Saturday Night Live
As handsome as Oscar Isaac is, I often find his good looks wasted. He was cast in The Addams Family, but in the cartoon version. He’s set to play a masked superhero in Moon Knight. He was barely in Dune. It’s like we all agree he’s hot, but we haven’t had that film we all use as a reference, like Brad Pitt’s Fight Club or George Clooney’s … okay, Clooney is hot in everything. I think this spelled trouble for Isaac’s Saturday Night Live hosting gig because they didn’t have a character archetype to write sketches around. I’d love it if they wrote a Latino sketch and featured Melissa, but the only person SNL feels comfortable permitting to use a Spanish accent is Kenan Thompson.
- Fox News Ukraine Cold Open
- Oscar Isaac Monologue
- Paw Patrol
- Inventing Chloe
- Workplace Harassment Seminar
- Charli XCX: “Beg for You”
- Weekend Update (Kate McKinnon on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, Weary Mother in her Darkest Hour on Rihanna’s Pregnancy)
- Aidy’s Dream
- Home Repair Show
- Charli XCX: “Baby”
- Fiction Workshop
Best Tucker Carlson Impersonation
Alex Moffat is incredible as Tucker Carlson. “I’m like if a pair of boat shoes came to life.” This is going to infuriate Tucker, but he really did say he was rooting for Russia. Making a joke anywhere near the Ukraine situation is going to be tough for some viewers, but I not only give SNL credit for giving it a shot, I think the sketch is fine (if a little too long). Kate’s Laura Ingraham is as solid as always, but it’s McKinnon’s uncanny ability to nail punchlines that is on display: “We did sound pretty awful in hindsight … and foresight.” Bowen Yang enters as Steven Seagal, infamously the worst host SNL has ever had. Bowen’s Seagal is killer: “What a global crisis we are facing, and as a person who proudly pretends to be both Native American and Japanese, I feel for all people.” James Austin Johnson also has his best line as Trump: “And now they want to go beyond burger, can you believe that? I want to stay right at burger.” The sketch really should end with Cecily walking on as Kimberly Guilfoyle, whose on-the-money impression is nearly ruined by Mikey Day’s manic and unfunny Donald Trump Jr.
Best New ‘Avenger’ Movie
Oscar Isaac reveals he is half-Guatemalan and half-Cuban, and his full name is Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada. “I said to Hollywood, ‘You can pick two of these names.’ Guess what they went with? The white ones.” Even though it’s fun for Isaac to poke fun at how racist Hollywood is, SNL itself hasn’t had a male Latino cast member in ten years. (Not to mention the only screen time Aristotle Athari has to look forward to is as a background phone operator.) Isaac talks about his first-ever Avenger movie: When he was 10 years old, he wrote, directed, and starred in a home movie that NBC had to buy so he could show the clips. It’s adorable, and once again, we have a short and sweet monologue where the host opens up about his personal life.
Kate McKinnon’s Biggest Misunderstanding
Kate stops by “Weekend Update” to speak about Florida’s Parents Rights in Education Bill, which critics are calling the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Kate misunderstands the bill and believes kids won’t be allowed to pejoratively say the word “gay” (“I was kind of tortured by the word gay. ‘That’s so gay.’ ‘Ew, you’re gay.’”), but Colin explains how horrifying the bill actually is. Kate’s reaction is so good, and again through her unique personal experiences and her uncanny ability to nail punchlines, she always elevates SNL. (“So one kid can say ‘I live with my parents,’ but another kid has to say, ‘I live in a house with two adult men who bought me when I was young’?”) It’s a very touching and powerful segment. Critics of the bill could play this segment in court and make their case pretty well.
Ego’s Best Character
Ego has had limited screen time lately, but she has some of the best lines of the night reprising her Weary Mother in Her Darkest Hour character. Here the weary mother is upset at how good Rihanna looks pregnant. (“Look at her, she looks like she’s going to a sex funeral.”) The weary mother is even upset that Rihana can wear heels. (“I used to wear a size nine; now I’m a men’s 15.”) This is a fun “Weekend Update” character, but I’d love to see Ego play a character like this in a whole sketch.
Kate’s our MVP of the night. She is excellent as Laura Ingraham and her “Weekend Update” highlighted an otherwise poor showing. Kicking off the show with a reference-heavy Paw Patrol sketch was a huge misstep. As a non-parent, the jokes were lost on me. Overall the episode was such a mess. The “Workplace Harassment Seminar” sketch was beyond uncomfortable, and the ending was completely unjustifiable. It’s really unfortunate, as the cast and crew seemed to be building momentum off a couple of solid episodes this year and a really good episode last week.
In other news, Kenan’s “Home Repair” sketch was his 1,500th at SNL. Keenan joined the cast in 2003 and, before that, was told he was too young to be on the show. Well, he ain’t too young now. He’s said he wants to do at least 20 years, which he’ll mark next season, but I highly doubt he’s going anywhere with the 50th anniversary coming up in 2025. And believe me, that year was as weird for me to write as it was for you to read.