Saturday Night Live
December 11, 2021
Wanna feel old? Billie Eilish is the first person to host Saturday Night Live that was born in this century because SHE IS NOT EVEN 20 YET. She is literally younger than one of my children, and now I have to go lie down for a while.
Anyway, despite her youth and relative inexperience acting in front of live audiences, the singer was a very good first-time host: enthusiastic and game and genuinely funny. She had moments of wobbliness, but who wouldn’t. Overall the episode was the strongest of the season, not because the sketches were particularly hilarious, but instead because there weren’t any real duds that dragged the whole thing down. Also, after being missing for the first seven episodes, our girl Kate McKinnon is back and firing on all cylinders. Now promise you’re not going to disappear on us again, Kate. We obviously need you.
Kate McKinnon is back! And her Dr. Fauci opens the show with helpful scenes to help Americans negotiate another COVID holiday season, including going to a restaurant and flying. The sketch also takes shots at the Cuomo brothers, Ted Cruz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor-Greene — though having the lovely Cecily Strong play Taylor-Greene is a serious upgrade that she has not earned.
19-year-old Billie Eilish makes jokes about her baggie clothes, the fact that her mother made a movie about her life and failed to include Billie, and takes a shot at 16-year-old Colin Jost.
A couple’s Christmas cards come to life in this sketch, revealing their backstories, like their “super white, super Christian neighbors” and their gay friends with a gross old dog. Miley Cyrus pops in for a cameo, and Billie Eilish settles into the acting portion of her role here with remarkable ease.
TikTok is a weird place full of weird people doing weird things, as evidenced in this tour of a teens’ TikTok feed. It’s a clever bit that veers away from typical SNL sketch formats, though I also feel like it might have given me ADD.
A pair of dance instructors organize a “Hip-Hop Nativity Scene,” which involves Joseph doing a pimp walk, the Baby Jesus twerking and Heidi Gardner spinning on a candy cane stripper pole. There is no point, there is no end, everything is meaningless.
I don’t know if you remember an ad from the early COVID lockdown days in which a young girl befriends her elderly lady neighbor through their apartment windows by writing messages to one another, but it was typical heart-string-pulling pablum. That ad is referenced here in the best bit of the night, in which Eilish invites her elderly neighbor played by Kate McKinnon over to her apartment for Christmas dinner, only to discover that the old lady is a literal monster. Dark, funny, and weird, and it serves as a good reminder of how much we’ve missed McKinnon.
“Weekend Update” is fine, but the whole “Che is such a misogynist ~WINK!~” bits are becoming a bit old.
Punkie Johnson discusses visiting her family over the holidays, and her plans to raise her future children as lesbians. It’s fine.
Andrew Dismukes does an animal segment in which an octopus is supposed to pick the winner of an upcoming football game but instead predicts something very dire for his handler, Andy. There is a lot of horror in this week’s episode, and I’m here for it.
Eilish is a 50s-style crooner who, backed up by McKinnon and Nwodim, sings about how they’ve made it “weird” with Santa in their encounters with the big guy. And not “weird” as in “sexy,” just weird as in weird. It’s a funny song and another reminder that the kid can really sing.
Kyle Mooney plays Kyle Mooney, begging for someplace to spend the holidays only to reveal his seething hatred of Mikey Day. This one didn’t get on my nerves as much as some Mooney pieces, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I liked it, either.
The final sketch of the night is a brutally honest ad for a mid-priced “Courtyard” hotel highlighting every comfort “required by law” including stained furniture, wet egg buffet, and questionable busboys. Kate McKinnon takes another scalp for her “Making the Host Break” wall.
The Please Don’t Destroy guys are back with a vision of themselves from the future in this cut for time sketch:
Also cut for time is Aristotle Athari’s Angelo, international singing sensation, back for the second time this season with backup from Billie Eilish’s
Oh, and did I mention that Billie can sing? Because Billie can SANG.
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC