As Season 48 hosts go so far, Miles Teller helped get the season on the air, and Brendan Gleeson helped stabilize it after a bit of a rocky start. But with Megan Thee Stallion serving as both this weekend's host and musical artist, Lorne Michaels was offered a snapshot of everything that this season of NBC's Saturday Night Live could be. Sketches were on point, "Weekend Update" was on fire, and (while it was a given that she would kill it) Megan's performances took things to a whole new level. And the important common factor in all of this? Megan Thee Stallion, whose excitement over the opportunity wasn't just evident during the week leading up to Saturday night but also glowing off of the screen the moment she hit the stage. And for a show with a reputation for vibing off its hosts, SNL had an impressive muse on its hands. Here's a look at what worked (a lot), what didn't (very, very little), and everything in-between.
Saturday Night Live Season 48 Review: Megan Thee Stallion
Monologue: Smart move by the Saturday Night Live writers to let Megan be Megan and not try to saddle her with an "audience Q&A" or some type of bit. Megan was picked to host & be the musical guest for a reason: she's a multi-talent who wins over folks with her charm, wit, personality & relatability.
"Jan 6th Final Hearing" Cold Open: Wonderfully cynical enough to throw cold water on the idea that Trump will ever testify under oath, the opener didn't undermine the point that the January 6th Committee couldn't have more obvious evidence of criminality short of Trump actually admitting wrong-doing. Serious bonus points got so Sarah Sherman's Sen. Chuck Schumer and Chloe Fineman's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the unexpected "comedy duo" we need to see more of this season.
"We Got Brought": The musical tale of three strangers (Megan, Ego Nwodim & Bowen Yang) forced to get to know each other after they "got brought" by friends who already knew each other. Is there anyone reading this who isn't feeling this? More bonus points, these going to Yang for letting his neurotic flag fly high. It was "crazy"… "so crazy"…
"Deer": You know your night's hitting hard when even a wonderfully fake deer pantsing Kenan Thompson scores big laughs. The SNL vet had us wanting to reach through the screen to show him where that #@$%&* deer was! Once again, the show's track record with real & fake animals during sketches continues, and bonus points for how far Megan goes to get her dad to follow her "laser" finger.
"Wellness": When it comes to non-music video & commercial filmed sketches, all roads should run through Please Don't Destroy (Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy) because they're functioning on a whole other level creatively. Clueing us in on all of the deliciously unhealthy ways they're making sure they're doing fine, the trio continue to walk that fine line between reality and absurdity, dipping their toes into each along the way.
"Hot Girl Hospital": Once again, a send-up that blends several different satirical targets effectively, with Megan, Nwodim, and Punkie Johnson hitting notes so perfectly I was left wondering how much was actually scripted and how much was in the moment. And the connection to the NBA's Draymond Green was a nice "left field" touch.
"Girl Talk": Megan, Nwodim, and Johnson make it two-for-two in a sketch that demonstrates that sometimes, connecting and communicating is about more than just words. And yes, they got me with that 1200-word "translation" involving the Ukrainian crises off of one intensely-expressed "girl."
"Classroom": When Dangerous Minds goes really, really wrong. Nwodim's Ms. Fink is the living personification of that teacher who cares… who won't give up on students others have given up on… who will help her students grow to be better than they are, to be the best "them" they can be. Turns out, she's also a big ball of assumptions and prejudices, with Nwodim doing an amazing job demonstrating Fink's growing awkwardness as she realizes that she's been speaking to an Honors science class the entire time.
"Women's Charity": Oh yeah, not only do I feel seen from the guy's perspective, but the sketch had me taking a trip down memory lane over the sweatshirts and hoodies that I've lost over the years… or maybe "relationship sacrifices" would be a better phrase to use. Also, appreciation is due to the underlying snarkiness that the best thing about their exes was their clothes… not so much them.
"Workout Class": Though it was hard to take my attention off Megan, this sketch was a big one for Fineman and Heidi Gardner, as the "anti-big booty" workout teachers for those who want to eliminate the possibility of having a shapely butt in their lives. Whether they're "droppin' it high" and "gettin' little with it" or punching away the booty, Fineman and Gardner deliver some quality physical comedy that adds to the sketch instead of distracting from it.
"Weekend Update" Hit All of the Right Cringe-Worthy Notes
With a night this strong, did you really think that Colin Jost and Michael Che were going to disappoint? This week, it wasn't just about having its finger pressed down hard on the pulse of what was going on. No, this round felt like Jost and Che were taking turns choking out all of the dumb shit from the week, and there were some wonderfully "cringy" jokes that were nice reminders of why the duo have more than earned (and continue to earn) those "anchor chairs."
As for the segments, Fineman's Debbie Hole and Gardner's Stacey Bussy discussing their issues with Hocus Pocus 2 was a beautiful disaster that earned bonus points out of the gate for getting Che to break a bit over the name "Stacey Bussy." Fineman and Gardner were on fire this episode, on their own and as a comedic tag team. That said? Probably could've shaved back 15-20 seconds on the "possession" part. Meanwhile, new featured player Devon Walker did himself justice during his segment explaining what it's like adjusting to life from Texas to New York City. Combined with how he more than held his own in other sketches, this was an excellent episode for Walker with regard to his role on the show moving forward.
Megan Thee Stallion Performs "Anxiety" & "NDA/Plan B"
It also seems silly even having to write this, but Megan proved once again why she's world-class when it comes to performing live with hard-hitting takes on "Anxiety" and "NDA/Plan B," with serious props for the hard rock opening to the latter. After that, I can't help but think how Megan would sound fronting a hard rock/rap song because that opening was seriously intense.