Former cast member Bill Hader returns to SNL to host tonight’s Saturday Night Live repeat, and yes, he brings Stephon with him!
When one of Saturday Night Live‘s favorite sons, Bill Hader, hosted SNL for his second time on March 17th, he was promoting his brand new dark comedy series on HBO, “Barry.” At this point, Hader was waiting for the series’ premiere and the reviews to come in. Now fast-forward to today, July 14th, when SNL is re-airing the Hader hosted episode and the reviews are in. “Barry” is a smash hit with critics and TV viewers alike. Also, Bill Hader’s premium cable comedy thriller “Barry” is nominated for Best Comedy Series at the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards in September. Not only are Hader and “Barry” co-creator Alec Berg deep in the running for the Outstanding Comedy Series trophy, but Bill Hader has been nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series and co-star Henry Winkler is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy award. As for tonight’s repeat SNL hosted by Bill Hader, yep, he picked up an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for this episode as well. Between “Barry” and SNL, Bill Hader is having a really good year.
However it wasn’t Bill Hader’s new character “Barry” that fans wanted to see back in March of this year. Fans in the SNL audience and at home were clamoring for an appearance by SNL‘s resident club kid, Stefon. And Hader delivered big time. The ovation when Stefon returned to the Weekend Update desk to discuss what clubs to hit in NYC to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, was deafening. Stefon had a hysterical interaction with Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che. Plus, Hader hit all of the character’s favorite mannerisms and phrases. We even finally got to meet Stefon’s attorney and conceptual piss artist, Shy, played by comedian and Stefon co-creator, John Mulaney. For those who are going to watch tonight’s repeat episode for the first time and are hoping to see Bill Hader break character again which also became one of Stefon’s traditional trademarks, you won’t be disappointed. Set your DVRs to record tonight’s repeat SNL at 11:30pm on NBC because you’ll want to see this again and again.
The Interrobang’s original review of this Bill Hader hosted episode of Saturday Night Live said, “Hader’s return was seamless, and appeared to inspire the rest of the cast to up their game as well.” Those are obviously the funnest SNLs, when the players and writers go all out to keep up with the comedic pace of the host. Despite his nervousness, which he admitted to in the monologue, Bill Hader wasted no time jumping into the fray of live comedy television. This was only his second time hosting since leaving the show in 2013 and it looked like Hader was going to take advantage of every moment.
Host Bill Hader is part of the cold open in this evening’s Saturday Night Live repeat. The opener was all about the President, but it was without the services of Alec Baldwin to play the Commander-in-Chief and Vlad Putin’s best friend. It featured cast member Alex Moffat as Anderson Cooper who was interviewing some of Trump’s past and present acquaintances which meant it was cameo filled. Bill Hader was back as the White House One Week Wonder, Anthony Scaramucci. Other returns were handled by John Goodman as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had just been fired when this SNL was taped and Fred Armisen was back as Trump Administration tell-all author Michael Wolff. Throw in Kate McKinnon as the diminutive U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and it makes for an SNL cold open worth watching again.
Bill Hader did make sure to mention his nerves when he came out for his monologue which was a great pulling back of the curtain on some little known (or maybe very well known) facts about Saturday Night Live. Hader pulled the curtain way back when the audience got to see an SNL “Quick Change” live on stage with the best hair, makeup and wardrobe people in the business transforming Bill Hader from host to a character in the first sketch of the night.
That first sketch was a return of “The Californians“, SNL‘s soap opera featuring native Californians who must deal with the heavy drama of their family and the heavy traffic of the greater Los Angeles area. The sketch on this night was a fun blend of the current and former Saturday Night Live cast members as they gathered to discuss their former housekeeper Rosa. Watch for Pete Davidson to bring a great new character to the sketch as the latest member of “The Californians.”
Our recap of this SNL episode from St. Patrick’s Day 2018, pointed out that the sketches and Bill Hader’s characters got “progressively sillier and sillier” as the night went on. The IBang’s “stand out sketch of the night” was called “Irish Dating Show.” You knew that SNL wouldn’t be able to let St. Patty’s Day pass without paying the holiday some comedy homage. The sketch is exactly as it sounds with Bill Hader playing an Irishman who’s looking for a love on a game show reminiscent of “The Dating Game” from the 1970s. This matchmaker game show takes a really uncomfortable turn as we find out more about the bonnie lasses that are vying for the contestant’s hand. Cast member Aidy Bryant is a stand out talent in this sketch and it’s some of her funniest work.
Other sketches include one where cast member Cecily Strong brings her much older husband (Hader) to her girlfriends’ apartment for game night. Fans of watching the Saturday Night Live cast and Bill Hader in particular breaking character will love this sketch. Tonight we also see Hader as a weird tour guide who looks like a combination of Tim Conway characters from “The Carol Burnett Show,” in a sketch about alien abduction and he also plays a Canadian film mogul who is deemed the “Canadian Harvey Weinstein” after he’s caught up in the Northern nation’s version of the #MeToo movement.
There were two SNL – Digital Shorts to enjoy in this episode. The first was part of one our favorite sketches on SNL, the “Screen Tests“, where the SNL host and cast members do a lightning round of their best celebrity impersonations . This short called, “Jurassic Park Auditions“, was the perfect vehicle for Bill Hader to demonstrate his many off-beat impressions. Hader plays Alan Alda, Al Pacino and Clint Eastwood to perfection. Also watch for Alex Moffat’s Hugh Grant, Kate McKinnon as Jodie Foster, Heidi Gardner as Drew Barrymore and Pete Davidson as Adam Sandler among others. The second SNL – Digital Short is a parody spot introducing a new product, “The Undercover Office Potty”. Yep, it’s as gross as you can imagine.
Back to Weekend Update, news anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che are on fire in tonight’s repeat. The WU co-hosts handle topics like the then-recent White House firings, National School Walk-Out Day, the Houston Astros’ White House visit, robot bees from Walmart, an IHOP apology, a Snuggies lawsuit, America’s best license plate and Taco Bell’s Skittles Freeze with expert punchlines. Be sure to catch Michael Che’s take on Stormy Daniels and her attorney’s vague threat to release video of President Trump in an alleged compromising position. It’s absolutely brilliant. We’ve already talked about Stefon’s return to Weekend Update, but the news desk was also visited by Kate McKinnon as clueless Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a hysterical appearance and Pete Davidson returned to remind everyone that he’s mentally ill and to take on the NBA’s Kevin Love.
The promos for tonight’s encore airing of Saturday Night Live start with 15 seconds worth of Bill Hader’s best characters, impressions and moments from his 8 seasons on SNL. The next promo is a musical tribute to Bill Hader from cast members Melissa Villaseñor, Chris Redd and Pete Davidson that quickly goes from charming to uncomfortably stalking. “Shut up Melvin.” Finally, Hader is joined by musical guests Arcade Fire where unfortunately, some band members will be cut for time.
Bill Hader comes home to host a repeat airing of the episode of Saturday Night Live which earned him an Emmy nomination, tonight at 11:30pm on NBC with musical guest Arcade Fire.
And congratulations to Saturday Night Live, Emmy award nominated for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series along with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominations for Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations for Kenan Thompson and Alec Baldwin. Plus, the show earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series nominations for Tiffany Haddish and Tina Fey for their hosting stints and a nod for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series going to Donald Glover for hosting Saturday Night Live. If you want to see all the comedy performances, writing and shows that were nominated this week, check out our full Emmy Award nominations coverage on the Interrobang.