Cold Opening – Katy Tur Reports
downed Chinese spy balloon (BOY) is irritated
- Nothing that surprising with the cold opening addressing the incident with the Chinese spy balloon.
- Chloe is solid as usual in her anchor role, but what’s with the applause to Kenan’s General Hamilton? Just because he stopped the balloon?
- Kenan’s doing it a little too much with his stern looks and he looks like he was about to crack up at one point; the 3-D balloon bit was cute, but not a thing I would call sharp political satire
- OH, GOD. No, no. NO! Here comes Bowen playing the Chinese spy balloon, just as I and a number of online fans predicted mere hours ago. This cold opening is pretty much bottoming out.
- Showing how increasingly one-note he is becoming as the season continues, this Bowen showpiece is nothing that different from his goofy costume pieces just earlier this season behind the Update desk. I guess now that he has the show for his own taking, we need weekly reminders of FUNNEE & SILLEE he can be……
- Man, the audience is practically asleep throughout this part of the open. Coldplay & Pedro Pascal fans I take it?
- Christ, we are now returning to the typical existential crisis route with Bowen as he wears a goofy costume, alongside some modern-day pop culture references. Just end this cold opening before I start to crumble, SNL.
Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian, The Last of Us roles brought host fame
- Pedro is already coming off charming & likable just from his enthusiastic demeanor as he is speaking about himself being part of many franchises.
- Pedro’s bit about doing the Mandalorian voice to a kid in the street is funny, especially his talk about him sounding “porn-y” without the mask.
- I love Pedro’s genuine love for being in this country and his message to his relatives in Chile is both funny & endearing.
The Big Hollywood Quiz
movies & shows from this decade do not register
- Bowen as gameshow host again? Why not James or Andrew as both so far excelled more than him when playing such a role. Bowen also seems to be using that same faux British accent he uses when playing campy roles.
- Decent laugh from the contestants’ confusion in getting a modern question correctly after easily answering questions about older decades of entertainment history.
- As a person who’s not that much into modern entertainment, I’m getting decent laughs here and relating to the concept; Pedro’s “be more specific” was especially funny.
- Despite my earlier bitching, Bowen is funny in this role and his underrated straight man reactions and responses are providing good laughs.
- The “Name any three Movies from the last five years” part is a solid escalation; Pedro’s “Night… Man” answer to it is great as well as Bowen’s response to that.
gritty version of Mario (host) Kart is a misguided video game adaptation
- Oh, wow. I honestly thought this was a real ad at first before the reveal of Pedro playing Mario, of all people.
- An absolutely priceless idea for a parody of those gritty remakes with a dystopian version of Mario Kart.
- Chloe is perfect casting as Peach; Bowen’s Yoshi is perfect as well and his bi reveal is good dig at the usual sexuality changing in newer remakes of older franchises.
- Great to see Marcello getting more airtime and his faux dramatic performance here as Toad is great and stealing this piece for me.
- My personal copy of this episode seems to have fixed how Goomba looks, from the on-air grotesque look to the more lore-accurate one in the screencaps above. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the air vs. fixed versions, represented with screencaps:
- I have yet to see The Last of Us but this piece did a great job parodying these needlessly gritty remakes. And, while I don’t think it is as strong as Bambi or Grouch as well as some of the latter ones, it is still very solid on its own.
upon awakening from a coma, (host) has a mushy accent & personality
- An alright laugh from Pedro’s post-accident voice sounding “LA-like.”
- Bowen’s been surprisingly stumbling through his lines so far into the episode.
- This is such a thin, dumb premise for a sketch, but Pedro is doing his best to mine laughs from it, his “let’s put a pen in that”-s are cracking me up.
- Uh-oh, Pedro’s breaking near the end of his dramatic speech. I’ll admit at least that Heidi’s imitation of his speech impediment is cute, but could’ve done it without the others imitating it as well.
- Overall, I can see this one getting some hate, and it was surely flimsy & dumb, but just the right amount to me and it helped that Pedro’s charm sold it for me.
Next Host – February 25
- Woody Harrelson!!!! I was just speaking about wanting him to come back and join the Five-Timers Club! You better not jinx this one, SNL!
high schoolers make fancams of favorite teachers (host) & (Sarah Paulson)
- Good casting of Pedro as the popular teacher at school. His first “I think,” was great.
- Loved the fancam made of Pedro, especially them using SNL’s own “Big Boys,” just from a few months ago.
- The increasingly ridiculous fancams of Pedro are cracking me up, as well as his solid straight man reactions towards the students’ weird fascination with him.
- The absurd fancam of Molly’s lunch lady stole the sketch for me, as well as their reaction to it.
- Sarah Paulson?! Talk about an unexpected but very welcomed cameo. The audience deservedly gave her quite the round of applause even though I didn’t recognize her at first due to her shorter hair.
Wing Pit’s specials send insane amounts of chicken to Super Bowl parties
- It feels odd seeing Heidi in such a front-and-center role in a commercial piece. She’s doing a great job here trying to sell all these crazy offerings from Wing Pit.
- Great that James is doing the voice-over work in this commercial. I figured he’d be perfect for voice-over roles as he sounds perfectly professional by just talking normally.
- The “five ethnically-troubling sauces” bit and the pool filled with ranch are solid parts and the touch of absurdism with 600 wings being offered with a cheap price is also well-done.
- I love the very fast-paced, graphics-filled presentation of all the insane Super Bowl offers presented in this commercial. So many to keep track of; the moment where the chicken juice is shown as well as Molly getting hit by that massive chunk of food were my biggest laughs.
Musical Performance – “The Astronaut”
checked-out Punxsutawney Phil (MIL) goes on about the absurdity of it all
Milly Pounds (JAJ) & Shirty (DEA) rap about British current events
- Good opening joke about a gender reveal party regarding the Chinese spy balloon, and the audience’s reaction to the reveal of it being a girl is funny.
- The “good ones” joke by Che about removed black authors from Florida schools is hilarious; the Green Goblin joke about MTG afterwards practically killed me even more.
- Che’s joke about Trump needing Saudi oil for his ass as a photo of him playing Tennis is shown is excellent. Update has been on fire so far.
- Colin’s very Che-esque joke about two “brothers” on the Super Bowl being the reason his grandfather won’t be watching is very Joke Swap-esque.
- Michael’s groundhog reveal gave me a good laugh. Although, this feels like something Bowen would’ve done instead. I can see Michael nailing it with his deadpan delivery, though.
- The running gag with the smoke coming out of Michael’s mouth, as well as the anti-comedy, deadpan feel of the piece, handled smoothly by Michael’s sheer charisma and likability, is making it better than it has any right to be.
- The “beaver” response by Michael is excellent. While this commentary feels very Longfellow-esque instead of him playing a character, I still got my share of laughs here and Michael continues his solid debut season.
- Colin & Che are generally on fire with this Update, as we’re getting lots of delightfully offensive jokes after Michael’s commentary.
- Colin: “Kids should not join social media until they’re 16……when they’re hotter.”
- James continues his hot streak of the last several episodes as he now gets an Update piece, being paired with fellow featured player Devon. I cannot be happier seeing him making more progress and not just being the impressionist in the cast.
- Spot-on and funny British accent from James. Although, I shouldn’t be that surprised about that. Devon’s accent and general rapport with James here is decent as well. I’m enjoying this unexpected duo between them.
- The various “rapping” portions here are very dead-on and funny imitation of those British Rapping teams; the “allergic to dairy” running bit is a nice touch too.
- All-in-all, this Update was absolutely on FIRE, between two fun commentaries, tons of offensive and hilarious jokes, and fast-paced fun atmosphere.
(MAH)’s mom (host) uses Spanish to critique his white girlfriend (CLF)
- The beginning of this sketch reminds me of those Nuni sketches from the mid 00s. It is also very sweet seeing Marcello starring in a sketch, for the second show in a row.
- A slice-of-life sketch! Thank goodness Pedro’s initial drag reveal wasn’t going to be the center of this sketch and we got lots of sweet interaction right out of the gate between him and Marcello; Chloe is doing very well in her role here too.
- The part with Pedro throwing Chloe’s food in the trash and then folding the bag neatly is terrific; Pedro nailed it with total ease.
- The various Spanish back-and-forth lines between Marcello and Pedro, without any translation at all, are adding also a sweet sense of realism to the sketch as a whole.
- The part with Pedro’s mon character saying Marcello “likes to jump!”, as a reasoning to his A.D.D. condition is excellent. The sketch in general is wall-to-wall filled with great, relatable lines.
- This is such a dead-on recreation of the typical mom/son interactions, especially the parts where the mom loses it at Marcello and then immediately returns to being motherly & loving.
- Great ending. I don’t know how this sketch will be received, but from my two viewings of it right now, it feels like something where I realize I have an instant classic in front of me and a sketch that will easily fit in any SNL era, much like how I felt about the also-terrific Barbershop sketch earlier in the season. So, without further ado, I’m giving this sketch the rating I feel it deserves:
in an Italian restaurant, (SRS) is humiliated by otherwise-flirty waiters
- Pedro being cast an Italian waiter seems just perfect and he is coming off fun already.
- The premise of one person at the table being given more oddball or different compliments by the waiters has been done before on the show, especially in that great Drag Brunch sketch with John Mulaney from season 43. This sketch, while fine so far, and Sarah is doing a good job in her role, feels like it could be stronger.
- Ok, the bit where the light atop Sarah’s seat is switched off is great.
- That’s how the sketch ends? With the typical tired commercial route? Talk about not knowing how to end sketches, SNL.
Musical Performance – “Human Heart” & “Fix You”
Lisa From Temecula
Lisa from Temecula (EGN) convulses restaurant table by sawing her steak
- Another restaurant-based sketch, for the second sketch in a row? And the THIRD sketch with delicious-looking food on the table? Oh, don’t make me hungry at this hour, SNL…
- Bowen has been in pretty much every single sketch this episode. I wonder why he’s been used this heavily and without people like Mikey and Andrew sharing these roles with him.
- A very chaotic, messy turn with Ego chopping the steak causing the table to get very shaky; this sketch immediately devolved into one of those chaotic breaking sketches, though it isn’t as derailed as some of those.
- Pedro’s breaking is causing the others to start cracking up, even a pro like Bowen laughed briefly which is basically unheard of.
- All-in-all, I got my share of laughs from this one, and Ego was great in the lead role, but I felt it was both trimmed a bit and rushed. I might’ve enjoyed this one a little more had it aired earlier in the night, but nothing terrible overall.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The Big Hollywood Quiz
Lisa From Temecula
Katy Tur Reports
- Another solid episode. A good number of highly-rated sketches (including an instant classic), and barely anything coming off subpar. And, even though the show cooled down after peaking with Update and our first sketch afterwards, the night as whole was very fun. This season continues to be on fire as of late. Pedro Pascal also played a role in the fun vibes of the night, as he was a very fun, enthusiastic, and likable host that brought fun & energetic vibes to the episode and elevated some of the lesser sketches with his presence.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- Woody Harrelson enters the Five-Timers Club with musical guest Jack White. Talk about a banger host/musical guest combo!
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here