Cold Opening – Fox & Friends
- They are still trying to make this recurring trio work? These lost it back during their original run several seasons ago.
- I’ll say that Bowen is no Bobby Moynihan when it comes to playing an idiot spewing random one-liners.
- The homoerotic portion about Hannity’s talk about Giuliani being “hot” is both unfunny and very predictable.
- Good at least to see James’ Mike Lindell impression back, and as expected with James, it is very spot-on and funny. This also reminds me of how many impressions Beck & James share already.
- I will say James’ insane rant about Dominion and his “wife” being a pillow with a women’s face sloppily painted on it is pretty funny and the only really big laugh I got from this.
- Kenan’ OJ’s intentional giggling here seems to be a way from the show to hide how much Kenan’s been giggling his way through sketches, Horatio Sanz-style, this season.
- Wow, that’s it? The cold open is over? Beside the James portion of the open, this cold open felt a bit underwritten, but not as bad as I felt it could go one to be.
- For an athlete with almost no acting experience, Travis’ stage presence and delivery are quite good.
- The “inspirational” speech clip from Travis being him saying “more” a billion times over is decent.
- The cutaways to Travis’ brother Jason being “happy” in the audience is a cute detail, while it feels cliche, it is coming off here charming.
- I’m enjoying Travis’ self-deprecating lines about his past actions, especially when he used to star on a dating show.
- The ending bit from Travis about how much it means for him to stand on the SNL stage is really sweet; I’ve been loving how many monologues as of late really let the hosts be much more open and share some of their past experiences with SNL.
American Girl Cafe
- Is Sarah’s very brief appearance at the beginning of the sketch her only contribution to it? If so, what a waste of her it is.
- A decent reveal of Travis’ fellow patrons being two female dolls; Travis’ demeanor, especially in treating his presence here so casually is funny.
- The cutaways to the dolls after some of the more disturbing details Travis’ sharing about them continue to work for me.
- Travis’ execution of the sketch’s bizarre premise in general is quite impressive, especially that he is with no acting experience. The escalation of him turning the two dolls’ heads toward the doll of Kenan’s daughter is great.
- Could’ve done it with a better ending, but as a whole this was enjoyable, despite the usual Seiday premise-explaining portions.
Please Don’t Destroy – Self Defense
- Perfect casting of Travis as a self-defense trainer, considering his reputation of encouraging his teammates. This also feels like a better premise than some of the previous PDD shorts this season.
- Excellent visual of John being immediately crushed into the ground after Travis’ punch; the absurd visual of his body just lying there is great.
- This feels like the usual PDD piece with the frantic pace and absurd escalations but is certainly with more laughs and turns than some of the previous ones this season. I’m still surprised we aren’t getting some stronger ones like last season had.
- The Russian Roulette turn with the badass old lady is great and is moving this short into a better direction than some of the previous ones.
- Some awkward pauses at the beginning of the sketch between Travis and the cast.
- An ok reveal of Ego’s as the dead old lady with a cigarette in her mouth & a soda, complete with a straw, in her right hand.
- Kenan’s various “stop it!” feel no different than what he did last episode and some of his other roles these last few episodes; showing how one-note he’s increasingly becoming.
- Man, the increasing explaining and reaction moments from the crowd are more than overdone and the sketch in general isn’t working as much as it wanted to, despite Travis’ decent performance.
- Ok, the absurd ending with Ego’s corpse flying through the ceiling was an amusing choice.
Straight Male Friend
- Great reveal of the product being having a straight friend to substitute having too many female friends as a gay man. Bowen is doing a good job handling the premise.
- As this commercial keeps going on, I feel it is more of a variation of that terrific My Drunk Boyfriend piece from season 43. This commercial is really solid on its own, though.
- Bowen’s performance here, in particular how restrained yet funny he is able to be, is an underrated side of him I wish we would see more. This is easily one of the very best Bowen moments so far into this very hit-or-miss season of his.
- Great turn with Travis revealing that his dad just died; the awkward silence afterwards and Bowen’s look was hilarious.
- The ending with Travis’ “pussy” line was excellent as was Bowen’s reaction to all of it.
- I knew, with Travis Kelce hosting, that we will be getting a sketch starring Heidi alongside him.
- Heidi’s delivery & voice here is odd. I assume it is an intentional part of her characterization.
- Solid reveal of Travis having a fiancé, played by Chloe. Heidi’s reactions while trying not to cry are decent.
- The absurd escalation with Heidi’s tears now starting to become basically a waterfall is dumb, but it is working for me. Maybe because of how much Heidi’s been going downhill this season that I’m not disliking this as much as I could see myself doing so in another week.
- Good use of Jason in his obligatory sketch appearance of the night & Travis’ goofy imitation of Heidi’s attempt at not crying came off endearing due to who’s doing it.
- I feel really bad for laughing at the opening Madea joke in reaction to drag banning in Tennessee.
- Great Peanuts joke from Colin in reaction to the Dilbert guy’s white supremacy rant; Colin’s joke after it, showing a graphic of him with cash was great.
- Colin’s execution of the TikTok joke, complete with the TikTok-y background music is the type of dumb, random bits that the Che/Jost era always does well.
- Great visual of Michael as Dilbert; his deadpan, snarky delivery always works for me. It is also impressive that this is his fourth desk piece so far into the season, especially from a new player to the show.
- I’m enjoying, per usual of Michael, how much he continues to push the boundaries with such a risky, audience-testing piece. His aforementioned reliable delivery always makes his pieces even stronger than they already are.
- Michael-as-Dilbert talk about an incoming race war and him being ready is pretty funny, especially as it is Dilbert, of all people, is the one saying so.
- Man, the audience’s reactions to the (funny) Oscars and endangered species jokes by Colin & Che, respectively, made me laugh even more than the jokes themselves.
- An interesting pairing of Mikey & Punkie playing themselves here. It feels even more odd for Mikey as I do not think he ever played himself in any live pieces.
- Punkie’s “white men with wheels” response about confusing Stephen Hawking with Tony Hawk is absolutely hilarious.
- Mikey is a bit stumbly here but is coming off his endearing, likable self. It also shows how generous a performer he is being paired with a struggling cast member such as Punkie.
- Seeing how loose, comfortable, and solid in her delivery here, as well as surprisingly being a natural with Mikey, makes it all the more saddening how little Punkie is used on the show.
- The “wet ass patty” line about Cardi B’s McDonald’s campaign is hilarious.
- Surprised Sarah’s segment is immediately introduced without any major setup. I do love the mention of Sarah’s soon-to-come 30th birthday.
- Sarah’s continued trolling of Colin is still lots of fun, even when it feels a little old hat; Sarah’s sheer joy and charisma is making what could’ve been a tired segment by now so much fun. This is especially refreshing to see after an endless string of tired, gloomy, and “step up” desk pieces to tuck us into bed that past cast members routinely did for years and years.
- The birthday cake being presented to Sarah in the middle of her desk piece is certainly charming; the twist afterwards is decent too. An overall very fun way to end what has to be the strongest Update of the season so far for me.
In Memoriam – a photo of John Head marks his passing
- Oh, this seems to be that cut Ego/James sketch from a few episodes ago! James seems to be more and more routinely playing these dad roles which he is so perfect for. He effortlessly plays the straight man/everyman/utility roles which make me glad he’s been getting them more this season.
- Nice singing voice on James, which makes him even more of an ideal cast member. We only need to know if he is great in physical comedy so we can see if he has it all as a performer.
- The reveal of James being ok with being cucked and Travis’ look as the third man in the relationship is funny.
- The sketch is fine so far, and James is doing his usual masterful work in the co-lead part, but the explaining portions feel a bit overdone and are harming it.
- The explanation of how their three kids, from three different races, were conceived was pretty funny, but I could’ve done it without the Anderson-esque pan shot of them reacting to the lyrics afterwards.
Garrett from Hinge
- The start of this sketch reminds me of those great dirty talk sketches Melissa Villaseñor used to do.
- The reveal of Bowen with that haircut and Stewie t-shirt is making me worried of what type of a sketch awaits me.
- Bowen, Travis, and Heidi are performing this well, but considering how much I’ve been growing tired of Bowen this season, and in particular his vamping, I’m slowly beginning to lose interest in this sketch.
- Now, Bowen is repeating the same few lines every single time, especially his confessions to the bathroom mirror, which are starting to slowly melt my brain. I can see the attempt at some anti-comedy, audience-testing piece, but this feels more like something Fred Armisen would’ve done in his latter seasons.
Too Hot To Handle
- Boy, the opening shot of the cast members in these outfits is certainly something.
- Good UK accent & funny look from James. I’m also impressed by how good Travis’ accent is as well.
- The hell with the sketch’s turn with Chloe mugging & vamping it to the extreme as Travis’ girlfriend? Why does Chloe always feel the need to go so over-the-top in all of her starring roles? I’ve seen some fans routinely compare these antics to Kate Mckinnon’s worst tendencies as a cast member and they aren’t wrong here. This is plain sad to see, in all honesty.
- This is how you both end the sketch and episode?! Man, talk about a decent effort dying out near the very end, with the previous sketch and whatever this one was going for.
Rating: *1/2 (as I’m saving * for the absolute worst)
Cut For Time: NFL Gives Back
- A hilarious premise of NFL players lifting up girlfriends that their boyfriends cannot.
- Interesting that Travis is playing himself here, which fits with the ad’s premise; seeing him paired once again with Heidi here is fun considering the huge Chiefs fan she is.
- The NFL player that lifted Ego is hilarious and his scene is easily the highlight here.
- It is painful that Andrew’s very brief appearance here just reminded me that he was nowhere to be seen in tonight’s episode, ONCE AGAIN this season…
- Travis ending wink to the camera was decent as was this ad in general. I don’t know, I might’ve been higher on it if I watch the NFL, but it worked fine.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Straight Male Friend
Please Don’t Destroy – Self Defense
American Girl Cafe
CFT: NFL Gives Back
Fox & Friends
Garrett from Hinge
Too Hot To Handle
- An overall enjoyable episode. Although, this episode isn’t as strong as the previous few months of the season have been, it is still much better than that wretched preceding episode. Beside a few flops throughout the episode, in particular the last two sketches of the night, we got some solid highlights (including easy “Best Of” choices for the season) here and there to make up for them, and Travis Kelce has to be one of the better athlete hosts, as he was fun, funny, and came off more-than-game throughout the night.
- Jenna Ortega / The 1975.
6 Replies to “March 4, 2023 – Travis Kelce / Kelsea Ballerini (S48 E14)”
Always look forward to reading your reviews. I’m so checked out mentally of the show of late that reading this over made me feel a bit bad for not being higher on some pieces, even those I liked overall (like the Straight Best Friend pre-tape). I’m glad I can get another perspective on the episode so that next week I won’t just glaze over when we get the “greatest hits” from certain cast members.
They were exceedingly cautious with Travis Kelce, which I can understand, but I am sorry he didn’t end up getting something that was unexpectedly great like the 10-to-1 in JJ Watt’s episode. Instead he got something that is being torn up by fans (I am immune enough to these Chloe pieces now that I didn’t react – kind of surprised at how many others did, but it reinforces her overall struggles with fitting into the show).
Thank goodness for Update, which really is heaven-or-hell this season based on who is at the desk. I won’t claim the pieces with Michael and Punkie/Mikey were all-timers, but they felt different from the norm and the latter in particular was a showcase of warmth and personality that feels so alien to the hollow tone of much of the rest of the “personality” pieces these days. I liked Sarah’s piece too, but really wish they could find a new angle for her.
The cut pre-tape should have gotten in – I would have put it in over that last sketch, easily. I guess we can’t have Andrew getting any airtime.
Of the three episodes I had the lowest expectations for next week, as It seems like an excuse for Bowen, Heidi and Chloe to do even more vamping, likely joined by Fred Armisen, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Either way, this isn’t a week I’m going to remember, beyond pondering just when the show lost all ability to write a coherent live sketch.
I thought it was a great episode last night, the straight guy friend sketch was my favorite because I’m kind of laid back like that, I hated the fox and friends cold
Open just cause I’m tired of seeing snl be msnbc, but I loved the Live from New York
Good review as always you were alot higher on that pre-tape with Bowen but didn’t hate it so no serious complaint from me. I would also bump up an entire star to American Girl, Couple Song, and the 10 to 1. Anyway, here are a few things I want to say
The Dominion/minion joke in the beginning seemed obvious in the Cold Open. And Kenan’s lfny seemed shoehorned in but I kinda like to be honest.
As usual didnt really think that Jason appearing in that Tears sketch is obligatory but whatever. Props to the crew for however they managed to do that with Heidi’s eyes.
Mikey was fun with Punkie and at first seemed like a weird pairing (I know I can’t be the only one who thought that) but it ended up being a fun one as well as cute.
Same thing can be said with Ego and James in the Couple sketch
Thanks always for your time! See ya for Wednes- I mean Jenna Ortega
Great review as always Blood! I agree with everything you said but would rate the singing announcement sketch a little higher. It’s not a 5 star premise but Ego and James are phenomenal in it. Ego has been killing it since season 46 and James has really shown staggering versatility. He is showing Hartman level professionalism. They both could end up all timers.
Thanks! Yeah, James has been really shining this season, especially in the second half and showing his versatility; becoming more and more of a backbone to the show. This is also one of my favorite Ego performances of the season.
Well, here’s my hot take. This wasn’t as good as the Woody episode. I may be alone on the Woody was a good episode, but this had dud sketches in this week. Just, dead on arrival sketches. And for the most part, it didn’t feel at all fresh this week.
The American Doll Club felt like a retread of Mikey in the American Doll Gas Explosion Sketch.
Mama’s Funeral seemed like a a sketch where ScarJo and Keenan were rapping about a dead relative. (KInd of)
Tears and Couples Song were sketches that got cut, and the Love Island thing was like a million Love Island things.
I’m not sure what the Bowen as Garret from Hinge was, except a less good example of the Punkie sketch from last year.
So, my highlights were easily Mikey and Punkie on Update. I always like seeing “behind the scenes Mikey”. Something usually reserved for scene partners, as we zoom out pre-commercial break.
Also, I liked the Couples Song. When it was described from last week, it didn’t sound great, but I loved it when I heard it live. I haven’t seen the “who wrote what” list yet, but this felt a lot like the British rappers sketch that JAJ was in, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a hand in writing it.
So, yeah, Monologue aside, this was a better episode.