Cold Opening – House of Representatives
After losing the speakership, Jim Jordan’s (MID) pals George Santos (BOY), Lauren Boebert (CHF) and Donald Trump (JAJ) speak to him
- Not too surprised seeing a cold open about Jim Jordan. Mikey’s impression is fine, but has nothing on Bill Hader’s excellent, memorable take. I guess I should be happy, however, that we didn’t get a big cameo to play him instead of a cast member.
- Ugh, I’m certain I didn’t need the return of Bowen’s George Santos. Not because of how annoying Bowen’s become on the show, but the writing for him almost never worked for me. And is every single time Bowen going to enter a sketch he’s going to be greeted by a huge round of applause? Am I watching a sitcom from the 80’s?
- I’m so over this Santos routine that I completely blacked out during the whole Bowen-as-Santos bit.
- Chloe Fineman’s Lauren Boebert was pretty funny last time, but her whole scene didn’t work for me, especially the boob-grabbing bit.
- I guess I should be happy seeing James getting some meaty airtime right out of the gate, but the writing for his Trump impression is very hit-or-miss (and I’ll admit underrating that Last Supper cold open from last season), despite James’ best efforts. Also, the audience’s reaction to his entrance was oddly tense.
- Jim Jordan saying “I’m your stan”? This is just as bad James’ Trump saying “that’s sus” last season.
- I’m noticing the audience isn’t eating up James’ Trump lines like they usually do, especially his whole (and actually funny) “what an awful place” ramble about America. I blame the poor writing.
- At least we get a pretty cool LFNY subversion with James’ Trump stopping Mikey’s Jim Jordan from saying to say it himself. At least it’s dope how many times James’ said the line all by himself so far, which is more impressive considering the annoying group LFNY trend (though last season really cut that trend down, thankfully).
Host talks language differences, image; Pedro Pascal [real] cameo
- Lots of screaming girls in the audience in reaction to basically every single thing Bad Bunny says.
- Bad Bunny is coming off alright here and his English has improved quite a bit from the last time he was on SNL.
- Ok, the gag with the subtitles turning from “Speaking In Non-English” to “Speaking A Sexier Language” is alright.
- Pedro Pascal cameo. It reminds me of how much I loved him as host last season.
- I appreciate what this monologue is going for with Spanish being spoken for most of it, but a lot of it is going over my head, especially the whole bit with Bad Bunny speaking very fast and Pedro barely translating anything for him. A lot of this also feels very pandering, especially the shirtless photo of Bad Bunny shown to an of course endless screaming from the girls in the audience. Sigh.
- Bad Bunny is coming off more and more smug as this monologue continues on, which is absolutely not the thing I expected from him. I know he isn’t like this in real life, but the writers aren’t doing him any favors with the way they wrote this monologue for him. This, in parts, comes off to me like the usual cold ego trips that Justin Timberfake’s SNL appearances always were. And, I’m sure Bad Bunny is a lot better than that now-forgotten has-been.
- An overall time filler monologue. I expected a lot better from the SNL writers than this.
(MID) constantly humiliates himself in rap battle against (host)
- I’m getting unwanted flashbacks to that awful late night battle sketch from the season 44 Awkwafina episode.
- Another segment about how awesome Bad Bunny is, and as our leadoff sketch? I sincerely hope this episode is just starting with the obligatory ass-kissing then we transition to actual good sketches.
- Mikey is fun in his self-deprecating rap, but this is not the type of humor I enjoy. This sketch is reminding me of the type of humor that had me checking out during last season; humor I can’t freakin’ STAND.
- Is Bad Bunny just going to stand there listening to Mikey’s shitty rap? And then turning sympathetic towards him? This has to be one of the flattest sketches I can think of in some time; Mikey’s much better than this. And, if he wrote this sketch as he stars in it, then this is a rare misfire by him.
- This nothing, dull role of Michael’s is such a complete waste of his unique talents.
- The girls in the audience continue to test my patience and this sketch as a whole is a dud. This episode has been quite rough so far.
The Age of Discovery
New World discoveries disgust Spanish royalty (host) & (MAH); FRA cameo (of fucking course)
- Ooh, as a big history buff, I’m onboard with his Age of Discovery-set short; it being in Spanish makes it even more interesting.
- WTF?! A Fred Armisen cameo? Get this fucking shit off my TV!
- Ok…. I need to be fair and see this short in full….
- Did Marcello just get random applause as soon as the camera cut to him? I’ve been absolutely loving Marcello as a cast member so far, but if he is already getting applause for being in a piece, then just wow.
- The initial cutaway to Andrew saying “Go around it!” slayed me. Such a perfect example of how much Andrew can enhance pieces by even the smallest roles. He is indeed the show’s Secret Weapon, but if they only knew…
- I’m getting some great laughs from this short, especially as the Spanish are being disgusted by the turkey.
- The whole turkey testicles sequence with Marcello and Bad Bunny is having me practically on the floor; love Bad Bunny’s facial expressions throughout it as well as during the normal parts. These expressions are really adding subtle hints of humor to this already very solid piece.
- The llama fakeout with Marcello was a solid; Marcello continues to kill it in this short.
- I’m really enjoying the clever humor in this short, as the whole now mundane and known things such as a turkey, cigar, tomato, pumpkin and llama being treated as bizarre, and disgusting is creative and is (unlike the weak preceding sketch) the type of humor I really love and appreciate.
- God bless Andrew, as his mere look and brief moment with the holy water made me laugh out loud. He is having me in stitches so far this season.
- The cigar (or as they call it: dookie) progression was pretty good, as was well as it leading to a transition about the discovery of gold; Marcello is great here, which I hope is the start of another solid year for him.
- Love the ending with the callback to going around the New World to reach China; the final cut to Andrew killed me again. While Marcello deservedly shined so bright in a central role, this short is perfect example of the criminally underrated cast member that Andrew Dismukes is as well; being such a bright spot even in the smallest roles.
- This episode had a rough start, but this was a fun, creative short, despite the annoying Fred cameo (and to be fair, he was perfectly fine here). I could’ve seen Drunk History or Mitchell & Webb doing a piece like this. It felt very un-SNL in the best possible way. If Marcello had a big hand in writing this, as he had a huge role and a lot of the best lines next to the host, then he is an even better, more creative cast member than I thought. This piece will be an easy “Best Of” pick for me for the whole season from now.
actress (PUJ) doesn’t get Spanish during telenovela shooting; Mick Jagger [real] cameo
- Bad Bunny, as well as Marcello seem to be perfect fitting for a soap opera parody.
- I see Bowen is playing himself for the billionth time in what supposed to be a generic, straight role.
- I’m so far not really caring so far this sketch, aside from how damn good Marcello looks in that getup. This is well-acted, but I’m waiting for the comedic conceit.
- Ah, Punkie’s whole bit stopping her Spanish talk not understanding what it means is very funny; another great example of how much she can enhance sketches by just being herself.
- Alright, the other turn with Punkie stopping the shooting to protest Bad Bunny saying the word black in Spanish is also quite funny. Man, Punkie is saving the hell out of an initially thin sketch. Awesome seeing her star in a sketch for the first time in ages, by the way.
- Super random Mick Jagger cameo, though he’s fun here as the stereotypical soap opera dad.
- Yet another sketch ending with a poster of a work soon-to-be-made, but Punkie made it work for me. So happy she got to shine with a fun performance.
Please Don’t Destroy – Bad Bunny Is Shrek
John Higgins, Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy [real] reenact (host) Shrek script
- A big laugh from Bad Bunny entering the PDD boys’ office as Shrek.
- I’m noticing Bad Bunny is a bit low-key as himself, or maybe because English isn’t his first language, but he is fitting well into these pieces’ usual formula.
- Great cutaway to Martin as Donkey; the Ben-as-Puss reveal was also quite funny as well. And I thought Ben couldn’t be any cuter.
- Not to bitch during a fun piece, but the audience going “aww!!” just now annoyed me. This reminds me, once again, of when Timberfake hosts, though Bad Bunny is nowhere near as annoying so far. He’s improving and coming more and more charming as the episode goes along.
- The Michael Jackson impression by John is killing me; the voice and expressions are just the perfect amount for me.
- The renactment of Bad Bunny’s Shrek script is both funny and with real genuine feels; Bad Bunny himself is coming off quite endearing too.
- Good ending, even when it feels too PDD.
Musical Performance – Un Preview
Lady Gaga [real] introduces musical guest
- The cameos are getting crazy this season (to quell post-strike blahs?), as we get a surprise Lady Gaga cameo to introduce Bad Bunny’s first performance. Great seeing Lady Gaga on the show once again since her last appearance in 2016, as I’ve always been a huge fan.
COJ breaks down President Biden’s response to Hamas/Israel situation
Jada Pinkett Smith (EGN) is gleeful over her control of Will
- Biden’s “strong warning” bit at the start was pretty funny, as was the Groot mention.
- Solid breakdown from Colin about Biden’s visit to Israel; the Cosby punchline about Biden rating the Hamas attack on Israel by 15 9/11’s to sleeping pills that’ll make you sleepier than 20 Cosbys was pretty funny, even when jokes about Cosby stopped being that edgy a while back.
- I always enjoy Che shitting on George Santos. See, the writers can make fun of that clown and not rely on a self-indulgent performer to help back their writing.
- That Trump teen tantrum joke basically bombing with the audience killed me; Colin’s great “it happened” ad-lib made it even funnier.
- Solid Trump/Jesus portrait joke from Colin.
- Ok, Che is starting to catch up with his also-solid Clarence Thomas/Amy Coney Barrett joke.
- Man, this Update is on fire, as we get a freakin’ hilarious denim condom punchline to the Britney/Timberlake joke.
- Good seeing Ego behind the desk, especially how much she hits out of the park with her desk pieces.
- Solid, sharp delivery from Ego-as-Jada throughout this piece, especially her glee over not divorcing Will Smith for him to remain miserable with her.
- Ego’s very good here; probably one of her best performances in quite some time, which shows the shaky season she had the previous year. Her Tupac/Tupankett line just now was also very funny.
- Solid ending with Ego demanding Will next shoot Kevin Hart.
- An overall very enjoyable piece from Ego, which is nice to see considering the string of duds she had in a row the homestretch of last season.
- Excellent Maybelline punchline from Che. This Update has been really strong so far. Maybe my favorite so far since the Quinta Brunson one last season.
- Che’s WNBA joke and then subsequent berating of the audience is fucking hilarious.
- Dumb-but-funny Kangaroo drowning a dog joke from Colin.
- Wait, Update is over? With only one commentary? I guess they cut it at the last minute. At least the one solo commentary we got was very good.
Protective Mom 2
mom (Pedro Pascal) & aunt (host) are weary of (MAH)’s new girlfriend (CHT)
- Oh, I can absolutely tell this will be the sequel to the absolute classic Protective Mom sketch from last season.
- Also, very cool seeing tons of airtime for Marcello tonight. Not only because he’s one of my absolute favorites in this current cast, but also how much he has such joy and sincerity for performing.
- Troast looks very different in each sketch she’s been in so far; guess her being new is part of it.
- Ok, the shot of Bad Bunny entering in drag wasn’t as worrisome as I expected.
- Ah, and her comes Pedro reviving his mom character. He’s still just as great and believable as he was last time.
- Fantastic bit with Pedro throwing the cookies in the trash can and then using the cookie tin to store the knitting kit all while giving Troast a cold, stern look. Pedro is way too damn good as this character.
- I remember my friend and frequent commenter Monette Moradi making a terrific point about how this SNL era (this and last season) had done an impressive job so far doing man-in-drag sketches without coming off hacky at all, and even doing them with taste and restrain. Monette is very dead-on here, as between these two mom sketches, Blonde and Jewish Elvis, we are far removed from the days of John C. Reilly stuffing his face with food and crying as wears a skirt, I gladly see.
- Ok, the flat butt line is giving me unwanted memories to a certain notorious sketch from last season….
- Bad Bunny and Pedro are working really well together, and Pedro is as fantastic as he was last time; the depression talk is very funny, especially Pedro’s line “he likes the dark!”
- The Spanish talk here, with no subtitles at all much like last time, is excellent and is adding even more realism to such a lovely, relatable, slice of life premise.
- The “awww!” from Bad Bunny & Pedro after Troast tells Marcello he doesn’t eat enough was both very funny and a great way to end this sketch.
- Overall, while I hoped they would’ve changed the setting of this sketch instead of being at the mom’s house, this sequel still had an endless number of great moments and hilarious lines, wonderful slice-of-life feel and Pedro Pascal gave yet another heartfelt, outstanding performance as the protective mom.
The Right Track
Subway characters dominate the background during (JAJ) & (DEV)’s heartfelt talk
- So wonderful seeing James & Devon playing the major roles in a short and this has a great production quality so far. Both are really shining here in their dramatic performances.
- I can tell this is probably a Pursuit of Happiness parody or at least inspired by it, as that movie is one of my personal favorites. Kinda funny knowing the whole Jada & Will news during this week of writing at 30 Rock.
- Man, James’ warmth during his solid dramatic acting here is straight out making me think of Phil. Much like how I was very struck by how eerily James looked and sounded like Dan Aykroyd in that solid (and underrated) The Looker short from the (also very underrated) Amy Schumer episode last season.
- Ah, this seems to be a Waffle House variation from last season. Fascinating we are getting both a literal sequel and a retread from two classic pieces from last season.
- Kenan absolutely steals this short with his gross bit showing off his penis.
- I’m getting my solid laughs from all the crazy antics in the background, but is it bad that James and Devon’s very solid acting is captivating me kind of a little more?
- Fun seeing Bad Bunny as part of the ensemble of oddball characters in the background; Mikey’s trashy character is still as hilarious as ever, though he’s not as blatantly stealing this short like he did Waffle House.
- Ah, Punkie is not only stealing the whole short from Kenan, but this is another segment she steals this episode alone, with her beating the rat on the subway’s window.
- Very good ending with Kenan sinisterly greeting James as he enters the subway train.
- For a retread, this was very solid.
Musical Performance – MONACO
- Very sweet post-performance bumper with Bad Bunny and the SNL cast. Classy of him to do so, which is making happy this episode has improved drastically from a rough start.
nun (MOK) wonders who’s seducing the covenant’s nuns; Mick Jagger [real] cameo
- Wow, we’re getting a third character coming back? Or does Molly just loves playing nuns?
- For a performer not more than a season on the show, Molly comes off quite solid playing these authority roles. This is a much better use of their offbeat qualities than those endless flat roles as overweight men.
- Funny initial revelation of Bad Bunny as a guy disguised as a nun. Or did he just not bother to shave his beard much like Pedro Pascal and Brendan Gleeson did before him? If so, this even funnier to me.
- Ah, Punkie’s quietly strong night continues with her whole “bad” bit. Her use in this episode is how she should’ve been used a lot more often.
- Sweet seeing lots of airtime for Troast tonight; she’s fitting effortlessly here with the other girls in the cast.
- Molly is a solid straight man and is leading this sketch with ease. I’m also really enjoying the cast’s performance and the horny lines delivered more subtly by them.
- Great “one nun getting none” line from Heidi towards Chloe Fineman; Bad Bunny’s penis/bell line afterwards was pretty funny.
- Yet another fun Mick Jagger appearance and the twist with him being the one seducing the ladies was a fun way to end this sketch.
Enrique’s (host) obsession over his daughter’s boyfriend stalls corporate acquisition talk
- Ego’s solid night continues as she cracked me the hell up during her initial conversation with Bowen.
- Is this a real brand? If so, why in the world is Mikey Day or whoever writes these sketches is so obsessed with them? I understand SNL doesn’t get a cut from these, but they baffle me.
- Speaking of Mikey, this has been a huge night for him in general; starring in the cold open and being such a backbone to the rest of the episode. Easily his biggest night in a long time.
- Considering how I started to warm up to odd, offbeat pieces, I’m strangely enjoying Bad Bunny’s odd characterization and especially his obsession with his daughter’s boyfriend. I can see this sketch getting a lot of hate, but I’m enjoying the offbeat sketch concept and Bad Bunny’s performance.
- The whole bit with Mikey’s daughter being six years-old when confronted about his jealousy over Bad Bunny’s daughter keeping her boyfriend is solid.
- Ugh. I started cringing hard when Bowen started acting faux dramatic, even when the rest stood up with him. Guess I’m just that over Bowen Yang as a cast member.
- An overall pretty good way to end the night and my favorite Bad Bunny performance of the episode.
- A very sweet tribute to Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner from Pedro with the shirt he’s wearing.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The Age of Discovery
Protective Mom 2
The Right Track
Please Don’t Destroy – Bad Bunny Is Shrek
House of Representatives
- This episode had a super rough start with the first three segments before bouncing back big time with a high number of strong segments, with a number of which are to be easy “Best Of” choices for the end of the season making this an overall pretty solid episode. Much like the episode itself, Bad Bunny had a worrisome start with the monologue before improving greatly as the night continued, coming off increasingly game and charming by each passing segment. I also enjoyed the wider cast use in general, especially seeing Punkie, Marcello, James, Troast and Devon shine. I hope for more surprises when Nate Bargatze hosts our next episode.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- Nate Bargatze / Foo Fighters.
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here