Cold Opening – “I Won’t Back Down”
- Man, some of these cold opens really take me back in time during some real tragedies and this is one of them.
- Such a beautiful, powerful performance by Jason Aldean, you could tell how much it matters to him to perform these lyrics right now.
- I love Gal’s accent.
- Leslie makes yet another monologue walk-on, now being dressed as Time Square Wonder Woman.
- Leslie looks beautiful here, and is coming off her usual charming, fun, and likable self. And the monologue’s conceit with her comparing herself to Gal’s Wonder Woman is both a likable premise, and is being executed well.
- I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always felt that Leslie always adds an air of realism to her performances, and this one is no exception. Even when I always felt that she never fit SNL’s format, despite liking her personally a lot, I’ll always appreciate her down-to-earth, approachable charm and likability.
E! New Fall Lineup
- I’ve never seen this channel nor any of its programs, but hopefully this commercial will work for me.
- Gal seems perfectly cast as BOTH Gigi Hadid & Kendall Jenner, and she is doing a good job playing both here.
- Melissa is doing a funny Gwen Stefani impression, and is nailing her facial mannerisms to a T. Also, Luke, who’s appearing on SNL for the very first time, is coming off quite likable as Blake Shelton.
- Thankfully, this parody is not “you have to know the specifics in order to ‘get’ it” category, and I’m getting decent laughs here.
- The debut of Chris’ Kanye West impression.
- Even when he’s not talking here, Chris is easily giving me my biggest laughs so far into this commercial.
- This piece is feeling like it’s going on longer than it really should.
- Is Gal wearing pretty much the same dress from the monologue? It seems like it.
- A very funny & shocking subtle reveal that Kenan is playing OJ Simpson, of all people, as Gal’s date.
- While Tim Meadows remains my favorite OJ, Kenan’s portrayal of him here is very funny; a perfect usage of Kenan’s natural charm & likability.
- Great escalation with Gal being taken advantage of by Kenan’s OJ due to her not being familiar with him.
- Gal is really glued to those cue cards, but it is coming off more endearing than harmful to the sketch.
- Love the whole bit with Kenan’s OJ being given plastic knifes “for some reason”.
- Great visual with the many phones taking footage of Kenan’s OJ during his dinner date.
- Kenan’s line “Still got it” & his wink towards the camera were both the icing on the cake & a great way to end a very strong, fun sketch.
The Chosen One
- OH, GOD. Not the return of Chad.
- Like always, the material is boring me to death and I’m pretty much getting no laughs, and it is a shame that this production quality is for THIS sketch.
- How many times am I supposed to be laughing at Chad’s typical responses? I honestly continue to be absolutely baffled at what some others see in this character. It feels like a precursor to the type of pandering humor that this era would do particularly in the next season, which I can’t STAND.
- Ok, I did love that Chad immediately dropped his pants after Cecily’s character tells him that she’ll give him her virginity.
- I’m surprisingly getting a few good laughs, more than usual with this character.
- Overall, one of the better Chad installments by default.
- A simple premise. Yet, simple in a good, old-school kind of a way.
- Kenan’s look here is reminding me of how he looked like back in his Nickelodeon days, I’d assume it is the wig he’s wearing.
- Some good laughs from the contrast between the mirage of Gal & Jamba Juice, even when the premise at times feels like it’s being spread thin, the escalation is making it work.
- Leslie’s whole bit here is very funny, and she’s bringing the energy level quite up.
- A decent escalation with Gal being in the Jamba Juice mirage with Mikey & Kyle.
- Here comes a pretty notorious SNL commercial that would be pulled from the internet & repeats of this episode, and be replaced with “The Last Fry”, which is a Beck & Kyle pretape that was cut for time from this episode.
- I recall reading that Beck even modeled his very specific look here on a real-life Safelite worker.
- Ok, I get what this commercial is trying to do, but it is not working for me at all, despite Beck doing a good job in his role as a creep. I think part of my dislike for this commercial is that it is based on a real-life company, which is coming off to me more desperate than daring.
- I did enjoy Melissa’s facial reaction here, and she is easily my favorite part in an otherwise dull commercial.
Musical Performance – “Too Good At Goodbyes”
- Jesse Nathan: Gal’s Israeli accent slipping through when introducing Sam Smith amuses me, for some reason.
- Looks like we’re getting a serious piano ballad.
- I like Sam’s smile in the intro.
- Sam’s voice sounds great here, but so far, the song isn’t doing much for me.
- Ok, now we get snapping fingers. That’s interesting.
- Good chorus.
- I like the addition of gospel singers, and they all sound great when mixed with Sam’s vocals.
- I like the drums in the background.
- The strings also sound great. In fact, all the instruments sound great together when put with the vocals.
- Boy, it is rough hearing Colin & Michael’s talk about gun control after the Las Vegas shooting tragedy. Knowing in hindsight that barely anything significant was done to prevent these shootings from happening ever again.
- I love the graphic comparing Trump’s ass to that mascot. I got my laughs, even though they were kinda cheap.
- Did we really need Kate’s RBG behind the Update desk to address such a tragedy? This hero worship & borderline deified portrayal of female politicians by Kate will be hitting new lows as her tenure on the show progresses.
- Yeah, nothing is working here for me, even the dance sessions feel even more old hat than usual.
- Pete’s commentary is decent, and is thankfully not as clapter & no substance like I feared it might become. Yet, I don’t think it has any lines or specific moments that I feel I have to point out in my review.
The Maiden and The Mice
- The beginning of this sketch with the reveal of the magical miniature characters is giving me unwanted flashbacks to those wretched Kinky Elves sketches.
- A pretty fitting casting of Gal as a traditional fairytale maiden. She’s doing a good job here, and her natural likability is helping in selling her character’s lines.
- Funny responses from the mice in reaction to Gal’s character pointing out how dirty the dress looks. Aidy’s line deliveries in particular are stealing the sketch for me.
- Love Kate’s line about them giving Gal their 20s when they made the dress.
- I’m not sure about the ending of this sketch, but what came before was decent enough for me.
- A unique way in presenting a sketch, and this one seems promising & fun enough.
- Luke Null! Great to see him in a live sketch at least, even when he’s playing a pretty thankless, non-comedic role.
- Gal’s evil look is perfect here, and she is actually pulling off her role quite well. I could see her as an evil villain in a spy movie.
- Very funny “seductive” actions by both Aidy & Cecily, especially the latter, as it feels pretty rare seeing her do this much physical comedy.
- Decent inclusion of Kyle, who’s doing a pretty fine job here.
- Love the ending where the 40 million dollars ransom payment that Alex sends goes accidentally to Aidy & Cecily’s account instead of Gal’s.
Musical Performance – “Pray”
- Jesse Nathan: I think I just heard a few notes of piano before the audience started applauding. Either way, those piano notes don’t end up being how the actual song starts.
- Sam once again sounds great here, and is at least audible.
- “I lift up my head and the world is on fire.” Now that’s a great lyric.
- Sam’s first utterance of “pray” fell flat.
- Just like before, the gospel singers sound excellent, especially when mixed with Sam’s vocals.
- The bridge sounds interesting.
- I like the clapping from the gospel singers.
- I enjoyed this more than the last performance.
- Our obligatory Wonder Woman sketch. Pretty surprised this was buried so late in the episode. In let’s say, the previous SNL era, this would’ve been our post-monologue sketch. Yet, I’m certainly not complaining.
- This sketch seems to be our typical “Kate is a lesbian” sketch, but the execution of it is harmless and fun enough, and is succeeding in not making it feel stale or indulgent. Not to mention that I’m all in for as many diverse forms of humor on SNL as possible, including queer, camp, and drag humor, even when it is a bit difficult to pull them off well at times.
- Some decent laughs from all of the homoerotic actions done by the Amazonians, even when most of these laughs do not surpass being just ok.
- I love Gal’s delivery of her line about Aidy & Kyle resting their heads on her “tits”, and IIRC, this part will be bleeped out in reruns.
The Naomi Show
- I’ve always confused this talk show sketch with the one in the Emma Thompson episode next season.
- Fantastic seeing Heidi getting her very first comedic showcase of her tenure. And I love the visual of her holding those many straws.
- This sketch is such a dead-on parody of these types of shows, especially the part with the audience.
- Good that we’re getting some solid showcasing of Heidi’s dramatic skills here, I recall some SNL podcast around this time saying that Heidi’s pure acting talent was too good for a sketch comedy show such as SNL. I happen to agree with that sentiment.
Cut For Time: The Last Fry
- John: Thank you to Blood Meridian for kindly asking me to review this pre-tape, one of the few pieces (the other one also a Kyle pre-tape, oddly enough) to be placed into a repeat.
- Perusing the Youtube comments tells me Trisha Paytas loathes this pre-tape, which is good to know if you are ever playing a trivia game in Hell.
- The Last Fry rap sounds like the Fresh Prince beat, which means they pre-dated Chris Redd’s much more direct homage by a half season or so.
- Beck is doing some prime mugging here, but the good kind.
- It’s very…unfortunate to remember a time when the President was threatening nuclear war on such a frequent basis that we got a whole rap pre-tape about it.
- Something unique for this period of SNL in particular is the lack of political or social commentary. They’re just two dudes living in this era, knowing no real difference between Trump and a turnip.
- Beck and Kyle are the perfect comic balance in selling this song.
- Great acting from Heidi and the extras as they realize nuclear holocaust is imminent.
- Gal’s entrance to the diner is striking without being objectifying.
- Good use of Chris calling his mother to keep the contrast between reality and the Beck/Kyle self-absorption going.
- The whiny readings of “the last frrrrry,” always get me.
- So does the awkward dance break with Gal, Beck and Kyle.
- There’s so many great, simple lyrics in this you enjoy more and more on rewatches.
- I like how Gal snaps out of the fantasy as soon as they run into the chaos outside, contrasting with Beck and Kyle as deluded as ever, who even turn her warnings into more lyrics.
- Gal’s dramatic work in this is surprisingly decent, maybe she and Dave McCary should collaborate more often.
- Comparisons to Lonely Island often dogged Beck and Kyle, unfairly in my opinion, and the direction this takes is another reason why I’d say as much – the narrative of these two characters being completely out of touch to the point of sheer petulance is driven home in a way most LI pieces never treated so overtly.
- While this isn’t one of my very favorite Beck and Kyle shorts, it’s still very catchy and deserved a place in the show. Thank you to Safelite for inadvertently making that happen.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
CFT: The Last Fry
Espionage / Mirage (tie)
The Maiden and The Mice
The Naomi Show
E! New Fall Lineup
The Chosen One
- A pretty good show, and aside from two sketches that I didn’t care for (even though Chad had his moments), the rest was fine, even when I barely gave anything beside the terrific First Date sketch a rating above three-and-a-half-stars. Gal Gadot was a likable host as well, even when she was underused at times. Her energy & enthusiasm gave this episode a fun, calming feel which helped in making it better than it already is.
- Thanks to the wonderful John for his terrific writeup of the cut for time Beck & Kyle piece. His first of three consecutive wonderful writings in this season.
- Kumail Nanjiani hosts with music from P!nk.
2 Replies to “October 7, 2017 – Gal Gadot / Sam Smith (S43 E2)”
Yeah, that OJ sketch is certainly a classic, and Kenan’s OJ is always fun to watch. I recall it being one of the few saving graces of the dreadful People’s Kourt sketch from S47.
I also recall enjoying the espionage sketch when it first aired. Thinking back on it, it oddly makes me think of something Aidy and Cecily would’ve done in their first year, only with Bill Hader in Kyle’s role. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because I’ve gotten used to Cecily’s presence in my current watching of that season.
And as always, the averages:
Gosling – 6.8
Gadot – 6.3
Liked the Alexa part Chris as Kanye stole this pretape for me
First Date ****
Loved the O.J. reveal this had alot of funny things and lines in this and was so hilarious.
The Chosen One ***½
Always get a kick out of Chad this wasn’t my favorite but was still great.
Always love this sketch Kenan cracked me up in this
Safelite Autoglass **½
Despite being controversial I still kinda like it Aidy was hilarious as beating up Beck in the end.
The Maiden and the Mice ***
A cute sketch the ending was ok.
An ok sketch nothing really else to say other than that.
Nothing in this I really found interesting other than that lesbian kiss lol.
Naomi Show ****
Heidi’s random yeah was great same with Kenan following up that with WHAT
CFT: Last Fry *****
Probably one of my favorite Cut for time sketches and this was just incredible.
This was the first episode I’d seen of SNL when NBC was re-airing this in the Summer of 2018
I sort of checked it out in the beginning but was doing something came back and watched it from halfway through Update until the goodnights. And I know for certain this was a rerun due to me seeing the last fry sketch when I watched.