Amy Schumer and Cecily Strong make one last appeal to voters on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Amy Schumer & Steve Lacy
November 5, 2022

Back in 2016, Amy Schumer, depressed by the election results, took a break from her Comedy Central sketch comedy series, Inside Amy Schumer. She and the show are back as of this year — over on Paramount+ now — and to promote it/celebrate, she hosted the pre-midterm election episode of SNL this weekend.

And the crucial election was clearly on SNL‘s mind; the issue of abortion rights in particular, which Schumer touched upon in her monologue, and to which Cecily Strong devoted another impassioned “Weekend Update” segment, imploring voters to give a shit. Please give a shit.

Aside from the anxious political messages, the rest of the episode was hit-or-miss, with one-third of the sketches feeling like they could have been written for an episode of Inside Amy Schumer, and the other two-thirds being typical lazy SNL bits. I’m sure you can guess which of the two I preferred.

The evening opened with a completely limp political cold open in which President Biden introduces more exciting Democratic candidates to compete with the whack jobs on the right, including Guy Fieri for some reason, Stormy Daniels, and Tracy Morgan. The sketch, it is uninspired; the audience’s laughter, it is tepid.

Grade: C+

It’s been a few years since Amy Schumer hosted Saturday Night Live, but she’s back with a 6-minute monologue that touched on everything from giving birth, to married sex, to her autistic husband, to reminding everyone what hinges on this midterm election: women’s bodily autonomy. The bottom line is that comedians have the best SNL monologues because it’s their career, and Schumer here is no exception. 

Grade: A

The first sketch of the night features Schumer as a woman at a diner who is worried that she will come off insensitive if she eats a bowl of matzo ball soup while her friend has an emotional breakdown. It’s not the worst sketch I’ve ever seen, but it once again feels like a last sketch of the night that has been pushed to the top of the episode, and I have to wonder what’s going on with the scheduling this season.

Grade: B-

The first commercial spoof of the night is for a product that will give you 5 to 10 days vacation from life’s problems: COVID! and its sister product: An Always Positive Test!

True story: When I was pregnant with my second child, I looked forward to giving birth because it meant I would have at least one night in the hospital where I had, for some reason, convinced myself that I would get a good night’s sleep. (I did not.) This is sort of like that. I get it.

Grade: A+

In this bit, Schumer, Bowen Yang, and Sarah Sherman are jurors on a murder trial whose dramatic antics interrupt the proceedings. As any parent of a nine-year-old boy can tell you, it’s hard to pull off annoying and funny. This sketch does not do that.

Grade: B-

As everyone knows by now, Elon Musk has successfully bought Twitter, and is now attempting to single-handedly destroy anything and everything that works about the platform. One of his threats is that he will bring back users that had been previously banned. In this sketch, Twitter conducts a hearing to allow banned users to make their cases to be reinstated, including, of course, the Former Tweeter-in-Chief. There are some out there who are irritated that SNL is giving Former President Covfefe any oxygen whatsoever, but the real crime of this sketch is that it is truly unfunny, even while working with some very low-hanging fruit.

Grade: C

In this spoof of The Watcher, a letter-writer sends a family a series of letters describing their personal behaviors, including the wife and mother’s embarrassing habit of eating in the middle of the night, her constipation, and her, um, affection for The Property Brothers. It’s the first sketch of the night that feels like it would be equally at home on Inside Amy Schumer, and that’s not a bad thing.

Grade: A-

“Weekend Update” is one of the best bits of the night again this week, leaving aside Michael Che’s feminist baiting. The jokes at Dummy Jr., Kyrie Irving, and Fox News’ expense are particularly sharp.

Grade: A-

Ahead of tomorrow’s midterm elections, Cecily Strong returns to the ‘Weekend Update’ desk to talk about abortion under the guise of being a trucker who wants to talk about gas prices. While it’s not as brutally personal as her Goober the Clown appearance, it’s timely and important. If you haven’t already, please vote tomorrow as if a woman you love depends on it.

Grade: A+

Tailgating Jets fans are normal people one moment, and raging lunatics the second a fan of the other team walks by. As someone who was raised by a rabid sports fan, this hits too close to the bone.

Grade: B

The final commercial spoof of the night is for Pinx Period Underwear, which are designed to keep your period a secret from everyone except for all the neighborhood dogs and zoo animals. It comes in different flow sizes, including “light, super, and biblical.” This is another sketch that would feel right at home on Inside Amy Schumer, and again, that’s not a bad thing.

Grade: A-

A newbie news reporter is sent to the scene of a house fire where he interviews a bunch of hillbillies who want to show off for the cameras. The only remarkable thing about the bit is that SNL‘s resident redneck writer, Andrew Dismukes, isn’t credited for it.

Grade: B-

In this sketch, a man reveals to his girlfriend’s friends that he’s been attending therapy for men with big penises — except that it’s just normal therapy, his girlfriend convinced him to go by appealing to his man ego. The joke at the core of the sketch — that heterosexual men will only attend to their mental health issues if you appeal to their fragile masculinity — is dark and sadly kinda true, and much deeper than the bit itself which wears out its welcome pretty quickly.

Grade: B

The moment September 21 rolls around, a certain type of woman begins appearing on Instagram in her chunky sweaters, tall boots, and a big dumb hat.

You know her. And this sketch is a tribute to her. It veers into the absurd towards the end, but it still gets at a fundamental truth about her.

Grade: A-

Final Grade: B.

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

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