If you look at the calendar you’ll realize that Saturday Night Live has only about 5-6 episodes left this season, so let’s hope they make them count. This weekend Octavia Spencer hosted the show. A first time for the actress whose been putting out consistently great work for years now. With her starring in the Oscar-nominated movie, Hidden Figures, now’s about good a time as any to get her on the and showcase her comedy chops. Ultimately this was a fine episode, some great sketches that will go viral after airing, some complete duds, and something really out of the box for SNL, a running Kellyanne Conway joke that was never acknowledged and just kinda Easter egg’d the evening. Let’s run it down.
Jeff Sessions Gump Cold Open
The idea of positioning Jeff Sessions as a Forrest Gump-like character is frigging hilarious! The show finding ways to branch its political humor beyond Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump is a good thing and continuing to have hilarious women portray them shows SNL still has a subversive spirit. We should also acknowledge Beck Bennett’s doesn’t get enough credit showing up almost weekly as a shirtless Vladimir Putin.
The relatively short monologue was a bit weak with it being just Spencer joking about some typecast roles she’s had over the years. Then, she’s done sooner than you realize.
Republican Movie Trailer
The country is looking for a Republican hero willing to stand up to the disastrous Trump administration. The problem is, the GOP has yet to show one. However, deadlines need to be met so the decision was made to shoot as much of the movie as possible and we’ll fill in the holes later right?
Drug Company Hearing
There’s a long-running bit David Alan Grier does with Adam Carolla, whether on his podcast or on Loveline, DAG would take medical terms or prescriptions and turn them into black children’s names. It’s a hilarious sketch that immediately came to mind when this sketch started to unfold.
Girl At A Bar
Watching this sketch lay out men hiding behind the feminist curtain to to land women can’t help but have us wonder if the recent revelation of Jamie Kilstein’s accusations were the inspiration of this sketch. Inspired or not, it does highlight a dumb method men often deploy to hit on women.
And here we have our first running Kellyanne Conway gag.
Zoo-opolis Voice Actors
These sketches exist to give the staff the chance to flex their impersonation muscle. With the show loosing both Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam this season, much of its impersonation power departed. Perhaps Melissa Villasenor and Alex Moffat are here to pick up the reigns.
This sketch is one idea – Kenan can’t play chess. But it’s executed so perfectly between the setup, editing, and Octavia Spencer’s reactions that it made for one of the funnest sketches of the night.
And here we have our second Kellyanne Conway running joke of the night.
Father John Misty “Total Entertainment Forever”
Father John Misty wrote this song about his fear of VR so there’s a line about him and Taylor Swift.
On the morning of the show, our President went on a Twitter rampage causing some of these jokes to be added at the top of Update. Two weeks off provided for a lot of material for the Update desk. One Che and Jost took full advantage of.
Colin Jost’s Pro Bono joke falling flat was great. Particularly since Che tags it that Jost fought for it.
SNL does a terrific skewering of Eric And Donald Trump Jr. Are they really two bumbling fools? Probably not. Are they probably doing their jobs based on what their father tells them to do? More than likely.
Kid Actor Laura Parker returns for the newwwws! As always, she gets a bit dark.
And we have our third Kellyanne Conway running gag of the night.
This sketch kicks off a series of dud sketches that just didn’t make much sense and seemed both half-baked on the premise and just weird on the execution. Here we have people being weird applying for a job at a Cinnabon-type store at the airport.
And here we find ourselves at a wine bar where we guess the premise is a white woman being happy about making friends with a black woman? Maybe? Was that it? We’re legitimately asking.
Father John Misty “Pure Comedy”
Father John Misty returns
The Chocolate Man
Here’s a third consecutive dud. Beck Bennett wants to make amends with his co-workers by giving them chocolate. Got it. Right?
10-to-1: Spencers Gifts HQ
This sketch could be the 4th consecutive dud save for two things. It took us a beat too long to realize that this sketch was written entirely based on our host’s last name. And 2) Octavia rocks the glasses throughout the entire sketch.
And that’s a wrap everyone! Next week, Scarlet Johansson and Lorde come to 8H. And that’s the real Lorde, not Randy Marsh dressed as Lorde.