John Mulaney is the host for this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, and we absolutely knew entering the show that he was going to face some pretty major challenges. While he is a former writer on the show with a lot of experience around studio 8H, he’s also far from the biggest name to be on the series. This is more of a hosting choice for the diehard SNL fans or just comedy fans in general who want to see an interesting monologue and some other really great content.
Related – Read our take on this week’s cold open!
So how did Mulaney actually fare in his monologue? This was really fun, and also really wonderful for people who love SNL and wanted to get a taste of history. He spent a good sixty seconds or so talking about how much he loved Sir Patrick Stewart’s introductions of a musical guest. He also talked about how he didn’t love any new songs, especially those talking about how they “only have tonight.” There was also some jokes in here about a gazebo built during the Civil War and waving at ships as they went into the horizon.
Basically, this was another reminder that getting comedians to host the show is always a great move.
As for some other sketches from the show tonight… (be sure to refresh for more!)
Drag Queen Brunch – This, at first, seemed to be based just on seeing Mulaney come out and playing a drag queen. Yet, this got delightfully dark when she started insulting people. She made fun of some of the other attendees at brunch superficially; however, she was super-cruel to Gary (Alex Moffat) and went dark on just about everything in his life. This was a really funny sketch at first, but it really went downhill when Gary started to reveal that he actually was a former employee of his.
National School Walkout – This was super bold for SNL to take on an issue like this with comedy, especially with a sketch that was mostly about a student feeling a little … erect and not wanting to stand up and leave the classroom because of that. This started very silly, but over time ended up becoming topical as some of the students in the class started to speak their mind on the subject. Once again, not a great ending, but this was still a sketch we’ll be remembering for some time.
Wild Wild Country – If we were a little more familiar with the Netflix product, we’d probably love this more. You could say that the failure of this sketch comes from personal ignorance, but may also the show not making it as accessible to other viewers. This is a sketch worth appreciating, but not necessarily understood from this potential vantage point.
Singing lobster – Who in the writers room came up with this idea? Basically, the main focal point here is that diner menus are terrible and you should never order one. Also, Kenan Thompson came out wearing a lobster costume and singing about how he shouldn’t be boiled like it is Les Miserables.
Weekend Update – The big highlight tonight was the debut of a new character played by Kate McKinnon — Laura Ingraham. Her take on the Fox News host was funny, but if you dislike Laura, do you really want her getting the publicity? One thing that we did find funny, though, was some of the “sponsors” who wanted to join her show family.
The jokes were tonight, but there was nothing better tonight than Kenan as LaVar Ball — nothing. From his jokes about his new league to the performance of Lonzo, this was gold all around.
Hollywood Update – This was a sketch skewering some of the recent reboots that we’ve seen in TV; this time around, Mulaney starred as a former star of a show called Switcheroo that, by no means, needed to come back. It was perverse, strange, and altogether crazy.
Horn Implants – This was really a complete waste of time, since the entire premise here was that Heidi Gardner’s character was upset that her boyfriend was changing too much getting rid of the horn implants on his head. She also didn’t believe the doctor, who went to Harvard.
Real Intros of Reality Hills – This was actually a nice ending to the show, mostly because it featured entirely a bunch of stupid Real Housewives introductions featuring various mock Bravo stars. Some of these taglines were fantastic!
Overall, this was a very admirable job by Mulaney as host and many of the sketches were really funny! We just wish that some of the execution of the sketches were as funny consistently as the people in them. This was probably as hot-and-cold of an episode as you’re going to see.
Be sure to check out our video take on tonight’s SNL below — for more, be sure to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube.
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