Tonight’s Saturday Night Live finale with Paul Rudd had a lot of potential on the surface. why? The actor has taken on this role many times in the past and more often than not, he’s delivered. He’s just the sort of guy who constantly seems game for everything — he’s basically the perfect host for a finale that is probably going to be fully of cameos and homages to other stuff.
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So how did Rudd actually open the show? Well, following a lackluster cold open featuring Donald Trump singing Queen, he delivered a ridiculous toast, one where he mocked his ageless face and also talked about a time that he apparently had an encounter with Lorne Michaels many years ago. It’s not going to be remembered beyond tonight, but it was amusing and sometimes, that is really all we can ever hope to have.
Time Travel – Basically, this was the return of Kate McKinnon as the character who goes through some sort of supernatural activity and has to recount her story. This was basically the same sketch that we’ve seen a dozen other times but it, somehow, continues to be really funny.
Grace and Frankie rap – We didn’t expect that we’d get a performance from Pete Davidson talking about the Netflix series … but here we are. Originally, Pete tried to rap about Game of Thrones but, because he hasn’t seen it, that didn’t really work. We never knew that we needed a tribute to Grace and Frankie tonight, but here we are.
What’s Wrong With This Picture? – This a fundamentally easy game show that has a name that speaks for itself … and yet, all of the contestants were terrible at this. Instead of answering the questions in an obvious fashion, they went with really weird, offensive answers instead. This shouldn’t have been as funny as it was, but the performances made this the best thing we’ve seen all night.
Weekend Update – This was one of the better editions of the season — it began with another tremendous appearance from Cecily Strong as Jeanine Pirro, and we continued forward with Colin Jost and Michael Che reading jokes written for each other by the other. Then, Leslie Jones came out to do a piece on women’s rights, especially in the light of a controversial abortion ban in Alabama.
Fancy Party – Someone in the writers’ room apparently decided that there was a whole sketch to be made out of a music box playing a song that was, fundamentally, all about a ballerina having a fart. Then, this somehow ended as a spoof for The Twilight Zone.
The View – The first version of this was funnier earlier this season, mostly because Meghan McCain is really the only character that SNL seems to be completely nailing at this particular moment. Still, this was a somewhat accurate portrayal of how the morning news cycle highlights candidates sometimes — check out their take on Pete Buttigieg, played expertly by Rudd through most of the sketch. (We personally just loved his joke about his arm sleeves.)
The latest on Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney – We’re not sure that we needed another iteration of this romance sketch, but here we are, getting another new version of it. There’s a sweetness to these two together, and that’s mostly the reason why this worked when we really never needed to see it again.
Demon Slumber Party – Here’s a twist we didn’t see coming at the start of the sketch — some of the women playing teenagers at a slumber party, who were desperate and summoned a demon for answers. As it turns out, the demon was just desperate for friends and just wanted to hang out. There were a few fun moments in here, but we can’t say that it ever rose past the initial premise.
Rudd brought it, but we do have to say that as far as SNL finales go, this one had a few great sketches, a solid Weekend Update, and that was about it.
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What do you think about this week’s new Saturday Night Live with Paul Rudd? Be sure to share in the comments! (Photo: NBC.)