‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump, Chonk, ‘Ken Bone’ and Emily Blunt highlights (videos)
While the most-recent Presidential Debate may at this point be several days old, we did certainly know that this was coming: A cold open featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” Basically the sight of this was inevitable, and the large question was how the show was going to decide to parody the man given so many of the recent headlines surrounding his misdeeds. They could go for a straightforward debate parody, or try to find a way to mix it up somehow.
Well, what the show’s producers ultimately decided to do was go for more of the traditional debate spoof, even though it first happened many days ago and other shows have already had a chance mock it. At least the show did something great first and foremost mocking the awkward town-hall format. Then, we basically had comparisons of Trump to a shark. Kate McKinnon is great as Hillary Clinton, but we figure even she would assume that he overshadowed her for much of this.
We assumed that Bobby Moynihan was going to turn up at some point as Ken Bone, and he did. We figure that this joke probably changed, though, courtesy of the discovery of his Reddit account.
Just like with every other “Saturday Night Live” review we post on CarterMatt, refresh the site often! We’ll have further updates over the course of the remainder of the show.
Emily Blunt monologue – We give Emily credit for trying to do something positive and high-energy here, especially since this is such a depressing time and news cycle at the moment. Unfortunately, we don’t think this really worked other than allowing for Emily to have an opportunity to sing.
Escorts – Pretty painful for an opening sketch, and not a great indicator for the rest of the show. The whole idea of Blunt and Leslie Jones playing weird escorts was funny, but the sketch never really went anywhere. The whole point of it just seemed to be that these two guys were virgins, and therefore were willing to do almost everything.
Trump’s ladies fight back – Well, this was weird. Great production value, and it was a fun idea to have his children, wife, and even Omarosa proclaim that they were done with him in music video form. At the end of the pre-tape it was revealed that the whole idea was that this was meant to be “so bad it’s good.” Unfortunately, we found it more “so bad it’s just bad.”
Update: Apparently, this was a spoof of Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” and we never saw the original. It certainly ruins the impact with this in mind.
Film festival – After the three duds that aired before this, this somehow was a rather funny send-up of festivals that almost nobody ever attends. There was no real point to it and it did go rather long, but we rather appreciated in particular Vanessa Bayer’s performance as the woman desperate to leave, even if she was finding no real opportunity to do just that.
Chonk – We’ve all seen those ridiculous commercials for women’s clothing stores with generic adjectives thrown around while discussing empowerment and how amazing they are — what made this work was that it was for a store with a terrible name that could easily rub some people the wrong way.
Weekend Update – The best part of the entire edition this week was, surprisingly, Vanessa Bayer’s Laura Parsons, a character we’ve come to loathe over the years. Her calling out NBC for potentially paying off Billy Bush was, at least to us, all sorts of hilarious. The rest was okay; McKinnon as Olya is always worth a laugh or two, and the jokes were somewhat funny, while predictable at the same time.
Burger King – This was … odd. Think of this mostly as an excuse to get a Bruno Mars cameo in as a series of relatively unhappy people came and ordered various food items from the Burger King drive-thru. Kudos to Pete Davidson for keep this dud of a sketch moving, given that it had to be hard at times.
A sink’s monologue – It was a funny idea in theory to give us the inner monologue of a sink trying to figure out its own mortality. In execution, it was a little bit depressing, but we’ll give it at least a small amount of credit for the effort and for trying something that really captured Blunt’s sensibility as a dramatic actress.
Honda robots – Credit this working mostly to the physical comedy of it all, given that there was no easy way for the writers to get out of it, and it was largely the same thing over and over again: Robots malfunctioning and doing silly things. On a relatively weaker episode, this suddenly feels like a hit.
Great British Bake Off – This is certainly something that we did not expect from “SNL”: A spoof of the popular reality show from across the pond. This was actually really funny from a performance standpoint (Blunt and Cecile Strong were brilliant), but for people who haven’t seen the show, it was easy to be lost watching this.
Hamsters – This was an odd way to end the night, since it was basically a sketch-within-a-sketch about rodents fighting with one another. We appreciate the costumes and the ideas, but it was a microcosm of much of the night: Ambitious, but not funny enough. After two very good shows to start the season, this is what we’d consider to be the first disappointment of the fall Episode Grade: C+.
For some other highlights from this season of “SNL” right away, be sure to head over here. (Photo: NBC.)