After two weeks of live shows, SNL returns to reruns for the rest April, starting tonight with an encore Saturday Night Live hosted by Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell.
When Sam Rockwell originally hosted this episode of SNL, when it ran live on January 13, 2018, he wasn’t even an Academy Award nominee, never mind a winner yet. The Oscar nominations were still 10 days away from being announced. He was promoting his film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and his SNL hosting gig turned into a good luck charm. He not only locked up an Oscar nod, but took home the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, along with the film’s star Frances McDormand winning the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
This was Sam Rockwell’s first time hosting Saturday Night Live and it was also the mid-season premiere. So after a long holiday hiatus the show had a lot of expectations riding with it. Sam’s monologue was ambitious and he did a solid job playing to his strengths with a big song-and-dance number which took him through the hallways of Saturday Night Live. Sam parodied Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation” while dancing and making out with Leslie Jones, knocking out Colin Jost and taking it all back to a stage filled with showgirls and backup dancers.
The high energy monologue was the perfect follow-up to the cold open. There was no Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump as many had expected, but that didn’t keep Trump’s name out of the opener. The Cold Open was a return trip for SNL to their parody of MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosted by Joe Scarborough (Alex Moffat) and Mika Brzezinski (Kate McKinnon). The Saturday Night Live versions of the morning cable news hosts really fight to keep their hands off each other. Not totally unlike the real thing. The opener was filled with great, surprising, fun cameos that had the studio and at-home audiences cheering with excitement. We won’t remind you of them here. You can be surprised all over again, or the first time if you missed this episode, when tonight’s episode re-airs on NBC at 11:30pm.
Weekend Update came back from the mid-season time off with no rust whatsoever. Hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che were as sharp as ever and quickly made up for lost time skewering recent news stories and ones from the show’s time off. The comedic news duo covered topics including author Michael Wolff’s White House tell-all book “Fire and Fury“, President Trump’s leaked comment about poorer nations or as he calls them, “shitholes”, the Russia investigation (naturally), Oprah’s Presidential speculation, H & M’s “cutest monkey” scandal, former White House adviser Steve Bannon being pushed out the door at Breitbart, and the Hollywood salary dispute involving Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg.
In our initial review of this episode of Saturday Night Live, we commented that the sketches in this mid-season premiere were notably better already than in the first half of SNL- Season 43. Some of the highlights of tonight’s sketches feature two SNL Digital Shorts, one with Pete Davidson as rapper Lil Pump along with the “Tucci Gang” doing a hip-hop tribute to actor Stanley Tucci and a parody ad for the life-size doll, “My Drunk Boyfriend” who has all the same qualities as your own guy when he drinks too much. The sketch of the night had to go to “Genetics Lab” featuring host Sam Rockwell as a scientist who had successfully created a “Dog-Head Guy”. Other sketches to watch for were an E! fashion critique show which reviewed the Golden Globes’ gowns and looks while severely handcuffed by the #MeToo Movement. This sketch will go down in SNL history for giving us the name “Angelo Dolphintuna.” Others included a re-imagining of Captain Hook and “Science Show,” a sketch with Sam Rockwell as a Mr. Rogers type host. Well, in looks anyway.
In the promos for tonight’s repeat Saturday Night Live, Sam Rockwell brings his unorthodox acting methods to the SNL stage with the help of cast member Aidy Bryant and an apple and then Sam is joined by his musical guest Halsey and cast member Cecily Strong who explains why Halsey is not a Golden Globe winner like the host. They also talk about NFL fans since this episode of Saturday Night Live aired in the middle of the 2018 NFL playoffs.
Tonight’s repeat of Saturday Night Live with host Sam Rockwell and musical guest Halsey starts tonight at 11:30pm on NBC.
SNL returns live in two weeks for the rest of the season with host Donald Glover with musical guest, his alter-ego Childish Gambino on Saturday, May 5th, followed by host Amy Schumer on Saturday, May 12th and the Saturday Night Live – Season 43 Finale with host Tina Fey on Saturday, May 19th.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 18, 2018