Cold Opening – Trump in Argentina
- I’ve said all that I can say really about how hacky, poorly aged, and genuinely unfunny these Trumpwin cold opens have always been enough already not to repeat myself.
- WTF at Kate’s Guiliani bit with her turning into a flying vampire?! The hell is that supposed to be funny or is it due to a hugely-popular cast member, of all people, doing this bit? Awful.
- Way too many unfunny, self-aware lines from Trumpwin throughout this cold opening for me to point out. As I stated before, much like some of the JAJ-as-Trump opens: this tell-don’t-show approach is not only the wrong satirical angle to take, but is also painfully unfunny.
- Here now comes Fred “Honorary Middle-Eastern“ Armisen in his billionth cameo playing MBS.
- No comment about the rest of the cold opening, except that this is as insufferable as always, and the addition of Fred here and his overt smugness is making this one even worse for me.
- Solid delivery from Claire throughout her monologue.
- Not too much to say about this one, aside that I’m getting decent enjoyment from Claire’s story about the Queen. She’s handling her monologue with ease as well.
- A decent and timely parody of the sequel/prequel craze going around during that period, and to this day even.
- I’m loving Mikey’s excited attitude throughout this short, especially how he just throws money at every idea given to him; Mikey going over-the-top never fails to slay me.
- There’s a number of funny moments sprinkled throughout this short, some of which include: Claire in Saved By The Crown, Leslie going around driving as herself, and especially the whole Steve Urkel/Carl Winslow depressing drama turn, complete with a fantastic terrified look from Chris’ Urkel.
- A pretty solid & fun piece overall.
- Alex & Kate are always great in these sketches, and they give poor Alex the most airtime from his entire tenure in a lead role in a sketch, but considering the last installment, I am not sure I needed this sketch back.
- Claire is a good straight man here and is doing a solid job subtly displaying her frustrations due to constantly getting interrupted by Joe & Mika.
- Melissa is doing a pretty fantastic and spot-on impression of AOC. She even manages to make her face look eerily like the real person. While I always had an issue with some of Melissa’s impressions being spot-on vocally, but without comedic twists or exaggerations, this impression, which would go on to be her biggest in her tenure, manages to combine both for me.
- And that’s the AOC interview? Would’ve loved it to have gone on a little longer.
- The awkward flirtations are really overdone, as well as the reaction shots of the other panelists.
- Overall, an improvement over the last installment, though it could’ve been better. Surprised they didn’t do more installments later on, but I guess they did everything they could with the Mika & Joe impressions.
The War In Words
- I believe this is a comedic routine Mikey used to do in both his improv years, as well as his stint on the short-lived Maya & Marty sketch show before joining SNL.
- I’ve always been a big fan of this recurring sketch. Nice to get to review it for this episode, and Claire seems perfect for such a concept.
- I am loving how well-written and performed this sketch already is. And, in a season that’s been sadly focusing on tepid humor, it feels even better to see such a solid, fun sketch concept get not only on the air, but be in such an early spot in the night.
- Mikey & Claire are especially excellent throughout their back-and-forth. When I always think of how strong a run Mikey’s had, this recurring sketch is always amongst the first sketches that comes up to my mind.
- The addition of Kenan as “Henry”, complete with a photo with Claire is great. It also really builds up this sketch’s already rich world.
- The World War I joke was excellent.
- An overall great & cleverly-written sketch, featuring also the type of witty and solid humor I always enjoy.
- Claire & Pete are actually quite believable to me as teen siblings.
- Depressing-but-decent concept to deliver the newly-divorced dad of the two teens a la mail delivery just in time for Christmas. Mikey is also fittingly cast as said dad
- The strange lack of reaction from the audience to this decent piece makes me feel that I am watching an actual commercial that happens to feature SNL performers.
- Kate as “A Lady Who Wants to be Called by Her First Name” steals this pretape for me.
- The ending musical number from Aidy, complete with the utterance of “bitch” is really killing this otherwise good piece for me.
- The Trump/Putin joke from Colin was a billion times funnier than that cold opening; yet another reason why the show should’ve kept the politics on Update instead of those tepid opens.
- The Bill Clinton/leg lamps decorations joke is as equally hilarious.
- We seem to be getting the usual Horny Leslie commentary, but she manages at least to involve the audience in her pieces, and Leslie has some decent moments throughout this commentary, even when I am not laughing much.
- Yes! The debut of Jules! A signature Beck Bennett character and one of my (way-too-many) favorite things he ever did on the show.
- Beck’s characterization, especially his hand movements, are fantastic and add layers to this already-funny character of his.
- Colin is doing a great job in displaying his contempt of Beck’s annoying & rambling character; him slowly pushing Jules out of the frame killed me.
- Very sweet tribute to President George H.W. Bush, by showing a clip from his season 20 cameo, in the Dana Carvey-hosted episode from said season.
- Uh-oh, here comes a very notorious sketch from this season. A sketch I remember being called by some online fans as one of the worst sketches in recent SNL history shortly after this episode originally aired.
- This sketch feels already really dead, though that’s probably to me partly knowing the big turn it’ll take in a few moments.
- Aaand here comes the “outrageous” turn: Charlie’s Grandparents wildly, loudly, and annoyingly having sex under the sheets to the point where the house is literally shaking from all corners.
- The cast is certainly committing to this outrageously unfunny, cheap premise. Well, maybe not Kate, as she bizarrely has a big smile on her face while supposedly trying to hide Claire from seeing this traumatizing event. Boy, do I feel so bad for Claire and how much she’s being wasted in this mess.
- Terrible, lazy ending.
- Overall: just oof. I can see this sketch working better if they maybe leaned into the “so dumb it’s funny” aspect of the premise, instead of leaning into the dumb aspect on its own. While I don’t know if this is an all-time worst sketch like some fans named it so (including comparing it to the notorious Rear Window sketch), it’s certainly one of the worst I reviewed on this blog so far.
- It feels that we barely saw Cecily in tonight’s episode, but that’s probably just me.
- Already, this sketch feels very James Anderson/Kent Sublette, especially as a variation of their “kooky” character in a normal setting. Cecily’s committed here, but I usually cannot stand these types of sketches. And guess what my feelings are regarding this one?
- At least the walk-on from Aidy (on a supermarket scooter to boot) gave me a pretty solid laugh.
Good Morning Goomah
- A groan already from the title of the talk show alone. Also, how many public access TV shows does SNL need??
- Also, aside from the way-too-used public access TV format, this sketch is basically nothing but tired, overdone New York stereotypes.
- Surprisingly, Pete’s mock-dramatic turn in this sketch is the best thing in it for me.
- Surprised how short this whole sketch turned out to be. But I guess they wanted to save time for the very next piece to be performed in full…
A Holiday Message From The Women of SNL
- Man, as if the second half of this episode hasn’t been unwatchable & hacky enough, now SNL throws in a full-on musical performance devoted to hero-worshipping Robert Mueller. Needless to say, much like the other sketches filled with celebrity cameos around this investigation, this has aged very poorly, to say the least.
- Not only is this insufferable and very cringey so far, but it always rubbed me the wrong way how they only added Heidi, Ego, and Melissa halfway through this performance; it only shows that the star system mentality still remains in place even in the hackiest, most pandering sketches.
- Poor, poor Melissa and Ego having to be dragged into this trash, after barely doing anything all night long. I at least know in hindsight the vital backbone Ego would eventually be for the show which lessens how sad seeing her talents are wasted here. It’s sad that I cannot say the same about Melissa’s future.
- Got nothing else to say about both this and tonight‘s episode. Man, did this episode die a miserable death post-Update; one of the worst post-Update halves I can remember.
Rating: * (and even that’s too generous)
Cut For Time: Cars
- The last of these Beck/Kyle bizarre sitcom tributes. I’ve encountered four of these during my reviewing tenure: two of which being guest-reviewed by fellow SNL reviewer/frequent commenter John, and the first of these & last to be reviewed by yours truly. Something here feels fitting, but I cannot tell why.
- This is so shallow, but Beck always looks so good in these sketches; his blue sweater at the start makes him look especially sharp.
- I am loving the absurdist humor here, especially the running gag with Kyle smashing objects on Beck’s head, Claire’s passion being fixing derby cars, the over-the-top profanity, and the bizarre tonal changes from scene to scene.
- After being so wasted tonight, Claire is strangely perfect for this sketch’s tone and absurdist escalations.
- The ending sequence with Kyle burning alive with others not caring, aside from a head shake of one random extra, is excellent British-style absurdist humor.
- An overall fantastic way to end the run of these series of sitcom homages.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The War In Words
Good Morning Goomah
Trump in Argentina
Charlie’s Grandparents / A Message From The Women of SNL (tie)
- Minus the cold open, this episode was mostly perfectly fine till Weekend Update ended, then it started to die a horrible, horrible death as the night continued. The second half of this episode was a wasteland of one-note, one-joke sketches, including that absolutely embarrassing 10-to-1, as well as one of the absolute worst sketches I’ve reviewed so far in my reviewing tenure (Charlie’s Grandparents). And even at its best, this episode barely had any memorable highlights or strong sketches to make up for the lowlights. Claire Foy was mostly wasted as the host, in what seems to be a recurring theme with this season’s hosts. To say something nice about this episode before concluding this review: the musical performances by Anderson .Paak were excellent and stand out as some of the best in this whole season, particularly the first one.
- Jason Momoa / Mumford & Sons.