After leaving Saturday Night Live in 2013, Bill Hader returns to host the funniest episode this season. Hader picked up right where he left off, blending in effortlessly with the cast and reminding everyone of the important role he had on the show. From impressions to wacky characters, he could do it all and he could do it better than anyone. SNL is still trying to fill the monumental void that he left in 2013. While we’re only giving you the top five, nearly every sketch was funny and could be on this list. If you have a lot of work that you don’t want to do, I highly recommend going on Hulu and watching the episode in its entirety.
Comedy’s always best when it brings to light an unquestioned societal norm that makes you think, “Wait, this makes literally zero sense. How is this a thing?” Hader does just that in asking for only 39 cents to help feed, clothe, and sustain a poor, angry village. Growing up, I was always under the impression that Africans just knew how to stretch a buck so it was refreshing to see the situation from a different point of view. Also, I thought Leslie Jones did a great job in this sketch, but I do hope we’ll get to see her play roles aside from “angry black woman” in the future.
Despite having visited the Weekend Update desk 19 times, Stefon and his description of New York nightlife remains as funny and enjoyable as ever. Stefon rattled off everything one could look for in a club, my two favorites coming from stand up comedian John Mulaney, who has a tradition of changing Stefon’s lines at the last minute to make Bill break character. Also, if you want to see what happens when a man is freed from the world of irrelevancy, check out Dan Cortese’s twitter. He’s like an old toy who just got new batteries, just pissing himself with excitement.
In today’s world, dystopian societies are all the rage. People seem to have a fascination in hearing that the world is screwed and then doing absolutely nothing to try to fix the problem. It’s so outrageous that you kinda have to respect it. This trailer does a terrific job of capturing all the necessary ingredients of a dystopian story, including categorization, rushed plotlines and character development, and weird unnecessary elements (see Lurkies, Zoomerangs). Although these movies all have an important message, it gets bogged down in its formulaic, predictable presentation. That being said, I would 100% watch this movie and feel good about myself afterwards for becoming aware of the world’s impending doom.
Puppet Class had no business being remade. After a successful first go with Seth MacFarlane a couple years ago, how much more could be said about a PTSD war vet and his puppet? The answer is nothing, as this sketch pretty much said the exact same thing, with the exact same format. Yet, regardless, it was hilarious thanks to Bill Hader, who manages to make everything funnier with just his presence. It just reinforced what a monumental impact Hader had during his time at SNL. Special shoutout to Tony the puppet who killed it per usual, starring in a puppet flashback to Grenada which I could have watched for another 3 hours.
When watching game show type sketches, you have to look at it differently from the usual sketches on SNL. Instead of having a plot or jokes, the humor in these sketches mainly lies in the cast members showcasing their best impressions, which were overall very good. Kate McKinnon, who I believe has been seriously underused this season, was terrific in her role as Jane Lynch, “America’s number 2 lesbian”. Cecily Strong and Bill Hader also shined, playing Sofia Vergara and Al Pacino. One thing I didn’t like about was Kristen Wiig’s Kathy Lee Gifford. Don’t get me wrong I love Kristen Wiig but I feel like her Gifford character just sort of babbled and took away from the other characters.
Midway through the show, SNL had a nice tribute to the late Jan Hooks, who passed away last week. The short film “Love is a Dream,” stars Hooks, who fantasizes being a princess dancing with the late Phil Hartman. I thought it was a nice move by SNL commemorating two star cast members, going beyond a simple portrait posted before cutting to commercial.
After disappearing last week, Pete Davidson returned, playing the main role in multiple sketches. He also made a return to the Update Desk, where he did a bit on gold chains, which was fine but nowhere near as funny as his first visit. Despite this, I hope SNL continues to let him perform his stand up, as he is very funny and has a lot of potential on the show.
After taking a week off, SNL will return on October 25 with Jim Carrey, who’s basically just a less creepy version of Bill Hader, and Iggy Azalea as the musical guest. Let’s see if SNL can keep up its streak of above average episodes.