This season of SNL has been the highest rated in over 20 years, and this week, the show turned to its most decorated host, a man who has helped contribute to that ratings spike (fittingly he’s plays the other person responsible for the huge viewership). I had high hopes for Alec Baldwin’s 17th stint as a host. And after last week saw a surprise cameo from powerhouse Melissa McCarthy, I thought the show would have plenty of tricks up its sleeve to build on the momentum.
Would Rosie O’Donnell come on to play Bannon? With Baldwin hosting, would they bring in Meryl Streep to don the wispy blonde-ish wig and play Trump? Would the show continue to surprise and push the envelope?
The short answer: not really. McCarthy was back as everyone’s favorite cartoon press secretary, and as usual, she was amazing. That said, I didn’t enjoy it as much as last week’s iteration and it felt as though the novelty had worn off a bit. I love Melissa McCarthy and want her to be in everything ever, but I really wish they hadn’t gone back to the well so soon.
The disappointment led me to another thought. Should SNL really stunt cast just to prickle the President? Sure it would be pretty funny (in theory) for Trump’s arch-nemesis to play his chief strategist, but is the point really to just elicit some mean tweets the next day? I don’t know. It feels weird, and I wish it didn’t. Last week’s episode felt fresh and the start of something while this week just felt…there.
Leslie Jones is great. I love when they give her these mockumentary type digital shorts that let her act a little, rather than be the loud, strong person that yells all the time. I also like that following her mellow and thoughtful start, they let her be the loud, strong person that yells all the time. The ending was a little weird, but hey, so was the show.
Side note: I’d actually love to see her play Trump in a sketch.
For me, “Jake Tapper” was my least favorite sketch of the night. Leaving KellyAnne Conway off of Tapper’s show led to a Fatal Attraction-esque stalking from Kate McKinnon’s Conway. It was strange and a little too melodramatic. And after the initial reveal of Conway being in Tapper’s apartment, the eerie quiet from the audience just added to the clash of genres. Not for me.
- Mikey Day continues to stand out as a cast member. I really enjoyed him as an embarrassed army private whose father is the colonel, not to mention as an S&M victim of wife Leslie Jones. Talk about range.
- McKinnon is clearly and obviously the star of this show. This week she played Jeff Sessions, KellyAnne Conway, and Elizabeth Warren, all with aplomb (awesome word btw, pretentiousness be damned).
- I loved the Russell Stover Black History Month box of chocolates sketch. Watching Jones and Sasheer Zamata open a box of chocolates filled with “28 scrumptious African-American heroes” was priceless.
- Hey! Tracy Morgan was on this show! That’s always a welcome sight!
LINES WITHOUT CONTEXT
- “Martin Luther King, Jr. – I Have a Cream?” – Leslie Jones
- “I’m KellyAnne Conway, and I always get my KellyAnne Con-waaaaaaay.” – Kate McKinnon
- “The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Jeff Beauregard Sessions as our new confederate general. Sorry, Attorney General.” – Colin Jost
- “A new coffee shop has opened in Brooklyn that will sell an $18 cup of coffee, which only makes sense to me if it’s served with a side of 15 damn dollars.” – Michael Che
- “I’m definitely my mom’s kid, because I’m pure sex. I’m gonna be the first person ever to get someone pregnant while I’m inside someone who’s pregnant.” – Tracy Morgan
- “I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me.” – Cecily Strong