Saturday Night Live review: Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump, Olive Garden, Scarlett Johansson’s dog

Octavia Spencer ratings -Going into Saturday Night Live this weekend, we had a pretty good feeling that we were going to see an appearance from Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. He wasn’t there last week, and given that he was not on the show this past week, we had to assume that he would be here.

What was a little bit of a surprise was the way in which this cold open was structured. We had Trump arriving to a military base in order to give an impassioned speech to save the country from an alien invasion. However, he struggled to keep himself together, and got distracted by random things such as ratings, his feud with NBC, or how many people are staying at his hotel. This was ridiculous, funny, and had a great ending when Trump claimed that he wasn’t the actual president when the aliens showed up.

While it didn’t match some other past openings, at least the writers were creative here, right? It wasn’t the same take on Trump we’ve seen. Alec continues to make him silly and ridiculous, and that’s fine for us since we do love the opportunity to have a little bit of fake Trump.

As for some other highlights on the show, be sure to refresh the page often!

Scarlett Johansson monologue

Scarlett announced that she was in the five-timers club, and we got a highlight reel put together by Kenan Thompson from her first four shows … which was really just highlights of himself. Then, Kate McKinnon came out for a joke or two about the Oscars, and then Kenan joined the two for a performance of the five-timers theme song, which really was just a Subway jingle.

Overall, disappointing. Why didn’t any other five-timers welcome her into the club? Doesn’t Scarlett deserve that?

Good Day Denver

Here is the premise for the sketch: We saw an animal photographer be interviewed for a morning news show, but the problem was that the producers seemed to think that he was an animal pornographer instead. What made this so funny was all of the graphics at the bottom of the screen that made him look like he was doing terrible things. There were several good laughs in here, even though we do have to say that there was no real ending to this at all.

Cherry Grove

It’s Logo’s new reality series about “affluent lesbians” not too fire away from Fire Island. This featured their own brand of “drama” and “romance.” We figure that this was over-the-top and at times stereotypical, but there were some funny lines from start to finish. We just expected a stronger ending given that this happened at the start of the show.

Dog experiment

This may be the most ridiculous idea of a Trump sketch ever — whatever happens when Scarlett Johansson’s dog loves Donald Trump? She hooked up Max for an experiment in order to read his thoughts, and what happened from there was shocking and ridiculously hilarious. This played really well in the room, and it was by far the best sketch of the night.

Here’s the question — was this means to be a commentary on Trump supporters, or on how liberals deal with Trump supporters? We actually see both sides here. Regardless, very funny.

Oliver Garden commercial

This was way funnier than it had any right to be, since almost the entire commercial completely ridiculed the reaction shots that you tend to get from people who eat at the place. It was ridiculous, offensive at times, and so well-acted by the likes of Beck Bennett as the narrator and Leslie Jones for all things facial expressions. This was probably also Scarlett’s best sketch of the night so far.


Here is the Ivanka Trump fragrance commercial you didn’t know you needed. This was FIRE. Probably the biggest takedown on Ivanka that we’ve seen throughout the start of the campaign season, especially since she’s not all that easy to make fun of. The name of the fragrance speaks for itself.

Weekend Update

This was a really strong edition across the board. Great jokes about Trump, especially the edgy stuff about the travel ban and heathcare. Also, we love that Pete Davidson came out, addressed his recent sobriety, and the painful comedy aftermath of it where everyone thinks that he’s “boring” now because he’s actually done right by himself and his future.

Interestingly, the closest thing to a miss was the Al Franken / Jeff Sessions bit, mostly because we expected the real Al Franken to turn up and it was distracting.

Return of the mermaids

It’s been a while since we’ve seen this character from Kate, but it’s certainly every bit as funny as we remember. While it was formulaic hearing about what made her character so different than the other mermaids, bringing in Scarlett as her part-angelfish friend, who was equally absurd, was a lot of fun. What we really like is that Johansson was down to do this and obnoxiously sing The Simpsons theme song within the span of a few minutes.

Shanice returns

Remember the ninja as played by Leslie Jones? Interestingly, the last time she played this part she hurt herself, and yet, she was interested in doing it again with Scarlett at her side as a fellow ninja. It’s really not that funny beyond a few seconds, but we can’t hate Leslie for going all out on it and trying to be physical.


This was great SNL satire in a way that only the show can do it. In honor of A Day Without a Woman, many of the female cast members and writers did not take place in writing this sketch. Therefore, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett wrote an entire sketch where they did all of the talking about how amazing women were without letting them get a word in edgewise. Bringing out Lorde at the end only for the guys to sing “Royals” was a nice end button to it.


Funeral songs

This was fairly ambitious for a sketch late in the night, but it did work given that we had Kenan and Scarlett come out to perform some songs written by a man at his funeral. The songs were as vapid a club track as you would ever hear. For a sketch this late in the night, it wasn’t bad.


Overall Take

The truth is that there probably aren’t many sketches on the night that will generate huge headlines, but it was a consistently fun hour of TV tonight. Maybe you can argue that the monologue and the return of Shanice were fairly unneeded, but for the most part, the rest of this was consistently entertaining and above all, well-written. A nice change from last week’s disappointing effort. Grade: A-.

What did you think about the opening for this weekend’s new episode? Share in the comments, and head over here to get some more news when it comes to the show. (Photo: NBC.)

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