In which my imaginary girlfriend Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosts the best ‘Saturday Night Live’ in a while

Saturday Night Live
Phoebe Waller-Bridge & Taylor Swift
October 5, 2019

Full disclosure: I am helplessly in love with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator and star of the best show of the year, Fleabag, and writer of Killing Eve, the sexiest show about a psychopath ever made. (AND YES, I LOVE HANNIBAL, SO BACK OFF.) And so, I’m not going to be impartial here. But knowing all that, I think it’s fair to say that this week’s Saturday Night Live starring my imaginary girlfriend was one of the strongest episodes in recent seasons that hasn’t been hosted by my imaginary boyfriend John Mulaney.

A suggestion for Lorne Michaels: How about from here on out we just pass hosting duties back and forth between Phoebe Waller-Bridge and John Mulaney? And if you wanted to mix it up a little you could throw Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy or Paul Rudd in there every once in a while. No need to thank me for this genius idea, JUST DO IT.

Alec Baldwin has taken the week off from Trump duties — and who can blame him, really — so this week’s cold open featured Vice President Mike Pence consulting with Bill Barr, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Pompeo as played by Matthew Broderick, about what to do about this whole impeachment mess which threatens to ensnare them all. I’m not exactly sure why Broderick was cast here? Maybe he was the only one available? But unlike the other previous brilliant castings (Scarlett Johnasson as Ivanka; Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer; Ben Stiller as Michael Cohen; Robert DeNiro as Robert Mueller; and, of course, Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh) this is just distractingly not great. But they get to make Ferris Bueller jokes, so ha?

Grade: B-

I love Phoebe Waller-Bridge and you should watch her monologue which does not include any singing or cast members propping her up. Just her cracking jokes about genitals and horny women. 

Grade: A

This is a revisit of a game show sketch they did last season with Paul Rudd where contestants are asked to figure out what is wrong in a picture, and they are all huge idiot dummies. It’s so simple and I enjoy it, so sue me.

Grade: A

Love Island, which you might be familiar with thanks to CBS’s American version this summer, actually started in the U.K. and is a refreshing reminder that the Brits, can be just as trashy and dumb as us. Anyway, this sketch is practically just an episode of the actual Love Island.

Grade: A 

A cast of local news anchors keeps score when crimes are committed by their respective races in this hilarious and gleefully edgy sketch. This genuinely feels like a bit that could have been on Chappelle’s Show back in the day or Key & Peele.

Grade: A+

Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays a wife back at the home front writing letters to her soldier husband during World War II, except her letters contain very little information or context. They did this same sketch last season with the lovely (and also British) Claire Foy. It worked then and it worked now (and it is receiving the same grade), even if they are unclear on how to end the bit.

Grade: A-

In “Weekend Update” Michael Che wonders if it’s OK to make fun of Donald Trump, or if he’s, you know, “strong” like Lennie in Of Mice and Men is “strong.” Overall, a strong “Weekend Update,” but “strong” Donald Trump, he’s making it very easy these days.

Grade: A

Elizabeth Warren addresses those BDSM rumors and makes me love her even more than I already did.

Grade: A-

New cast member Bowen Yang makes his “Weekend Update” desk debut as a senior Chinese trade representative and fucking crushes it. He’s someone to keep your eye on.

Grade: A

Ugh. So, in this bit, Mikey Day is a supercentenarian who reads news about other supercentenarians, and the joke is they are all dead. Ha.

Grade: C+

Kenan Thompson plays Thunderstick, a Blaxploitation actor who romanced a member of the royal family in this sketch that had potential but in execution was just alright. Needed more Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Grade: B-

The last bit of the night was the episode’s weakest BY FAR. In it, four white trash friends all compete for the affections of a white trash dude at a dive bar. And I think the joke is that as they try to woo him but convince the other women they actually hate him, he is beaten up? I guess? I don’t know, all I know is that I hated hated hated their very bad accents.

Grade: C-: I almost gave it a D, but didn’t because I wasn’t offended, just irritated

And here’s the bit cut for time:

honey your brain is bad saturday night live snl kenan.gif

Final Grade: A- And well deserved!

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

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