‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump, Leslie Jones, Black Jeopardy, and Tom Hanks Highlights
For a good while now, we’ve known that we would be reaching the end of the road for “Saturday Night Live” in terms of the debate cold opens. They’ve done about everything that they can with them in the past year-plus, and in particular the past few weeks with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton.
What we had tonight was the final debate cold open of the season, but we suppose we’ll probably see both Baldwin and McKinnon in these roles again before we get to the end of the year. Much like Larry David did with Bernie Sanders, we’re sure that there will be some sort of victory lap coming up.
The one thing that made this cold open different than the other ones we’ve seen so far this season is that we had the host involved from the get-go. Tom Hanks played the part of moderator Chris Wallace here, and did a very serviceable job in what was effectively the straight-man role. One other thing that we’ll say is that this opening probably allowed McKinnon to be sillier and crazier than she’s been, in particular with a bit about Hillary’s emails. Still, Baldwin had some good moments in here, in particular with a nice meta joke about his brother Stephen Baldwin.
We still think that the first debate was the best one, but this was a fun start to what is (hopefully) going to be a rather great episode.
This episode, like all others this year, is being reviewed LIVE. Therefore, be sure to check back throughout the show for some other quick-takes on all of the sketches.
Tom Hanks monologue – Tom took on the role of “America’s Dad” in this opening, and gave the country a lecture about doing the right thing after such a tough year. This was surprisingly heartfelt at times and really funny at others. It was the sort of sweet, memorable monologue that only a guy with Tom’s talent could pull off.
Black Jeopardy – Hilarious. Probably the best edition of this sketch that the show has ever done. This was really hilarious, with the main premise behind it being that Hanks’ character, a Donald Trump supporter from seemingly the middle of nowhere, ended up having a lot in common with the contestants … at least until “Lives That Matter” came up as Final Jeopardy.
Halloween Musical – One of our friends texted us during this asking why the show keeps doing sketches this year about performers that are really uncomfortable to other people. It’s a good version of the sketch, though, mostly because it was so weird.
Broken on CBS – This was a brilliant bit of commentary regarding how Emmys tend to complete ignore real comedies in favor of dramas that tend to be disguises as comedies. Maybe this is “SNL” being a little salty in their own way over all of the snubs, but at the same time we gotta say that we really don’t mind.
100 Floors of Frights – This felt like the cousin of Kevin Roberts, the guy played by Larry David on his show. Basically, you kept having David Pumpkins (Hanks) show up repeatedly, and for no genuinely good reason. Still, we laughed more than we thought we would.
Weekend Update – Some of the jokes about politics and the return of the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party were all great, but in all honesty it was Leslie Jones who really stole the show with a powerful, incredibly-funny bit of comedy about her website hack over the summer. She waited until the right time to give us this, and we certainly have to say now that it was worth it and then some.
Sully – Hanks reprised his role from the feature film playing the famous captain, and in the process, was insanely jealous that Alec Baldwin, playing another pilot, was responsible for steering the plane. Funny concept, but it got old after a few minutes.
Girls Halloween – While we have almost no idea what this was really meant to be a parody of, at the same time we’ll admit to laughing a couple of times at it. It was weird, but hey, it also proved itself to be a fun tale of a Halloween from two different time periods.
America’s Funniest Pets – This was so stupid, but also really funny. We’ve basically seen the sketch before, but you’re adding to it Tom Hanks doing an impression of Ron Howard for whatever reason. Overall, were very satisfied with almost the entirety of the night. While there were acouple of sketches that were merely okay (Sully, 100 Floors of Flights), the rest more than made up for it. Grade: A-.
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