There’s an interesting trend happening at Saturday Night Live this season. Their comedian hosts taking reigns of the show directly on the heels of a major political moment. Dave Chappelle had it the week of the election and Aziz Ansari taking it right after the inauguration. While this might be pure coincidence, we like to think it’s a deliberate action from Lorne Michaels and co. to drop in a comedian with the ability to distill these particularly volatile times during their monologue. While they can’t all be planned (see Louis C.K. right after Hurricane Sandy) there might be something to this.
This is Aziz Ansari’s first time hosting SNL, but its definitely not his first experience with sketch comedy as many might remember he got his start on the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant. A show that was littered with great ideas that took on the pop culture that permeates Ansari’s brand of comedy. In fact, it’s safe to say we’re going to see many pop culture references made all over this episode. Let’s run it down.
Cold Open: Vladamir Putin
Alec Baldwin might’ve been a bit busy protesting the real Drumpf to come in for the cold open. So why not get the Russian President’s perspective. Because there’s a good chance he might have a lot of
influence say about the situation.
Monologue: Aziz Ansari
Ansari opened up the show by point out what a great time it was that a brown guy was there telling jokes on the day after the inauguration. Ansari ran the gamut of current issues facing the nation, the lowercase kkk bringing on the resurgence of racism, how Drumpf might be the Chris Brown of Presidents, and how his family isn’t going anywhere. He ended with an acknowledgement of the massive Women’s march yesterday saying “change comes from large groups of angry people” and that yesterday leads him to think things will be alright.
Beat The Bookworm
This sketch is exactly what we mean by having some big pop culture references due to Ansari’s presence. Ansari would much rather talk about the 90s revival, Drake, or Kanye than almost anything else.
La La Land Interrogation
Are there any people out there that don’t like the movie La La Land? Well, if there are, you might find yourself in a room defending your opinions.
While the real Kellyanne Conway is doing things like legitimately thinking we’re gonna believe the “alternative facts” bullsh*t she’s spewing, the SNL version of KC might just want to make it to the big time.
We’ve seen hundreds of these attorney ads, this sketch explores the idea of what if one of those attorneys are super great, and what if the other is just, well, not that great.
Big Sean “Bounce Back”
Ladies and gentlemen… Big Sean, though he looks fairly average in size if you ask us.
Update had a lot of material to chew on, particularly the analogies about feminism and and the recurring Michelle Obama inauguration face.
Leslie Jones drops in to discuss the movie Hidden Figures and once she realizes it’s not The Help in space she might want to learn more about black history.
Mikey Day is Jake Rocheck reporting live from the friend zone.
This sketch turned out to be one of the biggest laugh-getters out of the entire night. Ansari is in bed with his lady as they try to do some dirty talk. Turns out that some people are just better at it than others.
If you were to create a Venn Diagram of those on the quest for a five star Uber rating and those that wanted to achieve perfect attendance in school there’s probably a large overlap in the middle. What this sketch goes to show is that goal might just not be achievable. You know who never judges you and can’t give you a rating of any kinda? The guy drive of a good ol’ yellow cab.
While this is the type of sketch that might end up near the end of the night, it’s damn great that it made it into the show anywhere, because who doesn’t like a pizza party?
Big Sean “Sunday Morning Backpack”
Once again, average-sized Sean… what’s up with that N.W.O. sweatshirt Aziz?
10-to-1: To Sir With Love
If you thought the Kate McKinnon/Hillary Clinton/Hallelujah cold opening after the election was a bit heavy-handed, you aren’t going to like this one bit. You’re expecting a joke as Cecily Strong starts out singing “To Sir, With Love” but then you realize the show is just going to pay tribute to our outgoing President with a song. Maybe they’re still trying to make amends for being accused of participating in the normalization of Drumpf by letting him host last year. Or maybe they just want to pay tribute to someone they respected. Or, maybe they just got an idea from Glee.
And that’s a wrap folks, Kristen Stewart will host as Alessia Cara handles the musical duties when the show returns on February 4th.