NASA Shutdown
Clever and timely, on two counts.  It unfortunately pales in comparison to last week’s “We Did Stop,” but that is a lofty standard.  This solid track record so far suggests there will be plenty of laughs for SNL to wring out of the government shutdown. B+

Bruce Willis’ Monologue
Bizarrely unmemorable.  I guess Bruce REALLY didn’t want to do anything else except play the harmonica, or Bobby REALLY wanted to play with him. C

24-Hour Energy for Dating Actresses
And with an absolutely (purposefully) awful gag, Kyle Mooney sneaks in the best line! B-

Black Ops Command Center
I think the point of this sketch was what it would really be like if John McClane’s tactics were attempted in the real world, but it was all kind of silly, because this was some sort of covert military operation and thus hardly the same situation that our favorite New York cop usually finds himself in.  Don’t get me wrong, there were several great lines, but it all seemed rather pointless. B-

I was amused by the concept of “pork chop day at the ballpark,” but other than that, this sketch did not seem to be aiming for anything.  Surely there must have been a more exciting sketch that got cut after dress rehearsal. C-

Boy Dance Party
I thought this was cute. B

The Lady GaGa Show
I love Vanessa Bayer, but I cannot think of a single kind word to say about her GaGa impression.  Bruce as Kors was a nonentity, while Kate’s Penelope was a redux of her first appearance from the Sofia Vergara episode, and therefore it had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this sketch. C

Katy Perry performs “Roar”
This song is very enjoyable in a bland sort of way.  The stage design was nothing to write home about, but it was colorful and professional.  And, most important, Katy sounded as good as she ever has. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: I’m still no fan of Seth’s style, and Cecily still needs to work on her style, but this was about as good as this lineup could possibly be.  Seth’s best was the Giants shutdown, and Cecily’s best was Prince Harry’s mid-priced Toyota sedan.  The Jenner breakup bits were well-crafted, but a little harsh for my taste. B
-The Segments: -Chaplain Barry Black: Who was this guy again? C+
-Brooks Whelan on tattoos: Brooks Whelan has tattoos: duly noted. C+

So, either someone really wanted to do an Armageddon parody, or someone really wanted to bring back Bobby’s kitty-obsessed Kirby.  And, no, I don’t understand either decision.  Look, I appreciate Bobby committing to his performance, but there is just not enough “there” there to justify a sketch. C

Centauri Vodka Launch Party
Confoundingly short.  Did somebody realize at the last second the show was short two minutes and then hastily put this together?  If so, then it was actually kind of impressive. C+

Protective Son
Mr. Chun, I laughed with Glice, I knew Glice, and you, sir, are no Glice. B-

The Good Neighbor crew is thankfully so comfortable in their weirdness as they bring their flavor to SNL.  Jay and John (Milhiser) served as useful audience surrogates to express incredulity at why all this was existing. B

Katy Perry performs “Walking on Air”
I was expecting Katy to appear in a sketch or two, seeing as she has hosted before and she also appeared in sketches the last time she was only the MG.  But I guess she wanted to focus on her performances, which worked out fine, because she sounded spectacular.  This particular song sounded like any Eurodance track from the 90’s, so it wasn’t all that unique, but it was unique for Katy.  And the performance was thoroughly put together. B+

I guess everyone still misses Breaking Bad. Original Grade: B-

I am not angry with this SNL episode.  It wasn’t filled with overdone recurring sketches that have already been run into the ground.  And the two recurring sketches that did appear are so strange that even though they weren’t particularly good, they weren’t infuriating.  There was definitely an effort to make this episode unique, but so much of it simply just fell flat.  There was also an attempt to parody all that Bruce Willy has been up to in the 24 years since he last hosted, but it was so vague it barely registered.  Bruce can still be funny, I’m sure of it!  Chalk the lackluster results up to exhaustion.  At least Bruce continued his streak of hosting episodes with great musical guests, as Katy defied the odds to be the best MG of the season so far.

Janet from space called to tell us what the Best Sketch of the Episode was: