With SNL reaching the quarter mark of the season, Woody Harrelson did it big. He delivered the best show of the year, and it’s not even close. SNL was at its best this week, being not only hilarious, but also topical while pushing the envelope. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that with mega stars like Chris Rock, Jim Carrey, and Chris Pratt that Woody Harrelson would take the cake? That’s what he did. He was goofy, he was excited, and he seamlessly blended in with the cast. It’s rare that SNL delivers an episode in which there are literally, zero bad sketches but this was 90 straight minutes of sketch comedy at its finest. Let’s get to the standouts of the night:
There’s no denying that SNL has its fair share of haters this season. It always has always will. Phrases like “transitional phase” gets tossed around a lot along with ignorant people claiming, “Brooo, SNL sucks now without (insert most recent cast members that left)”. It’s just the nature of SNL. That’s why “The Dudleys” is such a terrific sketch: because its essentially just giving the middle finger to all the trolls. The writers can hear you loud and clear, but there’s a reason they’re working for SNL while you’re sitting at home eating Cheetos.
It usually goes that when the SNL sketches are on point, Update follows suit. This week was no different as Jost and Che delivered one of the best Updates of the season, with a little help from Leslie Jones and Matthew McConaughey. They kept it light and let their jokes play off of each other, which proved to be very effective. However, Leslie Jones was clearly the MVP, delivering her take on crazy bitches, which was just all out hilarious. Part of it was the stark contrast between her and Jost, who could not be more different. Her screaming at Colin to look at her breasts, along with calling him a tall glass of almond milk were the highlights of their interaction. Secondly, the stars of True Detective showed up, with Taren Killam giving an A+ impression of Matthew McConaughey. I’m sure he’ll return to the Desk soon, as his psycho rant was too good for a one time visit.
It’s a toss-up between this and “The Dudleys” for the best sketch of the night. SNL has done hundreds of game show sketches, yet they were still able to make this one unique and hilarious. The writers even managed to have a fresh take on the old classic “Roses are red” poem, with a fire MTV-style rendition. All the contestants really sold this sketch as they squirmed and were visibly terrified after Woody reveals the Shyamalan Twist. Also, this sketch gave us the line of the night, when Cecily Strong remarks, “you can’t shake hands with a ghost!”
This continued the trend of social commentary for the night, this time attacking the new, softer nature of football. Although it was kind of a random issue to comment on, the sketch was very funny, especially when the Keenan returned as a famous football player whose brain was reduced to mush. Also, Jay Pharoah’s terrified reaction to when Woody was gently tackling him was priceless. However, I could have done without the giant helmets at the end. We don’t wanna give Goodell any more ideas.
New Marijuana Policy
With all the debate about marijuana in America, you would think SNL would have touched upon it more heavily this season, aside from a few jokes on Update. Not only is it topical but it’s also seems like such an untapped well of comedic material. This sketch reiterates that fact as Pete Davidson and co prove the weed is indeed, tight. The sheer elation when Keenan tips his police officer cap is made even more enjoyable when he threatens to arrest Pete Davidson for actually trying to smoke in public. Also, the ending of this sketch perfectly sums up the stoner mentality, in which yeah, you want weed to be legalized and you want something to change… but at the same time, you’re Easy Mac’s gonna be done in like, two minutes, so maybe just let someone else step up.
A Few More Thoughts…
How tall is Josh Hutcherson? And how old is he? The cast of The Hunger Games made a surprise appearance in Woody’s monologue, and while it was pretty funny, I was baffled at how tiny Hutchinson looked. I feel like he’s been the same size since he was like 12, but his face looks like he’s 28. I don’t know, it was weird.
Taran Killam wins MVP for the first quarter of the season. He’s a terrific impressionist and he just brings an energy to every sketch that he’s in. He’s the closest thing that SNL has to Bill Hader, and he can only get better as the season progresses.
Hey Cameron Diaz, no pressure, but next week you’re following up one of the best SNLs in recent memory. I’d love her to prove me wrong but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high for this one.