Cold Opening – The Bachelor Live
- I remember back when this episode originally aired being so excited to have a non-political cold open, as the beginning of this one with Alex had me (and I’m sure some others) to believe. Needless to say, you can imagine my reaction when Kate’s Robert Mueller showed up with its massive chin up on my TV screen.
- Ugh, the return of Kate’s nightmare-fueled & prosthetics-heavy Robert Muller impression, for the second and (mercifully) last time, before a certain replacement comes along very soon.
- This is PAIN so far. Absolutely no laughs from me, and Kate’s extremely slow, drawn-out, and deadpan delivery is getting on my nerves.
- Goodness, the lousiness of this cold open has to be seen to be believed, this is absolutely DEATHLY to watch. The whole scene where Cecily’s crying alone while Kate’s Mueller listens is particularly embarrassing to watch.
- Overall, what a rough, rough cold open. And the “clever” fakeout at the beginning makes it somehow even worse to me. If that’s even possible.
- Great energy & presence from Sterling right from the start. I already have lots of faith in him.
- Love that Sterling calls himself “Sterling Kimberly Brown” which he makes it endearing & funny instead of groanworthy like it would’ve been with another host.
- Man, Sterling is so damn charming & likable here, his pure love for SNL & his excitement to host is so infectious (as a bonus, here’s a promo Sterling made for his hosting stint).
- Funny Kenan impression from Sterling, which is probably the first time I’ve heard someone impersonating him.
- Not sure I needed Leslie here, seeing how Sterling is handling himself very well.
- Alright, Leslie is adding to this monologue & her interactions with a very emotional & excited Sterling are fun.
- As I stated previously, they need to retire this tired & dull recurring game show sketch and find new ways of doing an impression parade utilizing the cast’s talents in it.
- Interesting to see Kate’s Frances McDormand impression back so soon.
- Funny accent on Beck’s Guillermo del Toro, even when it sounds kinda like his Javier Bardem impression.
- Funny & memorable meta bit between Chris’ Jordan Peele & Kenan’s Steve Harvey in regards to how sketch comedy is a stepping stone that you eventually move on from after a few years, and Kenan’s Steve Harvey asking “How many years?” is funny & easily the biggest laugh I had so far.
- Sterling is perfect as Common, and he’s bringing some energy into the stale format of this sketch.
- Funny look on Alex’s Willem Dafoe, even when the voice needs a little work.
- Ok, Pete looks NOTHING like Timothée Chalamet (but again, who does?), but he’s stil good here.
- Overall, a little better than usual, as this had better impressions & more energy, overall.
This is U.S.
- Our obligatory This is Us parody of the night. I’ve never watched this show, so I hope the parody works for me.
- I love the direction & visual quality here.
- Good Ben Carson voice from Sterling & he is so far the best part of this short.
- Interesting to see Pete playing Kushner here, considering that it’s only for this short alone, as Jimmy Fallon will return to play him one more time in a cold open near the season’s end.
- Funny review from EW, easily my biggest laugh from this short.
- Good short overall.
- fyodoren: Once you realize where this sketch is going, it’s natural to wonder whether the even-tempered Sterling is the right fit for it. Seems like a chance for a Will Ferrell or a Kevin Hart to put on a suddenly-shouting clinic.
- Yeah, those of us who felt that were wrong. From the very get-go, Sterling is COMMITTED in a way that’s wildly impressive for a non-comedian. It’s clear he’s tapping into his dramatic acting chops right off the bat as he frustratedly fake-laughs at the mere IDEA of a better movie than Shrek.
- “Oh yeah, Shrek… Pretty good, is that your favorite, Justin?”
- [abruptly]”No Scott I’m a liar. Yes, it’s my favorite, and it’s also the best!”
- So many great lines here, and Sterling is the perfect host – with the perfect approach – for them. If Ferrell were shouting his way through this, we would all chuckle along but later file it away in the Still More Will Ferrell Goes Crazy Sketches bin. Watching Sterling deliver is playing with my mind in such a cool way.
- Now he’s losing it, shouting and pounding the table to defend Shrek, really escalating things in the right way. Man, Sterling’s comedic restraint and his clear love for sketch comedy has just been a gift all night!
- “You’re wrong… You’re a wrong and stupid person. Now where’s that dumbass pie you keep talking about?” probably wins Best Line in a sketch PACKED with nominees. And Sterling’s mini-flub of it is charming as hell; he’s CLEARLY going deep into this ridiculous scene.
- Now all hell breaks loose as Sterling douses Beck with water for having the NERVE to try a Shrek impression.
- Ok, I may be eating those Best Line words at “Yeah, we’re getting married, so you can both eat my BUTT!” This has gotten so goddamn funny I can hardly speak.
- OK, honestly, this review is about to tailspin into a collection of giggly quotes, so I’ll stop spoiling. If you’ve yet to see this gem, just go Googling and thank me after you find out who’s officiating the wedding.
- Simply put, this stands as one of the best sketches of the season, a great call back to the days of restrained insanity in sketch comedy. This one would have been right at home 20 years ago on Mr. Show or Kids in the Hall. No obsession with now-dated pop culture – Shrek must have come out 20 years prior to this sketch. No wild screaming, flailing, or desperate meltdowns – I love Ferrell and Chris Farley as much as the next guy, but this level of subtle, bubbling insanity is rare and wonderful. No haminess from Beck or Aidy – they played their small, technical parts just right while allowing Sterling to dominate. No stacking one gag on top of another on top of another – just one subtly great joke, escalating more and more as it wears on.
- The spiritual sister to this sketch comes in a few seasons, when Leslie Jones and Matt Damon go head to head on the merits of Weezer. That one got way more attention, and it was a strong one, but in my eyes it doesn’t compare to this.
- I recall this short being a bit infamous back when this season aired. Let’s see how I’ll feel about it in this current viewing.
- Writer Streeter Seidell makes his biggest onscreen appearance with this short, and seeing him paired with his partner Mikey Day makes me believe that he co-wrote this short with him.
- Great makeup on Streeter & a good usage of his massive size, but I’m afraid this short will only go so far.
- A laugh from the Sasquatch slapping Mikey.
- Ok, after initial laughs, this short is losing me as it’s now devolving into unnecessary, cheap, and juvenile homoeroticism.
- Overall, some highlights, such as Sterling’s always great delivery & strong commitment, and good beginning, before tanking with the unnecessary homoerotic turn for cheap laughs.
Musical Performance – “Pink Lemonade”
- Jesse Nathan: Cool guitar intro.
- That’s…quite the look on James. In fact, that pink shirt he’s wearing reminds me of Harry Styles, for some reason.
- Wait a minute, a pink shirt…is he wearing that because this song has the word “pink” in the title? Gee, that’s soooooo clever. [/end sarcasm/]
- Not a huge fan of James’ vocals, or the fact that they’re kinda inaudible.
- This chorus is okay, but something about it feels lazily written.
- I feel like the chorus is just repeating itself in its lyrics.
- I kinda like this guitar interlude, though it sounds kinda generic.
- I feel like James’ voice is being drowned out by the backup singers, who sound great by the way.
- Oof, James’ vocals on the “I’m protecting you” bit fell flat.
- Colin & Michael’s long-form breakdown of the North Korean nuclear threats is such a time capsule to that crazy period in the world.
- Great to see another Don Jr. & Eric Trump Update commentary, even when they feel by-the-numbers, the energy more than makes up for that aspect.
- Hilarious terrified reaction from Alex’s Eric Trump to the pop-up book.
- Vanessa Bayer!!! So good to see her back on the show. I missed reviewing her so much.
- Interesting to see Vanessa doing an Update piece as Dawn Lazarus, considering that the character debuted at the homestretch of her tenure.
- The usual laughs from Vanessa’s Dawn, and her various “Hap!” utterances never ever fail to make me laugh. Vanessa’s still as hilarious as ever, I see.
- Pretty good Update edition, overall.
- I never saw this movie, but I’m familiar enough with the setting & characters for me to hopefully *get* it.
- Gorgeous set design & costumes.
- Great African accent from Sterling.
- Kenan is hamming it a little too much here for me, but I’m getting some laughs despite the premise being not that strong.
- Showing what a pro he is, Sterling keeps his composure after Kenan’s The Lion King bit, which makes Leslie crack up (of course).
- A sketch that overall came & went for me. Not bad, but I guess this type of hammy Kenan performance doesn’t work at times for me.
- Great to see Sterling get another solo showcase of his dramatic talents after the terrific Family Dinner sketch.
- Good to see only one other performer alongside Sterling in the sketch, as it gives it more of contained, old-school feel. Beck in particular is perfect for this sketch.
- Sterling is so fun & charming in this sketch, and he is, once again tonight, performing the hell out of the material.
- Good back-and-forth between Beck & Sterling, and the latter’s sudden interest in Beck’s character’s sex life is a good escalation to this sketch.
- Love the ending with the title of the sketch being shown on the screen, as well as Sterling’s pose.
- The beginning of this sketch with the reveal of Cecily’s character is very worrisome, as it’s giving me flashbacks to that truly AWFUL Arizona Evenings sketch with Kristen Wiig.
- Good look & characterization on Cecily, especially the hairstyle, even when the voice is too “funny” for my likes. While this sketch, especially with Cecily’s “hilarious” look and voice seems like a recipe for disaster, I surprisingly recall it being not bad.
- I’m enjoying the contrast between Sterling’s serious, dramatic acting & Cecily’s silly character antics.
- Funny lines from Melissa, utilizing her naturally charming & funny presence.
- Solid laugh from the visual of the bag over Cecily‘s head.
- An overall surprisingly good sketch that was kept at good length.
Rock or Rap
- The return of Kyle’s Chris Fitzprick, and this sadly turns out to be his final appearance, despite Kyle staying for four more seasons on the show.
- A promising idea to combine this character with Kyle’s man-on-the-street routine, and the topic of this short is very fun.
- Like always, I love the low-budget feel of these pieces, especially the slide presentations.
- A big, guilty laugh from the answer regarding the difference between rock & rap being usually skin color.
- A silly part with the exaggerated passage of time during one responder’s detailed answer of Chris’ question.
- An overall very strong & fun piece, per usual of Kyle. I’m sure going to miss these pieces as I cover his next two seasons (at least season 45 was pretty strong for him, unlike the other male performers on the cast).
Musical Performance – “Wild Love”
- Jesse Nathan: Nice guitar intro.
- Instance #7438 of a musical guest doing both an upbeat song and a ballad for their SNL set.
- I notice that James is using his lower register for this performance. However, I’m not entirely sure if his voice is right for the song.
- Not loving this chorus. It’s a bit generic for my tastes.
- I like the synths in the background.
- Since I’m running out of things to say about the song itself, I will say that I like how the light drops down on James when it gets to his guitar solo after the second chorus.
- Okay, I do like James’ vocals during the final chorus.
- I didn’t have too much to say in regards to that performance. Granted, James handled it well, but he’s not that great a performer. I get what he’s going for, but he can’t pull it off as well as, say, Harry Styles.
Dying Mrs. Gomez
- Another Castillo gem in this episode alone, after the classic Family Dinner sketch. This has always been quite possibly my favorite Melissa performance throughout her tenure.
- Already, a very silly & creative sketch concept, and Melissa is simply perfect for this. She’s been having a big night in general, which is always great to see.
- I love the audience’s slow realization to where this sketch is going. Their slightly delayed reaction is hilarious.
- Great escalation with the others slowly joining in with Melissa’s singing of the Nickelback song, Sterling is selling the hell out of his intensity here.
- I absolutely love the ending in memoriam photo of Melissa’s Mrs. Gomez, such a silly way to end a silly & fun sketch. One of Melissa’s finest showcases throughout her tenure.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Dying Mrs. Gomez
Rock or Rap
This is U.S.
The Bachelor Live
- While not as strong as I remember it being, this was still a fairly solid episode overall, with several fantastic highs in it, in particular the experimental & creative post-Update half, which felt more consistent, after we move on from the average Black Panther sketch. Sterling K. Brown was a very strong host, whose great energy & love for the show were clearly shown throughout the night, and he got two major showcases of his intense dramatic acting abilities, in the memorable “Family Dinner” sketch, as well as “Dr. Love”. I hope he can come back to host soon, as he was truly a standout host this season.
- Bill Hader & Arcade Fire return.