I wanted to love this episode. I love Tina Fey and believe that if anyone can wring out some genuine hilarity from this show, it is Mama Tina. However, if we’re all being honest with each other, the Saturday Night Live finale featuring Tina was a bit of a let-down. It wasn’t terrible — or even bad! — but it wasn’t the consistently funny and revelatory episode I was hoping for, either.
Don’t get me wrong: there were some terrific moments. Tina managed to find a way to bring her amazing Sarah Palin impersonation back and make it (kinda) politically relevant; and her attempts to join the cast of Mean Girls is a master class is self-deprecation. But the rest of the episode felt … anticipatory … like we were all waiting for something genuinely hilarious to happen … and it never quite did.
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.
While we all wait for that tweet, let’s discuss the fact that even though one of the reasons so many people tuned in last night was to watch Trump be skewered, Saturday Night Live buried their only Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump sketch in the back end of the episode. It wasn’t a bad sketch — playing off a joke set up in the cold open that Trump would see the 9th Circuit Judges in People’s Court, the bit was as funny if not funnier than a lot of the Baldwin as Trump cold opens. So why put the one thing that everyone tuned in for so late in the episo– oh, wait. I just answered my own question.