Adele hosts the season’s strongest ‘Saturday Night Live’ so far. That’s not saying much.

Saturday Night Live
Adele & H.E.R.
October 24, 2020

Look. I’m not saying that last night’s Saturday Night Live was great or anything — it wasn’t. In fact, one sketch might have been the most offensive one they’ve done so far this season — although NBA Bubble Draft, “titty meat” and Bill Burr’s entire monologue are still giving it a run for its money. But overall, last night’s episode felt more like an episode from the beginning of last season: not knock down hilarious, but amusing and even clever at points. Host Adele’s energy was a large part of this: her enthusiasm was infectious, and she seemed to be having a genuinely great time. In fact, her energy rubbed off on the audience who seemed to be enjoying themselves more than they have in the past three episodes. That, or I’m deluding myself, so desperate I am for one … just one … SNL episode be half good already.


There’s nothing new to say about these cold opens. They’re uniformly terrible, Jim Carrey is like biting tinfoil, and they are always about 5 times longer than they need to be. But hey, at least they didn’t try to cram Kamala in there for no good goddamned reason.

Grade: C

Adele’s monologue isn’t uproariously funny, but she comes across as fun, excited, and likable. It won’t be remembered by the end of the episode, but it doesn’t do any damage, making it the best monologue of the season so far.

Grade: B+

In my favorite sketch of the night, a group of friends visits a psychic in 2019, only to be told that in the next year, they will be investing in coloring books, crying a lot, and asking for stamps for their birthday, leaving them very confused. “Why do I know the full name of the Post Master General?” is a whole living through the Trump Administration MOOD.

Also, I took this photo yesterday, joking with my husband that this would be baffling to people a year ago:

Weird times, man.

Grade: A

Oh, hey, it’s Chad again. This time, he’s at Bly Manor or something. OK.

Grade: B-

So, Adele is not the musical guest for the week, but they wrote her as herself into this Bachelor spoof as a means to have her to sing snippets of her most popular songs. On the one hand, SNL‘s The Bachelor spoof is well-worn at this point, and this is one way to still do it without making the same lame jokes; on the other hand, eh.

Grade: B

In this Biden election ad, voters who hate Trump worry about what they will do with themselves if he loses. I feel personally attacked.

Grade: A

Once again, “Weekend Update” does a good job with the political news again, although it’s really low-hanging fruit. But it makes me wonder, if they can be this sharp with “Weekend Update,” why are the political jokes in the cold opens SO TERRIBLE? It’s not just Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey’s performances that make the cold opens bad  — although that’s a big part of it — it’s also the writing, which is just uniformly awful. Anyway, I feel you, Che. I thought he might die, too.

Grade: A

I am not a Melissa VillaseƱor fan and this did not do anything to change that.

Grade: C

The Village People are here to address Trump using YMCA at his rallies, and they are NOT happy:

Grade: A

In this bit, a group of grandchildren visits their grandmother, played by Maya Rudolph, at her nursing home from a safe distance. The joke is that after trying to put a good spin on disappointing aspects of their lives, she can’t hear them and they eventually have to just come out and say things plainly: they’re unemployed, they’re getting divorced. It’s a decent bit, in no small part to Maya Rudolph who should just officially rejoin the cast, please.

Grade: B+

In this sketch, Adele, Kate McKinnon, and Heidi Gardner play divorcees of a certain age promoting tourism to Africa, for the “bamboo” and “tribesmen.” It’s a weird, offensive sketch that fetishizes Black men and it’s really not OK. Just imagine this same bit, but with all men and the continent of Asia. Eeeeesh, right? But sure, let’s talk about how Adele can’t stop laughing.

Grade: F

The final bit of the night is an 80s commercial for “Ass Angel Jeans” — perfumed jeans that cover up one’s “lady scents.” And that’s a good premise for a sketch, spoofing the constant barrage of things that society makes women feel insecure about so as to sell them shit that they don’t need. But instead of emphasizing that, it becomes another “Beck Bennett Making Fun of the Tacky 80s” sketch. It’s a shame.

Grade: B

Final Grade: B.

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

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