Saturday Night Live has been celebrating their 40th anniversary all season long, but I’m pretty sure that everyone will be having parties in honor of this season concluding. While there have been some fun sketches this season, SNL is beginning to become something that I dread every week, and the finale could only be classified as Louis OK. See? It can’t even inspire a silly pun from me.
Can the Hillary Clinton superhuman joke go all the way to election time next year? It’s a delight seeing Kate McKinnon so early on in the episode, but even though her Hillary is fun and cartoon-ish, I’m starting to wonder how long it can last. The opening was a sing-along about expecting the summer season, but Hillary kept interrupting to make campaign promises to people trying to enjoy their vacations. She tells one partier, “I played hopscotch, and I found it tedious. Why hop when you can march—straight to the White House!” McKinnon is great (as always), and her mugging next to a White House sandcastle was amusing. I just hope it doesn’t completely go off the rails.
Louis CK is this week’s host, and I will say thank you to the producers for having a comic close out the season only because I am sick and tired of seeing horrible musical opening numbers. It feels like the writers think that putting anything to song immediately makes something hilarious. It doesn’t. Shut it down for season 41, SNL. Instead of a song and dance, CK started talking about how he’s mildly racist: “If I go into a pizza place and it’s run by four black women, I’d go, ‘hmm.’” If his jokes about mild racism didn’t make your butt clench, his anecdotes about the French child molester in his hometown in the 1970’s might. We can all listen to his child molester/Mounds Bar comparison and have a discussion later, shall we?
For Louis’s first sketch, he plays a cobbler who depends on a duo of magical elves to make his boots for him. Vanessa Bayer and Kenan Thompson play the elves, and they just want to get spanked. By the time they brought up putting down a piece a plastic to the cobbler could pee on them, I checked out. Aidy Bryant has one line in the sketch, and she even looks like this is lame.
The award for oddest product placement goes to Sprint for this sketch involving Louis having to put on a stereotypical “black girl voice” in order to keep his job. Leslie Jones plays his domineering boss, and once she hears him talking a certain way, he thinks he needs to keep it up. It flashes forward twice to show how bad it’s gotten, and the only thing funny about this is when Jones almost laughs in Louie’s face.
Is it bad that I think this is the funniest sketch of the night? I stand by my assessment that the videos are funnier than the live skits.
Usually Weekend Update is my favorite part of the night, and this week’s episode dealt with ISIS, Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, and the new Apple Watch. Taran Killam has been noticeably absent this week, but he shows up here as an overly charming Tom Brady who makes Colin Jost blush. They also celebrate Pete Davidson’s 21st birthday, and he explains that he’s more grown up now that he doesn’t like Harry Potter as much. Watch out for that invisibility cloak joke that ruined my childhood.
I think one of the main reasons why people don’t think SNL is as funny this season is because the sketches feel like all set up. They aren’t going for the funny and staying there. Absurd doesn’t equal funny all the time. In this particular one, Vanessa Bayer and Kenan Thompson play a couple enjoying some time in a cabana when Louis and Cecily Strong crash their good time. Strong plays Louie’s deluded singer girlfriend with a cockney accent (she reminded me of Minnie Driver on her guest stint on Will & Grace), and she made me chuckle with the stupid song she sings. The sketch just ends…with a 20 pound bucket of shrimp. It’s the epitome of why SNL can sometimes crash and burn.
Pete Davidson plays a guy who got jumped outside a community theater, and all the suspects line-up at a police station. They all act like they are on an audition, and I’ve been a part of enough theater to find this funny. Taran Killam, Kyle Mooney, Louis CK, and Beck Bennett trying to deliver “their lines” using different motivations and give us enough silly actor behavior to keep the skit going. It almost feels like we are witnessing the beginnings of the douchebags from Entourage.
All I could think about during this sketch was Carol debuting to raves at Cannes. In this I Love Lucy-esque spoof, Kenan Thompson (as awesomely named Reese De’What) presents us with the “classic” show, Whoops I Married a Lesbian. Louis CK is shocked when his wife, played by Kate McKinnon, tells him that she and her best friend Madge have “decided” to become gay. Thompson tells us that the show was developed and created by men who had never really known a gay person, resulting in a show that only lasted one episode. Watching McKinnon and Aidy Bryant “kiss like a lesbian” is pretty funny, and it’s probably the strongest live sketch of the evening.
Did you watch this week’s finale? What did you think was funny? Are you still a loyal viewer, or will not tune into season 41?