April 8, 2023 – Molly Shannon / Jonas Brothers (S48 E17)

Cold Opening – The Last Supper

Donald Trump (JAJ) pauses Last Supper to liken himself to Jesus (MID)

  • A certainly interesting way to begin an SNL episode with. Although, I can tell already tell this will have a twist to it.
  • Ok, here now comes James’ Trump for the second week in a row. Lovely. Hey at least James is getting airtime right from the episode’s start, which is good for me.
  • When I routinely give failing ratings for these cold opens on a regular basis, it is not because of James, as he is definitely very committed and tries his best. It is just the overlong, tell-don’t-show approach of these that makes them routinely so D.O.A.
  • When James brought up Ron DeSantis, I really thought we would see the debut of an impression by a current cast member, but I’m assuming SNL won’t probably do him till next season.
  • Ok, the Jesus of Azkaban line made me laugh out loud, which is the only big laugh I got from this whole cold opening.
  • Interesting segue to the LFNY, which ended this cold open on a better note than the one it started on.

Rating: **1/2


MOS sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” & dismisses worries; MAS cameo

  • Much like her first time hosting, we get an extended applause break from the audience as the SNL legend reaches the homebase stage.
  • I always appreciate Molly‘s sheer natural joy and excitement, and her genuine happiness being back home is so heartwarming to watch.
  • We are turning a Molly Shannon monologue into a musical one? Knowing Molly, her sheer charm will at least make this hopefully work.
  • Fun to see our Molly interrupting Molly Shannon’s monologue to get more airtime as themself.
  • Fun cast inclusion, with Andrew and Chloe’s bits being the funniest, especially how they gleefully announced their issues.
  • Random Martin Short cameo with Lorne. While I barely understood what he said, I got a laugh from him eating his food so quickly.
  • I love the quick “superstar!” callback from Molly as her monologue concludes.

Rating: ***

Vincent’s Valets

valet parking trainees (JAJ), (MOS), (KET) can’t get the hang of the job

  • Nice to see Andrew anchoring the post-monologue sketch of the night, considering how routinely underused he has been this season.
  • The 3 rules bit is great, especially how Andrew demonstrated it and had that smug and silly jog back of his.
  • Good character voice from James, and his whole terrible joking about Michael’s penis in front of Heidi was impressively delivered; continuing those old-school sketch comic vibes with him.
  • Molly still hasn’t lost a touch playing these types of awkward, fast-talking roles. The running bit with her being in love is solid.
  • I see that Kenan is playing a very Kenan-esque role, filled with tons of screeching and over-the-top reactions.
  • Good ending.

Rating: ***1/2

Jeannie Darcy: Selective Startage

Jeannie Darcy’s (MOS) Netflix special leaves audience cold

  • A very fun idea to bring back Jeannie Darcy. Putting her in a Netflix comedy special setting is brilliant. So funny how I mentioned wanting one of Molly’s characters back in a pretaped form, so I see that I got my wish.
  • Was it really necessary seeing Ego in drag as Arsenio Hall? At least her scene was brief enough.
  • Funny “set list” moment with Chloe’s Sarah Silverman.
  • I’m loving the anti-humor and intentionally bad jokes here; Molly hasn’t lost a touch at all playing this character of hers; the Tesla joke eventually switching to her catchphrase was great.
  • Overall, short and sweet.

Rating: ***1/2

Fart Baby

(MOS) & co-workers learn she isn’t pregnant, but is instead full of farts

  • Ok, as cheap as it was, the huge fart Molly let out revealing her huge baby bump was fake the whole time gave me a big laugh.
  • The smug twins line complete with an equally-smug smile from Andrew in reaction to Molly’s second fart gave me my second big laugh in this sketch. He always manages to make the most of what he gets.
  • This sketch is SO dumb, but for some reason I am not hating it, especially as Molly’s fake bump suddenly comes back after taking a bite from the sandwich.
  • Alright, after a few cheap laughs, this sketch is starting to get old for me, though Molly’s performance remains fun and committed.

Rating: **1/2

Please Don’t Destroy – Molly Shannon 2k23

Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, Ben Marshall [real] show MOS her videogame

  • Our FIFTH PDD short in a row? I still remember when we used to get breaks from this trio.
  • The whole Molly Shannon game the three guys are playing is a good change of pace, and much like the premise of the last one, is a creative one.
  • The two condoms conversation between Molly and her daughter in the game is hilarious.
  • The audience has been very dead throughout this short, like absolute crickets from them. I am enjoying the short myself, though I feel it could’ve been better.
  • This short is getting better, especially as it’s not as rapidly paced as some of the previous office ones; the Mortal Kombat-esque game with Molly is probably the funniest here.
  • The Molly Shannon rapping game turn is at least funny enough, and Molly being actually used here improved this for me.

Rating: ***

A Year Of A Thousand Men

plot points of (HEG)’s autobiographical play distress her boyfriend (DEW)

  • An interesting way to present a sketch, especially as Molly seems to be handling most of the sketch on her own, performing as a fictional version of Heidi’s playwright character.
  • The dating of a thousand men premise is a good and interesting way to present Heidi’s character’s play.
  • Ok, I’m getting very unwanted flashbacks to that terrible elbow monologues sketch from two seasons ago, especially the constant reacting from Devon. Although, this sketch’s premise, pacing, and general feel is a billion times better than that aforementioned disaster of a sketch.
  • I guess this sketch use of Nick Jonas as her ex is a decent way to work him into his obligatory sketch appearance of the night.
  • As annoying as Kenan’s nerdy characterization is coming off here, I did get a laugh from Devon’s reaction to seeing Kenan playing him.
  • A pretty good twist ending with Andrew playing Michael’s character in the play, as we see Devon getting dumped by Heidi as the play is concluding.

Rating: ***1/2

Musical Performance – “Waffle House”

Weekend Update

Jafar (BOY) is unimpressed by Ron DeSantis’ attack on Disney gayness

LSU basketball star Angel Reese (PUJ) spins controversy into endorsements

Co-worker Who’s Extremely Busy Doing Seemingly Nothing (HEG) is frazzled

  • The Trump/OJ joke at the start was pretty funny, especially the sketch of him afterwards.
  • The “dark cloud” being what Trump used to call Obama feels a tad greatest hits, but it still made me laugh.
  • Oh god, as soon as Che brought up Jafar, I knew we’ll be getting Bowen wearing a goofy outfit while using that faux British accent he leans into way too often.
  • I’ll at least say Bowen’s fast-paced delivery is pretty good, especially as he talks about how gay he is.
  • Bowen’s Jafar straight to camera speech towards DeSantis, complete with background music, is probably one of the more creative things Bowen did this season.
  • While nowhere near as horrible as his Krampus and fly commentaries, as well as it mercifully didn’t go the tired existential crisis route, I still wasn’t too hot on this piece as a whole.
  • Great baby tantrums/Fox News joke from Colin.
  • Loved the Che Pope/sex joke, especially the classic reaction/back-and-forth between him and Colin.
  • Punkie! It feels so rare to see her being actually used. I’m assuming that SNL often forgets that she is, you know, FUNNY.
  • I have no familiarity with the player Punkie’s impersonating, but her sheer charisma and likability is making this work for me.
  • The fake sponsors turn is so tired with this Update era, but I found them fine enough, especially the big eye lashes one.
  • The horror cliche in Che’s joke about the black astronaut being the first to potentially die in space was hilarious, as was Colin’s reaction.
  • Blah, as soon as Colin presented the super long title of Heidi’s character, I knew I would be in for a tired vet commentary.
  • This character’s general demeanor and style of writing feels like such a rip-off of Cecily Strong’s desk pieces from her earlier seasons.
  • I will say, however, that Heidi is giving it her all. Although, she is absolutely mugging and vamping a storm here, especially the Kate-esque bug-eyed reactions. Frequent commenter and fellow SNL reviewer John mentioned this one feeling a lot like a Mike Myers Update piece, as his were also filled with tons of mugging and vamping much like this one. I agree with John here, though unlike Mike’s desk pieces, this one doesn’t feel like a journey to one of the circles of Hell…
  • Also, much like Heidi’s previous desk piece, I sense a sad aura around this commentary, which I cannot leave behind me as I watch it. I do not know why I cannot put my finger on the reasons, but they are definitely still there as I witness Heidi right now throwing her salad away and making such exaggerated and way over-the-top expressions and reactions to Colin.

Rating: ***1/2 (mostly for Punkie and the jokes)


(MOS) is critical during commercial shoot for menopause drug

  • Nice seeing so much Andrew so far into this episode. The role of a commercial director is a perfect use of his dry delivery.
  • I will say the product name being Vagerted is pretty funny.
  • Did we need Kenan to take over the sketch with an overlong bit towards the camera?
  • Oh, the darker turn with Kenan’s announcer character telling us all the dark side effects of the product is a solid twist. Even the reactions by Molly and others, which could feel tired, are well-done here.
  • I really did not need Kenan to take over the end of the sketch and dance next to Molly as the sketch concludes, but overall, this was better than I expected.

Rating: ***

Musical Performance – “Walls”

New Choreographer

Sally O’Malley has inspired new choreography & outfits for musical guest

  • Kenan’s look as the manager is pretty similar to his look in the cut Cast List sketch from season 45.
  • A fun way to do our obligatory Sally O’Malley sketch of the night. Having her being the Jonas Brothers’ new choreographer is fitting.
  • Much like how she played her in the past, Molly’s doing a great job rallying up the audience, especially as she adjusts her pants over an extended period.
  • The Jonas Brothers turn, with them revealing their own Sally O’Malley outfits, is funny and a good use of them, in a way that doesn’t also feel too pandering to me.
  • The ending kinda felt abrupt, but a decent return sketch as a whole.

Rating: ***1/2


CNZen meditation app reassures listeners seeking Donald Trump comeuppance

  • Having a pretape airing in the 10-to-1 spot makes it so obvious that a live sketch got cut at the last minute.
  • Funny concept with an ASMR version of CNN journalists assuring liberals that Trump is going to jail.
  • Blah at the visual of Sarah as Wolf Blitzer. I’m rapidly worrying of seeing Sarah cast more and more in these roles as a sight for a cheap, desperate laugh.
  • Molly’s voice is so naturally ASMR-esque that she barely changed the way she speaks here.
  • Good to see James’ Lindsey Graham impression back for the first time since his second episode on the show. It really tells you a lot of how far James has come regarding his place on the show.
  • Kenan sounds absolutely unrecognizable doing DA Bragg; the turn with him and Molly’s Maggie Haberman is decent.
  • Overall, alongside the desperate visual of Sarah as Wolf Blitzer and her doing NOTHING to sound like him, this piece felt light on humor, with these various anchors just stating facts about Trump. How is that supposed to be funny? I didn’t hate this, but I still don’t get how it managed to get past the pitch meeting outside of the initially-funny premise.

Rating: **1/2


Segments Ranked From Best to Worst

A Year Of A Thousand Men / Weekend Update (tie)

Jeannie Darcy: Selective Startage

Vincent’s Valets

New Choreographer

Please Don’t Destroy – Molly Shannon 2k23



Fart Baby

The Last Supper


Final Thoughts:

  • A good episode. Although, this one seemed to be entirely in the “good” range, with no standout, highly-rated material from me at all tonight (which is something I’ve been noticing with quite a number of my reviews this season). Still, I enjoyed this episode overall, nothing felt horrible to me, and we got wider cast use in general. Molly Shannon fit perfectly back into SNL’s format, giving also fun performances all night, even when I feel she could’ve been used a little more with some of the sketches she was given. And, despite not being familiar that much with them, I enjoyed the musical performances by Jonas Brothers, especially the second performance.

My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:

Up Next:

  • For the first time since season 29, we get four consecutive episodes hosted by female hosts. Ana de Armas hosts with musical guest Karol G.

My full set of screencaps from this episode is here

6 Replies to “April 8, 2023 – Molly Shannon / Jonas Brothers (S48 E17)”

  1. Thanks yet again for these recaps, and thanks for mentioning my Mike Myers ramble, as you’re one of the only people who even would have known what the hell I was talking about.

    I would agree this isn’t an especially memorable episode, just one that chugs along – vibes-based, easier to watch as a whole than individual pieces due to no huge highs or lows. Helps that I had no real expectations for it and that what I dreaded most (Molly reacting to a lot of stale camp with Heidi, Bowen, Chloe, Ego) didn’t happen, but if people did expect a big homecoming for Molly, I can see why they were more disappointed.

    The episode made me appreciate Molly’s warmth and commitment in a way I sometimes didn’t in her later seasons as a cast member, and I was glad she got a few chances to shine. I do think we were missing one very strong sketch for her, and that may have lifted the episode as a whole.

    The lack of Bowen and Heidi sketches (I’d guess we’re getting those next week) made me more positive toward their Update pieces, as you mentioned. I would say Bowen fared better than Heidi, although this was probably Heidi’s best Update performance this season. I just wish she could…calm it down even a tiny bit.

    I feel like the play sketch is going to be seen as an underrated classic – I rewatched it and liked it even more the second time, although I think your grade is fair. This and valet and the PDD pre-tape (even though it’s nothing fantastic it has some little touches I enjoy and I appreciated them incorporating Molly’s voice) were enough for me to give this a higher grade than I have several of the more overpraised episodes this season.

    I’m glad you keep pointing out some of the lazy choices the show is making with Sarah. I hope they may take heed.

    Finally, it’s a weird feeling when I liked this cold open more than most fans seemed to like it.

  2. This was an episode that I probably will forget after the season is over and maybe even for years to come. The Trump cold open I was very impressed by how Mikey and the rest of them were staying still for 4-5 minutes kudos to them. JAJ did his usual solid job as the impression but unfortunately and surprisingly didn’t care for him at all in the valet sketch (which I did enjoy). That pregnant sketch I’m very mixed on. I like it and hate it. Funny how the lowest sketch (CNzen) for you in my mind is the highest and was the one thing that truly worked for me. I have no idea what to expect with Ana de Armas but we’ll see.

  3. This might be the most eye-to-eye we’ve been on an episode this season. I mean, you may have been slightly higher on the PDD short than me and considerably lower on CNZen than me but other than that we both agreed the cold open barely worked and the post Update half of the show was pretty weak but the rest was decent

  4. I think the fact that the highest rated is 3.5 and the lowest 2.5 is the perfect way to describe this. You could put these in order and convince me you are correct.

    Let me start by saying I haven’t watched passed episodes that Featured Molly, so the sum of my Molly knowledge is Shweaty Balls and Sally O’Malley’s WU appearance on the Betty White Ep.

    So the two returning characters didn’t do it for me. There were moments I liked, rather than whole sketches.

    I think the end of the CO seemed a little improvised with JAJ trying to make Mikey break. A little meta comment about getting to say the big line if you had a good political impression. I was having fun with that, and I think it shows that JAJ is becoming a lead male on this cast.

    The Play sketch I think was the best written of the night. I enjoyed the play catching up with present day. I think it was cleverly written and not that I’m some great comedy writer, but it may have been the only sketch I could never have come up with.

    The Commercial Sketch seemed to be missing an A-plot, however Molly K was doing some fine background acting (as well as their Judas role)

    PDD’s game having Fallon laughing ridiculously was accurate, if not LOLy.

    What else? Were the Jonas Bros miming? The middle one, its not Nick, so I don’t know, Barry? Maurice? his mouth didnt seem to be moving with the lyrics…

    Didn’t really like the Heidi WU character. I seemed to be suffering from missing some of the jokes, the mix sounded on my TV, specifically the martin Short Line, and the “lil jokes” in the first sketch.

    Ok. Random mumblings over. Not terrible, not great. I think Molly Shannon gives it a little grace.

  5. Is there a reason why Despite Boxer’s Girlfriend, All of Heidi’s Update bits have been new characters?

    Did she retire all of her previous ones? Cause I miss Bailey and even her Instagram Character that she only did once.

    Also Bowen playing Jafar as gay. Not since Pete Davidson have I seen such range in a cast member.

    Am I the only one feeling that Bowen and Kenan are the writers crutches? Like Kate, Cecily, Wiig, and Poehler were previously?

    1. One more thing, Does anyone feel that the 1000 Boyfriend sketch was written for Mikey Day instead of Devon? It has Mikey fingers over it

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