Zsigray’s Take: SNL Review, Week 5

I went into Tiffany Haddish’s episode of Saturday Night Live with feelings of uncertainty, for many reasons. First, I had never heard of Haddish before in the world of elite Hollywood celebrities. Second, Haddish starred in a movie called Girls Trip, a movie where the title does not match the plot in anyway whatsoever. Girls Trip denotes a movie about girls constantly tripping in public, Girls’ Trip denotes a movie about a vacation taken by a group of girls. So, this did not give me much hope either. But, I must say, Haddish’s episode exceeded my expectations. Although there were people in my circle who 100% disagree with me, I think that Haddish’s episode was one of the best I have seen this season. Now, the bar was quite low, especially after the disaster of Larry David’s episode last week, but hey, we are making progress. Anyways, here is my review of this past weekend’s episode of SNL.

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

“Message from the DNC”: This sketch was one of the best satirical sketches that I have seen in a very, very long time. There were so many elements in play with this sketch, from the banter between Nancy Pelosi (Kate McKinnon), Diane Feinstein (Cecily Strong), and Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat) to the cameo appearance of Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis) and Hillary Clinton (McKinnon). But, even with all of the elements involved, the sketch worked. It was hilarious and truly highlighted just how out of touch the Democrats are out of touch with society. Strong’s Feinstein was just so on point that I could not stop laughing. I really enjoyed this sketch and I will continue to watch it more, up to when Mark Cuban runs for President.

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

“Get Woke with Tamika”: I normally find Leslie Jones very annoying, but in this sketch, she was quite funny. I would totally watch this show! Jones owned the character of being an inept, yet defensive program host and her interactions with Aidy Bryant’s character were hilarious. I wish that the show gave Jones more roles like these rather than her shouting matches on Weekend Update.

“Tournament Fighter”: There was really no point to this sketch beside for comedic humor. But, gosh it was really funny. Boo Boo Jeffries would be the worst video game character to use but her incorporation of “The Rhianna” and “The Beyoncé” to participate in a fighting game, where her biggest weakness is fighting, was hilarious to watch. I nearly fell over laughing when she threatened to “Mark” someone and a husband named Mark comes out. It is good to have just a silly sketch once in awhile. It lightens the mood.

“Weekend Update”: This episode featured once again a stellar edition of Weekend Update.  I actually think this was one of the best editions that I have watched in awhile. Michael Che and Colin Jost were spectacular and their interactions with the characters, like Strong’s Human Resources Officer, were hilarious. I will continue to say that Che and Jost have filled the void that Seth Meyers left upon his departure years ago. I am very impressed.

“Whiskers R We”: I love this series of sketches. McKinnon just plays the role of an overly-energetic cat saleswoman so well. Her partner (every host that is on the show) and McKinnon together have great chemistry each time, which makes the sketch work. This edition was no exception and what made it funnier was the improv that Haddish had to continue employing due to the feline friends constantly trying to escape from their bin. I am glad that the wrote this sketch in. McKinnon and Haddish knocked it out of the park.

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

“Beck and Kyle”: There has been this ongoing joke ever since Jones joined the cast that she is romantically involved with Kyle Mooney. This joke has been resurfaced time after time and since we all know that it is not true (Jones and Mooney have not raised a child together), it gets tiresome. Sure, I understand how sad Bennett must feel since he “lost” his best friend, but to make entire sketches out of this time after time is not necessary. I will say though, the masquerade ball scene was very funny and it was great to see show creator Lorne Michaels come in just to punch Jost like crazy.

“Lion King Auditions”: One of my colleagues provided his opinion of this sketch and I happen to agree with him. When SNL creates a sketch with only impressions, it obviously is done to fill a hole with no actual sketch in it. Regardless of the intent behind this sketch, some of the intentions were funny.  But it definitely is not one that I will remember for years to come.

“Roy Moore and Jeff Sessions Cold Open”: Well, would you look at that. If you do not put Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) in a Cold Open sketch the quality of the cold open instantly skyrockets. It is not like I have anything against Baldwin’s Trump impression, but it only works in small doses. When it appears week after week (as it has), it gets tiring. In regards to this sketch, I enjoyed part of it. The initial interaction between Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) and Moore (Mikey Day) was laconic and unenjoyable, but when Jeff Sessions (McKinnon) came in, it was hilarious. Her interaction with her “possum-dad” was very funny and wonderfully written. I am enjoying this possum motif and I think it works in characterizing SNL’s Sessions.

“The Dolphin Who Learned to Speak”: This sketch has its high points but overall it was just weirdly uncomfortable. The concept was weird and the actual actions shown in the sketch were uncomfortable to watch. But, I did enjoy the fact that Bryant and McKinnon embraced their roles and really gave this sketch their all. It was just quirky and weird.

“Buh-bye” (Bad Sketches)

“The Last Black Unicorn”: This sketch was so forced on everyone’s part. Although the audience laughed, the laughter was forced since the jokes did not mesh well. So even if there is one black unicorn in the world, I could care less after seeing the quality of this sketch.

Hopefully, SNL uses the momentum of Haddish’s episode heading into this weekend’s episode hosted by Chance the Rapper.

Dylan’s Ranking of the Episodes [1 (lowest quality) – 5 (highest quality)]

  1. Gal Gadot (★★★★)
  2. Tiffany Haddish (★★★★)
  3. Kumail Nanjiani (★★★★)
  4. Ryan Gosling (★★★)
  5. Larry David (★★★)Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 2.34.24 PM