Saturday Night Live
“Emily Blunt & Bruno Mars”
October 15, 2016
Let me just begin by saying that I have not had dinner, Thanksgiving or otherwise, with Emily Blunt, Bruno Mars or anyone on the Saturday Night Live cast. So go ahead and lower your expectations for this post … and for this episode.
It’s not that it was a bad episode, per se, God knows there have been worse. MUCH worse. So much worse. But there was no way it was going to compare to last week’s really strong showing, that’s just the law of averages at work, guys.
As for our host, the lovely Emily Blunt was as funny and game as SNL could hope for. She blended in seamlessly with the cast, to the point where at first I didn’t realize it was her playing Ivanka in the best sketch of the night, the brilliant “Melanianade” bit that I have watched no fewer than six times already. I do hope they invite Blunt back, she’s a natural. (And if you haven’t seen Edge of Tomorrow, the sci-fi time loop movie she stars in with Tom Cruise, go watch it now. Not only is Emily Blunt funny and gorgeous and seems like she’d be fun to hang out with, she’s a total BADASS. [Ugh, I kind of hate her.])
In other news, it turns out we’re not the only SNL fans these days:
So here’s the cold open that Donald Trump is wringing his tiny little hands over. We all knew SNL was going to return to the Presidential debate feeding trough, we just didn’t know how rich the material would turn out to be. Trump stalking Clinton! The non-handshake! Clinton’s accusers! KEN BONE! It’s all there and it’s all terrific. (And heads up: there is one more debate on Wednesday this week, so I think we all know what next week’s cold open is going to be.)
Guh, this monologue. When I bitch about hosts doing a song in the opening monologue, this is EXACTLY what I’m talking about, and no number of cute puppies will make me change my mind. And while I get it, Emily Blunt can sing, maybe it’s not the best idea to do a singing monologue a week after Lin-Manuel Miranda. Maybe that’s a dumb idea.
Somehow the third sketch of the night is this bit where Emily Blunt and Leslie Jones play two high-priced escorts meeting their douchebag Wall Street bro clients — the joke being that for how expensive they are, the escorts are big weirdos. This whole sketch left me feeling gross, like I was watching some immature dude’s sexual anxiety nightmare. No thanks.
The female writers strike back, however, with this GENIUS spoof of Beyoncé’s “Sorry” video, featuring the women in Donald Trump’s life. Everything about this is perfect. Everything. More of this, SNL, and less of the “what if the prostitutes we hired to have sex with us don’t fulfill some sort of rigid male fantasy” nonsesne, come on.
And just because this is my blog and I do what I want, here’s the original “Sorry” video.
In this bit, the cast and crew of a short film take questions from the audience, and I don’t want to give away the twist if you haven’t watched it yet, as the twist is literally the funniest thing about this sketch. And look, this sketch is not terrible, but there is always a danger in making a joke about something being tedious in that the joke itself might not compare favorably.
The episode’s commercial spoof is for CHONK, a woman’s clothing retailer that celebrates the diversity in women’s body types while insulting women. It’s basically just all marketing aimed at women all the time. This is what it’s like. For real, though.
You’ll have to click through for your “Weekend Update,” but let me say Michael Che is not doing himself any favors with his Michael Jackson joke, or the one about young girls on hard drives, or where he feels sorry for himself that people were upset with his past misogynistic tweets and jokes but are giving Trump a pass. Stop it, Michael Che. Stop.
Grade: B- — but only because their takedown of Trump is pretty great.
As for the commentary, we have Olya Povlatsky, Kate McKinnon’s recurring Russian villager, and Laura Parson, Vanessa Bayer’s kid reporter. They’re fine. Neither of these characters are my favorites, but they’re fine.
I don’t even know what this party bus, Burger King drive-thru window bit is about. Artsy types are weird and don’t know how food works? Confused.
To watch “The Sink,” a short surreal clip about a gaudy bathroom sink having an existential crisis, you’ll have to click on the clicky because DESPITE CLAIMING I CAN EMBED HULU CLIPS, I CAN’T SEEM TO BE ABLE TO EMBED HULU CLIPS, WORDPRESS. FIX THIS.
Questions I have: when they had the meeting to decide the order of the sketches, was someone (Lorne Michaels) drunk that day? I don’t understand not choosing to go with the “Melanianade” sketch first, that already a head-scratcher. Maybe they didn’t want to bunch up all the political stuff together or something, I don’t know.
But then they had this funny bit about some robots going haywire that they could have gone with instead of that prostitute sketch, but they chose to bury it late into the episode, instead. Why? I mean, this is not an A+ sketch or anything, but it’s pretty funny and gives both Blunt and Jones plenty to do if that’s what the original aim was. And what I’m getting at is I really hated that escorts sketch, y’all. It made me angry.
It’s another “Melania Moment!” This time she fantasizes about trading places with her maid. DO IT, GIRL. You know your orange toad of a husband has already assaulted her, just do it. Be free.
This spoof of the genteel The Great British Bake Off has two trashy wannabe Big Brother contestants crashing the proceedings. It’s fine but you’ll forget about it five minutes from now.
The final sketch of the night imagined a cage of hamsters reenacting Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and it was one of the weirdest, yet most inspired bits of the night. I don’t know why this happened, I don’t even know that it’s funny, but I am glad this exists in the universe.
And here’s Bruno Mars’ performance of “24k Magic” because let’s face facts: Bruno Mars is just a great showman. This is fun, I don’t care who you are.
Final grade: B
It’s not your fault, ladies, you did your best. Go talk to the bros who wrote that escorts sketch.
Next week: Tom Hanks & Lady Gaga.
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.