October 28, 2023 – Nate Bargatze / Foo Fighters (S49 E3)

Cold Opening – Biden Halloween

The Spirit of Halloween (Christopher Walken) Visits President Biden (MID)

  • WTF?! Mikey as Biden? What happened to James’ impression? I know his impression wasn’t the greatest ever, but I felt it was fine enough and it was also nice having some nice stability in that role for a few years.
  • Mikey’s impression, as expected, isn’t as strong James’. Not because of how strong an impressionist James is, but Mikey’s version seems to be the typical old/dementia Joe, at least so far.
  • Heh, I understand why now Mikey’s given the Biden impression: for his version and James’ Trump to eventually debate in the season 50 sketches. If they keep the impressions to the cast like before the cameo hell in recent years, I’d give the show credit for that.
  • Ok, I’ll admit, I got some quick laughs from Mikey’s Biden climbing up the ladder.
  • Nice seeing Michael Longfellow getting some airtime and his impression of Mike Johnson, while generic, is making me laugh. His talk about wanting to see the “ladder thing” is pretty funny.
  • The whole adopted black son bit feels a bit tell-don’t-show, but Devon & Michael’s delivery made me laugh.
  • Christopher Walken!!!! Why in the world is this his first appearance in a regular episode since way back in season 33 and not in a hosting stint?
  • That one female audience member is mic’d up too loud, though I really cannot blame her as Christopher’s delivery is always very funny no matter what.
  • Mikey’s Biden is slowly growing on me over the course of this cold open. Something about Mikey’s impression is tickling the hell out of me.
  • The “poem” Christopher is delivering being “trick or treat smell my feet” is hilarious, especially how very Walken-y Christopher’s delivery of it is.
  • All-in-all, an actual pretty fun & well-paced cold open.

Rating: ***1/2


(host) does standup about being from the 1900s, parents and not being smart

  • Fantastic being able to review two stand-up sets with only one episode being between them. I always have a blast going through these sets in my reviews.
  • I’m very interested in seeing Nate’s standup set, as due to me never hearing of him before his hosting announcement. For that, I decided to experience his comedy style on the show itself and not watch his comedy routine beforehand. I did the same when Jerrod Carmichael hosted the show two seasons ago and was impressed by his style and delivery. I hope to get the same feeling from Nate.
  • Nate is coming off quite likable and relatable; his deadpan delivery is cracking me up already.
  • Nate’s “the world is future” bit, especially his talk about hotels including the half-filled glasses yet it spills on the water in the future is strong.
  • I’m enjoying Nate’s talk about his dad being a magician back in the day and the audience being distracted by donkeys jumping from a high dive.
  • The didn’t have Internet bit evolving into being about orangutans beating up people is great, especially as Nate relates it to not having internet, and thus, discovering for the very first time how strong orangutans are.
  • There is so much relatable, fun humor sprinkled throughout this set. I especially love the whole part with Nate’s mom knocking on the wrong door in search of her granddaughter and spending the whole time chatting with the other grandma about grandchildren.
  • Heh, Nate being proud not reading books is very funny. It is funnier even to me as a self-proclaimed devout reader; the too many words part was excellent, as was Nate’s quick ad-lib to the crowd afterwards.
  • Fantastic final joke about being as surprised by Pearl Harbor as the Americans were. This all ends an overall very enjoyable standup set and the Nate-being-stupid bit in the best way possible.
  • Overall: just wow. I’m impressed as hell by this stand-up set as a whole. I’ll absolutely be checking out Nate’s discography & specials in full as soon as I can. (Thanks to frequent commenter Nic Storr for recommending Nate’s half-hour special for me in the comments section of my previous review; will start with that one.)

Rating: ****1/2

Chef Showdown

(host)’s mastery of Soul food baffles (KET) & (PUJ); Padma Lakshmi [real] cameo

  • Nate’s “heck yeah” complete with a thumbs up in reaction to Ego’s pride in revisiting her background gave me a huge laugh.
  • Great twist with Nate’s character cooking the winning dish. Nate’s various “sorry”-s are both funny and endearing.
  • Ego’s “I live in France!” outburst was great. Ego’s so good in nailing big laugh lines.
  • Great bit with Mikey coming out as Nate’s assistant chef. Punkie and Kenan being more and more baffled is great.
  • Such an obvious, yet hilarious ad-lib with Kenan throwing the plate. And showing what true pros they are, Heidi and (especially) Punkie are keeping a straight face, though Heidi seemed surprised by it.
  • A Padma Lakshmi cameo makes perfect sense in the context of this sketch.
  • “The Black Kitchen” being the show Nate will be featured in, as well as getting to go to Howard University is excellent.
  • An overall hilarious sketch. There wasn’t a single moment I wasn’t dying with laughter throughout this silly masterpiece.

Rating: *****

At Stab At Love

Hallmark Channel’s newest romcom has a horror twist

  • A great twist with Nate’s killer character stalking Chloe before turning out to be her high school boyfriend is brilliant.
  • Punkie, as always, is providing me with solid laughs as the typical friend to the female love interest.
  • Great voiceover work from James throughout this commercial. Nice to see James proving himself more and more in that department.
  • This commercial is such dead-on, hilarious premise. Chloe and Nate are excellent in playing this bizarre couple, especially the running gag with Nate’s mentioning of killing Chloe and other people with such a cheery attitude.
  • Great ending with Nate proposing to Chloe with a severed hand complete with a wedding ring.

Rating: ****1/2

Next Show:

  • Sweet seeing Chalamet back, considering how much I loved his first episode from season 46. boygenius is also a solid musical guest pick.

Washington’s Dream

George Washington’s (host) weights & measures speech baffles comrades, particularly (KET)

  • Man, it feels like Mikey has been in almost every sketch these past two episodes. I expected him to be used sparingly and not dominate like this. Considering that I love Mikey, I guess I shouldn’t complain much.
  • Nate’s playing George Washington by basically being himself is great. His rallying speech turning into about using their own measuring & weight system makes me feel this is possibly derived from a standup set of his. Such a hilarious, silly, fun sketch concept.
  • Great bit with Nate skipping the hell out of Kenan’s question about how people like him will be treated in the new nation.
  • Nate is absolutely nailing basically every single line he’s given and getting huge laughs from me and the audience; his “little kicking” about football line practically had me on the floor right now.
  • Nate’s “you asked about the temperature” in response to Kenan asking him again about slaves was fantastic.
  • Great ending to an overall brilliant sketch. A new favorite of mine. Man, between this sketch and the string of fantastic segments in a row before it, this episode is easily having the strongest start an SNL episode had in such a long time.

Rating: *****

Lake Beach

(host), (AND), (JAJ) sing about Lake Beach’s unattractive attractions

  • Great to see another James/Andrew team-up, considering how fantastic their previous sketches were together.
  • Andrew looking even more adorable than usual in that blonde wig.
  • Fantastic country singer voice from James. Is there anything James cannot nail?
  • A lot of fun, silly gags throughout this song, especially the Heidi/Andrew bit and the very fun involvement with Dave Grohl losing his shit over a kid not knowing how to play.
  • The grandma boobs being fried under the sun throwaway bit with Andrew made me laugh out loud.
  • Not only is this is such a fun, silly short with a very catchy, fun beat, but something about it feels heartwarming, as strange as it sounds. I guess it being a patented Andrew/JAJ piece is part of that, as they are both not only brilliant, valuable performers, but ones with great heart and care shown in their work. Such a refreshing contrast to the typical cold, selfish, dead ego trips by certain cast members over the years in the show’s history
  • Love Dave Grohl’s involvement throughout this short, especially when his arm blows off and he turns out to be the pastor at the end.

Rating: ****1/2

Fran Drescher, SAG President

Fran Drescher (SRS) does an infomercial regarding kids’ Halloween costumes

  • A solid laugh from Sarah playing Fran Drescher doing basically an infomercial about people dressing as TV characters for Halloween.
  • The kid actors playing the models for the infomercial are great, especially the Harry Potter actor.
  • Sarah’s very solid throughout this sketch, especially her constant roasting of Nate. Knowing the huge Fran fan Sarah is, it makes her playing Drescher here more endearing.
  • This is getting too long and the take seems confusing as this piece goes on, but there are enough laughs here and there.
  • I didn’t care for the ending, even when Sarah came off good doing Fran’s trademark laugh.

Rating: ***

Musical Performance – Rescued

Weekend Update

COJ’s agent J. J. Gordon (SRS) talks actors strike and roasts him

  • Some pretty funny jokes so far; the Mike Johnson ones are especially solid.
  • Heh, Pence suspended his campaign? How did I not know of this? Colin’s joke about him and God made me laugh out loud.
  • While tad predictable, I freakin’ howled at the punchline of the King Charles acknowledging slave trade in Kenya joke’s punchline being about Meghan Markle.
  • As I, and a number of others expected, Sarah’s cut Roast Jost piece from last week has returned.
  • Ugh at the visual of Sarah in drag for what feels like the billionth time in the span of not over a dozen episodes. I know I might be overthinking what Sarah’s doing here, but 1) I’m beyond done with this roasting Jost thing from Sarah; she’s a lot better than being this one-note behind the desk, and 2) I’m sick seeing Sarah dress up in drag and do the same voice, ticks and characterization and expect the cheap visual of her in that getup will automatically be funny.
  • Moving on….. Sarah’s performance here feels odd, like she’s going through the motions instead of committing like usual, which is unheard of a true pro such as Sarah.
  • Yeah, I’m so glazed over these jokes by now. How many times am I supposed to giggal at Sarah accusing Colin of being racist or fascist or sexist, etc?
  • All-in-all: oof. This is the very first thing that annoyed me in tonight’s amazing episode. Also, what makes this piece worse for me, is that I have an eerie feeling it won’t be the first and last thing Sarah does this season that will fall horribly flat with me.
  • Hilarious audience reaction to Che’s migrants joke.
  • Loved Che’s punchline to the already-funny skeleton pole dancing story.
  • Man, back-to-back hilariously dark jokes from Colin; terrific delivery of “us” in his joke about Vermont being the safest state.
  • Love the Jersey slam with the final olive oil joke.
  • An overall really short, yet solid Update, especially the string of great jokes near the end. I wish we could’ve had a better desk commentary, though.

Rating: ***1/2


as (CHF) goes through labor, passengers debate the second-best job after doctor

  • For some reason, when Devon asked if there’s a doctor on the airplane and Nate stood up saying he’s a lawyer, I just laughed out loud.
  • Brilliant sketch concept utilizing the cast’s size with different passengers debating which job is best after being a doctor.
  • Nate’s little pat on Chloe’s head saying “I care” had me howling. He’s been nothing short of excellent all night.
  • Relatable part with Troast talking about hard is it being a teacher, as I am one myself.
  • Great bit with Troast’s job being teaching future lawyers and doctors making it hard; the subsequent booing, complete with Heidi throwing a paper at her is hilarious.
  • As much as he’s been annoying the hell out of me in recent episodes, Bowen’s quick bit as “a kind of doctor” complete with his look had me in freakin’ stitches. I said this before about Bowen, but he is so good at milking huge laughs while barely doing anything.
  • I love Nate’s “in terms of real stuff” line after Heidi’s line about being a mother being greeted with applause from the passengers. This is yet another delivery by him that gets an extended laughter from both the audience and me.
  • I’m loving how very writerly, absurdist this whole sketch is. This reminds me of the great Club Velvet sketch from last season, though I prefer this one to it a bit more.
  • Very fun, likable ending with Dave Grohl coming out wearing a doctor’s outfit.

Rating: ****1/2

Musical Performance – The Glass

Please Don’t Destroy – Dawg Food

(John Higgins) & (Martin Herlihy)’s love of Dawg Food bewilders (Ben Marshall)

  • Seeing a PDD short at this late time is yet another evidence we got a sketch cut at the last minute.
  • Good, silly concept of dog food marketed to humans without any change whatsoever.
  • I love the gross visual of Martin’s face stuck in the middle of the dog’s bowl; kudos on the performers for being so game for such a premise.
  • This short really shows what a truly underrated straight man Ben is. His reactions all throughout this piece are realistic, well-performed and strangely endearing.
  • I really love the gags on the Dawg Food bag, especially the it’s ok to eat.
  • Great bit with the cute dog joining in and eating from the bowl with Martin.
  • The silly ending with John dying from a mix of katchup and the dog food is a solid way to end this overall silly, solid piece.

Rating: ***1/2


A bumper marks the passing of Matthew Perry

Segments Ranked From Best to Worst

Washington’s Dream

Chef Showdown


Lake Beach


A Stab At Love

Please Don’t Destroy – Dawg Food

Biden Halloween

Weekend Update

Fran Drescher, SAG President

Final Thoughts:

  • A phenomenal, impressive episode as a whole tonight. So many great pieces (and tons of “Best Of” choices) all throughout the night and I absolutely loved how this whole show was wall-to-wall filled with original, fun, silly, solid sketch concepts that are right up my alley of humor. The first half in particular might be the strongest first half I could think of in many, many years. In fact, this episode very refreshingly reminded me of the season 45 Adam Driver episode (one of the best SNL’s ever) as that one was also filled, wall-to-wall, with original, fun, silly, solid sketch concepts. And this fantastic episode will easily be ranked near the very top of my highest-rated episodes I’ll ever review. Also, helping this episode was our host Nate Bargatze, who delivered a terrific standup set and was an outstanding host all night, delivering and nailing all of his lines and getting from me and the audience huge laughs with ease. Knowing that Nate barely has any acting experience makes his fantastic showing tonight even more impressive. I also won’t be shocked if he played a huge role in the episode’s very refreshing, conceptual, writerly approach. He can come back and host as soon as next season with no complaints from me.
  • I know it’s been just three episodes so far, but I’ve been loving most of this season already more than last season (and keep in mind, my reviews of season 48 as a whole were more positive than the fan consensus at the time). Despite still having some frustrating elements that popped up to me during the previous season (e.g. the rise of Bowen Yang, the decline of Heidi [Ego improved this year so far], focus on humor I can’t stand, dullness) they feel nowhere near as prominent this year like the last one, and we got a lot more strong, memorable segments in three episodes than last season during the same point. With this episode being easily a new all-time favorite of mine and the finest in at least the last three seasons combined. So, I sincerely hope this isn’t a fluke and we continue getting surprise hosts, solid writing and wide cast use moving ahead.

My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:

Up Next:

  • Timothée Chalamet / boygenius are our lineup for November 11th.

My full set of screencaps from this episode is here

10 Replies to “October 28, 2023 – Nate Bargatze / Foo Fighters (S49 E3)”

  1. Great review as usual!

    I concur that this was a truly fantastic episode. There were absolutely no segments I disliked. Even the segment I liked the least (the PDD short, which wasn’t bad, but felt a little underdeveloped to me) had redeemable factors to it (Ben’s straight man performance was the highlight for me).

    That Washington’s Dream sketch is gonna be a future classic, I’m calling it right now. So many hilarious lines and sharp writing. I too think Nate must have had a hand in writing this one because it really does sound like a standup bit, and I mean that in the best way.

    The two other pretapes were simply fantastic, and really felt like top tier Key and Peele/Digital Short level. Again, great writing, great performances, nice pacing, the whole works.

    As for that Sarah commentary, I’m not quite as down on it as you even though I 100% see where you’re coming from. Her being in drag could indeed be worrying, but it’s more so that her roasting of Jost has just been done so much at this point. It feels very “been there, done that”. I did still laugh at some of the jokes, but I hope that they either back off on these or do some sort of twist with them cause it’s pretty predictable at this point. I did like her Fran Drescher sketch though, and I do hope she’ll have another Sarah Squirm piece soon.

    Nate was a fantastic host and this whole episode had such a fun vibe. It’s so refreshing when SNL has a great episode like this where every sketch works. Hope the momentum will continue!

  2. Wow you liked this episode way more than I did. Found a lot of these sketches like Chef Competition and Airplane to be serviceable but completely one note and laughless, just something didn’t work for me there. Meanwhile your least favourite sketch, Fran Drescher, was my favourite of the night because I find that the premise there was the most fun and creative one of the episode. Stuff like “a white guy is good at cooking black food” and “people debate on what’s an important job” really isn’t raising my interest at all unlike the Fran one. Still, I’m glad you liked something I didn’t.

  3. After the less than fantastic episode last week, This is significantly better. I do wish the CO was a Celebrity Showcase and The Monologue was a tad shorter, But I enjoyed alot of the show.

    I also want to give props for Bowen for showing range in the George Washington sketch and I’m glad Squirm focused more on funny than weird (Although I didn’t like her Fran voice)

    To quote a podcast “It was like finally getting a hot fudge sundae after years of raw broccoli.”

  4. What I loved about the monologue is that it was nine and a half minutes but in no way did it feel like it was dragging or going on too long like when Chappelle does his “comedy” I couldn’t believe it went that long until I checked it on Youtube

    1. I almost agree with everything said in the initial review. Im not with the people who said the monologue was too long. In fact, when I watched it, I thought that it’d been quite cruel to give Chapelle like a 20 minute set, and Bargatze only a 5 min spot. It kinda shocked me when I found out how long it actually was. But, Im a fan, so, even his hour’s seem short.

      So, here’s my main difference. I didin’t feel the chef bit. I was worried that that was going to be the extent of Nate’s acting, and the joke just seemed a little too obvious. Like it would have been better to go with the undirect and build off that. I don’t know. I felt that it killed the energy of the show a little. (I think the last three “first Live sketches” have been a little unmomentumy.

      I’m finding it hard to believe that Bargetze didn’t have a hand in writing the sketch. Streeters TwittX seems to suggest that its been his baby for a little bit now. He found the perfect person to deliver it. It kinda felt like a more deadpan Will Ferrell peice. Love the sketch though. I cant imagine this wont be my Sketch of the Season.

      But I loved the Airplane sketch also, and for all the reasons stated in the orginal review. (I too am a teacher!). Again, a perfect piece for Nate, and Dismukes. I don’t know who wrote that, but it again felt like Nate could’ve helped write it.

      So, I was a little down on WU. More so than normal, it felt like Jost and Che were phoning it in this week. I’m gonna need some new anchors pretty soon.

      Was disappointed with the PDD sketch. It felt like a Season one piece. (Like Goths, or new skill, or even the Hard Seltzer, but without the escalation). The fact that the host wasn’t in it, made it feel pretty “Use in case of emergency”.

      What else. I think I need to watch the whole show over again. I think Nate Bargatze will be back. He may even become a friend of the show in the same way Mulaney has become. And I don’t hate that.

      Interesting fact. Jimmy Fallon who has quite the role in Nates rise, once financed through his production company a sitcom with Nate as the lead role (Think “Everybody loves Raymond”) the pilot was made. And it fell into the pit of never picked up pilots.

    1. Hey Nylan, it’s cool you are doing these, but no need to share them here, as I calculate the episodes’ ratings myself and have them all in the final wrap-up post of each season, alongside a complete list of the highest & lowest-rated sketches. Thanks for understanding.

  5. Happy Halloween! Great review, as always.

    I too have been enjoying this season more than last season so far and have been impressed that each episode has improved upon the last. I know that can’t last, no show can do that, least of all a historically uneven show like SNL, but one positive is the last few weeks have curtailed so much of what alienated me from last season (the campy, vampy pieces that just have Heidi or Bowen, sometimes Ego, being Wacky and Crazy while everyone else responds).

    This episode had a very steady feel to it which I sometimes don’t enjoy with SNL (sometimes I prefer going from lows to highs) but I can appreciate on nights like this because the steadiness was mostly of a high quality. Even the weaker pieces weren’t so weak as to derail from the overall positive feeling I had.

    What I appreciated most was I didn’t feel like the show was treating us like morons. There were so many sketches that on other occasions probably would have been a mess, poorly focused, but were put together just the right way here. The chef sketch I almost didn’t even want to give a chance because I’d grown so wary of this type of sketch a few years ago but everything was fine-tuned. It’s too easy to give credit to the host, the way I would somehow assume Mulaney’s first two episodes were stronger just through him then had to step back when his next one was such a drastic drop, If Nate Bargatze did have anything to do with it, I hope they have him back soon.

    You said it all about Sarah. I still have a great deal of respect for Sarah and her talent, but the path she and SNL have chosen to take her down has not suited her. I agree that she felt unusually sloppy on Update (Update as a whole felt very sloppy, although the jokes from Che and Jost were some of my favorites of the season). I just wish she could go back to some of what she was doing in her first season.

    I’m glad you thought so highly of the plane sketch. It’s the type of sketch I so miss from earlier decades of the show and we get very little of now – just a sharp ensemble piece that doesn’t feel like reacting to one nut or everyone rotating in and out for awkward turns. And Nate’s performance, along with Andrew’s, was such a great anchor. This has quietly been a surprisingly decent season for Andrew so far. I hope that can continue.

    I was so happy JAJ got a personal piece of his on a pre-tape, one that seems to have gotten a strong response. I was a bit worried when I saw that he was no longer playing Biden, but swimming in a real slog of a role vs getting more creative freedom – not a bad tradeoff.

  6. Blood! I forgot you were doing reviews, but then I enjoyed this episode so much I thought “Who’s doing reviews?” and I immediately remembered you. What a treat! So much reading (and pedantic commenting) for me to get down to.

    First, what a fun season we have cooking for us so far. I’m not saying the first two episodes were world beaters, but I feel like they have done a wonderful job playing to the hosts’ respective strengths and weaknesses. Nothing has been perfect of course (the Heidi and Bowen vanity pieces in episode one were a hiccup), but you can see the show really working to maximize its hosts.

    With Nate, I had a tremendous amount of excitement for the show to utilize Nate’s unique delivery. That low-key Newhart-via-Romano-via-Anthony Clark (look him up) deadpan could be a tremendous asset and to my surprise they really used it well.

    The monologue crushed. I have watched it a few times. Nate’s probably top two or three in the world right now and it was a joy to hear new material. “Read is the key to smart.” Brilliant stuff. Nate has this way of underselling a joke that actually accentuates how funny it is. I love that in a comedian. It’s wild to me how the SNL Reddit was really down on it.

    Washington, obviously, was the episode’s masterstroke, perfectly harnessing Nate’s slow pace and mastery around the pregnant pause. I was worried about the show shoehorning in the race angle (as the show is wont to do – even the Hallmark sketch had it), but it was doled out really expertly.

    The Plane sketch is the one I’d really like to go to bat for (knowing that you also enjoyed it). I saw some dismissals of it in different areas online, but as John said, it felt like a very rare ensemble piece for the show, one that played out organically instead of just an assembly line of wacky one-offs. In a way it felt like the Weezer sketch in that it seemed like a backstage conversation that found its way onto the show.

    Can’t wait to catch up on more reviews.

  7. I love and adore Nate, have for five or six years, but he’s much more a standup guy than a sketch one. Aside from the naturally lovable delivery of every word he says… he just didn’t add much to these sketches. Very much along for the ride.

    Which is fine! he made for a perfectly fine host and I’d love to have him back. Not every standup assimilates in their first go-round like Seinfeld or Mulaney. Totally different skillsets, apples to wheelbarrows.

    Besides, not having a dynamic flavor is very much Nate’s flavor, and a reason I love him. Unfortunately, this was a fairly blah-written episode that could have really benefited from a dynamic host.

    Monologue ****1/2
    My love of Nate and his act is no secret and nothing new for the people around me. He’s not only from right down the street, he’s got a fantastic gift and just a flawless style/delivery for observational comedy. Unsurprisingly, I loved every bit of this monologue.

    Chef Showdown ***1/2
    Technically very, very sound with some strong work by all. Unfortunately, this is a sketch we’ve seen 75 times this decade only. It’s not a good sign that I told my wife, “Here comes a sketch about Black judges judging White-cooked soul food” before Heidi even spoke. The cameo was cute but surely someone could’ve shown Padma her lines beforehand.

    A Stab at Love ***
    See above. Technically very solid, as it’s a dead-on parody, which SNL has perfected over the past decade. But neither Chloe nor Nate has added anything interesting here. We need more than just rote imitation, gang. This lacks any heart or distinctive style; wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn it was written by a bot.

    Washington’s Dream ****1/2
    Live sketch of the night! This one was clearly pulled straight from Nate, either from a past bit of his that I haven’t seen, or something new he wrote for SNL. (I can tell the staff didn’t write it from the lack of pop culture references.) And this one is wildly quotable: “5,280 feet of course. Just an easy number we can all remember.” Nate’s struggles with the cards are an asset here; goddamn he’s a likeable dude. Truly one of our best going. Every single line here is working.

    If there is a quibble… it’s definitely getting old seeing this desperate, cloying need to insert racial gags into every. single. sketch. This was something different. This was not a social statement. It was a Nate Bargatze vehicle in his own style.

    Lake Beach *****
    Full commitment, full perfection. Brilliant writing, brilliant cameo, brilliant song. Best pre-tape of the year thus far. For some reason, I got the hardest laugh out of Molly trying to make a sandwich with bread and not much ham.

    Fran Drescher, SAG President ***
    Sarah is a treasure, and she looks terrific here, complicating my Fran Drescher feelings even further than they already were. And she does nice work here. The Bible character bit certainly made me LOL, as did Yoda/Hoda. And can I say, the kids did fantastic work of their own.

    Overall, this was damn solid but went on way too long. More and more pop culture references to cram in, after all. I’d rate this even a bit higher as a 60-second PSA or bumper. As Blood said: even the take is getting confusing here. Which is what happens when you sit down to write with the hashtags already on your mind. Clearly, the goal here was to cram in references, not to say anything about the strike. By the end, not even “be funny” was the true goal anymore.

    Weekend Update **1/2
    it’s unfortunate that I sigh whenever Update starts. And that’s not because it sucks, and it’s not because the anchors suck. Colin, I’ll have you know, doesn’t suck all – he’s a FIERCELY average and mediocre anchor! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever met nor seen a more average person in my entire life.

    I can’t be the only one who is done, done, done with these stale Updates. The jokes are recycled. The takes are anything but hot (take that Epstein!) We’re just checking off the boxes at this point.

    At least Sarah knocked it out of the park… sorta. She did her best with an aggressively down-the-middle Colin Sucks! showcase. You know, I’ve always liked Colin very much, and I always expected more of a comedic leap at some point. it never happened, and that’s fine. But I just can’t take the same jokes, the same setups, much longer.

    I truly wish he had developed the ability to set up and help these correspondent pieces along. even just the ability to squirt out a joke without fake-chuckling at how edgy it was. Say what you will about Seth and his laughing: he was present and capable of adding to these pieces. We’ve watched Colin pretend to laugh for a decade at the same Colin Sucks! gag, one after the other, ducks on a pond, and I truly didn’t laugh out loud once during this Update. (The Kiss Cam bit got me close, though.)

    Is There A Doctor? *****
    This one is pitch-perfect across the board. in many ways, every bit as hilarious as Washington’s dream. hard to pick a favorite bit, but I’ll probably go with Nate’s “OK, but as far as REAL jobs, stuff you get paid for?” this was just fantastic. I love how clearly well Andrew and James, in particular, worked with Nate this entire week. those three clearly found common comedic ground and mined the shit out of it. Andrew is absolutely feasting on this clearly Nate-designed premise and dialogue.

    Can I also say, I’m so impressed by the gradual yet effective evolution of Devon. He’s getting better and better one week at a time, and not through wild, broad, Sarah-esque characters or pandering insanity. he seems to just be putting in the work and learning from each sketch. He’s crazy likeable and should explode at some point. this was a thankless role, but he stayed in his lane and filled it perfectly. I can think of specific casters *coughBeckdidtheshitallthefuckingtimecough* who would have felt the need to “add to” or “spin” this straight-man role into his or her own thing, stepping on the rest of the comedy in the process.

    Please Don’t Destroy: Dawg Food ****
    Lighter on laughs than usual, but also much lighter on pop references, so it’s a wash. Also much shorter than usual, which I like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big PDD fan, but these do tend to sprawl and the less focused ones can really lag. that said, I’ve never seen a PDD short I’d rate below **** so I’m obviously nitpicking.

    Overall, a truly great episode that Nate managed to elevate without elevating. good for him. I loved almost everything he did tonight- particularly the stuff that he clearly wrote or created. this goes to show you the difference between building an episode around a comedic talent vs. building an episode around Bad Bunny or Megan Thee Stallion. Tonight we got jokes, not just Tik Tok references and “look how Hottt I am.”

    Yes, I understand I’m a 40-yo white man. No, I don’t think I hold exclusivity rights for being pleased by SNL. I don’t believe society nor NBC nor Lorne “owes” me any specific, Justin-centric version of SNL. I also don’t think it’s lacking in compassion to point out just how pandering and insulting it is to ALL when they shrug, “awh, fuck the funny this week… just fill in the dead air with woooooooos.”

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