Captain Kirk Chris Pine is our leader this week in the seat hosting Saturday Night Live in Studio 8H. Considering how long he’s been a leading man, it’s surprising to learn that this is the first time Chris Pine is hosting Saturday Night Live. Going into the announcement, we weren’t really sure what to expect from the evening. However, with the super fun LCD Soundsystem-laced promo video that came out earlier this week, maybe we’d be pleasantly surprised. And just as suspected, Pine and co churned out a fun night full of him dancing and singing on more than a handful of sketches. Who knew Pine could sing and dance? Let’s run it down.
Cold Open: Morning Joe
Earlier this week, Morning Joe co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough confirmed their relationship by announcing they were engaged. So what does SNL do? They take that notion to the Nth degree in the cold open. While most of the show’s recent cold opens have been dominated by Donald Trump, the show took a less political turn this week with this being one of two political-leaning sketches. And we’re half political at best here, made that way only by having Alec Baldwin call into the show as the Donald’s faux publicist.
Like the great Dermot Mulroney/Dylan McDermott debate of previous years, Chris Pine took the monologue to try to help the world properly figure out which handsome superhero Chris was which. He even pulls out charts to provides the first song of the night for us. Are they all wearing the same outfit?
Where In The World Is Kellyanne Conway
This sketch was a strong call for the first post monologue clip. It works because it realizes it’s one note and makes the joke than gets out. Rather than attempting to make it last 4 minutes, it relied on just being perfectly executed. If you are keeping track, Pine is two for two in singing sketches. SNL tackling politics in this manner is far better than just rolling out Alec Baldwin for another week of Trump-ness.
World Peace Rap
Who doesn’t enjoy a good musical sketch? The answer is nobody, this one was deliberately weird and probably hit hard with some and left others flat. But if you are counting, we’ve now seen Chris Pine in his third sketch and he’s 3 for 3 on singing. Not complaining, just surprised.
This sketch is great as it just continues to dive into sillier and sillier ideas, yet stays so specific at the same time. Who doesn’t want to have themselves a fully grown man cotton candy party? The correct answer is nobody. By the time Leslie Jones shows up in a zoot suit eating a large gummy bear, we’re all in for the ride. It’s just something silly that we don’t always get on SNL, when pulled off correctly it’s terrific.
The Boy Is Mine
Everytime an impossibly attractive person hosts Saturday Night Live, there’s a sketch that plays into said physical attributes. The one they chose for Pine pits office mates Aidy Bryant and Vanessa Bayer pitted against each other vying for the affection of an office worker who, until this point didn’t know he was in a love triangle. Unfortunately the sketch didn’t hit the internet more than likely because of the use of the Brandy/Monica song, “The Boy Is Mine.”
The Real World reality show has been on the air for over two decades and countless seasons (well, we can count, we just don’t want to). But this sketch perfectly encapsulates the lack of drama these shows contain at this point because every storyline of human interaction has been done at least twice on the show. So let’s make boring reality TV engaging by starting a beef that literally no man on the planet would find themselves a part of.
LCD Soundsystem “Call The Cops”
New York’s dance rock sons, LCD Soundsytem dropped two brand new songs on the public just hours before their SNL appearance. Lo and behold, they performed both of said songs live on the show.
Our “concerns” about Michael Che and Colin Jost anchoring the Update desk completely vanished at the top of this year. Watching these two take on rapid fire current events like they did this week just shows them blasting through topics. One of the greatest strengths being Che offering up the experience of said topics through the eyes of an American Black man – something Update has not had until he started sitting at the desk.
If we had one criticism of Update of late, it’s been the desk guests. Usually they’re a welcome addition to segment and you hope you get someone like Stefon or Drunk Uncle stop by. But it’s mostly been a series of forgettable moments this season.
Even Leslie Jones coming in to talk about something is starting to hit the same beats.
This sketch is solid, and might fall through the cracks on your next day newsfeed to other, flashier sketches of the night. But as this descends into a full blown walk off in homage to RuPaul’s Drag Race, you just have to appreciate it.
This season we saw a handful of biting sketches about women’s rights. Framed against the premise of the new Hulu series, this sketch takes aim at some dude-bros who clearly weren’t paying attention at the time when they could’ve potentially helped the cause.
Star Trek Lost Episode
This sketch was funny and weird as well. Pine pulled off a just fine William Shatner impression as the sketch introduced the character of Spock’s half-brother
LCD Soundsystem “American Dream”
Once again, LCD Soundsystem.
Couples Game Night
The 10-to-1 sketch is almost always a goofy idea and this lived up to it. While it didn’t fully resonate or draw big laughs, it drew another singing moment from our host.
That’s a wrap on Chris Pine’s first-ever SNL hosting episode. It was a fun and unexpected episode that showed off some talents we didn’t really expect to see from Pine. Now, we should all go see him in Wonder Woman when it comes out next month.