Not gonna lie I was pretty excited for this week’s episode. Fat Jonah Hill, a two week break, and a ridiculous GOP debate? That’s the is kinda stuff Lorne Michaels wishes for when an eyelash falls out. But alas, this week’s show ended up being a testament to the unpredictable nature of SNL. Just because you have all the ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t make something terrible (i.e. me cooking anything). With three weeks to prepare and an A-list host, you’d think we would see an episode indicative of that; something polished, well rehearsed, and generally funny all around. However, what we saw this week was brash, scattered, and ineffective. Even with some of the more clever sketch ideas the lack of execution was consistent throughout the whole episode and killed any momentum the show had coming into this week. However, that’s not to say there weren’t any laughs to be found, so on that note, let’s look at some sketches.
CNN Election Center Cold Opening
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: SNL cannot out-parody the GOP debates. They’ve tried on many occasions and every time, barring Larry David’s Bernie Sanders, they’ve failed to come up with any solid results. How do you roast a dumpster fire? You can’t, and this sketch reinforced that once again. The only reason I put it in here was because of Jason Sudeikis making a surprise appearance as Mitt Romney. So for all the Sudeikis fans out there (mainly me), enjoy.
Jonah Hill’s monologue performance was representative of the entire show: lot of potential, sloppy execution. Coming out in all black (slimming), Hill took a quick jab about his lack of acting jobs which was a solid start. But then, he immediately dropped the questions from the audience to rap with musical guest Future, which was awesome. Unfortunately, Hill only rapped for like 15 seconds before throwing it to commercial. It felt like watching a kid give a class presentation that he threw together at the last minute; a bunch of ideas flying at you with no structure.
Voters for Trump Ad
Tell us how you really feel, SNL. After bringing on Trump as a host only a couple months ago, SNL went full out attack on the Don, calling anyone who supports him a Nazi racist scumbag. The sketch is a product of the collective wake up slap America received in the form of Trump’s recent triumphs on Super Tuesday. And while I personally would have enjoyed a little more subtlety and tastefulness in an attack ad, it’s pretty interesting to see SNL’s comedic shift in efforts to stop the Trump machine.
At this point, you can pretty much count on Weekend Update showing up in the highlights for any episode going forward. This week was no different thanks to some big time performances from their Update guests. The first being the return of Cecily Strong’s “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” (TGYWYHSACWAAP). Despite a year long hiatus, Strong didn’t miss a beat, using a slurred malapropisms backing her social justice-charged rant.
The highlight of Update however, came with Jay Pharoah giving a report on the secret meeting of black comedians. Pharoah ran through all the different faces at the meeting, giving us scarily accurate impressions of Katt Williams, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock and more. It was unbelievable to watch and a much more effective medium to deliver them compared to the played out celebrity game shows.
Inside SoCal Newer One
You know SNL isn’t feeling it when they put a weird Kyle video in the 10-1 slot. We’ve seen the SoCal sketches a few times since the Good Neighbor duo joined the cast, and at this point they’re pretty much the same thing. You know exactly what you’re watching, yet I can’t help but laugh at the low key, low budget setup of the show. I think it’s because it validates every stereotype I have of California where everyone wears Hurley and is named Aaron. I know it’s not true, but these sketches let me dream, and for that, I thank them.
A Few More Thoughts
A little reward for anyone that read the whole article. One of Jonah Hill’s best SNL sketches. Don’t ever say I haven’t done anything for you.
See you next week when Ariana Grande does double duty, playing host and musical guest.