‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Larry David returns as Bernie Sanders; Julia Louis-Dreyfus reprises Elaine (videos)

SNL -The moment that we knew that “Saturday Night Live” was getting Julia Louis-Dreyfus on board to host the show tonight, we had a feeling that we could see the return of Larry David as Bernie Sanders. The two worked together on “Seinfeld,” and she went on to appear in multiple episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Clearly, the two had a great relationship.

So to start off the show with David playing Bernie in a Democratic debate sketch was pretty perfect; we’re coming off of a really high-profile debate that took place in Brooklyn recently, and it contained plenty of arguments and shouting matches. What better thing to spoof for this show? It’s pretty perfect when you think about it.

What made this even more perfect was near the end of the sketch, we had an appearance from Julia as none other than Elaine! This was brilliant, and so was seeing Vanessa Bayer as Rachel Green moments later.

Amazing start to the show, and we’ll be back to review everything else live!

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus monologue – This was a fun way to start things off aside from the cold-open. While not hilarious, it was great to see some early highlights from her career, coupled with a nice bit featuring her “Veep” co-star Tony Hale.

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Heroin AM – While this was completely silly when it comes to being a commercial sketch, we did still laugh often in here thanks to the performances of Julia and Beck Bennett as two people who constantly take this new “pill version” of heroin.

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Huge Jewelry – This was the first sketch in a theme of strong performance pieces for out host, even though the material was not necessarily stellar. We do imagine that this is the sort of Long Island establishment that would be out there, but beyond the joke of everyone having obnoxiously big jewelry, how much more was really there? Nice Nick Jonas cameo, though!

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Pool Boy – The premise here was tired quickly. Julia wanted to say goodbye to the pool boy Chad in the most emotional way possible, but he was fine with ending it and getting to work. Pete Davidson was certainly the right person for this character, who generated at least a few laughs.

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Cinema Classics – This, meanwhile, was a hoot, and it really didn’t get less funny as it went on. What we’ve said about the Bruce Chandling performance piece is that sometimes, it can be really hard to play someone who’s just bad at something. They key often is to go really big, and don’t just make the joke about their inability to do something like come right. Make it something physical, or something that is unintentionally funny. This is what this sketch was with Julia’s character running amok and either overacting or not reading her lines properly.

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Mercedes ad – Short, silly, but moderately funny. Production value is strong!

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Weekend Update – We’d say here overall that this was a solid edition of “Update.” There were some decent jokes in here from the hosts, but we wish we had the return of someone like Jebidiah Atkinson or even Drunk Uncle. We’ve never liked the Shaq / Charles Barkley impressions that much, Aidy Bryant had a reasonably funny piece as an animal expert, and Cecily Strong got in some good satire as the Female Character from a Male-Driven comedy.

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Who works here? – This was completely silly, but also partially true to the sort of clientele that actually works at a CBS Pharmacy (especially late at night). The whole premise of identifying these employees or not was so strong that we wonder why it wasn’t in the place of Huge Jewelry.

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Aliens – Once again, this sketch was a fairly simple idea about alien women trying to make things work in everyday life (it was a little “3rd Rock from the Sun”-ish by and large) anchored mostly by performance.

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God is straight – As we closed the show, we did so with what we feel was for the most part another really solid sketch, with it this time being a mock trailer for a movie all about Christians standing up against the “gay agenda,” and ultimately mocking states wanting to pass “religious freedom” laws. This was very biting, and the sort of thing overall we love to see from “SNL” at this time of night. In the end, it closes what we think was a really solid episode; there were few smash hits beyond the cold open, but we laughed almost throughout. Episode Grade: B+.

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