CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

The SNL at Home experiment continues onward! For #2, we don’t have a host or musical guest this time, at least none officially announced during the opening montage. Although, Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus essentially fulfill the same duties that Tom Hanks and Chris Martin did last time. I’d like to say for the official record books that they were in fact the host and MG, but I generally go by what Darrell Hammond (previously Don Pardo) says. (Though, for what it’s worth, Season 45’s Wikipedia page currently does list them as the host and MG.)

In a similar state of confusion, I went to bed on Saturday night planning on making scrambled eggs in the morning, but when I woke up, I was more in the mood for cereal, but when I made it to the kitchen, I was back to being in the mood for eggs. So, the rumors are true, I did cook some eggs and toast. It was the right call.

(One quick note so that we’re all on the same page: for as long as new episodes remain at home, I’ll aim to make my grades for the sketches wackier than usual.)

Cold open: we open on: Brad Pitt. Sitting at a desk. Pretending to be Dr. Anthony Fauci. Pitt seems a bit of a white whale that SNL‘s been trying to book as a host for decades now. He made a cameo once before, but it took a global pandemic for him to finally show up in a more official capacity. Anyway, this sketch demonstrates the comedic power of a profoundly reasonable person reacting to the profoundly unreasonable. And when Pitt breaks character at the end, that’s normally something I’d advise against, but in the case of a situation where incorrect information can be a matter of life or death, that may have very well been the right call. So I’ll go ahead and give the Message From Dr. Fauci a Grade of One Fetch Facepalm.

We skip the monologue, or monologue-facsimile, and jump right into the sketches proper. While the first at home episode brought with it a sense of comfort, it didn’t deliver a whole lot of excitement. But that changes very quickly this time, with a delightfully produced edition of What Up With That? (Grade: Infinity Lindsey Buckingams). We haven’t seen a new edition of this beloved recurring sketch in more than 7 years, and the sound design of a professionally produced show goes a big way in getting past the weirdness of no live audience laughter. The bad connection with Lindsey Buckingham is just the icing on the cake.

We go the Snapchat filter route on In Depth with Brian Sutter (Grade: A Little Too Snappy), and that’s just how these things go these days. Pete (as in Davidson) teams up with Adam (as in Sandler) for “Stuck in the House” (Grade: 2 Pigeon Families), and I think your enjoyment of this one will depend on how much you like sitting around on the couch with your family. Things get back to being tremendously goofy as Kate and Aidy tell us about the low-selling grocery items at Bartenson’s (Grade: The Goo Inside Peeps Soup), and man, this sounds like a sort of surreal utopia.

Lo, these many years, Kenan Thompson’s Big Papi has regaled us with tales of his wild food adventures, and now we finally get a peek inside his Big Dominican Lunch (Grade: The Immortal Mofongo), and it looks like comforting yum. Airbnb (Grade: 4 Doors) goes bad when pandemic prevents guest from leaving – I smell a sitcom! What do we got next, what do we got… it’s time for Chris Redd to make some Booty Call Facetimes (Grade: 3 TimeFaces), and the pickings are slim, but the joke about pirating a Sopranos DVD box set is kind of funny. Ms. Miley Cyrus has a rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (Grade: 4 Inflamed Handshakes) for us, and it feels perfectly calibrated to freak us out: firepit, decidedly red tint, gravelly voice, and creepy stare into our souls at the end. Good golly, Miss Miley!

Weekend Update (Grade: 2 Land O’ Lakes Pipelines) is a quieter affair than usual (literally), although Pete livens things up a bit by talking about “heinie smoocharoos.” Who’s in the mood for some Soulcycle Virtual Workouts (Grade: Anti-Body Positivity)? Not me, but I’ll settle for a joke that goes “I’m Molly. Sorry. I’m on Molly.” Did OJ Simpson really tweet about SNL at Home? I don’t know, but the OJ Address mostly has me thinking that Kenan Thompson has done an impression of pretty much the entirety of black America, so I’ll give it a Grade of 5 Thenan Kompsons. [EDIT: I somehow neglected to originally include the FaceTime with Paul Rudd and his cousin Mandy sketch [Grade: Big Ramy Youssef Energy], which probably has something to do with Rudd being ageless and therefore I must have gotten confused with something from 20 years ago.] On to The Reveal (Grade: Detective Zoom), which is ostensibly some sort of Law & Order parody, at least based on the title design, but in practice, it’s just an excuse for Beck Bennet to say “masculine rock.”

The Pornhub commercial (Grade: People) was set to the tune of “This Little Light of Mine.” Whiskers ‘R’ We at home (Grade: Dog) gets a lot of mileage out of a single cat actor. (Unless … that was more than one cat?) For much of this episode, I was thinking how the sketches didn’t have to be about living in a pandemic. They could have been about whatever! Well, Kyle Mooney, for one, certainly believes that, and as a veteran of making lo-fi videos, he’s in prime condition to make some more, like What’s My Name? (Grade: Over the Moon), which features some fly dance moves and a few delightfully unusual names  (“Tinger,” “DJ Spider”) as guesses for the forgotten party guest’s actual moniker.

Melissa’s Big Date (Grade: The Thrill of Talking to the Air) fully embraces the audience absence for a night of passion with an invisible paramour. Do we want to know what secrets of the past await us in SNL cast members’ homes? If the results are like those in Aidy’s Real Journals (Grade: 5 “Lickes”), then the answer is yes.

There will probably be at least one more new episode before the season is through, what with the All In Challenge mentioned during Update, so I’ll make sure I let you know what I think!