CREDIT: Saturday Night Live/Screenshot

It’s Super Bowl Weekend, and when Super Bowl Weekend comes around, you know those talent bookers at SNL are like, “I’ve got to get me a footballer to host!” It doesn’t happen every year, but it did happen this year, this year being 2020 AD. That footballer is one Mr. Justin James Watt (who was born precisely one year and 13 days after me [unlucky number 13]) Elsewhere in the building, Luke Combs isn’t letting his big bushy beard get in the way of crooning his country concoctions.

All right, on to the show: It’s one of those weeks, similar to many other weeks, in which the political news of the day is not to be ignored, and thus the very first sketch of the episode is a little playlet entitled “The Trial You Wish Had Happened” (Grade: 3/5 Ukes), wherein the impeachment proceedings get a little, shall we say, wacky? This one very much had a “why not” feel to it. In fact, I think the phrase “Why not?” was part of the dialogue. It was at about this point in watching the show that I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs and an English muffin, after having had a pre-breakfast of cereal about an hour earlier. Back to the show: athlete monologues tend to feel like they have a firm hand guiding them, and J.J. Watt’s Monologue (Grade: 3.5/5 Musclemen) was no exception. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can ensure that punchlines are delivered efficiently.

The bit with the Frozen II Deleted Scenes (Grade: Understandable Deletion) is pretty much the epitome of a sketch that explains its jokes as much as possible. Your hear me? E-PIT-O-ME! Pre-filmed clip Robbie (Grade: 2/5 Slams) basically asks, what if we took ALL the charm out of Rudy? Jokes about soiling yourself are still great, though. Dad J.J. Watt having The Sex Talk (Grade: 2.5/5 Birds and the Bee’s Knees) with Son Kyle Mooney = awkward gonna awkward. Olay Eye Black (Grade: 3/5 Even More Footballs!!) is, what do you know, NOT going to give SNL a black eye of embarrassment.

I would like to take this moment to mention that I often break up my SNL viewing with a run of a few miles. It didn’t come at this point, but it will happen soon…

Luke Combs is up with Song No. 1. It’s called “Lovin’ on You” (Grade: 4/5 Beards), and while I usually like my country with a little outlaw or some rhinestone pizzazz, I gotta say, I enjoyed Luke’s more traditional approach, and I can see why he’s popular. He sounds a bit like Hank Williams Jr. The newest edition of Weekend Update once again proves my theory: Germans love when Colin Jost makes fun of himself. Quick thoughts on the correspondents: Chen Biao (Grade: 3.5/5 Chinese Homies): oh wow, that “Little People, Big Ass” joke; Angie Hynes (Grade: Duane Reade Vibes): I’ll make some room for her in my celebration of Black History.

Pilot HunkGrade: Deja Vu.

The Madden 21 Recording Session (Grade: 3.5/5 Huddles) is right in the SNL sweet spot of big-time athletes unwittingly making themselves look like fools, but damn if they don’t come up with some kooky cracks. (It was around this point that I went running. I could really feel that testosterone pumping by the end.) Oh, Food Dudes (Grade: 4/5 Microwave Butts), here is a quick and simple ode to thee: I love it when a commercial parody advertises a fundamentally impractical product as some brilliant idea-fixer and everyone happily goes along with it.

Have I ever so thoroughly praised a country singer on SNL for both performances? Luke Combs and his hit songs like “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (Grade: 4/5 Beards) deserve it. My Fair Big Foot (Grade: 3.5/5 Excretiated Excretia): a sketch about a large hairy creature taking a dookie on the bathroom floor – such dignity, such grace. And finally we come to the last sketch of the night, and quite possibly the best last sketch of the night of the season thus far, that is, Big Willie’s Pizza (Grade: 4.5/5 Sausages). It features great accomplishments all around: a smart observational premise, Kenan’s wig, a collection of jokes that don’t all rely on the central idea, Kenan getting frustrated with a rotary phone – I’m in Silly Comedy Heaven!

Believe it or not, Justin Bieber hosted SNL before RuPaul, who will be making his hosting debut next week. Although, Ru did make a cameo appearance before the Biebs was ever born. Next week, they’ll be paired up as host and musical guest.