‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer, ‘The People’s Court,’ Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin (video)

SNL -The moment that Alec Baldwin was announced as the host for this weekend’s new episode of “Saturday Night Live,” you knew that there was a PRETTY good chance that there would be a Donald Trump cold open. There have been crazier weeks for Trump, but even saying that is somewhat crazy when you think about it. Just remember for a moment here that one week of crazy Trump headlines is more headlines than you get for an entire year of a different Commander-in-Chief.

This weekend, we started off the show with … Melissa McCarthy? Yeah, we didn’t see this coming given she just turned up as Sean Spicer last week. While this was a rather quick return for the character, we certainly didn’t mind it just because she brings SO much to the table in this role. We feel like one of the reasons the show did this was to throw you off, mostly because 99% of the collective world probably thought that we’d be starting off with Baldwin’s Trump instead.

Also, the show was clearly eager to capitalize off of the momentum that McCarthy herself kicked off last week. The one problem that the show runs into is that so much of what made the first Spicer sketch so great was that no one saw McCarthy coming. This time around, we’d seen the impersonation already — not only that, but some of the bits in it were the same, including Spicer providing a “visual aid” in the form of props.

In the end, there were still MANY good lines in here, especially when it came to Spicer advertising Ivanka Trump’s line of products at Nordstrom — the more this went on, the more beautiful it was. Also, we had a small appearance from Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions — it was pretty great, even if it was short-lived. The first half of the cold open was decent, but the second half was brilliant and just as good as the first appearance. Pretty great way to start the show!

Alec Baldwin monologue – Rather than doing Trump, this was simply Alec being Alec … and also having Pete Davidson make fun of his appearance. It’s interesting that the show spent a good two minutes on jokes that Alec looks WAY different than he used to, mostly because we didn’t really think that this was that big of a thing. There were some good one-liners, but the timing was off ever so slightly.

Russell Stover commercial – What happens when you give someone chocolates for Black History Month that are shaped like famous historical figures? That’s what this was all about. This was a surprisingly funny and random time on the month, especially in terms of both white ignorance and also sheer silliness. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Cream” flavor. Also, the random Bill Clinton chocolate. We’ll let that hang here.

Commercial pitches – This was a pretty brilliant and cutting look at how some advertisers were desperate to enforce social awareness onto some of their brands during the Super Bowl. We had Baldwin and Aidy Bryant’s characters selling Cheetos through stories of gender identity and illegal immigration. The sketch probably went on a little too long, and it didn’t have much of an ending to it at all. At least it started off with a nice idea.

Kellyanne Conway the stalker – Beck Bennett starred in this sketch as Jake Tapper, who confronted a psychopathic, crazy Kellyanne in his apartment after coming home from work. This is what happens when you don’t have her on the show. Kate was BRILLIANT in this particular sketch — we hadn’t seen the “Fatal Attraction” side of Kellyanne before, but this was incredible.

Boot Camp – It was interesting at this point in the show that Baldwin’s impact on the episode was pretty minimal. Even though this sketch was filmed around his drill sergeant character, one who was terrible to everyone other than his son, it’s probably still not one that is incredibly memorable. He did give it his best, but this premise was rather flimsy from the start.

Ed Sheeran’s performances Head over here to read our take about his music tonight.

“Weekend Update” – As we wrote in a separate piece, we’ve got a feeling that Michael Che’s run about Donald Trump is probably going to be terribly misinterpreted and stir up more controversy than it was probably meant to. Otherwise, this was a decent “Update” that mostly shined because of McKinnon’s zany Elizabeth Warren — we don’t know how she is going to be able to play so many different political figures, but we’ll go with it.

“The People’s Court” – Finally, we get Trump! We didn’t see this coming at all, even if there was a joke about this particular court show earlier in the episode. This was really funny and ridiculous — plus, it was just nice to see the Trump in another setting. Also, it only makes sense that Trump would seek out such a venue to desperately defend his executive order; honorable mention here to Cecily Strong for delivering some great lines, in particular one about her wanting to have a peaceful day watching the Grammys.

Beyonce’s womb – Tracy Morgan is back! It only seemed appropriate to have him on the same episode as his former “30 Rock” co-star, especially as one of Beyonce’s two unborn children. (Kenan Thompson, almost a ghost for the remainder of the episode, was the either.) Tracy had a couple of good lines, but we do think in general that the strength of seeing him these days is mostly based on nostalgia more so than anything else.

Leslie Jones wants to play Trump – This was a sequel of sorts to the Leslie sketch from last year where her secret relationship with Kyle Mooney was revealed. They continued that tonight, while also having Leslie dress us as Trump in hopes of getting to do the impression whenever Baldwin hangs it up. It’s always fun to get a Lorne Michaels cameo, and to go along with that, it’s always nice to see the show go meta in general. A very good sketch for this late in the show.

Wrestling sketch – After everything else, this was just a ho-hum, reasonably boring way to end the show. The less we saw about it, the better.

Overall – It’s odd that other than “The People’s Court,” the sketches that actually featured Baldwin prominently were the weakest of the night. They made the use of its cameos, and they’re finding the the Trump Administration continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Grade: B+.

Want some other news and highlights when it comes to “Saturday Night Live”? Then we recommend that you head over to the link here. (Photo: NBC.)

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