Saturday Night Live
Scarlett Johansson & Lorde
March 12, 2017
What is going on, guys? Are you fatigued? Just so very tired of Donald Trump? Running out of ideas? Did you hit your heads and forget how comedy works? Because this is the second week in a row in which Saturday Night Live was not just mediocre, but downright terrible. Terrible!
Now, some, like my husband, will argue that Saturday Night Live has been downright terrible for a long time now, but that’s not true! Remember the Dave Chappelle episode? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s? Aziz Ansari’s? These were good episodes — great even! — and they aired not all that long ago.
And here’s the place where I usually excuse the host, training my disapproving eye squarely on the writers’ room. But not this week. Scarlett Johannson, you are literally a member of the Five-Timers Club! You’re practically a member of the cast now! You don’t get to be this Not Good, girl! EVERYBODY NEEDS TO DO BETTER.
In the cold open, aliens invade and Trump, called upon to give a stirring Independence Day-style speech to the troops, instead insults the military and worries about his election results. While this bit had a funny line or two, that’s just not enough anymore. Saturday Night Live is in a unique position to mock Trump to his face and get directly underneath his thin tangerine skin, so they need to punch harder than this. Much harder.
I don’t even know what this mess of a monologue was about. Kenan? The Oscars? The Five-Timers Club? TAKE YOUR RITALIN AND PICK SOMETHING.
In this morning news sketch an animal photographer is misidentified as an “animal pornographer” and then everything he says is taken out of context to make it sound as though he has sex with animals. I am 99% certain someone messed up the schedule and accidentally put the end-of-the-night sketch in the wrong place.
If you don’t watch a lot of Logo, you might not have heard of this new reality series called Fire Island that follows the sexploits of a group of hot gay guys in a summer house. Now what if instead of hot gay guys it was a summer house full of married lesbians and their babies? A lot fewer sexploits, amirite? Fun stereotypes are fun!
In this bit, a device that can translate dogs’ thoughts reveals that a scientist’s French Bulldog is a huge Trump supporter to his owner’s (and everyone else’s) horror. This bit has its moments, but in an effort to balance out its anti-Trump sentiments, it tries waaaaay too hard to point out liberal hypocrisy (says the hypocritical liberal).
You know how there are sometimes background actors in commercials and you know how they sometimes way overact? This sketch is about how those scenes are shot and for some inexplicable reason it goes on for an interminable seven minutes. WHY? WHY IS THIS SKETCH SO LONG? I WANT MY TIME BACK.
The commercial spoof of the night is for Ivanka’s new fragrance, “Complicit,” and it is pretty great. “The fragrance for the woman who can stop all this, but won’t.” This should have aired much earlier in the episode to make certain Trump saw it. (Someone tweet him the link, pls.)
Here is your “Weekend Update.” There’s a Michael Che joke in there about how men had to resort to masturbation on International Women’s Day, because HAR HAR HAR, women are only good for thing.
Al Franken and Jeff Sessions come to the “Weekend Update” desk to talk about Sessions perjuring himself in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it is a MUCH better bit than last week’s Sessions cold open. More this, less Forrest Gump nonsense, guys.
Pete Davidson is back to talk about Trump surrogates, getting sober and Fox News? Again, pick a topic, and stick with it. While there are some funny one-liners in here, I was told you were going to make fun of Stephen Miller, so I did exactly not come here to hear about your erections.
A guy is stranded on an island and he has an opportunity to choose a mermaid to marry: either one of the two pretty ones, or the hideously ugly one that is part blobfish. Aside from the fact that we’ve seen this whole sketch before, there were entirely too many missed Ted Cruz joke opportunities, here, guys. Also, what’s with The Simpsons thing? Was that a joke? Was that supposed to be funny for some reason? I’m clearly missing something.
“Shanice Goodwin, Ninja” is that recurring Leslie Jones bit where she is a very not great ninja and it is funnier in concept than in execution. So many bad accents! Why so many bad accents? Do they think a bad accent makes the sketch funnier? Because it does not!
I’m still irritated that the only “Weekend Update” mention of International Women’s Day was a masturbation joke, although I’m not surprised, MICHAEL CHE. But the show makes up for it — a little — with this bit in which in honor of the holiday, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett wrote a sketch for the entire female cast in which the men explain feminism. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Easily the best bit of the night.
“See, you don’t expect that kind of thing at a funeral and that’s why it is funny,” my 12-year-old said dryly.
Final Grade: C+
Next week: Casey Affleck and Chance the Rapper
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.