CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

Saturday Night Live Season 45 wasn’t meant to end early, after all. Social distancing restrictions might make a live broadcast a little difficult right now, but they haven’t diminished our capacity to create and consume comedy. Thus, we have our first ever “SNL at Home” episode. It’s all pre-recorded, but so was a significant portion of the 1984-85 season, and that was a great year!

Tom Hanks and Chris Martin are officially announced as the host and musical guest, and I see no reason not to include this episode towards the official all-time ledger. Erg, Hanks has now entered diamond status as a ten-time host!

On to the show, which begins with the cast quickly saying hi via Zoom and then goes into an at-home-ified opening montage. Meanwhile, I prepared for the show by running about 12 miles on Saturday morning, going to bed early, getting plenty of z’s, and then watching the sketches early on Sunday (as per usual). Bananas seem important in this era (and all the time), so I had one with my cereal for breakfast.

“Celebrity canary in the coal mine” Tom Hanks mentioned during his monologue how days of the week seem to run together now, a sentiment that I’ve been hearing a lot lately. But it’s not one I share! How could I not keep the days straight? Saturday Night Live is on, after all (even though I watched it on Sunday). Back to talking about the show: since everyone is still getting used to the at-home routine, I’m going to aim to make my grades for the sketches wackier than usual, so I’ll give the Monologue 4 Q Cards.

Quick hits (not Quick Bites, settle down, Quibi) is the name of the game this episode. First off with the zooming out (no pun intended) is Pete Davidson presenting a “Drake Song,” which totally deserves to be graded A Macau. Naturally enough, Kate McKinnon is up next with Working Out at Home with RBG (Grade: 2 Supreme Tuchuses), and like a decent amount of us, she’s concerned about holding off the “quarantine 15 ounces.” Let’s keep rolling right along with the Zoom Call sketch (Grade: One Big Shiny New 2020 Email Address), which is basically Kate and Aidy doing their normal thing no matter what the general state of the world. As for the Message from Senator Bernie Sanders (Grade: A Living Room Chair), I kind of wanted to see it be a little different than usual by way of Larry David getting into some intense physical comedy, perhaps by completing that heart attack from a few months ago that he mentioned. According to the MasterClass Quarantine Edition (Grade: 2/3 MasterAsses) sketch, the Timothée Chalamet class is the first ever offered in two languages, and that claim just seems suspect.

Now it’s on to the music-and-then-Weekend-Update portion of the show. Chris Martin goes solo with the Bob Dylan tune “Shelter From the Storm” (Grade: One Music Star). And then Michael and Colin found a way to add some real live titters to the at-home Weekend Update (Grade: 2 Covfefe Anchors), which is a little awkward to behold. But the joke swap at the end (supposedly Che’s late grandma’s favorite part of the show) induced my heartiest laugh of the episode.

We finally get to see Bailey Gismert in her natural habitat via an episode of Bailey at the Movies (Grade: Infinity Awkward Parents), and I gotta say, I’m amused by her understanding of the movie delay situation, vis-a-vis people thinking Mulan has COVID because she’s Chinese. That Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles animated short (Grade: 4 Turtle Ninja Mutant Middle-Ages) really feels like it was something that was dusted off from the nineties or early 2000s. GamPlayzDat (Grade: Plenty of Twitchy Twitches) played itself. Sky Sport Report (Grade: 4 Sportz!) features a sports commentator going crazy (or staying sane?) by commenting on mundane at-home goings-on. (This is an actual phenomenon that is going on, and the real thing is kind of glorious.) No surprise, the guys who made the most seamless transition to at-home comedy were Kyle and Beck, as demonstrated by their FaceTime ditty entitled “Whatcha’ Cookin'” (Grade: 5 Red Houses [i.e., not White Houses]).

Is Visualizations with Aidy (Grade: One Damn Life) just a peek into Ms. Bryant’s real personal life? Chances are high. Dating show How Low Will You Go? (Grade: 1 Burpee) sure goes fast. Let’s pray we all must never be in such a rush. In recent seasons, SNL has included some product placement within the sketches, so I wonder if the marker makeup tutorial with Ego Nwodim, which is apparently titled     Quarantine QT” (Grade: 1 Minute and 49 Seconds) is a commercial for Crayola. And Pete Davidson is going to rap for us a little more, this time as Andre 2000 (Grade: 2000 3000’s).

The show wraps up with a tribute to SNL music producer Hal Willmer, who passed away on April 7 from COVID-19 complications.

After the tribute, the closing credits play over an empty SNL stage, which is a little unnerving.

The next new episode of SNL will probably arrive at some point in the near or far future. Whenever it does, I’ll let you know what I think!