Saturday Night Live: Has the Series Found a New Comedy Star? | Saturday Night Live

WWhen Saturday Night Live signed last May, there were signs of big changes in season 47. It really looked like a number of the show’s longtime cast members, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily. Strong, Kenan Thompson and Pete Davidson to leave. That turned out not to be the case, with everyone having returned except Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt, although several new players and featured writers have joined the series.

The fact that the names listed above seem so reluctant to leave is a testament to SNL’s difficulty making stars these days (this is especially evident in the lackluster film careers of McKinnon, Davidson, and Thompson), as well as the disastrous state of cinema and comedy television as a whole. That said, there are reasons to be hopeful the series can turn things around, as evidenced by the chilly opening starring an exciting new face.

The episode kicks off with star player James Austin Johnson as President Joe Biden. Speaking to the nation, Biden bemoans his summer mostly, but not all bad – “everyone keeps shaving me about that drone strike, but on the bright side, I spent the whole summer without it. fall only once on the stairs! ” – even as he focuses on the future.

He tries to save his infrastructure bill and his social agenda by bringing together “moderate” Democratic senators Joe Manchin (Aidy Bryant, whose impression is totally indistinguishable from his Ted Cruz) and the unbearably offbeat Kyrsten Sinema (Cecily Strong) and progressive House members Ilhan Omar (Ego Nwodim) and AOC (Melissa Villaseñor). His attempts to bridge the gap are a total failure, as Manchin and Sinema hate the very idea of ​​roads, let alone bridges.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an open SNL political cold without at least a few random walk-ons, and so we’re treated to brief appearances from disgraced New York “governor” Andrew Cuomo (Pete Davidson) and dweeby, The Leader. majority in the Senate, without courage, Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat), before the sketch ended with a dig among moderate or progressive Democrats, noting that they are all essentially the same in one essential way: They are all “Screwed!”

It was on par with the immediately forgettable cold openings of last year. The harshest (but not undeserved) dig was on “the Met Gala’s Cruella,” AOC, as she “wore a dress that said Tax the Rich and then spent all my time partying with the rich. Oops! ”As the show laughs at Sinema, it feels like she’s losing light (the same goes for Manchin, although he couldn’t help but make a boring character). Said, it’s all brought up by Johnson. The comedian, who rose to internet fame for doing Trump’s best (and only funny) impersonation, shows off an equally good Biden.

The host of the evening is Owen Wilson, who is celebrating performing in front of people – including his brothers and fellow actors Luke and Andrew – for the first time since the start of the pandemic. He remembers his poorly spent youth and the bad reviews he received throughout his career, including one comparing his laid back energy to “an old golden retriever lying by a fire.” It’s a rambling, low-energy monologue that, while light on the laughs, makes good use of the host’s laid-back charm.

Owen’s first skit of the night sees him play a doctor who constantly interrupts a live episode of a View-type daytime talk show in order to disclose positive Covid (and HPV) test results to hosts. It’s totally devoid of laughs or a point and lasts far too long.

Star Trek: Ego Quest promises “a midlife crisis of cosmic proportions” by making Jeff Bezos the captain of a new penis-shaped company. Along with his mate and brother Mark (Luke Wilson), he hangs out and fights with other “bizarre billionaires” and future space explorers Richard Branson and Elon Musk. SNL has made fun of Bezos on several occasions, but after last season’s disastrous Elon Musk episode, the punches carry no weight behind them. They would probably welcome Bezos as a host if he asked for the concert.

Next, Wilson finds himself at Pixar Studios to work on the voice of Cars 4. Things start off normally, Wilson recording his character’s famous tagline “Ka Chow!” But it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong this time around. The script makes her read lines like “Stand back, I’m not looking at your wife!”, “Calm down, I didn’t touch your daughter – she was coming towards me!”, And “Grow up man, your sister certainly did! ”Wilson’s suspicions that Disney is turning Lightening McQueen into a creepy pervert are confirmed when he directs lines with co-star Larry the Cable Guy (Johnson, making another striking impression) and discovers that their whole dialogue revolves around the deployment of the “R-word”. Wilson stumbles over a few of his lines, but it still makes for a fun, pleasurable piss on the family franchise.

Local school board meeting on new Covid-19 protocols disrupted by several ‘worried and also insane’ parents, students and citizens spouting anti-vax nonsense and complaining about unrelated issues such as Critical Race Theory , the local teens who “steam and fuck each other”, and “Barak HUSSIEN Obama and Hilary Rodham HUSSIEN Clinton!” There are solid laughs throughout, but the seemingly endless number of characters quickly wear out their welcome.

In the weekend’s update, Colin Jost has to ‘pretend he’s excited’ to talk about Biden’s infrastructure bill, while Michael Che credits the plan – not what he’s trying to do, but because “you have to admire the confidence of a guy with a stutter to name something the Budget Plan Rebuild in Better”.

Their first guest is A Black Woman Who’s Been Missing for Ten Years (Nwodim), to discuss “Missing White Women Syndrome”. She furiously points out the disparity between the way her case was handled versus that of a young white woman who disappeared at the same time, comparing the photos posted for the two (“Look at hers: just gorgeous … look now the photo they used of me… I look like the older and dirtier sister of Old Dirty Bastard! ”), the public information rewards ($ 10,000 for the white lady, a gift card from $ 15 to Chili’s Too for Her), and the way the media covered their cases (“White Virginal Dime Piece Ripped from the Hands of Her Loving, Still Married Parents” vs. “Girl Not Home for 40 Days. Probably nothing.” Cool family with that. ”) As always, Nwodim is great to play an infuriated and utterly defeated soul.

Next, Pete Davidson joins the office to talk about his experience at the Met Gala last month. He laughs at his own outfit (“I feel like one of the three blind mice was selling fentanyl”) before going into tangents about his conservative uncle and Jost’s starring role in the movie. film Tom and Jerry, criticized negatively.

Davidson pays tribute to Norm Macdonald, who died of cancer two weeks ago, by wearing a T-shirt with his face on it. I was worried that this was the extent of the series’ tribute to him, but luckily, it isn’t. The last few minutes of the update are devoted to Norm – not just the greatest weekend update host of all time, but arguably the funniest person to ever work on SNL – and we can watch some of his biggest hits of his time at the office.

At the funeral of loving, devout practicing and slot addict grandmother Mariam Lewis, her favorite casino headliner (Keenan Thompson) steps onto the podium to sing her favorite song, which unfortunately turns out to be I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly. This upsets her grandchildren, although they allow her to continue assuming that their grandmother just wasn’t aware of Kelly’s criminal acts. However, a photo slideshow reveals that she was close to a number of similarly disgraced celebrities, including Louis CK, Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey and an “far too recent” Bill Cosby. This sketch is weighed down by too many notable stumbles, including Wilson asking producers if they’re ready to start as soon as the series returns from commercial break, as well as the silly decision not to wrap up on a perfect punchline on the way Miriam passed away.

On Fox’s NFL cover, Johnson and Wilson play commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. While waiting for an injury update, they present a horrifically sounding new sitcom called Crazy House, which confusedly stars a monster puppet and features guest appearances from DaBaby and Stacey Abrams. Buck is increasingly frustrated with the ridiculous catchphrases and story summaries he’s tasked with giving, as well as Aickman’s dizzying questions about bizarre details. As with the cold opening, this mundane sketch is made a lot more fun thanks to Johnson’s really perfect Buck print. Other cast members, such as Chloe Fineman, are known for their impressions, but Austin has a knack for nailing more than just vocals, instead finding the nuances in the inflections of his subjects and the tics that define their public image. .

The final sketch revolves around a commercial shoot for Robinson’s Mail-In Stool Testing. The husband and wife team who run the clinic promise not to mess with their patients’ stool samples, but the publicity manager thinks their slogan – “We’re going to take it down.” Test it for diseases. So this thing goes right in the trash! – is so direct that it is suspect. It lasts a little too long and never quite comes true, but it’s a solid introduction for Sarah Sherman aka Sarah Squirm, the other notable new star player. The show is unlikely to give her much of a chance to show off the surreal body horror comedy that made her a cult favorite on the internet and the comedy / art scene in LA, but the fact that her first big skit is spinning around the poo is a sign of encouragement.

This is the case with the episode as a whole, which gave two of its three new recruits surprisingly ample screen time. It’s probably a bit too much to call Johnson’s turn a star performance, but it seems clear that the series recognizes the legitimate talent they’ve landed and is ready to use it accordingly. Even with an overloaded cast full of longtime talent, Saturday Night Live might be showing signs of new life after all.

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