After this week’s Saturday Night Live, everyone is talking about the opening- a dual tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and the late great Tom Petty. Jason Aldean opened the show with a statement, before launching into a rendition of Petty’s I Won’t Back Down. Petty, who passed away this week had made eight musical guest appearances on Saturday Night Live. Aldean’s statement addressed the tragedy he witnessed while on stage at Las Vegas’ Route 91 festival.
“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” he began. “Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal.” He addressed all of the people who are hurting and called them all family. “We hurt for you and we hurt with you,” he said assuring that we will walk through the tough times together. “Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable.”
The show opened with Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot delivering a bilingual monologue and explaining that the show was being broadcast to her home nation of Israel, live, for the first time ever. And we got to see Leslie Jones looking great rocking a Wonder Woman costume playing a Times Square character meeting her namesake.
The highlight of the week, once again, goes to Michael Che and Colin Jost, who delivered a killer edition of Weekend Update. Trump may have gotten a break during SNL‘s cold open this week, but the Weekend Update writers went after Trump and Washington hard focusing on the topic of gun control, but also birth control, Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico, and recent statements about the rights of Trans Americans.
Jost dove in with a blast at America’s stance on gun control right at the top of the segment, saying “the shooting in Las Vegas sparked a larger debate in America between people who want common sense gun control and people who are wrong.” This should not be a partisan issue, he said, noting that nobody needs to own 47 of anything, drawing comparisons to people who own 47 cats (unlike with guns, the government will actually come and take your cats away because everyone agrees that that’s insane), and a law in Texas that makes it illegal to own more than six dildos, which Jost said, makes sense. “If you have more than six dildos, it’s a clear sign you are training for something awful.
Che suggested that one gun and six bullets should be enough for anyone. “I’m sick of this narrative that Americans love guns so much,” he said, pointing out some stats like that 78% of Americans don’t even own a gun, and 3% of Americans own 50% of all the guns in the country.” He also went after those who say they need their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves from government overreaching, calling them hypocrites. “I notice the people that bring up the Second Amendment all the time are also the same people that preach respect law enforcement, support the troops. Meanwhile, they have a closet full of weapons because they think the same troops are going to come and drag their house away.”
Jost covered Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico, sharing video of him tossing rolls of paper towels. “Nothing says I understand the gravity of the situation like a billionaire tossing six rolls of paper towels to hurricane victims,” Jost quipped, suggested instead of being President, perhaps Trump could be our national mascot. “Let him go nuts throwing free stuff to fans, cruising around on a four-wheeler, mocking other countries while he shakes that big ole butt around.”
On the lighter side, the Weekend Update team had great jokes about AIM shutting down, the world’s heaviest woman, and OJ’s first post-prison meal, mosquito repelling phones, sex with robots, and sarcasm awareness month. And Che had long a brilliant take on birth control, now that the White House is expected to stop requiring employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance. He asked how any guy could be against birth control- which means more sex and less babies. “We don’t even get the side effects,” he said adding, “honestly, I don’t know how we’re getting away with this….Women are basically putting their bodies through global warming just so I can keep pretending to have a latex allergy.”
Weekend Update also had a visit from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, played by Kate McKinnon, and Pete Davidson addressing the issue of depression and mental illness. Pete suggested that anyone who thinks they’re depressed should see a doctor, eat right and exercise, and for those suffering from depression who happen to be in a late night comedy show, he had some more specific tips- specifically a message to Lorne and the producers of the show. “It might help if they, you know, do more of your sketches,” he said. “It might make me feel better if I was on TV more.”
Other high points included a sketch about first Bumble date with O.J. starring Gal Gadot and Kenan Thompson which was funny despite a less than stellar hair and makeup job, a sketch about two lesbians landing on Themysciria and thinking they found paradise, and a few solid ad parodies.
Saturday Night Live returns live next week with host Kumail Nanjiani.