Last night, Saturday Night Live scored an excellent episode, with great sketches that were funny, sharp and pointed, with strong performances all around. In fact, there wasn’t a single bad sketch in the entire show this week, and we’re betting there will be a cut for time sketch showing up on YouTube this week that was too good to leave unseen. Scarlett Johansson scored herself a five timers jacket for her fifth time hosting, but none of the other 5 timers showed up to welcome her, not even Alec Baldwin who was already in the studio performing his Trump impression for the cold open.
Speaking of Baldwin, since Trump didn’t have any particularly sketchworthy moments in the news this week, Alec’s cold open went sci-fi– how would Trump react in the event of a hostile alien arrival? Trump is revealed to believe that black women are actually aliens in hiding. The segment is well written enough, well performed, and gets laughs, but adds nothing new to the Trump impression that would make it a must-watch segment, and even though it was funny, it was probably the weakest segment on last night’s SNL (you can watch it here).
There were multiple other politically themed sketches that were smarter, funnier, and more biting than the Trump cold open. Complicit, a digital short mock Perfume Ad taking a critical look at Ivanka Trump’s role in her father’s campaign and Presidency. Complicit starred Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka.
Another Trump-aimed sketch, Translator, featured Scarlett as the lead scientist in a trio who have invented the world’s first dog translator, allowed all of us to finally know what our dogs are thinking. In a hilarious twist on the old ‘you might find out you don’t actually want to know what your dog is thinking’ idea, the X5 prototype allows the scientists to find out that her dog, Max, much to her horror, is a vehement Trump supporter. Kyle Mooney, and Mikey Day co-star as the other scientists.
Outside of the Trump arena, other outstanding bits included A Sketch for Women, another shot at “woke” men who think that the best way to support women is by speaking for them. Scarlett Jo and Aidy Bryant explain that they took the day off on Wednesday for International Womens’ Day, and Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett filled in and wrote a sketch for them, in honor of them.
Maybe the funniest sketch of the night, Olive Garden gave us a look behind-the-scenes on how they create those Olive Garden commercials with patrons who seem just a little too excited to be there. Scarlett Johansson, Mikey Day, Leslie Jones, and Kenan Thompson play performers (blonde hair, blue shirt, yellow top and sweater guy) who have some concerns about the direction they’re being given. Especially yellow top.
SNL also scored with this week’s dumb-funny sketches. Zoo Pornographer, about Danny Bangs, a Zoo Photographer mistakenly identified by a news channel as a Zoo Pornographer, and Funeral about a recently departed dentist whose family finds out about his secret life as a club songwriter at his funeral, both got big laughs, and Weekend Update had a strong flow and brought us a killer Al Franken impression from newcomer Alex Moffat who even outshined SNL superstar Kate McKinnon performing with him as Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
And Pete Davidson delivered a Trump Weekend Update Segment that was so similar in style and tone to the Weekend Update anchor delivery, that we couldn’t help but wonder- is Pete being given a trial as a replacement for one of the WU anchors? Hopefully not. We love Davidson as a sketch performer as much as we love Che and Colin delivering the weekly headlines, and even though we stand behind our thoughts that WU needs a format update, Che and Colin have absolutely found their groove.