Let’s get down to business.
Sure, rumor had it that Bill Murray was to host, but, fuck it, they went with Chris Pratt. You remember Chris…star of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. Since his image has been everywhere this summer, it makes sense he would be host. Also, he seems comfortable in his own skin, and a little self-deprecation is necessary to be a good SNL host.
Overall, I was kind of amazed at how good this episode was. There were some big changes:
- Seth Meyers left (high five ‘Merica) and Cecily Strong was replaced on the “Weekend Update” desk. It is now Colin Jost (a humorless ghost-person) and Michael Che (the always hilarious future father of my children).
- Don Pardo died at age 96 after being the voice of SNL from the very beginning. He has been replaced by SNL alum Darryl Hammond.
- It seems like Aidy Bryant is taking over this season. For the past few years, if there were a funny, heavy female part it was played by Bobby Moynihan in drag. So, good job SNL for finally letting Aidy be funny.
If this is a sign of the year to come, I am actually going to be looking forward to writing these reviews.
Best of the Night
This is the first of several sketches this evening focusing on the abusive shit-storm that has embroiled the NFL. The thing I love about this sketch is how Kenan Thompson can take a sentence about children getting on a school bus and make me laugh out loud. Also, I had to Google who Shannon Sharpe is, but once I found and listened to this video, I was tickled at how good Jay Pharaoh is with his impressions.
I think I have praised this sketch before, but there is something so awful and funny about telling a man his Parrot was “birdered,” and all the credit in this sketch goes to Cecily Strong.
Oh, Aidy, you are so horny and loud, and how well you rap about your big fat ass. This was more than just middle-class Caucasians using rap songs to flirt…it is about how when you actually read the lyrics, it is kind of disgusting and often doesn’t make any damn sense. Flirt my wurp? Slurp and twerk? Ah, the language of love.
He-Man and Lion-O come to life thanks to a little boy’s birthday wish, and they want to discover this strange new world. Taran Killam and Chris Pratt play oafish so well! this is the kind of “WTF?” absurdist sketch that I love.
Brace yourself, but this is what has been missing since Seth Meyers took over the desk. Cecily Strong leaving means she gets to come back as “drunk girl at a party.” The “would you go down on a guy for a million dollars?” diatribe was awesome, though I wonder if they tried to make it into a sketch. Imagine the conversation of two straight men talking this out logically. Other than Leslie Jones screaming for 2 minutes, it was quite enjoyable. Long live Michael Che!
Worst of the Night
For some reason this spoof of a sitcom circa 1991 just never did it for me. I guess when it came to references from my childhood, I chose the He-Man and Lion-O sketch. Kyle Mooney has shown himself to be quite the creepy little chameleon…he is perhaps the only actor on SNL who can play a child and a child molester.
Oh SNL, must you always resort to a song? Chris Pratt channeled his Mouse-Rat frontman persona Andy Dwyer and played a song about how happy he is to be on the set of Studio 8H. A special appearance from his wife, Anna Farris, a few innocent flubs, and Chris Pratt is a cute little comedy cherub. But can we please stop singing?
This seemed a little lazy to me. It was like the staff sat around a phone book and picked random words. Oh wait…that is exactly what the introduction says happened. Fancy Ghosts? Bus People? Come on, be better.
The Musical Guest
I really really tried to be optimistic about Ariana Grande. I tried not to judge the fact that she sat on a piano in unironic cat ears, but no matter how I looked at it I was still utterly unimpressed with Ariana Grande. I guess to win the coveted, spot of Season Premiere musical guest, one only has to be willing to prance around and flaunt one’s impressive thigh-gap.
Sure, she sang with The Weeknd (not The Weekend for some reason), whose hair made him look like he was dressed in anime cosplay.
Sure, I was curious to know why she could not cover her abdomen…maybe her midriff needs to be exposed to help her breath so she can whisper-scream her vocal runs.
But in the end, the why didn’t matter and knowing why will never get me my 5 minutes of life back.