Saturday Night Live
Will Ferrell & Chris Stapleton
January 27, 2018
I love Will Ferrell.
The man is a big sweet doofy comic genius who makes everything that he touches funnier. There’s an argument to be made that he helped saved Saturday Night Live when he joined the cast in 1995, and he certainly saved what could have been a mediocre episode last night. None of the sketches from this week’s episode are going to be remembered as classics, but Ferrell’s presence added that extra level of goofy zaniness that elevated the episode as a whole. I’m unclear on why Lorne Michaels doesn’t make Ferrell hosting an annual thing. This sentiment also applies to Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. In fact, maybe Saturday Night Live should just join in on this whole reboot fad in television and reassemble their season 27 cast.
For the cold open, Will Ferrell brought back his beloved George W. Bush to remind us that despite what nostalgia we might feel for him in the Trump era, he was very very terrible. Also: Dick Cheney. It’s fine and has its moments — “Back in my day, we didn’t rig elections with Russians. We used the Supreme Court, like real Americans,” — but it drags on a little long and adding Leslie Jones to it to play an unconvincing Condoleezza Rice feels like an unforced error. It wasn’t bad — but it did feel a little disappointing.
Best monologue of the season. I’m calling it now.
Look, this fighter pilot sketch is very dumb and it goes on too long and they clearly had no idea how to end it — which suggests that the writers had any idea where it was going in the first place beyond the initial joke, which I am not convinced they did, and I’m going to forget it tomorrow, but I have to admit, the initial joke is kinda funny.
I don’t love the Kyle Mooney bits, but as someone who spends much of her life suffering through reality shows, I have to admit this ridiculousness rings true. Bonus Tracy Morgan cameo.
This bit in which an older couple can’t quite remember their one line in a commercial is a very accurate spoof of a viral video from 5 years ago (see below), and even though it might not be the timeliest bit it still works in its sheer ridiculousness. Although I am genuinely not sure that it is funnier than the original material.
I did not see where this flight attendant sketch was going and I LOVED IT. Gareth = 2018.
The commercial spoof is for “Next: For Men,” deodorant for men in the #MeToo era, “for when the truth comes out about you.” Yep. This.
“Weekend Update” was strong this week, bonus points to Michael Che for his Stephen Miller slams.
Those of you who were hoping to get the band back together for some more cowbell were probably disappointed. Instead, Ferrell brought back his loud character Jacob Silj. It was just alright, but went on way too long. Can you believe that this bit was only four minutes long? Because it felt MUCH longer.
And I, for one, would have liked Ferrell to have brought back Robert Goulet.
The other visitor to the Weekend Update desk was Heidi Gardner’s teen YouTube critic who gave her thoughts on the Oscar race. As someone who is living in teen hell, I’m here to tell you this bit was incredibly accurate.
What you need to know about this bit in which a couple who have become reality stars visit their old friends and then use them for their show is that they are directly referencing events that took place last season on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and I AM HERE FOR IT. However, if you’re not an avid reality fan, I am sure a lot of this just felt loud and screamy.
In one of the best sketches of the night, and certainly one of the most memorable, a group of friends navigate the minefield that conversation has become in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Will Ferrell plays a man who bungles an anecdote and then everything escalates to absurdist levels in this sketch that goes on too long and had no clear ending. It’s fine and has its moments, but it feels a bit like filler. This is the bit I would have sacrificed for a “Celebrity Jeopardy” bit.
The final sketch of the night is basically making fun of how Jerry Lee Lewis was a gross child molester. Because he was a gross child molester and rapist.
So, yeah, I really loved this episode.
Final Grade: A-
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.