CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

Hey, remember the ’90s? That was the decade when John Goodman hosted EVERY SINGLE SEASON of Saturday Night Live. Will the 2020s be the same deal for John Mulaney? His name is also John, after all, and he’s got a three-year streak going currently. It may have started in the 2010s, but maybe that will give him the momentum he needs to carry himself through another nine years. One of the musical guests during Goodman’s run was the legendary classic rock group Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and now Mulaney is being paired up with someone from the same well, as he’s joined by his Sack Lunch Bunch buddy, David Byrne.

With Mulaney playing Joe Biden in the White House press conference cold open (Grade: A Pop-In Here and There), I gotta say, how about if the host always plays one of the candidates in the political sketch whether or not they actually look like any of them? Anyway, the bit that made me laugh the most was when Bernie went after the top .01% of germs that hand sanitizer doesn’t kill. The great value of Mulaney’s stand-up, as super-clear in his Monologue (Grade: 4.5/5 Leap Days), is how it provides plenty of conversational fodder when hanging out with friends and family. I know for sure I’ll be mentioning that Jesus’ greatest miracle was making friends in his thirties and that you don’t need to make a wish to meet Mulaney since he’s always around.

Every once in a while, I compete in a road race on a Sunday morning, and I happened to run a 5K this Sunday. I thought this might be the first time since I’ve been doing this format of SNL reviewing (in which I let you in a little behind the scenes) that I had a run a Sunday race, but then I looked back and discovered that I had actually completed one on the weekend of the season premiere. The more you know! So anyway, I had a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast and then my lunch of turkey-and-cheese on butter bread also accompanied my viewing of this episode.

The Sound of Music? More like The Sound of Obvious But Fairly Amusing Age Gap Jokes (Grade: 3/5 WASPs). I don’t think as a society we’ve quite figured out the best way to present image macro memes on TV, which is clear in the Uncle Meme sketch (Grade: 3.5/5 Memes), but gosh dang it if Mulaney didn’t give it his all and make us all feel how he feels when Green Book on HBO. Up next we’ve got the Kyle’s Transformation pre-taped video (Grade: 3.5/5 Last Resorts), and I must say, I did not know that Kyle Mooney had nightmare fuel in his comedy repertoire. In Say, Those Two Don’t Seem to Like Each Other (Grade: Pass-Around Party Bottom Fever) … oh boy, I’m already exhausted.

I haven’t seen American Utopia, David Byrne’s Broadway show, but I’m pretty sure that his performances in this episode are lifted from it, as he and his accompanists are sporting the gray duds from that production. And it’s quite an invigorating decision, as the excellent rendition of “Once in a Lifetime” (Grade: 5/5 Beautiful Houses), perhaps Talking Heads’ most iconic song, is the sort of performance that makes you newly re-evaluate a song that you thought you already knew quite intimately.

Update most notably features Che kicking back with an alcoholic beverage and the removal of his tie, and if this segment of SNL wants to remain exciting, it needs to have moments like this. We’ve also got Chris Redd presenting us with a wrap-up of Black History Month, and I have to thank him for gifting us the new phrase, “Ghost of Blackface Past” (Grade: 3/5 Black Redds). And burns on the Knicks spring eternal as they lose to the cast of To Kill a Mockingbird by 25 points! Airport Sushi (Grade: $15 Worth of Dasani Water) continues the Grand Mulaney Tradition of Broadway-Inspired Odes to the Iffy Corners of NYC, and you know they went as all out as they did with Diner Lobster and Bodega Bathroom.

I ate a banana while working on this review. Was it enough to keep me powered through to make sense?

For David Byrne’s second number, he and his crew perform something called “Toe Jam” (Grade: Big Bare Feet Energy), which is appropriate enough, because I can’t focus on much else besides the fact that they’re on stage without any shoes on. How many times in SNL history have we seen exposed toes on the music stage? I can’t think of any others offhand. And finally, because every episode has a last sketch, we come to Forgotten Figures of Black History (Grade: 3.5/5 Boos), and man, is there anyone else besides Kenan Thompson who can make us so sympathetic to a guy with a personal vendetta against Jackie Robinson?

On March 7, the lineup will be host Daniel Craig and musical guest The Weeknd. Does Craig hate Mondys and prefer the weeknd?