It’s incredible to think that the first time Scarlett Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live was over 10 years ago (January 2006 to be more specific). However after watching her host for the fifth time this weekend, it’s easy to see why she’s been welcomed back so many times. Like many other great SNL hosts, Johansson isn’t afraid to roll with whatever weird premise the show might throw her into. It’s immediately obvious that she’s excited to play along with the cast, and that ultimately made for a fun episode to watch. Let’s run the whole evening down.
Alien Attack Cold Open
Alec Baldwin’s days as Trump might be coming to an end soon (much sooner than we anticipated, if recent reports are true). For now, though, we get to enjoy a cold open depicting how Trump might handle an alien attack on the world (spoiler: not good). It’s actually really refreshing to see the show go beyond that standard political themed cold opens these past few episodes, finding a unique way to recap current affairs… even if it makes us more horrified for our future.
In honor of Johansson becoming a five-time host, Keenan Thompson provided a highlight reel of her appearances … that actually serves to remind us why we love Thompson so much even after all these years. Also didn’t realize how pleasing it would be to hear Subway’s “5 Dollar Footling” jingle reworked as the anthem of the Five-Timers Club until watching this monologue.
There’s something about hearing Cecily Strong say “Professional Animal Pornographer” in an upbeat anchor’s voice during a morning newscast that’s simply hysterical. The sketch doesn’t lose its pacing thanks to some misrepresenting news captions, and Johansson and Mikey Day’s oblivion to what the viewers are actually witnessing.
How wild could a reality show featuring affluent lesbians living in one beach house? Apparently not very wild, according to this parody…though we’d still watch if it was a real show.
Admittedly we would’ve been satisfied simply watching a pug named Max trying his best to get a translator helmet off his head during an entire sketch (which happens half-way through… yay live TV!). However the sketch’s actual premise, where scientists are appalled when their machine that translates for pets reveals said pug’s true thoughts, holds up very well and shows how both political sides fail at having an open-minded dialogue (that’s right, a sketch where a dog proclaims, “You didn’t afford me a choice when you cut off my balls,” is actually political commentary!).
This sketch is literally just an excuse to have Johansson, Thompson, Day and Leslie Jones make the most ridiculous facial expressions while Beck Bennett directs them during the making of an Olive Garden (as well as to get Jones and Thompson to rightfully react uncomfortably to one of Bennett’s less than appropriate choices of direction). With that said, an otherwise stale concept is executed very well, further proving our point in the intro that Johansson is willing to go the extra mile for a sketch.
Complicit (Ivanka’s Fragrance)
Fun fact: Johansson is the third host this season to play Donald’s complicit daughter, Ivanka, in a sketch.
Lorde, “Green Light”
A little ironic that Lorde’s first performance came shortly after a sketch where Bennett kept saying “Oh Lordy” while directing Jones in an Olive Garden commercial…Just saying.
Unsurprisingly, the top stories Colin Jost and Michael Che zoned in on this weekend was Trumpcare and A Day Without A Woman strikes. Jost might have had the best line when talking about Planned Parenthood potentially getting defunded (“You might not get to keep your healthcare, but you’ll have to keep something else,” followed by an image of a baby).
We also get to see the dynamic duo of Al Franken and Jeff Sessions together. Granted, it’s tough to follow last week’s cold open/Forrest Gump parody, but hearing Sessions act so proud that he could say the word “schmear” after Franken showed him “Jew stuff” came pretty close.
And hey, Pete Davidson is back! Many wondered if he would still appear on Weekend Update after revealing his newfound sobriety. As proven by his “first impressions” of people who keep defending Trump, he’s still got it … even though he jokes about people saying he isn’t funny now that he’s sober (but hey, at least he’s starting to “wake up with boners again”…good for you, Pete!).
Shud the Mermaid
Everyone’s favorite mermaid whose actually 15% mermaid and 85% blob fish is back! This time, she’s brought a friend named Kunk whose down for anything… ANYTHING. Also, hearing Shud and Kunk suddenly break into The Simpsons theme song is just priceless.
Shanice Goodwin Ninja-Rivals
This was arguably the only real dud of this weekend’s episode. The premise of Leslie Jones being a less-than skilled ninja wasn’t that great the last time they tried it (though in her defense, Russell Crowe’s attempt to be a Russian mobster was just dreadful). Unfortunately, it wasn’t much better a second time around.
Oh look, Lorde is back! And she brought a friend, Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and fun.
A Sketch For The Women
What happens when Bennett and Kyle Mooney offer to write a sketch “featuring” the entire female cast members, the female host and female musician guest who participated in A Day Without A Woman strikes instead of this week’s writing sessions? Biting commentary on the real-life struggles that women face daily…From a man’s point of view. (FYI: any guy who doesn’t understand what mansplaining is should probably watch this sketch… and then immediately stop mansplaining)
This sketch somewhat resembles a sketch cut for time from the Brie Larson-hosted episode last season. With that said, the premise where a duo give a rather odd musical tribute to their late friend works a lot better this time around. Frankly this is worth watching just to see Alex Moffat’s reaction to, as Leslie Jones’ rabbi character put it, Dan and Didi’s “lit” songs.
And that’s it! Believe it or not, there are only four episodes left of this season. SNL returns on April 8th with Louis C.K. coming back to host for a fourth time. The Chainsmokers will serve as the episode’s musical guest…but hey, Louis coming back to Studio 8H!