Going into this episode of Saturday Night Live, our expectations were high and for good reason — Steve Carell is magnificent. He’s one of the funniest working actors these days and he also has history hosting this show, but for whatever reason, he hasn’t hosted anywhere near enough.
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So how did Carell choose to kick off his show, following the cold open starring Laura Ingraham? Well, Carell came out appearing rather similar to his old character Michael Scott — and that’s ironic since the majority of the questions he got were about rebooting The Office. The best part about this was when Ellie Kemper turned up to demand a remake so that she could make some more money … and then Ed Helms basically did the same thing. Then, we had Jenna Fischer turn up, and following that Carell’s wife Nancy also turned up. (By the way, Carell’s wife played Carol, a real-estate agent on the show.)
Right when it looked like Carell was going to confirm that the reboot was happening … he didn’t. He cut to commercial, and that’s all we got. With that being said, though, this was certainly funny.
The Other Sketches Tonight
Dumb Dad – This was a weird way to kick things off, since apparently Carell’s character was a father oblivious and obvious facts that, for one reason or another, he wasn’t aware of. None of this
HQ2 talk – Carell played tonight Amazon head Jeff Bezos as he talked about the locations for his new headquarters. He explained that he didn’t want to troll Donald Trump, only to then talk about wanting to have his packages delivered via caravan. Also, he discussed outfitting a drone with human hair. This was basically a gigantic Trump troll job and, when it was subtle, was actually funny. Yet, we don’t think that any of this was as funny as it should have been.
Thanksgiving Song – Is there such a thing as a famous Turkey Day anthem? This is something that this sketch desperately tried to prove, but we’re not sure that it was really all that successful at all. It was silly, and that was probably the best thing that it had going for it. The longer that the song went along, the more awkward it became.
Live Ginsburg – It’s a rare appearance for Kate McKinnon as this character outside of Weekend Update, and by and large, it was surprising educational. Who knew that a rap song about the famous Supreme Court judge would be anywhere near as educational? Well, that’s precisely what we ended up getting here.
NASA sketch – What was this all about? Mostly, Carell played the head of a bizarre, space-station NASA show who had to experience a crisis when frozen space animals started to float around the station after an accident. This most did end up being funny mostly because of the cheap effects and some of the utter ridiculousness that we end up seeing in the background. Also, Leslie Jones’ facial reactions.
Weekend Update – The first major highlight of the night was getting to see the show’s take on Denver Riggleman, a politician who was elected despite having a rather interesting fascinating. The jokes were solid throughout, and then we got a return for Kenan Thompson as LeVar Ball! This sketch is so ridiculous but, for some reason, it always works in between the product placement and LeVar’s over-the-top declarations.
Grease Spoof – We don’t know who came up with the idea to bring in Carell for a cover of “Beauty School Dropout,” but this may have actually been one of the funnier sketches of the night. Apparently, Carell was actually the dad of one of the other young girls in the sketch and he now made a living out of singing to people late at night with advice.
RV sketch – This was, more or less, an excuse to throw a bunch of different crazy characters in a tight sketch, one where Carell’s character tried to convince his wife that they had a good setup and they were having a good time there.
Alien Thanksgiving – Apparently, this is what happens at 12:57 a.m. — a sketch featuring people eating alien corn (or, “kern”) that talked before you ate it. This was … strange? The best thing about it was probably just watching the actors try not to screw up the script.
GP YASSS – Apparently, this is what happens when you combine a typical GPS with RuPaul’s Drag Race. This feels like something that people would actually buy!
Overall, we do think that this episode of SNL didn’t bring anywhere near as much to the table as it should. The sketches just weren’t particularly well-inspired or interesting, and there wasn’t much that SNL could do to make it better.
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