I’ve been a fan of Saturday Night Live for a long time, even when it hasn’t been great or it’s a host I’m not all the interested in I make a point to watch it still. That’s not the case with this season premiere at all. The debate/election was bound to feature prominently which I was looking forward to, and I’m a big Margot Robbie fan so I was curious to see how she would do.
Obviously they have to start with the debate and what is better than Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin as the first sketch of the new season. McKinnon is great as Clinton. She basically won an Emmy for it and has a lot of experience with it so the entrance a la Willy Wonka was superb. Baldwin seems to have done his homework as well because his impersonation is pretty spot on.
So for the season premiere Margot Robbie of summer blockbusters Suicide Squad and The Legend of Tarzan was tapped to host. She seems to be funny when she is on the promo circuit, such as earlier this week when she stopped by Fallon so there was a lot of potential. The idea of a fact check for the monologue is an amusing concept and I liked that it included the cast, especially Aidy Bryant who took the time to declare her love for Drake.
I laughed a lot at this one. Poor Matt Shatt. Robbie and Kyle Mooney were good but Kenan Thompson and the incomparable Leslie Jones steal the sketch. It just kept getting more and more ridiculous.
Digital short, “The Librarian”:
It started out funny, if a bit cliched, and quickly turned to what the hell is happening territory. The reactions of the guys at the table, particularly Bobby Moynihan, were amusing and Robbie seemed to be game for whatever they threw at her so it was pretty funny. It just ran a bit too long, which is usually the case on SNL.
The teams are great during their introductions but again Thompson just owns his Steve Harvey in this sketch. The return of Larry David as Senator Bernie Sanders is funny and acknowledging Chris Christie’s continued problems with his George Washington Bridge/Bridgegate scandal was amusing but the line that really made me laugh out loud was when the Trumps were referred to as the “children of the corn.”
The Weeknd sounded good and the set wasn’t distracting as sometimes can be the case. It was actually pretty cool.
Colin Jost’s smartphone analogy won me over. I don’t care what else they said because that was amazing. Michael Che took the time to address some of the racial issues that have been brought up by the Trump candidacy and the Colin Kapernick anthem issue. He is spot-on as usual. Cecily Strong as the uninspired voter wasn’t all that funny. She’s usually one of my favorite cast members and she was great as Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Feud sketch but with the exception of her assessment of why the candidates need to have more fun I just wasn’t all that interested in what she was doing. Thompson stopped by as David Ortiz to talk about lunch and brushing your teeth with sugar.
This made me laugh a few times but overall the spoof on Scooby Doo was just alright. Robbie’s Becca Ashley was not bad in her outrageousness but that’s about it.
It was very short and sort of amusing but not great.
Actress round table:
I will watch anything that Kate McKinnon does. They know how to set her up in sketches so that she can just run away with them. And she does. Every time. And it’s always spectacular. Robbie and Bryant were barely keeping it together by the end and I don’t blame them at all.
The Weeknd still sounded good and the set was a bit flashier.
I liked the play on Jones’ hacking issues and Pete Davidson was hardly on the show at all so I had no issue with this one.
Overall it was not a bad premiere. Newcomer Mikey Day was featured quite a bit were as veteran cast member Vanessa Bayer wasn’t shown at all. Hopefully she gets some screen time next week. Lin-Manuel Miranda hosts with Twenty One Pilots as the musical guest.