Cold Opening – Trump Indictment
newly-indicted Donald Trump’s (JAJ) album will fund his legal defense
- As expected, the cold open starts with our obligatory Trump indictment coverage.
- James’ performance remains as strong as ever, though the tell-don’t-show approach in this cold open, much like the previous Trump-starring one continues to waste his talents.
- Ok, the bit about Trump promoting his album, which he recorded with a jail band is pretty funny.
- Kenan’s Don King sounds basically like Kenan doing his typical tired shtick which I’m beyond sick of nowadays. His whole bit was absolutely terrible as well.
- I’ll say, at least, the take on Trump’s indictment, with them having James singing horribly a bunch of songs is giving me a few laughs, which is much more than the latest open starring him gave me.
- Devon looks very unrecognizable here, and his singing is surprisingly decent & spot-on of that genre of music.
- The whole singing of that Ice Spice song, especially as James sings it alone gave me a bigger laugh than it should’ve; a testament to how generally great James is as a performer.
- All-in-all, while not as horrible as Trump’s previous cold open, this one still featured the usual padding, tell-don’t-show approach, and being too long. If it was shortened a bit, I would’ve rated it higher.
Abbott Elementary helps host drop names & bring attention to teachers
- Quinta Brunson is immediately displaying so much likability, charisma, and command of the stage. I’m already so onboard with her as host.
- Quinta’s bit about Friends vs. Abbott Elementary is excellent.
- The whole Quinta/Obama video is very sweet; Quinta casually calling him by his first name afterwards was funny.
- As a person who’s recently began teaching, I’m absolutely loving Quinta’s whole bit about teachers, especially when she relates it to dishwashers. This monologue is a mix of genuine charm, charisma, and great heart. Quinta was beyond excellent here.
cocaine dealers use Caucasian stereotypes to tout their drugs’ whiteness
- Marcello’s look as the cocaine dealer is already having me laughing, especially the voice he’s using.
- And now Quinta enters the sketch with an even funnier look and voice as another dealer.
- The whole “so white” escalation is pretty funny, especially the singing of that Panic! At The Disco song, which is bringing to me childhood memories of hearing that one being played endlessly everywhere.
- Funny quick appearance from James as one of the “so white” examples.
- Speaking of funny appearances, Michael’s intro as another dealer, being shown camouflaging into the wall absolutely killed me. And his whole hesitant “so black” example as a twist to our running bit here is excellent. Such a perfect example of how much Michael can enhance sketches with his mere delivery and presence.
- A great, absurd sketch overall.
I Was A Bridesmaid
wedding party members’ experiences are cult-like
- This seems to be a variation of pieces like Wild Wild West and Royal Romance with its presentation and structure.
- Perfect casting of James as a college professor expert on the issue being discussed, which is yet another example of how much James so easily fits these utility/authority figure roles.
- Yeah, as this short continues on, it feels a lot like the aforementioned pieces, although the direction, editing, and performances are keeping it afloat.
- Molly’s performance as the maid of honor is absolutely great, and is not only stealing this short, but elevating it for me.
- I really don’t know what to say about Bowen’s moments in this short, as they are having me feeling nothing towards them, which is yet another example of how so past-his-prime Bowen is increasingly feeling this season. I’ve seen him do this type of a role a billion times before.
- The random cutaways aren’t as consistently funny as some of the previous times SNL used this style in pretapes (e.g. House Hunters, Business Meeting, Chopped), but there are still some laughs here; the bit with Sarah having to awkwardly dance with a much older guy was especially hilarious.
- Solid ending with Quinta.
contestant (KET) fears wife (host) will become debilitated
- Fantastic to see so much James already in tonight’s episode, and he is coming so perfect and likable playing his second gameshow host of the season.
- Solid, fast-paced delivery from James, continuing the vintage sketch performer vibes I’ve been getting from him.
- Excellent answer from Kenan about Quinta’s greatest fear in contrast to how simple Quinta’s answer was.
- The sketch’s escalation with the darker answers from the husbands is decent, but James is what really carrying the sketch’s pace for me; his reaction to the cutaway to Devon as Kenan’s father was especially great.
- While the reveal of Bali being the winning couple’s destination was funny, the ending with Kenan’s mugging, complete with a close-up, annoyed me and felt unnecessary.
in a traffic jam, (MID) & (host) express road rage via traded gestures
- Some interesting angles shown from the sides of the cars during the sketch’s progress.
- The miming of conversations between Mikey and Quinta through the car windows is so dead-on of typical road conversation midst the traffic. The miming of lie and sad is especially hilarious.
- Quinta is absolutely great in her expressions and responses towards Mikey, even though Mikey is pretty good on his own; continuing this great, consistent season of his.
- Such a refreshing, fun way to present a sketch, using miming gestures and unique delivery, and it having so much fun with the odd miming of certain words makes it even better.
- Ego’s quick bit, calling Mikey a white devil, is probably one of her standout funniest moments so far into this season.
- Mikey pointing at his daughter to mime bitch, as a callback to Quinta’s bit earlier in the sketch is hilarious.
- Much like Ego, Chloe miming “you suck!” while using her two hands is one of her funniest moments in this entire season.
- Oh, I absolutely loved the fake-out ending with the supposedly charming turn after Quinta & Mikey started to bond over both being recently divorced, before Quinta tells him, as a callback to earlier in the sketch, to eat her butt.
Musical Performance – “the BLACK seminole.”
Michaelangelo’s David (MIL) says his genitals shouldn’t be controversial
MAH honors fellow diminutive “short kings” & claims COJ is one as well
- Colin’s Stormy Daniels joke bombed with the audience and me.
- The visual of Trump photoshopped on Nick Nolte’s mugshot is a predictable, but still funny.
- That one audience member’s yell at Colin was great, as well as the subsequent reveal of the reason why Colin’s jokes are met with lukewarm audience reaction being that Che told them beforehand not to laugh at his jokes is hilarious.
- I love Colin trying to have the audience boo Che’s Biden joke (16th screencap above).
- Colin’s DeSantis/Gaston joke is priceless, especially his ad-lib afterwards.
- Great to see Michael doing another desk piece, especially one so soon after his last.
- Considering how absolutely fantastic Michael’s last two desk pieces were, I’m very excited to see where this commentary of his will go.
- The visual of shirtless Michael as Michelangelo’s David seems to be designed especially for his stans online.
- Fantastic bit with Michael’s David turning his head to face Che; his screams of pain, complete with stone scratching effect, absolutely killed me.
- Such great back-and-forth between Michael and Che, especially how fast-paced it is. Between how he absolutely stole the leadoff sketch and his commentary here, Michael’s been killing it tonight.
- Love the meta turn with Michael’s David talking about the Italian version of SNL, especially his twist on the classic Matt Foley catchphrase.
- Overall, another winner Michael Longfellow desk commentary. He’s been proving himself constantly as both an absolute Update gold and such a breath of fresh air with his solid, unique, and audience-testing style of humor.
- Love the audience’s reaction to Che’s Bill Cosby joke, as well as his great Momleft joke too.
- Good to see another Marcello commentary, considering how much he’s been cut from Update previously this season.
- As a person who’s been constantly called short, I’m enjoying both how Marcello’s commentary is relatable to me and how it features his usual likable style & delivery.
- Funny bit with Marcello mentioning short celebrities in glowing fashion before yelling Bin Laden’s name as an example of a tall celebrity.
slights of recognition between doctor (host) & midwife (BOY) span years
- Good lord, immediately as Bowen made his entrance as the “midwife” with that haircut and look, I’m already incredibly worried about what type of a sketch this will be.
- The soap opera-esque turn, complete with background music, is reminding me of that terrible cut sketch Bowen did with Rupaul during his first season. Due to various signs, I’d like to say this is our Jimmy Fowlie-written sketch of the night, and I won’t be shocked if he indeed had a hand in writing this disaster.
- Two and so minutes into this sketch, and I’m not even smirking; this sketch’s general repetitive nature, in similar fashion to several James Anderson & Kent Sublette-written sketches, is absolutely melting my brain; this is yet another sketch this season with Bowen being his SILLEE and FUNNEE self. This whole episode, which was doing so well, had to stop completely dead for him to do his beyond-tired shtick.
- I’d say the fast wig changes that Bowen is going through is the most interesting thing in this D.O.A. sketch.
- This thankless role for Andrew is the biggest waste of his talents probably in his entire tenure so far.
- All-in-all, yet another completely laughless Bowen Yang showpiece. I can see where some can see a “so bad it’s good” quality in this, but per usual with this performer, the suffocating dullness and dead feeling makes these pieces by him the death of comedy for me.
Musical Performance – “drive ME crazy!”
Penis Brothers’ (SRS) & (host) blatant sexual harassment astounds (CLF)
- Is this our patented Sarah Sherman sketch of the night? If so, that’s great considering how surprisingly scarce her showcases have been this half.
- Sarah’s look as the bald boss reminds me so much of Dave Foley’s boss character on Kids in the Hall. Although, I’m beginning to worry how much the show seems to be unnecessarily casting her in male roles much like how Kate McKinnon, and, to a lesser extent, Amy Poehler were cast in such roles.
- The oddball turn with how Sarah & Quinta behave next to Chloe, who’s having a hard time keeping a straight face during all of that, is alright, but nothing special.
- The whole “Penis Brothers” musical performance by Sarah & Quinta is a really bizarre turn in this already-weird sketch, but it’s serving as an interesting change of pace for a sketch nowadays.
Please Don’t Destroy – Street Eats
(Ben Marshall), (Martin Herlihy), (John Higgins) are awful
- A decent change of pace for the usual PDD short; the documentary formula seems perfect for their style of humor.
- An ok reveal of Ben having his last name being Trump.
- Great sequence with the three guys trying to hype up the restaurant patrons; the old guy’s angry, bleep-filled response is hilarious.
- Quinta is a very solid straight man to the three guys, especially her responses to them about being of Jamaican origin.
- Some decent moments with the construction workers, in particular the guys wishing the building they are working on to burn.
- Hilarious ending visual with the three guys about to be run over by a Taxi, making this short one of my definite favorites of them this season.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Please Don’t Destroy – Street Eats
I Was A Bridesmaid
- A fairly solid episode, with a high number of strong & fun sketches. Leaving the cold open and especially that horrible Bowen Yang showpiece, there was a lot that I loved here, and I awarded quite a number of high ratings to half the segments tonight, with some of them being the best in a while. Quinta Brunson also helped the feel of the night as she was a great host who brought energetic and fun performances all night long. I have no problem with her returning to host anytime soon.
My Favorite Moments From the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- SNL legend Molly Shannon returns home to host for the very first time in nearly sixteen years.
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here