Another week, another Trump cold open. I get it. This dude gives us more stuff to roll our eyes at in a week than pretty much anyone else ever in history of everything, or whatever. At the same time, all the faux pas and general evilness don’t really play well in sketches. Somehow it doesn’t really play seeing Alec Baldwin play the president as he’s meeting with Paul Manafort, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions (Beck Bennett’s Pence and Kate McKinnon’s Sessions are super great btw) and trying to wrestle with indictments and, well, general evilness. While the jokes are fine, and everyone is really great in their roles, it just feels like Jimmy Fallon tussling Trump’s hair. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get a sense of humor and start enjoying these at some point. Sadly, they’re going to be around for a little while.
Next, we get to Larry David as host, who was prettay, prettay, prettay good (I’m shocked that I didn’t hit this well in the first paragraph. If you would’ve set the over under at 1.5 paragraphs it would take for me to write make that reference, I would’ve gone under, easily). After spending the weekend traveling, I knew I was going to be late on this week’s recap, so I tried to shield myself from any spoilers or reviews before I could catch the episode myself. Unfortunately I wasn’t media savvy enough, and caught a whiff of some controversy surrounding David’s monologue. Following David’s career and his carefully cultivated persona, I was ready for the worst.
For the first time, perhaps ever, it would appear as though headline writers and TAKE havers may have blown this one up a little bit. While David broached a topic that is widely avoided in most entertainment or comedy circles, the holocaust jokes (that’s even a strange thing to type) in his monologue seemed aimed more at his temperament and social awkwardness (albeit in the absolute most extreme setting imaginable) than the event itself. On the edge of decent taste? Sure. “Was Larry David out-of-bounds with his controversial monologue?” I’m not so sure I’d take it to that extent.
Following the controversy, we were treated to a strong bounceback show from SNL, complete with David’s willingness to be dressed up in any outfit (save a diaper) and read any line. There was energy, and it was a welcome sight.
I absolutely adore Bennett and Kyle Mooney’s weirdness and their take on 90’s sitcom, which happened again this week in “Beers”. David’s role as C.J., the rock ‘n roll bad boy, who is addicted to beer, was so dry and dumb and funny (as was basically the entire sketch), and he fit in perfectly with the two cast members.
For me, the “New Wife” sketch was a swing and a miss. David plays a big wig attorney who invites some friends over to meet the new lady in his life, and she has turned him into a hip yuppie that is down with all the new lingo and slang terms. I imagine this sketch being pitched as “Hey let’s make Larry David say a bunch of really crazy shit that Larry David would never say in a million years.” Then they shot it and voila! On the bright side, it looked like McKinnon broke David at one point of the sketch, which seems like a pretty big feat in and of itself.
- Aidy Bryant is amazing and awesome, but her turn as Sarah Huckabee-Sanders was a huge miss this week.
- Celebrity Price is Right was a fun way to get David’s Bernie Sanders impression into the show, although the sketch may have been stolen by Cecily Strong’s Sofia Vergara.
- The look on Alex Moffat’s face when he, as Eric Trump, learns the proper way to eat Fun Dip is just everything. Also, playing up Eric’s desperation to be taken “seriously” like Donald, Jr. is super funny and a new avenue to explore.
- Heidi Gardner’s new character, Every Boxer’s Girlfriend From Every Movie About Boxing Ever was fantastic, and I hope she comes back…even if that means she’ll take the kids to her sister’s place.
- The “Career Retrospective” honoring David’s character and his work in the ad agency was hysterical, centering on all the older phrases and slang terms that have taken their rightful place on the offensive spectrum.
- Alex Bregman looked like he was having THE BEST TIME presenting Leslie Jones with an Astros jersey. George Springer, however, looked like he wanted to be literally anywhere else. Jose Altuve is a precious jewel that we all need to treasure.
LINES WITHOUT CONTEXT
- “We’re gonna win this thing the Bernie Way, which means, if I lose, I’m gonna bring everyone down with me.” – Larry David
- “I’m tired of seeing the President of the United States have an emotional breakdown on social media like he’s Tyrese. It’s embarrassing.” – Michael Che
- “The Republicans also released their new tax plan this week, which is why Pail Ryan has been rock hard since Thursday.” – Colin Jost
- “Girl is chumming the waters, and that horny stud is circling the boat.” – Larry David