I wasn’t planning on recapping last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live because I turned it off a minute into the Weekend Update portion. I woke up thinking everyone felt the same way I did, that it was another mediocre episode of the show, but then this and this happened and I’m very confused. Did we watch the same episode?
The show opened with a spectacularly unfunny cold-open and monologue from Melissa McCarthy. The cold open was not her fault and it was so terrible I’m not going to spend any time on it except to acknowledge Dennis Rodman’s WTF cameo. I will spend some time on that monologue, though. What was the point of the monologue? What was the punch line? Was it her falling because if so it wasn’t funny and it was an exhausting trip to the punch line. Melissa McCarthy is more committed to a joke than anyone, but she couldn’t sell me that bit (and the rest of the episode). Like, the shoes were too big and she couldn’t walk was the joke? I DON’T GET IT. And I LIVE to see people falling down/physical humor but this monologue didn’t have a point. Someone’s “exuberance” can only get them so far, the material has to hold up as well and maybe I “didn’t get” the jokes but they didn’t hit. I’m just happy that, for the most part, it wasn’t another song and dance.
I wasn’t ready to write off the episode just yet because I usually hold out some hope that the first real sketch right after the monologue will truly determine if an episode that started off shaky can turn it around. This was not the case with the also terrible opening sketch. The strongest sketch is usually used first and if that was the best they had last night, they must have all shot their loads with the Timberlake episode. The Basketball Coach sketch wasn’t as weak as the cold open or monologue but that doesn’t mean it made me laugh. I got the joke and I did like the character because it reminded me not only how talented McCarthy is but how strong of a character actress she is. Her characters are just a different variation of the same person, sure, but there is a lot of depth to them and they’re very specific and I loved that. But, again, this sketch did nothing for me.
If you’ve been following my SNL recaps for a while you know that I’ve been absolutely yearning for the show to mock The Voice and last night it finally happened. Unfortunately, it came at a time where the show lost two of it’s most comical judges: Christina & Cee-Lo. McKinnon’s Shakira-impression was fine but expected, and I would’ve loved to have seen her tackle Christina. Obviously Keenan busted out his Cee-Lo but it came too late in the sketch. God, Hader is f-cking talented, right? He absolutely nailed Adam’s voice, it was scary. Jay’s impression of Usher was good but missing something and Sudeikis’ Blake Shelton impression was incredibly weak.
The “strongest” moment of the night came from the tape piece about the washroom office. Maybe it’s because this kind of thing is a running joke at my workplace, but I loved it and thought it was incredibly on point and hilarious. I also kind-of enjoyed the Ham sketch, but again, the big joke seemed to be missing which seems to have been the point in these original sketches with original characters, BUT STILL. Weekend Update wasn’t as strong as always, and especially so for me as I find Drunk Uncle incredibly unfunny, with or without Peter Dinklage.
The rest of the episode seemed to follow the same “weirdness” as it began with, and the same amount of unfunniness. It just didn’t do it for me. I absolutely loved McCarthy’s SNL when she hosted the first time, but the weirdness of her characters took over this episode and the funny was forgotten.