Saturday Night Live is on hiatus, but the SNL summer reruns continue tonight with a repeat episode hosted by Natalie Portman.
Tonight’s encore presentation of Saturday Night Live originally aired on February 3, 2018. Time-wise this episode was significant because it was SNL‘s last live show before the series took a scheduled month off for Winter Olympic coverage on NBC and because it aired the night before Super Bowl 52 where the Philadelphia Eagles shocked NFL fans with a win over the heavily-favored New England Patriots. Both events would find their way into tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Live.
This was Natalie Portman’s second time hosting SNL with a 12 year gap in between her appearances. Portman’s first time hosting launched the SNL – Digital Short viral sensation “Natalie Raps“. In this comedy / music video from 2006, Natalie Portman gets rid of her squeaky clean image by going full gangsta while rapping about her life and career. Anyone hoping for a repeat performance over a decade later wasn’t disappointed. Tonight’s SNL premiered the follow-up Digital Short, “Natalie Raps 2“. In it, Natalie Portman is just as badass with some the references being updated including Nat now being a mom while partying with Tide Pods and with Beck Bennett taking the place of Chris Parnell who was the original interviewer in the 2006 video. Not everyone has been replaced though from the original video. Watch for a special cameo in this updated short from the first “Natalie Raps.”
Speaking of cameos, the highlight sketch of the night involved a foreshadowing of Super Bowl 52 between the Patriots and the Eagles. The sketch takes place in colonial Philadelphia where representatives from America’s original 13 colonies met to discuss the new country’s fight for independence against the British. It was a colonial metaphor for this year’s Super Bowl and featured the reps from New England bragging about their “patriots” going into battle and being the best on the field when led by “Captain Thomas Brady.” The Boston contingency was led by a familiar SNL cameo and met by a rival group from Philadelphia which also had their own SNL cameo to lead their group. Somehow the phrase “Fly Iggles Fly” was worked into the sketch as well. One thing to note in this star-studded sketch is Pete Davidson hiding his laughter behind some colonial parchment.
Natalie Portman’s monologue was a chance for NBC to plug its upcoming Winter Olympics coverage. While Natalie did her monologue, it was critiqued by Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon in the role of Olympic announcers adding their commentary to the monologue like it was a winter sport. Leslie Jones also made an appearance during the monologue to make sure the audience knew that she would be part of the NBC coverage in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Looking at the rest of tonight’s repeat episode of Saturday Night Live, the cold open was of the run-of-the-mill variety with SNL going after one of its favorite targets “Fox & Friends“. The Fox morning zoo crew was played by Alex Moffat as Steve Doocy, new featured player Heidi Gardner as Ainsley Earhardt and Beck Bennett taking over the role of Brian Kilmeade which used to be expertly played by Bobby Moynihan. The opener tried to include a lot of things all jumbled into one sketch. The Fox News Friends talked to White House “It Girl” Hope Hicks (Cecily Strong), minister and social commentator Louis Farrakhan played by SNL newcomer Chris Redd and finally Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump who was in bed, wearing his silk pajamas and enjoying his favorite morning news show. The topic of conversation was about the then-recently released Congressional memo on the Russia investigation. The whole thing ends with Trump leading the Fox & Friends crew in a call and response of “Who’s the most innocent guy in the world? You are!” According to Baldwin’s Trump, “Daddy needed that“.
Not too many of the sketches in tonight’s SNL repeat were very memorable. Tonight, you’ll see Natalie Portman as a Nickelodeon correspondent at the Kids’ Choice Awards who loses her voice from screaming, also as a human on a sci-fi starship about to make love to alien whose anatomy doesn’t quite line up with an Earthling’s and as a woman in a bar getting some bad advice from Aidy Bryant’s drunken character “Bunny.” Portman also revives her role as Jackie Kennedy in a sketch where Melania Trump is visited by First Ladies of the past and she plays Eleven in a parody sketch of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” where she’s meets more people with special abilities and numbers for names.
Weekend Update in tonight’s episode from this past February, naturally took aim at the President while talking about the secret memo Trump had released from the House Intelligence Committee and also his State of the Union address. Anchormen Colin Jost and Michael Che also joked about the start of Black History Month, Super Bowl 52, a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ“, and the water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa. Visiting the Weekend Update desk were Pete Davidson who had a dark appearance while talking about a recent commercial he shot, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong as French film legends Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve talking about the #MeToo movement and Willie, Michael Che’s very optimistic neighbor played by Kenan Thompson.
In the promos for tonight’s Saturday Night Live rerun, Natalie Portman takes her sweet time shooting a confetti-filled SNL teaser, then she’s joined by Pete Davidson and musical guest Dua Lipa and the three talk about their ethnic backgrounds. And in the final promo, Natalie takes everyone on a tour of SNL.
Tonight’s encore presentation of Saturday Night Live hosted by Natalie Portman with musical guest Dua Lipa starts tonight at 11:30pm on NBC.