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.
(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.)
(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.
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.
- Sweet seeing Chalamet back, considering how much I loved his first episode from season 46. boygenius is also a solid musical guest pick.
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.
(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.
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.
Musical Performance – Rescued
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.
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.
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.
A bumper marks the passing of Matthew Perry
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
A Stab At Love
Please Don’t Destroy – Dawg Food
Fran Drescher, SAG President
- 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:
- Timothée Chalamet / boygenius are our lineup for November 11th.
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here