Saturday Night Live is in social isolation tonight with an SNL repeat hosted by NFL star J.J. Watt!
The store shelves are empty and there’s no toilet paper or cleaning products to find anywhere. And there’s one more shortage America is dealing with during the Coronavirus pandemic. NBC is completely out of new episodes of Saturday Night Live!
SNL was scheduled to return live next Saturday, March 28th, with a brand new show hosted by John Krasinski. It was going to be the first time that the former star of “The Office” (American version) hosted Saturday Night Live, but that’s been cancelled. And according to TVLine, the variety series will stay dark until further notice. Krasinski was going to be promoting “A Quiet Place 2“, the sequel to his 2018 horror movie hit, which has had its release date pushed back to later this year. There’s no word on if either John Krasinski or Saturday Night Live have room on their schedules to use as a make-up date for him to host the show this season.
TVLine quoted a person they’re calling an “SNL insider” about the show shuttering during the Coronavirus crisis, who said, “We will monitor the situation closely and make decisions about future shows on an ongoing basis as further information develops.” There have been no reports of anyone at Saturday Night Live being infected with the virus, and TVLine’s inside source called the shutdown “a precautionary measure.”
Looking at tonight’s already scheduled SNL repeat, it was J.J. Watt’s first time hosting Saturday Night Live. The 5 time Pro Bowl defensive end from the Houston Texans hosted this episode of SNL on February 1, 2020. It was the night before Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. Spoiler Alert! The Chiefs won.
As expected, J.J. Watt who’s a 3 time Defensive Player of the Year and a 2 time NFL sack leader, is not quite as good at comedy and acting as he is at flattening quarterbacks on the field. Although, one fun thing to do during this episode is to notice just how big J.J. is compared to the SNL cast members. The writers put the NFL star’s size to good use during this episode and also had him play himself a couple of times too.
For some perspective on when this SNL repeat originally aired, it was February 1st of this year, right after the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. (and in this case, the “J” stands for “Jury Intimidation”) Trump.The trial portion of Forever Trump was over at this point, but we were still awaiting closing arguments and the Senate jury vote and decision. Trumpy’s trial is the theme in the SNL – Cold Open on this Saturday Night Live rerun.
To open the show, SNL gave us “The Trial You Wish Had Happened.” As pretend as the real trial was, Saturday Night Live gave us an even bigger fantasy version of what went down in the Senate chambers.
In SNL‘s fabrication, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (played on SNL by cast member Mikey Day) who proceeded over the impeachment trial, was replaced by syndicated television superstar arbiter, Judge Greg Mathis from “Judge Mathis” fame. Because like the SNL announcer said (followed by some standard flashback dream sequence harp music,) this is “The Trial You Wish Had Happened.”
The SNL opener is filled with plenty of Saturday Night Live political impressions including cast member Beck Bennett as Senate Majority Leader “Sneaky Little Mitch” McConnell, who believes all men are “innocent after being proven guilty,” along with cast member Kate McKinnon as South Carolina Senator Lindsey “Valerie Beauregard Matlock” Graham.
Plus, Cecily Strong was the latest cast member to do a gender bending take on an American political figure with her impression of former Trump Presidential Advisor John Bolton. Strong plays Bolton as a “messy bitch who loves drama.” The word “bitch” really gets over-used in this sketch. It makes you wonder how many different writers collaborated on this week’s cold open. Because they all went for the same “bitch” of a punchline.
This evening in the cold open, cast member Pete Davidson gets a political impression to call his own when he appears as for Vice-President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter who rolls into court in on a hoverboard two-wheel, self-balancing scooter. And cast member Alex Moffat appears as Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff who’s having trouble keeping his “gecko eyes” from leaking. Moffat’s Schiff impression is very similar to his regular Senator Chuck Schumer impersonation on SNL, including the wig and makeup.
Unlike the real impeachment, at the SNL trial, the defendant testifies on his own behalf when Alec Baldwin returns to play President Trump who tries to “Weinstein” his way into getting sympathy from Judge Mathis. Baldwin has played Trump too many times to count on Saturday Night Live and this evening may be his most ridiculous effort. Baldwin’s Trump purposely becomes an unintelligible caricature of a caricature this evening.
As the sketch goes into that famous SNL “How the hell do we get out of this!?” territory, the writers throw in cast member Kyle Mooney to do a Joe Pesci impression from “My Cousin Vinny.” Along with a parody of “Send In The Clowns” sung by Mitch, Lindsey and Bolton. Why? Why not!?
Saturday Night Live, like the Democrats, just pretty much throw in the towel on the ending of this sketch. And then, the cold open, just like the real impeachment, simply wraps up the same way, with a very anticlimactic ending.
If there’s one reason to sit through a repeat of yet another SNL politically themed cold open, it’s for a quick throwaway joke towards the end of the sketch referencing the Coronavirus. The gag is more prophetic than SNL could have possibly thought it would be back on February 1st of this year.
Booking J.J. Watt for this particular episode of Saturday Night Live was no coincidence. The popular Houston Texans all-pro defensive end was chosen to host on Super Bowl Saturday, the night before “the big game.” As with most non-comedians who host Saturday Night Live, and non-entertainers for that matter, the monologue this evening is a quick one. It comes in at just under 3 minutes.
J.J. Watt’s SNL monologue sounds more like someone wrote his jokes for a sports banquet rather than for Saturday Night Live. All of J.J.’s punchlines feel like they should be immediately followed by a “but seriously folks.” J.J. begins by joking about football players being dumb, and not knowing what day of the week Saturday Night Live tapes on. (rim shot!)
He also comments on how big he is along with his two large brothers who also play in the NFL. There’s T. J. Watt, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Derek Watt who’s a fullback for the L.A. Chargers. J.J. rifts about his mom going into labor and giving birth to three humongous future NFL players and adds, “Yeah, ouch, right?” No seriously folks, that’s an actual SNL monologue joke this week.
Plus, J.J. makes fun of NFL kickers being effeminate. Yep, in the year 2020. This is not a groundbreaking Saturday Night Live monologue this week folks. Fortunately, it’s over in under 3 minutes, which still feels like a lifetime.
In tonight’s SNL rerun, host J.J. Watt certainly gets to wear his share of goofy wigs, starting with the opening sketch which features deleted scenes from Disney’s latest animated adventure “Frozen II.” These deleted scenes include new musical numbers starting with a catchy tune about everyone in the kingdom already knowing that Queen Elsa is gay. There’s also a song about Kristoff (host J.J. Watt) being “Big & Woke” and very different from the other Disney princes in past classic cartoons. You know the type. The kind that take advantage and kiss a princess while she’s asleep under a spell. #MeToo
The “Frozen II” cast also sings about Disney trying to shoehorn minorities into a cartoon that takes place in “rural Norway in 1840.” A place and time that really didn’t have room for anyone not blonde and very pail. And the sketch wraps up with a “Frozen” ditty about Olaf the Snowman’s second carrot. “I think you know which carrot we’re talking about.”
On this repeat episode of Saturday Night Live, J.J. Watt also plays a dad who has to have the sex talk with his son (played by Kyle Mooney,) after the kid walks in on his parents doing it. It’s not so much a sex talk as it is a sex brag.
Host J.J. Watt also gets his turn to star in one of the show’s well-known “Bachelor” parody sketches. If you’re a regular SNL viewer, you’re familiar with the premise; where the female contestants keep interrupting each other to get to spend time on a romantic bench talking with “The Bachelor“. And since Saturday Night Live can’t legally use the actual graphics from “The Bachelor“, they have to come up with different parodies names, although we know what reality series this is that they’re spoofing.
In this evening’s SNL rerun, J.J. Watt is the “Bachelor” in the latest Saturday Night Live parody of the show, “The Pilot Hunk“. He’s the guy “who makes the plane go fast” and he’s looking for love. You’ll notice a few things about the female contestants; they’re all named “Hannah”, Cecily Strong is doing her “Drunk Girl at a Party” character from Weekend Update, and Kate McKinnon’s character is heavily influenced by her Kellyanne Conway impression.
J.J. Watt gets to show off his range by playing himself in an EA Sports video games sketch where he’s in a studio recording his on-the-field dialogue for the upcoming of edition of “Madden NFL.” In the sketch, real life J.J. is not too happy with the script he’s been provided to record because the “Madden” version of J.J. Watt is slipping quite a bit this season and his skills are rapidly diminishing. Not to mention that belly button piercing.
A sketch that appears later in the show takes advantage of the host being a 6 foot 5, 288 pound NFL defensive end. J.J. Watt plays Bigfoot in a sketch where the Sasquatch has been taken from the North American wilderness and taught to function in 1918 London society.
Bigfoot charms everyone at a lavish party and is heralded as a “smashing success” and “the toast of the town”, that is until it’s discovered that someone at the party had “deposited feculent on the bathroom floor”. In other words, according to the host of the party played by Kenan Thompson, “someone dropped the kids off at the pool, but he left them in the parking lot. And it was one very large kid!”
The final sketch of the night explores the old 70’s porno stereotype of the pizza delivery guy who ends up having sex with two hot customers who can’t pay for their pizza. The SNL premise involves what happens when that same delivery guy finally arrives back at the restaurant with no money for the delivery, he’s really late, plus he’s exhausted and now stinking from having sex for the past hour. Again, this is another shining moment for Kenan Thompson, the SNL MVP.
Since there’s a football star hosting the show, one of the SNL – Digital Shorts we get in tonight’s Saturday Night Live rerun has a gridiron theme to it. It’s a parody of the feel-good football film “Rudy” called “Robby“. The short does a spin on the famous “Rudy” scene where the Notre Dame players give up their spots on the team and hand over their jerseys to make a point to their coach that they want “Robby” to play in the big game.
J.J. Watt plays the one the player in the locker room with any common sense and who tries to explain through a series of bleeped expletives that Robby sucks at football and if he’s given a spot on the team, they’re going to lose to for sure. It’s “Rudy” but only if “Rudy” had any sort of reality involved in it. If anything it’s a nice reminder of a time back when we had sports in this country. Before we were all forced indoors!
In the next short tonight, J.J. Watt plays himself in a parody spot short for “Oil of BROlay Eye Black” from the Oil of Olay line of cosmetics, lotions and creams. This is the NFL eye black that reduces the puffiness under a player’s eyes and reduces those dark circles too. According to J.J. Watt, “Oil of BROlay Eye Black” isn’t gay, “it’s just gay enough.” Not quite sure why that even needed to be mentioned other than that SNL still finds being gay to be quite the punchline. There’s a couple of times in this episode where J.J. Watt makes a crack about something being gay, but then does a “just kidding”, so that must make it okay.
There’s a third SNL – Digital Short on the schedule for tonight’s repeat. SNL EP Lorne Michaels tends to load up a show with an extra short when an episode is hosted by a someone who’s not from the entertainment world. Tonight’s host J.J. Watt doesn’t even appear in this third SNL – Digital Short.
The premise in the third short is pretty evergreen, so this could have been one the show had in case they needed it to fill time. It’s a parody spot for “Food Dudes“. What are “Food Dudes” you ask!? They’re the perfect mannequin companions for when you want to order a lot of food for yourself, but don’t want the nosy delivery people who brought it to you to think that you’re a disgusting glutton.
The animatronic mannequins operate as hungry friends in order to pass themselves off as actual people, so you can eat those extra pizzas yourself with the peace of mind of knowing that the total stranger who dropped them off doesn’t think you’re a pig. Why don’t they have these in real life!?!?
As Weekend Update begins on tonight’s repeat, the top story for anchormen Colin Jost and Michael Che is the ending of the impeachment trial for Donald Trump. The Senate vote hadn’t been taken place yet at this point in time, but the trial portion was finished.
Colin Jost gives his impeachment opinion on this evening’s Weekend Update broadcast, saying, “Well, the impeachment trial is basically over, is a sentence I could have used two weeks ago when the trial began.” Jost also lamented about the House prosecution not being allowed to call any witnesses including former Trump advisor John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian associate Lev Parnas and then not getting to question them before the Senate. Jost really wanted to find out if they eat “human food.”
Michael Che also commented on the ending of the impeaching trial by saying, “what better way to start Black History Month than to be failed by the justice system.” Che added that he’s changing political parties and becoming a Republican because he’s tired of losing. He said, “I can’t be a Democrat and a Knicks fan.”
The Weekend Update news team also has remarks tonight about a variety of topics including former Trump advisor John Bolton’s new book delving into Trump’s secrets, plus the Palestinians rejecting President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s secret peace plan, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s tater tot casserole, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo screaming at an NPR reporter, Harvey Weinstein using a walker to get to court, Super Bowl LIV (which was the next day), Greece’s first female President, Krispy Kreme’s new Times Square store, and Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney discussing a boxing rematch 40 years after they last fought each other. Che says “it will be the first fight decided by natural causes.”
Joining the Weekend Update newscast in this repeat episode is featured player Bowen Yang as Chinese Health Minister Chen Biao to talk about China declaring the Coronavirus an official global emergency. Because for some reason, it’s apparently hilarious when Bowen Yang does an over-the-top Chinese accent.
Another thing worth mentioning is how young and naive we were as a nation about the COVID-19 virus just a few short weeks ago when this episode of SNL was taped. As “China’s new crisis queen”, Bowen Yang tells us there’s nothing to worry about and to relax. He also talked about how fun quarantine is for everyone. Little did we know that the virus that SNL was joking about in this Weekend Update bit would soon be shutting down this show and every other production in the world within just a matter of weeks.
Also stopping by the Update desk is featured player Ego Nwodim as Dr. Angie Hynes, Professor of African-American Studies, to kick off Black History Month on February 1st. The doctor introduces us to some Black figures from her own life who are now history to her including a friend who wore white to Angie’s wedding and a co-worker who sent her a dick pic. It’s a hilarious bit and hopefully, SNL doesn’t wait an entire year to bring Dr. Angie Hynes back to Weekend Update.
We have the promos for this week’s Saturday Night Live repeat episode for you to watch below. In the first one, host J.J. Watt must prove himself to cast member Kyle Mooney in an impromptu game of “Think Fast” which ends up with one them getting injured. Guess which one!? And we’ll go ahead and give away the ending here. Despite some hard feelings and a shoe to the face, this promo does end in a hug. Awww.
In the next set of promos, J.J. is joined by musical guest Luke Combs and cast member Aidy Bryant who despite her limited sports knowledge, gives us a preview of “the big game” being played that Super Bowl weekend. And we get the feeling in the final promo that there’s somewhere else J.J. Watt would rather be that weekend.
If only J.J.’s team hadn’t given up a 24 point lead to Kansas City and his coach, Bill O’Brien, hadn’t had a couple of questionable 4th down calls, J.J. Watt might have been in Miami, Florida on Super Bowl Sunday and then Patrick Mahomes would have been in NYC hosting Saturday Night Live. Man, how the world works.
J.J. Watt hosts an encore presentation of Saturday Night Live with musical guest, CMA and Billboard Award winner Luke Combs at 11:30pm et on NBC!
SNL will remain in reruns until further notice.