Claire Foy reigns over a better (but still not great) ‘Saturday Night Live’

 H.Saturday Night Live
Claire Foy & Anderson .Paak
December 1, 2018

Aside from the last bit of the night (and maybe the tribute to George H. W. Bush), there wasn’t anything about last night’s episode that any of us will remember a month from now, much less a year. But I guess I’m so starved for a good Saturday Night Live, that I’ll take anything, because I didn’t hate last night’s episode. In fact, I didn’t even notice until my sister pointed it out that there were three — THREE — separate instances where people broke into song, which I usually hate. But maybe it was the charm of Claire Foy, maybe it’s the holiday season, maybe it’s that the lyrics of the “All I Want for Christmas” parody made me feel seen — whatever it was, I was left feeling like this was one of the better episodes of the season so far, maybe even the best. Of course, it doesn’t have a whole lot of competition, so take that as the non-compliment that it is. 

Alec Baldwin returns from the wilderness to do his Trump impersonation for the cold open, this time, stressed by the Michael Cohen story while in Argentina. We get cameos from Ben Stiller as Cohen, and Fred Armisen as Mohammed bin Salman, Melania, and shirtless Putin, as well as Kate McKinnon’s wonderfully creepy Rudy Giuliani. As for Giuliani, may he be the next victim of the Kate McKinnon curse that has struck down her other subjects of impersonation (Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions).

Grade: B+

Claire Foy is very pretty and she is very charming and I feel like as a nation we owe her an apology for having to stand on the SNL stage for two and a half minutes and deliver this … whatever this was. Honestly, if this is the best the writers could come up for her monologue, they should have just skipped it.

Grade: D- But I want to be clear I’m not judging Foy here, just the VERY BAD WRITERS

The commercial spoof of the night is for Netflix and how it has too much programming. This is one of those so-obvious-it-almost-doesn’t-need-to-be-said-and-in-fact-might-not-actually-be-funny kind of jokes — as I was drafting my suggestions for what to watch next week, I noticed that Netflix is going to release 14 new series and original films JUST ON FRIDAY. JUST ON ONE DAY. But points for the dark take on Family Matters. No lie, I might actually watch that.

Grade: B+

Hey, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough got married last week. This isn’t even trying.

Grade: C+

In this bit, a soldier writes to his wife from the trenches of World War I, and she responds with … well, very little. It’s a quirky little sketch that struggles to find an ending, but I found it endearing.

Grade: A-

Again, this is one of those sorta-obvious but still pretty funny bits about how for kids of divorce, Christmas at dad’s place is a sad affair.

Grade: A-

“Weekend Update” was pretty funny this week. But the highlight was the tribute to George H. W. Bush at the end, which served as a reminder of when we used to have politicians who were capable of laughing at themselves. And who had dignity. And who weren’t traitors. ~sigh~

Grade: B+

Leslie Jones visits the “Weekend Update” desk to declare that as a 51-year-old woman, she’s retiring from sex — and I hate every single thing about this. I love Leslie Jones. Leslie Jones is a hilarious performer and I’m sure she wrote this herself, but I’m so tired of the entire “Leslie Jones is a horny monster whose sexual desires are comically out of place because who would want to sleep with her on account of her size or her age or her Leslie Jonesness” conceit. I understand that she’s laughing at herself, but I find it a huge bummer and I dread next week with Jason Momoa serving as host.

Grade: D 

The other guest to the “Weekend Update” desk is the new character, Jules, the Free-Thinking Economist, Who Sees Things a Little Differently. He’s an irritating monster who says things like, “I see people say ‘I need money to put a roof over my head’ — but if you have a roof over your head, how are you going to see the stars?” We’ve all met this guy and he is the literal worst.

Grade: B

Remember how in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie’s four grandparents shared a bed? Yeah, OK, but what would happen if one set of grandparents just started doing it? This sketch is much funnier than it has any business being.

Grade: A

In this bit, Cecily Strong is an entrepreneur who blows her big chance on the Home Shopping Network when she leaves her products in an Uber. She then spends the next five minutes screaming things inappropriate for HSN like, “I AM A STUPID BUTHOLE BITCH,” and “EAT MY ASS TO HELL,” and “I AM A CHICKEN DUMP LOSER!” and “OH MY DOG’S BALLS LIFE!” I honestly don’t know how I feel about this one … is confused a grade?

Grade: B

SNL’s newest morning talk show spoof is “Good Morning Goomah” in which a couple of Staten Island side pieces talk about their married boyfriends. It’s no “Bronx Beat,” but it’s not terrible, either.

Grade: B-

In the best sketch of the night (the season?), the ladies of Saturday Night Live sing a version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” to Bob Mueller. For obvious copyright reasons, they didn’t post this one on YouTube, so here’s what I’ve got:


Grade: A+++

Finally, this terrible bit was cut for time. Good.

Grade: No.

Also, Anderson .Paak was pretty great last night with a surprise guest appearance from Kendrick Lamar, who I think Anderson .Paak actually sounds like.

Final Grade: B. Just a solid B. It could have been higher IF THEY HAD BOTHERED WRITING A MONOLOGUE.

snl mueller all we want for christmas is you.gif

Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.

2 thoughts on “Claire Foy reigns over a better (but still not great) ‘Saturday Night Live’

    1. YES. DAMMIT. I tried to make the same mistake on today’s post but managed to catch those. Thanks for the heads-up.


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