Saturday Night Live
J.J. Watt & Luke Combs
February 2, 2019
I’m going to be honest, I was worried for J.J. Watt. Athletes do not have a great record on Saturday Night Live, and for every Payton Manning, there is a Michael Phelps (and the less said about that, the better). While J.J. is a beloved Houston treasure and we all know he’s charming and delightful, would he be able to translate that charm to the 8H stage? The short answer is yes! Watt held it together and was funnier than your average athlete on SNL. The longer answer is, it took him a little while to warm up, and he didn’t always have the best material to work with, but he was always game and did not once embarrass Houston or himself. All in all, well played, J.J.
If there is one thing that I think the American people can agree on in these divided and difficult times, it’s that the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Jingles Trump has been something of a disappointment. Those who want him removed from office consider the proceedings — which are moving forward without witnesses or evidence — to be a travesty of justice, while those who want him acquitted have complained that it has been repetitive and boring. Bottom line: this proceeding has pleased exactly no one, even the people who will ultimately get exactly what they want.
What we can all agree on is that the trial would have been much more interesting and DEFINITELY more entertaining had Judge Mathis been presiding, we had actual witnesses like John War Walrus Bolton, and if President Compulsive Liar testified himself. SNL gives us the Trial [We] Wish Had Happened, which is a good idea in concept but actually acted out is more of an “eh.” Still, Beck Bennett’s Mitch McConnell is 100%. So points for that.
J.J.’s monologue starts off a little rough: he’s clearly nervous and stiff at first, but as the crowd warmly receives him, he loosens up. I’m not going to lie, it’s not a great monologue, but he doesn’t embarrass himself, either, and I think once he gets through it, once he survives standing on that stage by himself, he knows it’s all downhill from there, and he is able to enjoy himself for the rest of the night.
There’s a lot going on in this spoof of Frozen 2: Elsa acknowledges that she’s a lesbian, Olaf has a carrot dick, there’s a black character in rural Norway … and J.J. is a woke Kristoff. I’m going to admit something that those of you with younger children won’t believe, but I’ve never seen EITHER Frozen, so a lot of this is lost on me. I’m not sure if I felt meh about it because it was just not that funny or because the jokes didn’t mean much to me. Who can say.
This, however, I get: see, it’s like Rudy, or some other inspirational sports movie where the kid who doesn’t have any obvious sports talent is given a shot in the big game because all his teammates support him. Except here, teammate J.J. is the only teammate who speaks the truth: “Wait a second, this kid plays like dogshit, there’s no way he should be in the game.”
Here, J.J. plays a dad who gives his son a VERY frank sex talk, revealing waaaay too much about his sex life with the kid’s mother, played by a very cheeky Aidy Bryant. Juvenile but funny, J.J. Watt leans into this one.
See, it’s an Oil of Olay product but for big burly football players. Ha?
“Weekend Update” does a good job with the impeachment trial: “What better way to begin Black History Month than to be betrayed by the justice system …” is just a brutal but brilliant line.
But my favorite joke of the night was the assertion that Jared Kushner was Lube Guy. I mean, prove this wrong:
China’s Bitchy Trade Minister Chen Biao is back and in charge of handling the Coronavirus outbreak. I can watch Chen Biao talk about anything.
Ego Nwodim is Dr. Angie Hynes, a Black History professor who gives a lesson on the Black people in her life who have pissed her off and therefore ARE HISTORY.
They do that spoof of The Bachelor that they’ve done exactly 1,010 times before. I suspect this was a safety sketch: if J.J. was unable to carry anything else, he’d be able to carry this and if need be, they could run it early in the night. It’s fine, it’s just doesn’t particularly stand out.
J.J. Watt records materials for his character in the upcoming Madden ’21 game, and he finds his character saying a bunch of less than cool things, like “WHOOPSIE!” and “GOD, I SUCK TODAY!”
As a very lazy person, I order delivery more than I probably should, and very often, I will order extra so that I have stuff to eat for lunch for the next few days. And I have to say, I get it. There are times when I could use a Food Dude or two to help with the shame of too much food for just one person. This sketch is born from reality.
J.J. Watt is bigfoot? Who has, My Fair Lady-style, been taught manners and such? I don’t even know, guys, and completely lost interest in this one about 90 seconds in.
So, you know that porn trope of the pizza deliveryman and the ladies who don’t have any money so they have to pay him some … other way? Yeah, well, have you ever considered that the delivery guy doesn’t actually own the pizza place, and that his boss might have a question or three about where the money is? That’s it. That’s the sketch.
Finally, in the thank you/goodnight portion of the show, Watt paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by wearing his jersey and shooting a piece of paper into the audience. 🙁
Final Grade: A solid B/B+.
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.