Saturday Night Live
Simu Liu & Saweetie
November 20, 2021
I am going to be completely honest with you: I had never heard of Simu Liu until Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings came out. I’m not a Marvel fan, so I haven’t seen the movie, and I’m not Canadian, so I haven’t seen his other two big roles, Blood and Water or Kim’s Convenience. But! Based on his handling the hosting of a live comedy sketch show, I predict big things for this kid, who is handsome, charming, has a great sense of comedic timing, and can manage to not completely lose it while co-starring with an uncooperative Golden Retriever. Just go ahead and get me a desk at CAA, because I can spot up-and-coming talent (after they’ve starred on television for 5 years, been the star in a Marvel movie, and hosted SNL). I’m a Hollywood genius!
The cold open is Judge Jeanine’s show in which she celebrates the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal with an interview of Judge Schroeder who is thrilled for his “client;” and some NPR analysts, a white lady who is shocked by the jury’s decision, and a Black man who is not at all. Judge Jeanine also interviews James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump, who plays Trumpian word association games. It’s serviceable but unremarkable. I would urge SNL‘s writers to use Johnson’s Trump sparingly. Keeping Former President Dingus in the public consciousness, even to mock him, gives him power, and we REALLY CAN’T AFFORD TO DO THAT RIGHT NOW.
Simu Liu’s monologue in which he talks about his journey to becoming a Marvel superhero is charming and disarming. I might not know who this guy is, but I already like him.
The set-up for this sketch is a long road, but the gist of it is, a karaoke bar is recapping recent karaoke performances, including “People Picking the Wrong Song,” “Guy Who It Seems Has Chosen the Wrong Song, But Wait a Second,” and “Cringe All-Stars.” In that last category, Liu is a “Finance Bro Trying to Get Laid,” and he is pretty great. Less great: Pete Davidson as “Neal The Quiet Guy in the Hoodie” who comes in every week and sings “Mad World,” but really it’s just a weird Adam Sandler impersonation? Also, I’m not saying some writer just re-watched Arrested Development, but the “Father and Daughter Singing ‘Pony'” suggests otherwise.
This Target ad has you covered for everything you’ll need this Thanksgiving to deal with your family, including tofu turkey, noise-canceling air buds, air mattresses, and wine. Lots of wine. All the wine. 10/10 can relate.
The most absurd sketch of the night features Liu as a general presenting the military’s newest weapon: Doghead Man, which is a human man’s body with a dog head. The Golden Retriever who serves as the “head” part of that equation refuses to cooperate, which leads to his co-stars breaking. It is equal parts delightful and stupid.
In tonight’s game show spoof, contestants are challenged to determine whether a person is “Republican or Not,” and honestly, it’s not as easy as it sounds. For instance: if someone thinks “Facebook is evil” or they “support Kaitlyn Jenner” or they are “the daughter of Dick Cheney,” are they Republican … or not?
Remember that song “Walking in Memphis?” From like 1991? Before some of you were born? It’s that song, except Pete Davidson sings about Staten Island, along with Method Man, the original “Walking in Memphis” singer Marc Cohn, and someone named “Big Wet.” It’s a mocking love letter to Staten Island, and I don’t hate it.
“Weekend Update” has plenty of material to work with this week, between Kyle Rittenhouse, the Build Back Better bill, and everything else that happened while Biden was having a colonoscopy. It’s fine.
Oh, God, Baby Yoda is back. People like this? I guess people like this. I do not.
“Mother Nature” also joins the Weekend Update desk to talk about climate change, and explain to her “children” that this is going to go two ways: either we help her or she’s going to kill us. She’s not kidding, y’all.
I think this is the fourth iteration of this “Baking Competition” sketch that follows a few recurring beats: one competitor does a bad job, another does a TERRIBLE job, one competitor does a good job, but is ignored by the judges, the TERRIBLE job’s baked goods horrifically come to life in some way, and then Kyle Mooney bakes an inappropriately sexual cake. And listen! It’s not a terrible formula. It’s just … maybe it’s time to retire it?
In this digital sketch, Simu Liu and Bowen Yang bond over being the first Asians to do something: the first Chinese Marvel superhero and the first Asian SNL cast member. It soon devolves into a competition, but Bowen has a trump card.
Finally, in this sketch which feels longer than it actually is, a bunch of nerdy literature professors smoke some pot and then call 911 in a panic because marijuana is stronger now and also because they’re olds. Eh.
Cut for time is this “Please Don’t Destroy” sketch in which the guys get plastic surgery since they’ll be spending more time on-screen.
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.