John Mulaney hosts one of the strongest ‘Saturday Night Live’ of the season. Can we keep him? PLEASE?

Saturday Night Live
John Mulaney & Jack White
April 14, 2018

The adorable and hilarious John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live last night, and while every sketch didn’t land, it was still a light and fun return home for the former SNL writer. Of course, it might not be entirely fair to compare Mulaney to his fellow hosts — oh, did the comedian and comedy writer who used to write for the very show he is currently hosting and therefore knows what works and what doesn’t work and how to deliver even a weak joke to get a laugh, did that guy do a better job of hosting than a movie actor who has never done live television before? YOU DON’T SAY.

Still, it’s hosts like Mulaney or Bill Hader or Will Ferrell who make me wish they’d just do away with any guest host who isn’t an experienced comedian already. Because, I swear to God, if they bring Charles Barkley back one more time …

Continue reading “John Mulaney hosts one of the strongest ‘Saturday Night Live’ of the season. Can we keep him? PLEASE?”

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Chadwick Boseman’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ debut was thisclose to being a great episode. But then …

Saturday Night Live
Chadwick Boseman & Cardi B.
April 7, 2018

First, let me be clear, my complaints about Chadwick Boseman’s episode of Saturday Night Live have nothing to do with Chadwick Boseman. The handsome and charismatic star of Black Panther was funny and charming and, it turns out, does a remarkably good R. Kelly. And the truth is because there were several very strong sketches in this episode, including both commercial spoofs and another episode of “Black Jeopardy,” I’m going to remember this episode as being one of the strongest of the season. This, despite having possibly one of the worst-written sketches of the season, and several just very mediocre ones. The worst sketch of the night still wasn’t as bad as one where the alien had a butt for a face and a face for his butt, but it was a close second. Small blessings, I suppose.

Continue reading “Chadwick Boseman’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ debut was thisclose to being a great episode. But then …”

Bill Hader was great on ‘Saturday Night Live’ to the surprise of exactly no one.

Saturday Night Live
Bill Hader & Arcade Fire
March 17, 2018

Veteran Not Ready for Primetime Player, Bill Hader, returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend ahead of the premiere of his new HBO series, Barry, and (for the most part) he was a God damned delight. Hader revisited a number of his classic characters, including Stefon, Devon of “The Californians,” and a number of his celebrity impersonations. (Personally, I would have swapped out Devon for Vincent Price, but 1. that bit is not the same without Kristin Wiig’s wackiness and 2. I am well aware that I am in the minority there.) The rest of the night was a mixed bag, with only one or two sour notes which had more to do with the writers depending too heavily on Hader’s talent for wacky voices and not delivering actually funny material. Alien sketch, I’m lookin’ at you.

Anyway, go ahead and schedule Hader for sometime next season, Lorne, because I already want him to come back.

Continue reading “Bill Hader was great on ‘Saturday Night Live’ to the surprise of exactly no one.”

Sterling K. Brown is really funny! Too bad his ‘Saturday Night Live’ wasn’t.

Saturday Night Live
Sterling Brown & James Bay
March 10, 2018

Look, this episode aired almost 10 days ago, and I’m only writing about it because I can’t stand for things to be incomplete. So I’m going to keep this super brief: Sterling K. Brown has great comedic talents, he was let down by the writing in this episode, the end.

Continue reading “Sterling K. Brown is really funny! Too bad his ‘Saturday Night Live’ wasn’t.”

Charles Barkley’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ was really not great and I AM VERY CRANKY

Saturday Night Live
Charles Barkley & Migos
March 3, 2018

Let me begin by saying that I am VERY CRANKY. I am suffering through the second cold in as many weeks, I don’t feel good, I can’t stop coughing and my head feels like it’s filled with cotton balls. So that might be why I did not enjoy last night’s Saturday Night Live, hosted by Charles Barkley for reasons that are still unclear. Is he in a movie? Is he selling a book? Is he running for office? Or is he just a random retired NBA player who now analyzes games who happens to be buddies with Lorne Michaels?

Or, alternatively, I didn’t like the episode because it wasn’t good. Maybe I didn’t enjoy the episode because there wasn’t a single sketch that was actually good, a sketch that mitigated all of the mediocre and outright bad sketches. Maybe I didn’t enjoy it because CHARLES BARKLEY CAN’T ACT. Maybe that was it.

A couple of programming notes: 1. NBC has apparently made all of their videos unwatchable outside of YouTube for reasons that are bullshit. The videos are still embedded below, but if you want to watch them, you’ll have to follow the link to YouTube. 2. I probably won’t have next week’s (or the week after that, if they have an episode then) up for a while. SORRY NOT SORRY.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell — like I said, I’m wearing my crankypants today.

Continue reading “Charles Barkley’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ was really not great and I AM VERY CRANKY”

Natalie Portman hosts a roller coaster of a ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Natalie Portman & Dua Lipa
February 4, 2018

Natalie Portman returned to host Saturday Night Live for the first time since 2006, and she was given exactly two very good sketches, a bunch of mediocre crap, and one sketch that was so bad, I think there is a chance it might have been intended as a meta joke on bad sketches. That or it literally needs to be hung up in the Worst Sketches of All Time hall of fame because oh my God it was that bad.

So bad.

Just … terrible.

Like, did they have a bunch of fourth graders visit the studio and then did they invite them to write a sketch and then they felt like they had to perform it because they didn’t want to disappoint a bunch of little kids?

Is one of the lesser writers dying of cancer and this was his dying wish, to have this sketch performed?

Were there terrorists in the building, holding a gun to Lorne Michaels’ head and forcing the show to do this sketch?

Is Saturday Night Live being used as a vehicle to disseminate secret messages to our spies abroad and this sketch was an important code to ensure global security?

Or did the writers think the sketch was so stupid as to come back around to being funny?

Because if so, they were sorely mistaken. Woof. Continue reading “Natalie Portman hosts a roller coaster of a ‘Saturday Night Live’”

Will Ferrell makes everything better on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Will Ferrell & Chris Stapleton
January 27, 2018

I love Will Ferrell.

The man is a big sweet doofy comic genius who makes everything that he touches funnier. There’s an argument to be made that he helped saved Saturday Night Live when he joined the cast in 1995, and he certainly saved what could have been a mediocre episode last night. None of the sketches from this week’s episode are going to be remembered as classics, but Ferrell’s presence added that extra level of goofy zaniness that elevated the episode as a whole. I’m unclear on why Lorne Michaels doesn’t make Ferrell hosting an annual thing. This sentiment also applies to Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. In fact, maybe Saturday Night Live should just join in on this whole reboot fad in television and reassemble their season 27 cast.

Continue reading “Will Ferrell makes everything better on ‘Saturday Night Live’”