Swallowing Gum and Taking Names

        Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy ALL in Studio 8H

The closest understanding I have to what it is like to be a fan of a sports team is being a fan of Saturday Night Live. The players change, they have seasons, you still cheer for them when they suck and you’re oddly really proud of them when they don’t suck. So I knew that no matter what happened on Super Bowl Sunday, my team was doing pretty freaking great.

This past season of Saturday Night Live has been exceptional. There have been a few duds(as with any season) but not the most recent one! The most recent episode with host, Kristen Stewart was excellent. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

Set Photos: Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara

Oval Office Open

When the “Grab em by the pussy” video was leaked before the election, I applauded SNL writers for changing the cold open despite the news breaking within 48 hours of the show going live. Now I applaud the writers for somehow managing to cover a vast array of political content but still narrowing it to one or two points. The Cold Open had two focus points

  1. Steve Bannon’s power in the Trump administration
  2. Trump’s disastrous phone call with Australia.

Those were the focus points. Steve Bannon (AS THE GRIM REAPER BECAUSE SNL HAS NO CHILL ANYMORE) enters the Oval Office and encourages Trump to call various world leaders. This way the writers were still able to make jokes about Trump’s family, the wall, the travel ban and the Holocaust Remembrance statement. It was brilliantly done. Also, Kenan Thompsen as the President of Zimbabway deserves a lot of attention. I had to rewatch the rest of the sketch because I missed it due to laughing too hard.

Set Photos: Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara

Monologue

Monologues either go one of four ways:

  1. Stand-up (ex: Louie C.K., Aziz Ansari, Dave Chapelle, ect).
  2. Host sings a song. (ex: Lin Manuel Miranda “My Shot” parody)
  3. Host heavily relies on SNL cast members to carry the weight of the monologue (ex:Felicity Jones monologue ft. Tina Fey).
  4. Host has a creative and topical monologue (ex: Tom Hanks as America’s Dad)

Kristen Stewart was in category 4. I was really impressed by her monologue. If you’ve followed Saturday Night Live, you know that while a host will fit into one of the four categories, they are not necessarily good. But Kristen Stewart’s monologue was topical, funny, and it had a good flow. It also ended with her slipping up and dropping the F-bomb, and her reaction was priceless.

Set Photos: Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara

Celebrity Family Feud: Superbowl Edition

The game-show sketch format is not new for SNL. The most successful game show sketches are Jeopardy based, Secret Word and Family Feud based sketches. This sketch focused on various celebrity fans of The Falcons and The Patriots for Super Bowl Sunday. I love Family Feud sketches because you get to see the cast member’s best impressions. Like, Kate McKinnon as Justin Beiber or Leslie Jones as Samuel L. Jackson. These sketches are almost all about showing off impression skills and this cast has the skills.

Set Photos: Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara

Sean Spicer Press Conference

I typically watch Saturday Night Live on Sunday afternoon. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw a picture of Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. I had no idea that it was Melissa McCarthy until I saw an article about the sketch. I also had NO IDEA how badly I needed Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. The sketch addressed topics that had been in the Cold Open and a few others like Betsy Devos, the use of the word “ban” in the travel ban and calling CNN “fake news”. It addressed these topics through ridiculous comedy and it was fantastic.

Also,

Radical Moose-Lambs.

Set Photos: Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara

Weekend Update 

This past episode had only one guest, Kenan Thompsen as David Ortiz. While amusing (as always), Jost and Che had some fantastic jokes. The following are my favorites:

Colin Jost: The White House responded to criticism of the travel ban by saying they’re not banning Muslims, they’re just banning people from seven Muslim majority nations.Which is sort of like saying, “We’re not banning white people, we’re just banning people who love La La Land.” 

Michael Che: Isn’t it kinda funny that Groundhog Day starts the second day of Black History Month? Just one day of learning about Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks and we’re like, “Oh yeah yeah yeah that’s pretty co-Oh look, a groundhog!”

Kristen Stewart and Alessia Cara Bumper Photos
©2017/Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

 

I chose my personal favorite five sketches/moments from the February 4th episode. But this was one of those SNL episodes where almost every sketch was great. You can watch these highlights as well as the rest of the episode on nbc.com or on the SNL app.

Featured and content images copyrighted Will Heath/NBC

Final image copyrighted Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

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