Tonight, Saturday Night Live is re-airing a historic SNL hosted by Bond, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig!
Nearly two months ago, when Daniel “The Blonde Bond” Craig hosted Saturday Night Live for his second time, little did we know that episode would be our last “normal” SNL show.
The original air date of this Saturday Night Live episode was March 7, 2020. This date will go down in show biz history. It was SNL‘s last Saturday with a live studio audience. Speaking of studio, it was also the variety series’ last episode from famed Studio 8-H before the worldwide pandemic (that may be redundant), shut down production on TV shows and movies everywhere.
We should have known we were headed for trouble as a TV & movie watching nation when it comes to our beloved entertainment. When Daniel Craig hosted SNL back in March, he was scheduled to plug his new James Bond flick, “No Time to Die.” The spy thriller which was Craig’s 5th time playing Agent 007 and the 25th Bond movie overall, had its premiere date postponed from Friday, April 10th till Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. The virus-covered writing was on the wall that live TV shows like SNL were next to get shutdown.
Saturday Night Live has returned only twice with new shows since the pandemic shut down TV studios and movie sets across the globe. As of now, it appears that SNL is on an every-other-week schedule for releasing new shows under the “SNL At Home” banner and hashtag. Another rough thing about tonight’s Saturday Night Live rerun starring Daniel Craig, is that after tonight, SNL won’t have any more episodes from SNL – Season 45 that haven’t already repeated. So from here on out, when Saturday Night Live has to go with a rerun, we’ll be getting a repeat of a repeat. How’s that for some grim news from the Covid war front!?
On the bright side, tonight’s Saturday Night Live rerun is a really fun one to watch. Daniel Craig dives into tonight’s sketch comedy with all the intensity that he does when he plays M16 Agent 007 James Bond. He does accents, plays characters and has no problem at all lampooning his most recognized film role which has made him a household name. The character that made “last name first, first name last, repeat last name” into something sexy, Bond, James Bond.
As usual, the SNL episode re-airing tonight starts out on a political note. However, this evening’s SNL – Cold Open comes from the conservative point of view. Cast member Kate McKinnon opens the show doing her impression of the Fox News commentator with a scowl of perpetual constipation, Laura Ingraham. In this SNL version of FNC’s “The Ingraham Angle“, McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham explains that the Coronavirus is just an urban legend and a smear campaign thought up by leftists. This parody of Fox News turned out to be just about as wrong as the real Fox News.
“The Ingraham Angle” has a list of things conservatives should worry about more than Covid-19 and a list of Laura Ingraham’s very right wing sponsors. That’s followed by an appearance by Ingraham’s Fox News Channel co-worker Judge Jeanine Pirro played ever so loudly by cast member Cecily Strong who chimed in on the company talking points that the virus was nothing to fear.
Cast members Mikey Day and Alex Moffat also appear in the cold open as the shiny-haired Trump sons Don Jr. and Eric respectively. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, former cast member and current SNL announcer Darrell Hammond returns in this “Ingraham Angle” sketch doing one of his most popular impressions, the then-recently resigned MSNBC host Chris Matthews who no longer has to be politically correct because…well, because it’s Fox News.
The next guest cameo on tonight’s huge SNL – Cold Open gets an even more huge ovation from the audience. We won’t give it away in case you didn’t see this episode of Saturday Night Live when it first aired. But we will say it’s the real life version of someone who gets impersonated on SNL a lot. She had just dropped out of the race to be the 2020 Democratic nominee. Damn! I said “she” and I said “Democrat.” Double damn!
If you haven’t guessed by now, here’s one more clue. This real life political icon is wearing her standard campaign power suit in tonight’s rerun including a smart royal blue blazer most likely designed by Nina McLemore, the top fashion designer for most of the powerful women in Washington DC and Hillary Clinton.
The sketch ends in a very loving moment where a U.S. Senator and former candidate for President of the United States embraces the young comedian known for impersonating her and together they yell, “Live from New York!! It’s Saturday Night!!”
After the intros, Daniel Craig takes the stage for the second SNL monologue of his career. The last time Craig hosted Saturday Night Live, it 8 years ago during SNL – Season 38. That’s right about the time that Daniel Craig became an actual New Yorker. Specifically, he’s more of a Brooklynite now. He and his actor-wife Rachel Weisz moved from the East Village to the Cobble Hill neighborhood a couple of years ago. That’s according to NYC real estate gossip.
Most times, when an SNL host is known for playing a certain character, that person will go out of his or her way to explain that they’re nothing like their character in their monologue. Not Daniel Craig. He explains to the audience how much he’s like Bond, James Bond. He also explained (as he’s done in the past) that “No Time to Die” will be his last Bond film. Then producers show up at his house with vaults of money, shaken not stirred, and he decides to do another one.
One thing that Daniel Craig insists on when he finally agrees to play 007 again is an exceptional script. So it’s no surprise when he gives a shout-out to someone else who hosted Saturday Night Live this season, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of “Fleabag” who was brought in to help punch up the script for Craig’s latest and last (yeah, right) 007 movie, “No Time to Die.”
The host then explains that the release of his Bond movie has been delayed due to the Coronavirus, but he’s gracious enough to show a clip from “No Time to Die.” This is when you we get something on this evening’s SNL repeat that we don’t see very often on Saturday Night Live; the host’s monologue turns into an SNL Short.
The scene takes place in an international casino where the normally subdued James Bond loses his cool during a game of craps. The SNL cast make appearances in this 007 flick as Bond’s fellow gamblers and featured cast member Chloe Fineman makes a marvelous femme fatale and is the spitting image of newest Bond “Woman”, not girl, Ana De Armas who plays CIA Agent Paloma in the newest Bond adventure. Too bad the release date for “No Time To Die” got pushed back. From this SNL clip, it looks really good.
Now let’s get into the meat of this Saturday Night Live encore. Here’s a surprise from this SNL episode re-airing tonight that we will give away. There’s another reason why this evening’s SNL rerun is historic. It’s features the return of a classic Saturday Night Live character. This young lady ranked 8th on Rolling Stone’s list of the “40 Best ‘Saturday Night Live’ Characters of All Time.” Rolling Stone called her the “buzzkill goddess.” And like her theme song says, “You’re enjoying your day, everything’s going your way, and then along comes Debbie Downer!”
Using a global pandemic as inspiration for the sketch, Debbie Downer played by the fabulous Rachel Dratch, made her triumphant return to Saturday Night Live in tonight’s repeat starring Daniel Craig. The studio audience certainly enjoyed this throwback and welcomed Debbie Downer home with an eruption of screams and applause.
Former cast member Rachel Dratch, who left SNL back in 2006, returned in tonight’s repeat for a new edition of her signature Saturday Night Live recurring sketch character. As usual, whenever Debbie Downer appears on the scene, she immediately darkens the mood. In tonight’s episode, she’s at her cousin’s wedding reception and arrived wearing an elaborate gas mask to combat the possibility of catching the Coronavirus. She also dampens the mood by bringing up other gloomy topics such as being involved in a “#MeToo” situation, honeybee extinction and her favorite tragedy, Feline AIDS.
When this episode originally ran, it was so odd seeing this sketch just show up out of nowhere on an SNL – Season 45 show when we haven’t seen this character since SNL – Season 32. It makes you wonder if during a pitch meeting, someone said, “With this brand new pandemic, too bad Debbie Downer isn’t still on the show. It would be perfect for her.” A phone call to Rachel Dratch later, Debbie was back at work.
Rachel Dratch had been making SNL cameos as of late during the Presidential campaign season to play Amy Klobuchar, the senior U.S. Senator from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota. Another odd thing about the “Debbie Downer” sketch making an unannounced return to SNL, was that Rachel Dratch’s Debbie Downer costume and wig wasn’t all that different from her Amy Klobuchar drag. “Wah, Wah, Wah, Wahhhhh …”
Another sketch dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic on tonight’s repeat is one called “The Sands of Modesto.” The virus outbreak was already influencing the comedy writing on SNL in early March. “The Sands of Modesto” is a soap opera sketch that includes a disclaimer that “the staging of certain scenes has been altered for the actors’ safety.” The producers of this soap opera go to great lengths to make sure the actors are practicing safe social distancing from one another. And these soap actors aren’t taking any chances of getting near each other. This sketch hearkens back to that wonderful time when we could still laugh at social distancing.
The sketches tonight that don’t deal with runaway viruses and quarantining are absurd in their own way. Sometimes it works on this evening’s repeat and sometimes it didn’t. An example of “Didn’t Work”, is a sketch called “Daytime Show.” Daniel Craig plays a celebrity chef in this sketch which involves a daytime talk show host named Deirdre played by cast member Aidy Bryant, a diva played by featured player Ego Nwodim and a piece of foil. This sketch has a goofy premise and sticks to it like Jussie Smollett sticks to a hate crime story.
SNL certainly tests the limits of political correctness with one line in particular in this sketch. And we hope diva singer Cookie LaFloof is a character we see again soon on SNL, but it’s doubtful it will be on “The Deirdre Show.”
Host Daniel Craig plays himself in a sketch where he’s meeting with producers and casting directors for his 2019 mystery movie “Knives Out” where he played the role of Detective Benoit Blanc, the southern private investigator who led the inquiry in the movie whodunit. The execs in this SNL sketch want to work on his southern accent, so Daniel Craig brings his dialect acting coach, Franklin Hughes with him to the meeting.
The vocal coach played by cast member Beck Bennett is wearing a denim jumpsuit that looks like it’s from an Elvis casual-wear collection along with sporting a high mullet hairstyle and mutton chop sideburns. This new character creation from Beck comes off a cross between his Weekend Update recurring character, Jules Who Sees Things Little Differently and a 1970’s version of our own Jeffrey Gurian.
Daniel Craig and Beck Bennett go way over the top with their southern accents while the casting directors played by cast members Mikey Day, Ego Nwodim and Aidy Bryant looked on in bewilderment. It might have been a smarter choice to put cast member Kenan Thompson in this sketch just for his reaction shots. And if you think Daniel and Beck’s delivery is over the top, wait till you see how the writers get everyone out of this sketch.
The final live sketch of the night is called “Deep Quote Game Night.” It takes place in a living room where co-workers have gathered for a fun game night that turns into anything, but fun and games. It centers around a very competitive game of “Quote” where the players try to stump each with movie quotes for each other to guess. That’s when it goes from a game of “Quote” to a game of “Deep Quote” and they do go in deep.
The game gets hyper competitive between Daniel Craig’s character and cast member Heidi Gardner’s as they exchange oddly passionate nicknames for each other like “Little Quote Queen” and “Flick Daddy.” It gets so silly, it’s fun to watch especially if you’re an SNL fan who likes watching the 4th wall teeter in the balance with Kate McKinnon ready to laugh at any minute. “What are we suppose to do?” Just hope you’re up on your knowledge of quotes from “Captain Phillips.”
There’s two really great SNL Shorts on tonight’s repeat. Early in the show, musical guest The Weeknd joins cast members Chris Redd and Kenan Thompson for a music video SNL Short for the love song “On The Couch“. Any guy who’s been in a heated disagreement with his significant other and then been handed a pillow and blanket and shown his way to the living room to sleep, will be able to relate to this song. The Weeknd really shows off his comedy chops on this show tonight. You’ll also see him make an appearance later on Weekend Update.
The second SNL Short of the night closes out this episode. In the short simply called “Salad,” Aidy Bryant puts her talents on full display. It’s another musical SNL Short with Aidy on lead vocals. She plays a “June Cleaver” type 1950’s housewife who sings about making her multi-layer overnight salad. Even though, it’s not the same character, you’ll recognize the voice and tone that Aidy is doing from her brilliant sketch, “New Paint” from earlier this season when Kristen Stewart hosted. It’s definitely a version of the woman who paints her living room with premium house paint from Farrow & Ball because of the rich “colour.”
In the “Salad” short, the layers of Aidy’s culinary monstrosity get pretty disgusting as the song goes along. Her family, including her husband played by host Daniel Craig are none too happy about how the overnight salad turns out. And to make matters worse, it may have killed the dog. “You need help Nadine!”
Despite Saturday Night Live being on the verge of being shut down by the pandemic when this episode aired, the lead story on Weekend Update isn’t the Coronavirus. It’s the state of the 2020 Presidential Election. At that time, the field of Democratic candidates in the Presidential race had gone from six down to two, VP Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.
As Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost puts it, “It’s become like my Dad’s favorite radio station, just the oldies.” In a bit of ageism, Jost added that he can’t wait for the Biden / Trump debates because “they’re going to be the first debates that have to be moderated by a Jamaican nurse.” Anchorman Michael Che is loving the campaign. He says, “watching white people fight over these old dudes is hilarious.” Che let everyone know that he’s not a Democratic, but just votes, “Not Republican.” He explained “Democrats are like condoms to me,” adding ,”I mean, I’ll use them ’cause it’s safer I guess, but…it doesn’t feel good.”
Tonight, the Weekend Update news team also covers Bernie and Uncle Joe both trying to land Senator Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement since she had just dropped out when this episode originally aired. They also look at one of President Trump’s more insane moments of the week where he was seen making out with an American flag on stage at a rally. Why isn’t there anything against that in the Constitution!?
Michael Che goes back to a bit he did the weekend before where he discusses how doomed he feels and certain that he’s going to catch the Coronavirus. He gives into the fear and starts drinking during the segment again, while discussing other pandemic news like Trump visiting the Center for Disease Control where again he touted his own self-proclaimed genius, SXSW being cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak, and also the story about someone who attended the same CPAC conference as President Trump and VP Mike P, testing positive for the Coronavirus.
Weekend Update has a full slate of news stories to comment on in tonight’s repeat including NASA searching for a diverse group of astronauts for missions to Mars, the release of host Daniel Craig’s new James Bond movie “No Time to Die” being pushed back from April to November, Penn State students holding a vigil for a campus Taco Bell that’s closing, Dunkin’ Donuts doing a free donut giveaway this month, a 100 year old woman in North Carolina wanting police to arrest, handcuff and take her to jail as her birthday wish, and William Shatner being awarded semen from his prize horses in his divorce agreement from his latest failed marriage. Not counting the mysterious “drowning” one.
Featured cast member Bowen Yang debuts a brand new Weekend Update character in tonight’s SNL rerun. He appears as a street person named “Bottle Boy” to comment on New York City’s new plastic bag ban. His character voice isn’t all that different from his other Update recurring character Chen Biao, the Chinese government’s trade rep and health minister. Bottle Boy who collects plastics and recycles them for cash is obviously against the ban. The jury seems to still be out on if Bottle Boy will ever get to make a second appearance on SNL‘s Weekend Update.
Musical guest The Weeknd got to do quite a bit comedy on tonight’s SNL rerun. Besides singing and appearing in an SNL Short, he also does a cameo on Weekend Update with a new segment called “The Weeknd Update.” Spoiler Alert! He feels good.
And this evening’s Saturday Night Live repeat is definitely a show of comebacks. Not only did this episode of SNL see the return of “Debbie Downer,” but it was also the triumphant comeback of another recurring character, Weekend Update‘s own “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With At a Party” played by cast member Cecily Strong. The character gets a nice welcome back round of applause from the in-house audience. “Girl at a Party” (for short) reviewed the government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak and the Presidential election. If all this social distancing has made you a little gun shy when it comes to inappropriate touching, you may want to look away as the “Girl at a Party” tries to invade Michael Che’s personal space.
To get you ready for tonight’s repeat Saturday Night Live, we have the promos for you for this evening’s show featuring host Daniel Craig. In the first SNL promo, cast members Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant and Chris Redd all get the exciting pleasure of doing some stunt work with the latest actor to bring Agent 007 to life. Sure it’s painful, but it’s still exciting. Of course, it’s always fun to watch someone like Daniel Craig stretch his talents and do something different.
In the second promo for this evening’s SNL rerun, Daniel Craig is joined by the show’s musical guest The Weeknd and cast member Cecily Strong. Together, the trio finds out that not everyone can say their name in the cool “James Bond way.” “Weeknd, The Weeknd.” Sad. Very sad.
Daniel Craig hosts a repeat episode of Saturday Night Live from a time before the pandemic, March 7th. He’s joined on tonight’s repeat SNL by musical guest The Weeknd. SNL starts tonight at 11:30pm et on NBC, the Network of Peacocks.