Saturday Night Live
Paul Rudd & Charli XCS
December 18, 2021
Thanks to this fucking virus that will never go away, Saturday Night Live had to very suddenly sorta-but-not-really cancel its final episode of the year in what feels like a metaphor for the whole 2021 holiday season. The episode, which was supposed to be Paul Rudd’s entry into the five-timers club still happened, but instead of a live production performed in front of a studio audience, the show consisted of a few new filmed pieces set amidst a bunch of classic Christmas sketches from years past. Each sketch was introduced by Rudd, Tom Hanks, and Tina Fey with assists from the only cast members on hand, Kenan Thompson and Michael Che, while a skeleton crew chuckled in the dark. It was weird, it was awkward, it was kinda sad, but God bless them for making the best they could out of a shitty situation. It’s really all any of us can do at this point.
Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of “Saturday Night Live” and the show will have limited cast and crew.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 18, 2021
The cold open was the monologue which wasn’t actually a monologue because everything is a goddamned mess. But that’s OK! Tom Hanks and Tina Fey present Paul Rudd with his honorary Five-Timers robe (or Four-and-a-Half-Timers robe as Kenan Thompson jokes when he gives him the robe), with a hilarious congratulatory video message from Steve Martin and Martin Short.
In this bit, Rudd directs a commercial from HomeGoods in which two mothers reveal what they really want for Christmas: grandchildren. It’s a one-joke bit, but Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant are terrific, as usual, and manage to land it.
Pete Davidson stars in this next video as an older version of himself who is still pathetically performing his “Weekend Update” bits with a robotic Colin Jost in a dinner theater. Rudd co-stars as the SNL writer who actually wrote all of Pete’s bits for him, and even came up with the idea of making him a sex symbol. It’s a very melancholy piece and … and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but … Pete Davidson shows some real acting chops here? What is even happening?
Because the Colin robot was out for repairs, Tina Fey reads the “Weekend Update” jokes with Michael Che, to an audience of Tom Hanks, Paul Rudd, and Kenan Thompson. The jokes aren’t great, but everyone seems to be having a great time, so good for them!
So Patton Oswalt has a very famous bit mocking a treacly Christian song, “The Christmas Shoes,” and if you haven’t watched the animated version of it, do so now. I assure you it will be a much better use of your time than watching the video below which also mocks “The Christmas Shoes.” This sketch is nonsensical and not funny, but it’s also long, and maybe the worst sketch of the season.
As for the classic SNL sketches that they dug up from the archives, please enjoy:
Dick in a Box
Santa & The Elves
The Global Warming Christmas Special
Steve Martin’s Holiday Wish
North Pole News Report
Adult One Direction Fan
Now That’s What I Call Christmas
Christmastime for the Jews
Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.