Last night the cast of Saturday Night Live performed their first show of 2018 and there were many highlights from the celebrity alum studded cold open to the razor sharp Weekend Update segment that keeps getting better, and even the sketches- which still haven’t blown us away- were improved over the offerings in 2017. The big themes of the night were the #TimesUp movement, Trump of coures, and the country’s reaction to Oprah’s Golden Globes speech.
The show kicked off with a Trumpless Cold Open, but there were other celebrity guest stars. Fred Armisen returned for a Morning Joe cold open bit in which Armisen played Michael Wolff, author of the book attacking Donald Trump, Fire and Fury. Armisen’s Wolff appeared as a guest on Morning Joe with flawless impressions of hosts Mika and Joe, particularly Kate McKinnon’s Mika. The audience was thrilled to see Armisen back on the SNL set, but the real surprise came when a hooded Steve Bannon (resembling his usual SNL Grim Reaper costume, but this time it was just a jacket) entered and removed his hood to reveal SNL royalty underneath: Bill Murray. After waiting for the applause to die down, the sketch continued with Mika calling Murray “death warmed over.” Later in the open Leslie Jones appeared as Oprah just as Mika was declaring that America is over, and no one is coming to save us. “Oh my god, it’s Oprah. I thought I smelled lavender and money.”
Sam Rockwell was a strong host, with a high energy song and dance monologue about going from “that guy” you remember seeing in the movies to being a movie star. Singing Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” Rockwell flew through the studio, kissing and tango’ing with Leslie Jones, fighting with Colin Jost, and donning a top hat and cane to bring it all home with a full chorus of showgirls and tuxedo clad back up dancers. You can watch it here.
Weekend Update had a lot to cover- its’ been a month since we last saw Colin and Che cover the news and they touched onWolff’s Fire and Fury, Trump’s “Shithole” comments, Trump’s porn star scandal, the Russia probe, and Trump’s strategy with Kim Jong Un, and Oprah’s potential run for President. Non Trump topics included H&M’s “cutest monkey” scandal, Bannon leaving Breitbart, and Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams’ salary disparity. This week WU was all about Che who had the lions share of the best lines. Here are a few highlights.
“Here’s the thing. My job is to make jokes about the news but Trump saying something racist, isn’t exactly news any more. It would be news if Trump said you know what we need more of in this country? Haitians.”
Che also pointed out that the countries that Trump called shitholes have been robbed and exploited for centuries by Western powers and compares Trump calling them shitholes “is like telling a kid you molested, boy you grew up to be weird.”
At a cabinet meeting Trump called for toughening libel laws to make it easier to sue media for false statements. Che called Trump’s lack of self-awareness “almost adorable.” saying “he’s not totally wrong about this he’s just the worst possible person to point it out to us. He lies all the time. It’s like listening to O.J. complain about the loopholes in the justice system.”
Discussing Oprah, Che said he’s tired of the fun ideas for President and longs for the time when someone would ask him “hey did you hear what the President said,” and he would say no.
In the sketches, there were some real highlights this week, including My Drunk Boyfriend, a funny ad parody about a new type of blow up doll that makes you feel like your drunk boyfriend isn’t out of town. We also liked a digital short about Stanley Tucci (that guy from the Hunger Games) with Pete Davidson as rapper Lil Pump singing about the Tucci Gang, and educating you on the Tooch’s career. But nothing was funnier than a sketch about a genetics lab showing off their cutting edge technology– Dog head guy. Needless to say the dog stole the show.