Saturday Night Live last night could be summed up in a word- unremarkable. The main themes were political, covering Trump’s medical exam, the women’s march, and of course, Stormy Daniels. The show opened with a press conference led by the White House Physician who examined the President, declaring him young, not-fat, and mentally good enough. Played by Beck Bennett, the good doctor promised us America that Trump is not a monkey in people clothes. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, played by Aidy Bryant also addressed the women’s march (a million women out there celebrating the president’s first year in office), and the government shutdown (any deal must include a border wall, a solid, physical wall, with some parts see through, some parts fence, and some parts see through).
Jessica Chastain’s monologue was a girl-power centered musical number, channeling the First Wives Club with a rendition of “You Don’t Own Me” giving Chastain the chance to participate in the women’s march with Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong. Sketches leaned political, with a viewer favorite- a Chastain-hosted game show titled “What Even Matters Anymore” where the game required contestants Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and Kenan Thompson to evaluate Trump behavior and guess whether “it even matters.” Turns out nothing matters, no behavior merits consequences, and nobody wins. This was one of the stronger sketches in a weak week, leaving us wondering whether the sketch might be more spot on than the writers even intended. Does any of this matter?
Not all the sketches were political. The writer’s favorite rookie Chris Redd led a digital short parody of the opening sequence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, retelling the series backstory with an edgier ending. Another digital short centered on Pete Davidson’s “uhkay” Chad character. A Google Talk sketch covered the very woke topic of bullying, where a guy who takes shit for looking like Bart Simpson even got bullied at a bullying seminar. There was a sketch about Amazon that seemed hardly worth even mentioning, and a bit parodying The Bachelor that was funny, but so familiar, that it felt like we had seen it before. Or maybe the Bachelor is just too obviously trite to even bother parodying. Either way, it’s not something everyone will be sharing with friends this morning. We did get a chuckle from “Taco Math” a sketch with Heidi Gardner and Jessica Chastain about two girls who weren’t very bright when it comes to free tacos.
Weekend Update held its own this week, with a solid, but not stand out week with Colin Jost and Michael Che skewering Trump for the government shutdown, his affair with Stormy Daniels, and the big news that he passed his cognitive test. Che talked about the women’s march and Colin took a look at everything the Republicans accomplished this year while controlling all three branches of government. And jokes about Chris Christie leaving office, a rare shark that can extend its jaw, black unemployment, and a pantsless dog walker rounded out the segment which also included three character segments.
Saturday Night Live returns live next week with an exciting alumni host, Will Ferrell.