Saturday Night Live
Jason Momoa & Mumford & Sons
December 8, 2018
It turns out, Jason Momoa, the actor who is best-known as the violent and sexy warrior chieftain Khal Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones, is a delight. A goofy, funny, charming delight. His infectious energy lit up Saturday Night Live’s stage last night, clearly genuinely enjoying himself and single-handedly saving some mediocre sketches from themselves. The writing this season still is lacking — woefully lacking, in fact — but I have to be honest: Jason Momoa twerking in a glitter cape goes a loooooong way in making up for some lazy sketch ideas.
Saying that last week was a busy one for Trump news is to comically understate matters. We learned that Trump’s National Security Advisor met with Robert Mueller’s office some 19 times, and was so cooperative with the Special Prosecutors Office that Mueller recommended he face no jail time. Then, we learned that the President’s personal attorney committed campaign finance felonies WITH THE PRESIDENT, and during the campaign was meeting with Russians who were offering “political synergy” ~cough~ COLLUSION ~cough~. And then in a heavily redacted memo, we also learned Trump’s campaign manager had lied repeatedly to the feds about contacts between the campaign and Russians. THIS IS A LOT TO WORK WITH.
And yet, the best Saturday Night Live could do with their cold open was this lame bit about how Robert Mueller is haunting the Trump boys? And they couldn’t even bother to do at least one rehearsal with Robert De Niro who clearly has never seen his lines before and struggles to read the cue cards? THIS IS IT? THIS IS THE VERY BEST THEY COULD DO?
God bless Jason Momoa’s pink pants. As for the rest of this monologue … so there’s this animated show on Cinemax called Mike Judge Presents Tales from the Tour Bus which is a wonderful look at musical figures as told by the people who knew them best: their band members and tour managers. This season — which is currently airing — has been focused on the greats of funk: James Brown, Rick James, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins. And all I can think is that the writers have been enjoying this season as much as I have and, having no other ideas for Momoa’s monologue, came up with … this. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. Still, Momoa is having fun, and those sunglasses look good on him, so, you know.
This sketch takes the entire premise of an Elf on the Shelf — that the elf serves as a monitoring system for Santa — to its logical conclusion: that the elf is going to see some shit that is going to stay with him. It’s gross, but it’s also much funnier than I wanted to admit.
GE introduces a line of masculine household appliances: The “Big Boy” brand which features washing machines too tall for women to use and a ride-on vacuum cleaner. Momoa is the perfect actor for this bit and the skewering of male fragility just hits all my feminist sweet spots — which sounds nastier than I intended. For my money, this was one of the best commercial spoofs of the season along with the midterms jitters ad and HuckaPM.
H’oh boy. So, obviously they were going to have to do something related to Momoa’s best-known role, Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, and this hot pile of mess was what they came up with: Khal Drogo’s Ghost Dojo. See, because Drogo rhymes with dojo? Get it? I’m not sure what made me angrier about this sketch: the lazy concept itself which just served as an excuse to play “Hey, remember this guy?” with a bunch of Game of Thrones characters, the TERRIBLE makeup job on Momoa, the fact that Khal Drogo goes back and forth between speaking Dothraki and English, the fact that Brienne isn’t dead and THEREFORE SHOULD NOT BE IN A “GHOST DOJO” WHICH ISN’T EVEN A THING, or that it just never seems to fucking end. I love Game of Thrones too much to be OK with ANY PART OF THIS.
This begins as an Empire spoof but is really a sharp joke about what would happen if Trump were black.
“Weekend Update” does a decent job with the comedy gift Mueller handed them this week.
Carrie Krum, Seventh Grade Travel Expert comes to the “Weekend Update” desk to give reviews of visiting her aunts’ houses. Because, see, a 12-year-old would have limited travel experience. Yeah, that’s the whole joke.
Michael Che talks about bidets. I do not want to have to think about Michael Che using a bidet.
I’m going to be honest, this sketch in which Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by one more Christmas ghost isn’t great — or even very good — but it involves Jason Momoa stripping, so who am I to complain?
Grade: A because Jason Momoa twerking in a glittery cape
This is a spoof of Revenge of the Nerds which is just one long excuse for Momoa to do an impersonation of Donald Gibb as Ogre. Which … I mean … OK? But I have questions: did the writers come up with this idea or is an impersonation of Donald Gibb as Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds one of those things that Momoa just carries around in his back pocket and he suggested it to them?
Oh great, it’s that Cicely Strong character Gemma, the idiot with the British accent that inspires a thousand hard-on jokes. Someone must think this is funny, I guess, because they keep digging this character back up.
In this pre-taped bit, a boyfriend trying to make a good first impression on his girlfriend’s parents engages them in a weird game of hide-and-seek. It’s weird, but Momoa really sells it as the dad.
In the final sketch of the night, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer takes his revenge on the reindeer who had bullied him. It takes a VERY dark turn at the end. I don’t know how I feel about this, honestly, but I have to admit I did not see that ending coming.
Grade: B –
Final Grade: B.
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.