So it's Sunday morning and the world has lived to see another day, having somehow found a way to survive and crawl on with life in a post-Elon-Musk-hosting episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live world. Was the show great? No, but it was solid with some serious bright spots. Was Musk good? No- but he was tolerable in sketches where he was used in small amounts and more in an ensemble mix. Sketches such as "Gen Z Hospital" and "Cowboy Standoff" didn't work because Musk had too much comedic heavy-lifting to do that he just couldn't pull off. The "Ooli Show" sketch was just- wow. It's rare that a sketch leaves me staring at it as if I'm trying to look through or past it, but that was one of them. Musical guest Miley Cyrus killed it with "Plastic Hearts" but it sounded like she dialed things back earlier with The Kid LAROI for "Without You." Not trying to be mean but The Kid LAROI's voice was no match for Cyrus' so it felt like she did the professional move by not wanting to show up her partner.
But Musk's opening monologue went from promising, not-as-razor-blades-to-the-eyes as we were expecting to just painful to watch. From the painfully awkward and bizarre O.J. Simpson comparison to his claim of being the first SNL host with Asperger's to hold the stage (looks like someone forgot about SNL icon Dan Aykroyd hosting in the early 2000's) and what appeared to be an audition for a mother-son supervillain team for the next James Bond film? It just wasn't good, saved only by an abundance of good vibes created by the opening Mother's Day segment (where Cyrus also killed). And serious props to SNL for apparently learning from the show's history. If anyone thought Musk was going to turn SNL into an infomercial for his stuff, they were sadly mistaken- crypto-currency and space travel knife-twists were definitely not lacking. So what did work for us? How about moms, post-COVID conversations, Murder Durder, "Weekend Update," Chad, and more- take a look:
An excellent opener on two levels. In a crawling-out-of-pandemic world, it was nice to see the cast together with their folks and getting some screen time to crack jokes. On a more cynical level, it's pretty hard for a cast to stay pissed at their host when they're getting ready to have their moms around. Bonus points for Michael Che and Colin Jost keeping their "#CancelJost" campaign going.
The first example of how a little Musk is more than enough, the sketch works because every one of us is having those same kinds of conversations right now. Bonus points for the "stabbing with a screwdriver" line and the "cousin" exchange between Ego Nwodim and Chris Redd.
The best sketch of the night. I'm pretty sure Bleeding Cool covers or has covered about two dozen shows that would fit this description. And when it comes to "grizzled lady detective," it really does seem like HBO is trying to corner the market (though Netflix proves how popular the theme is overseas)- and Kate McKinnon finds a way to do a take on all of them, all at once.
When you kick off with a joke about Musk and rocket crash and then use a segment with Musk as financial expert Lloyd Ostertag to shit on crypto-currency, you're clearly setting the tone that you don't care who SNL's host is that week. It's that "fair game" attitude that makes Che and Jost's "Weekend Update" work so well. Nwodim's Weary Mother in Her Darkest Hour who's attempting to survive a post-COVID Disney parks experience spoke for a lot more moms out there than people think, and it was nice to see Che in a segment where he got to express/act more. That said, Kyle Mooney's Baby Yoda felt a little too all over the place and needed about 00:30 shaved off or cleaned up- and we were constantly distracted by his little jacked-up green arms.
Now this was an odd one. A potentially funny concept that was dragged along for too long- until it wasn't And we have to give props to Pete Davidson's Gov. Cuomo for saving the sketch because we definitely didn't see it turning into an anti-Italian discrimination PSA. If it wasn't for the out-of-left-field ending, this would've never made the cut. That said? The pixilated "d*ck pic" actually got a pretty good laugh out of me- didn't see that coming.
Speaking of Davidson, Musk's bestest buddy brings back Chad as the hero this world needs to save the colonists at Musk's Space X Mars habitat. SNL has their video sketches down to a science at this point, with Davidson continuing to deliver minimalist Chad at just the right levels and not giving into the reputation SNL has of driving popular characters into the ground with over-exposure.
So now that it's Sunday and the sun is shining (in NYC, at least), we have the satisfaction of knowing the Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) will be taking the stage this Saturday as host- pretty much a 180-degree flip from what the Saturday Night Live cast had to work with this week. Here's hoping it shows.