Saturday Night Live really upped its game last week in honor of Alec Baldwin’s record 17th time hosting. There wasn’t a slow moment or speed bump all night. There were huge guest stars, with the return of Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer and a quick Tracy Morgan appearance. Baldwin was at this best appearing in a number of roles, and once again Kate McKinnon proved to be SNL’s greatest recurring asset.
If you didn’t watch, catch up now with our favorite clips. Here’s what you missed and including clips from our favorites.
Despite rumors that the bit was a one time thing, Melissa McCarthy returned as Sean Spicer for the cold open and upped the game. It’s hard to say what’s funnier- the writing or McCarthy’s physicality, but the impression is going to go down in SNL history as one of the best political parodies on the show. McCarthy’s “Spicey” covered his gum chewing, getting facts wrong, Nordstrom, and accusations, and this time Spicer’s podium used as a Segway to float around the room. Kate McKinnon joined McCarthy appearing as the country’s new Attorney General Jeff Sessions. A+ for writing and performances. Another instant classic.
Baldwin went 180 on his monologue from past themes, going self-deprecating instead of peacocking. Well, not exactly self-deprecating, more like Pete Davidson-deprecating. Davidson joined him onstage and took shots at him, talking about how handsome he used to be. Solid. Funny. Maybe not a highlight of the show, but it worked.
SNL continues to knock it out of the park with their digital shorts, with a bit dedicated to both Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. It’s creepy meets hilarious as Alec Baldwin, Mikey Day, and Beck Bennett star as white men who just don’t understand the meaning of Black History Month, but they’re trying. Leslie Jones, Melissa Villasenor, and Sasheer Zamata, costar as the recipients of chocolates shaped like black leaders with “Russell Stover’s Black History Heart Shaped Box.”
It was the funniest sketch of the night already- Alec Baldwin plays an armed forces colonel who gives the typical shit to a bunch of soldiers, but goes easy on his son. Baldwin caught the flub bug that was going around last week and turned a mistake into the funniest moment of the night (and we have no idea how anyone kept a straight face) when he said that the soldiers attitude stunk worse than “an outhouse at a cookie chill out. Chili cook out, I meant. CHILI COOK OUT, I SAID!”
Kate McKinnon is a one woman show and at the top of her game. She’s having the kind of success this year that makes you start to worry that she’ll be moving on. In addition to appearing as Jeff Sessions in the opener, she also had a very funny turn as Elizabeth Warren grilling Colin Jost and Michael Che on Weekend Update, and later killing in another digital short- this time as Kellyanne Conway channeling the spirit of the Terminator combined with Glenn Close’s Fatal Attraction character trying to get back on CNN. Perfect writing and performance throughout.
Weekend Update had a number of highlights. In addition to McKinnon’s Elizabeth Warren appearance, the appearance of a new character that will definitely return- “Guy who just bought a boat” who used every annoying phrase that makes you hate abbreviations. He gives some Valentine’s advice. Tres dap bud, he calls Jost. He asks Jost if he has a rez yet…which is short for reservash. Yout get the idea. Boat guy is a keeper. Beyond the characters, Jost and Che both had great jokes.
Alec Baldwin didn’t make it into the Cold Open, but he did put on his Trump attire for a very funny sketch where Trump goes to The People’s Court to get relief from the Ninth Circuit’s decision against his travel ban, and Beck Bennett’s Putin made an appearance as a character reference. “You’re doing too much,” Cecily Strong said as Judge Milian. ” I want one day without a CNN Alert that scares the hell out of me.” Proving that the people aren’t sick of Baldwin’s Trump just yet, the video has about 10 times the number of views as any other segment from last night’s show.
Tracy Morgan surprised with a guest appearance to play one of Beyonce’s in-utero twins with Kenan Thompson. The truth is it was a throwaway sketch, but an appearance from Morgan is welcome regardless of the circumstances, and the whole sketch was worthwhile just to hear fetus Morgan say he’s going to be the first person ever to get somebody pregnant while inside somebody pregnant.
One final digital short we loved was the mini-documentary of Leslie Jones’ decision that now that Melissa McCarthy has proven you can portray someone political regardless of gender, she wants to take a shot at playing Trump. She’s ready to stretch and go beyond the person always cast as someone screaming mad, she screams in Lorne Michael’s office during a tantrum that follows him putting the kaibosh on her playing Trump.
The only bad segment of the night was the five minutes to the end of the show sketch, which well, isn’t that what that last 2 minutes are for? Congratulations to the writers, cast and guest stars, it was a nearly perfect show. Next week Saturday Night Live is off, but will return on March 4 with Octavia Spencer hosting.