SNL Weekly Review: October 8, 2016 by Dylan Zsigray ’18

SNL Weekly Review: October 8, 2016 by Dylan Zsigray 18


This week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda and featuring musical guest Twenty-One Pilots was really good.  Miranda was such a great host and it showed.  A lot of the sketches featured in this week’s episode were unique and really well executed.  This episode was definitely an improvement from the season opener, which is understandable because all the kinks had to be worked out.  However, I think that the host plays a large role in the success of the episode and Miranda helped to make this episode good.  Below is my review of this week’s episode.

Scoring Breakdown for Sketches

Note: The scoring system has been revised since the first episode.

“SUPERSTAR” Sketch: 10 points

“I gotta have more cowbell” Sketches: 8 points

“Well, isn’t that special” Sketches: 6 or 4 points

“Buh-bye” Sketches: 2 points

The above scores will be applied to each sketch in the categories and then will be averaged to get an score for the show.

“SUPERSTAR!” (The Best Sketch of the Night)

“VP Debate Cold Open”: This sketch was really good… like really good.  One of my complaints about last week’s cold open was that it seemed like both Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon were very reserved in their portrayals of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively.  This was not the case this week.  Both Baldwin and McKinnon portrayed Trump and Clinton really well.  They stretched their boundaries and it made the sketch that much more fun to watch.  I laughed constantly during this sketch and it was definitely my favorite out of all of the sketches from this week’s show. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Hillary Clinton party every once in awhile.

Score: 10 points

“I gotta have more cowbell!” (Good Sketches)

“A Day Off”: I have no doubt that this is how Kellyanne Conway, portrayed by Kate McKinnon, spends her day off.  This sketch felt really realistic and it was executed in a fun and unique manner.  I really liked how the writers looped in Trump’s constant mentions in the news cycle after he says something idiotic or controversial.  This is the society that we live in currently and it was fun to see it portrayed.

Score: 8 points

“Crucible Class Party”: This sketch was allusive to a stellar sketch from Season 39, which featured most of the same female cast members.  I really liked this sketch and thought that it encompassed the awkwardness of cast parties, along with that happens at them.  I think that the sketch also did a good job of portraying the 21st century theater teenager.

Score: 8 points

“Diego Calls His Mom”: This sketch was really unique! I think that it encompasses all the experiences a new immigrant to the US has, especially in a state like North Dakota, which is hardly ever in the news.  Also, I really liked the simplicity of the set in this sketch and Miranda played a very convincing and overly excited immigrant who thinks that every part of North Dakota, including its carpet, is amazing.

Score: 8 points

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Monologue: I thought that Miranda’s monologue was good.  I enjoyed his rap and I really like it when the viewer is brought backstage and behind the scenes of the studio.  By doing this, I think that it gives the viewer a perception of how many people are involved in making the show and in this case, gives the viewers a glimpse into some of the traditions hosts participate in.

Score: 8 points

“Weekend Update”: This week’s Weekend Update was really good.  Michael Che and Colin Jost continue to have good chemistry and are consistently producing a good product each week.  I thoroughly enjoyed their analysis of the recent Trump comments in the news and I thought that they added humor to a controversial situation for most really well.  I enjoy it when Pete Davidson is a guest on Weekend Update because he tells it like it is and he delivers his lines really well.  Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon also returning to portray two suburban Pennsylvanian women was probably my favorite moment of Weekend Update because of how much I love Fey and Fallon and because they accurately portrayed basically every suburban woman trying to decide which candidate to vote for.

Score: 8 points

“Well, isn’t that special” (Hit or Miss Sketches)

“Campfire”: This sketch was okay.  I enjoyed how Vanessa Bayer and Kyle Mooney interacted in the sketch and it was funny to see Miranda and Cecily Strong react.  But apart from that, I did not understand the point of the sketch, aside from alluding to a weird sibling relationship between Bayer and Mooney.

Score: 4 points

“Stranger Things”: To be honest, I’ve never seen Stranger Things, but it’s on my list to watch in the near future.  However, even with a minimal understanding of the show, I understood what was going on.  Leslie Jones was good in this sketch and it was funny to see more and more characters from the show being portrayed, especially Kate McKinnon’s character, who ate frozen Eggo waffles.  It reminded me of someone from my own family.

Score: 6 points

“Buh-bye” (Bad Sketches)

“Substitute Teacher”: I think that this sketch could have been better.  I got the concept of it: a substitute teacher who is just like all other substitute teachers, but I don’t think it was executed the best.  There was not really anything going on in the sketch that made it stand out.

Score: 2 points

“Wells Fargo Wagon”: Once again, I understood what the sketch was referencing, but in my opinion, it’s really hard to make humor about a topic like Wells Fargo.  I mean, they committed financial fraud but it was by creating bank accounts that no one needed.  It’s sort of a boring topic and I think that it showed in this sketch.  No one in the sketch seemed to enjoy acting in it.  Perhaps the writers could have gone in a different direction, but I think that this sketch should have been cut.

Score: 2 points

“WWII Scene”: Being the last sketch of the show, I believe that it was just put in as a time filler.  I didn’t really care for this sketch and similar to the substitute teacher sketch, there was no substance at all.  I didn’t understand the point of it and became confused as to where the plot was actually going.

Score: 2 points

Next week, Emily Blunt will be hosting with musical guest Bruno Mars.  I’m really excited to see if SNL can continue building on the momentum that it already has after the first two episodes of the season.

Average Score for Episode 2 – Lin-Manuel Miranda (out of 10 points): 6 points

Dylan’s Ranking of the Episodes:

  1. Lin-Manuel Miranda
  2. Margot Robbie