the return of Dwayne Johnson, as he enters the Five-Timers Club. It is also the final episode for Vanessa Bayer, Sasheer Zamata, and Bobby Moynihan.
3 Replies to “May 13, 2017 – Melissa McCarthy / HAIM (S42 E20)”
Really like the Amazon Echo Silver sketch + Kyle and Leslie. Don’t think I’m quite familiar with the rest of the sketches, but tbh I’m not a HUGE Melissa McCarthy fan like others tend to be, so I don’t think I’d enjoy a lot of this if it’s mainly her usual shtick.
Ah, another episode that I liked back then. There are plenty of solid moments to go around here, like that Amazon Echo sketch, which really stuck with me back when this aired. I also recall enjoying that Production Logo sketch, in a way that would cause one to quote the whole thing, which is something that I have yet to stop doing (in regards to sketches in general, not that one).
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
Spencer – 6.2
Johansson – 6.2
C.K. – 7.4
Fallon – 6.7
Pine – 6.5
McCarthy – 6.9
Cold Open ***
Michael as Lester Holt kept cracking me up and same goes for the random black people Alec as Trump keeps mentioning but I would still call this a fine cold open.
A nice sweet monologue.
Just Desserts! **½
Nothing really here I did like Kenan shouting pie and the cleanup scene was funny.
Amazon Echo Silver *****
A funny relatable sketch.
Press Conference ***½
Didnt care for this until the pre-tapes montage which was AWESOME and big laugh from the kiss from Spicer and Trump.
Kyle and Leslie ****½
A great piece. I got a HUGE laugh from Kyle shooting Colin and Lorne just watching (in typical Lorne Michaels fashion).