We are in a mega-holiday weekend (Ramadan, Passover and Easter) and for people for whom music is a religion, Coachella? Anyway. How would this third straight new episode of Saturday Night Live look at the holidays and the news of the week?
What is the market for SNL Cold open for last night (4/16/22)?
We start off promising, as the first thing we see is Bowen Yang in an Easter Bunny costume. Cuter than Ralphie on Christmas morning in A Christmas story! Could this be as fun as his vision of the iceberg that sank the Titanic (also this week! oooh, the timing of it all). He teases us by filling in the missing bunny story: “Who is he?” Does this Easter bunny make mushrooms at Coachella? And then, as fast as the cold open would have us hoping, the rug is ripped out of us, because it’s…yet again…another catch-all cold open that crams so many disparate elements of the news into a single sketch. So Dr. Fauci (Kate McKinnon) jokes that COVID cases, like Jesus Christ, “they’ve risen,” but he’s not going to pray for the unvaccinated. Georgia MP Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong) holds a chocolate gun while worried that pastel colors will make Easter too gay. New York City Mayor Eric Adams (Chris Redd) brags about how the NYPD “caught” this week’s subway shooter.
You know a skit is dying on red vines when the audience is sitting on their hands waiting for cast members to announce who they are. Mikey Day’s Elon Musk surpassed Elon Musk as well. Chloe Fineman has already opened the show as Britney Spears, but the crowd didn’t feel it this time until she turned around and said what’s up with Brit Brit? Jesus Christ! No, wait, that’s Kyle Mooney as Jared Leto, because, uh, Morbius? The Kids’ Choice Awards? Leto’s Jesus complex?
And not knowing how to leave on their own well enough, they again trotted Trump so that James Austin Johnson could vamp, earning genuine laughs at non-sequences such as “SeaBiscuit and I eat cookies”. He also claims credit for declaring the pandemic to be over by Easter. “I just didn’t say which one.”
How the SNL Guest host Lizzo Do?
Lizzo has already played on SNL in December 2019 when Eddie Murphy made his comeback as host.
She hosts/stars in a new reality competition dance show on Amazon Prime Video, Lizzo watch out for big grrrls, and released a new album. In her monologue, she promised to set a record for the number of times “bitch” was uttered on live TV, even though she hates swearing in front of her mom, and hey mom! Lizzo’s mother is in the audience. Turns out Lizzo’s actual DNA test came back and “I’m really like 50% that bitch, 10% boss bitch, and 40% flute, nerd bitch in the band.”
Even more comforting? She reminds us that anything is possible because she once lived out of her car.
Lizzo played a stripper in Hustlers, but she’s also proven she can hang out with comedians on a live TV show most of all. I say mostly because she started to giggle a little a few times, but mostly she was having so much fun, it helped drive a few sketches to the finish line.
First, another game show at the start of the episode. Kenan Thompson hosts “Guess That!” as Clint Litoris (really? really), who is a basic trivia gamer, only things go awry once Lizzo mistakenly calls JFK airport Robert Kennedy airport. She wants partial credit or cash. Something! She threatens to quit the game, accuses the host of gaslighting her, and eventually the other contestants (Ego Nwodim and Chris) participate in the act of breaking the rules. Once even the show crew turns on Clint, putting -$100 on his screen, he gives up. What makes Lizzo’s character “the new mayor of Gametown!”
SNL really wants to get in on the TikTok action. They launched a special campaign tonight offering a TikTok Live with behind-the-scenes footage during Lizzo’s monologue, and for the second time, they pushed a bunch of ideas into a TikTok experience. It all goes a little too fast at times, but we see Kate as a grandmother scared of a car horn, Chris poking fun at TI’s stand-up comedy debut, Andrew Dismukes in cat makeup explaining Ukraine? Bowen does this viral cover of “Tom’s Diner,” and Lizzo happens to swear while laughing with Sarah Sherman, then later returns to lip-sync to jump on the trend.
Sarah Sherman started to make quite an impression as herself behind the desk in the Weekend Update, but for the second week of this month she introduced a wacky idea in the first half of ‘a episode. Last time she played Chucky from Child’s play. This time it was “the guy from Six Flags” from the TV commercials who danced and danced. But also this guy is Lizzo’s grandfather? It’s a thing to deal with on his (Mikey) first date; quite another when his grandmother (Ego) is also “a Six Flags guy”, as well as all their friends (Kate, Kyle, Aristotle Athari). Somehow this sketch was losing momentum as it filled with Six Flags guys, though Lizzo managed to save it in the end.
Lizzo also jumped into the ‘please don’t destroy’ room for one of their videos, begging them to feature her two new songs since she had nothing to play this week? The boys save her from certain death at the hands of Andrew Dismukes with their idea of a horny zookeeper, which leads into a playful and colorful music video.
Lizzo became much more comfortable with Andrew in two later sketches. The first, which is set in ancient Egypt in 2000 BC, has Cecily and Bowen somehow wearing modern helmets and coordinating the next party/orgy for the God King. Andrew plays the tender boy to Lizzo’s sultry wife. Kenan wears a snake around his neck. Mikey will blow fire in people’s faces when they enter. Aidy Bryant has rotten teeth and a sinister laugh to scare them away. Aristotle will play loud, abrasive music. Alex Moffat, Ego and Sarah are the only real participants in the orgy, but Chris will fan them while standing proudly naked. Kate arrives late with a goat. Kyle will play modesty. Finally, when Punkie introduces the God King, it’s…well, one of those big edits for a little finish.
How relevant was musical guest Lizzo?
Lizzo released the first single from her upcoming album on Friday. And she performed this song for the first time on the show. “About the fucking time” is correct. The song had flute twerking, dancing, and backup dancers. Were there any dancers from his Prime Video show, right? Please don’t @ me for not knowing the answer immediately!
For Lizzo’s second new song, Lizzo’s mom made it even more “special” by introducing it.
Which sketch will we share: “Black Eyed Peas”
This sketch is both perfect ET 2000 and late. We’re treated to a flashback to the day in 2008 when the Black Eyed Peas recorded several hit songs, to see how they did it. Lizzo and Aidy play Interscope Records producers excited to see what Will.I.Am (Kenan), Fergie (Cecily) and the other two (Bowen and Chris) have in mind. “Boom Boom Pow.” “I have feelings.” “Let’s go…” now what? Their lyrical skills were truly magical. It really makes you want to join the locals.
Who stopped at the weekend update?
Again, I have to point out that they’re wasting big opportunities for update character visits by giving them little smorgasbord sketch parts instead.
So instead of saying Chris’ TI breaks down his stand-up meltdown, we’re treated to an infamous Cesar Perez (Melissa Villasenor) making his own stand-up debut thanks to Colin Jost’s return after the last weekend’s afterparty. Perez has “that Mencia spirit” that drives him to tear up his poor nephew, Carlitos, no matter how many times he apologizes for it afterwards.
The update ended with a tribute card to late comedian Gilbert Gottfried, a season 6 cast member.
Which sketch filled the “10 to 1” slot?
We had two sketches in the last 10 minutes! First, at 12:49 a.m. EST, Mikey doesn’t know how to lead the DeVry Institute Orchestra through Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony without a flutist. Enter T. Onybanks, manager of the world’s greatest flautist, Beverly Gags (Lizzo). Aidy’s violinist admires Beverly’s breath control, while Alex’s bassoonist enjoys getting twerked, and Kenan’s band member can only dream of the possibilities. Mikey’s bandleader tries to get things under control, except Beverly can’t play a good note while sitting down. She must twerk. So must they all!
Then at 12:56 AM, Andrew’s character quits his job with a toast and some investment advice for his friends (Bowen, Heidi, Mikey). Baby beanies? “I’ve been hanging on to these bad boys since 1993, and it’s time to cash in.” Wait. What? He can’t go back, because when he quit, he sounded like Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura? Lizzo, as his wife, wants to be supportive, but she’s not sure Andrew can make money drawing Mario, plus she’s pregnant. And on top of all that, she can’t keep a straight face! Unfortunately, it’s not a happy ending for everyone in this skit.
Who was the episode’s MVP?
Bowen Yang probably did the most character work of the night. Andrew Dismukes seemed to be Lizzo’s favorite, for sure. Chris Red continues to prove that he is as valuable as anyone on this side of Kenan Thompson to hold the whole show together. Kate McKinnon and Cecile Forte continue to continue. Maybe it was so busy because they needed a break? Well, they all get one!
The next new episode is May 7, Benedict Cumberbatch hosts with Arcade Fire.
Sean L. McCarthy Works Comedy Rhythm For His Own Digital Journal, The comic strip; before that, for the actual logs. Based in New York, but will travel anywhere for the scoop: ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and half-hour episode podcasts with comedians revealing origin stories: Comic Book Comic Presents Last Things First.