SNL: Morgan Wallen, Jason Bateman, Heidi Gardner (CREDIT: Saturday Night Live/YouTube Screenshot)

Hello December, Saturday Night Live would like to return to airing new episodes. I imagine that is similar to the conversation that Morgan Wallen had with NBC executives after his initial booking for this season’s second episode was cancelled due to maskless partying. Something along the lines of, “Hello Lorne, I would like to be booked again.” And maybe Jason Bateman also had a conversation like that about hosting. “Hello 2006, I would like to host SNL a second time.” “Hello 2007, I would like to host SNL a second time.” Et cetera. It took a while, but 2020 finally said yes. As for me, I said, “Hello morning of December 6, 2020, it’s time for me to review an episode of SNL once more.” So I sliced up some banana onto my cereal and got to work!

If you were on Twitter a few days ago, you may have noticed that “Cecily Strong” was trending, as voter fraud testimony witness Melissa Carone sounded exactly like the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party. The joke was already there, so did SNL actually need to make it? For an answer, I would note that not every SNL viewer watches the news 24/7 (good for them), so Ms. Carone was new to them when Cecily actually did play her. Thus, the Michigan State Senate Hearing cold open (Grade: 5 “After Davids”) was kind of like the Sarah Palin sketches way back when in which Tina Fey just repeated some of the things that the actual Palin said, and it was pretty much gold. There were other conspiracy purveyors on hand to say some kooky things, but this was the “Witness You Wish You Hadn’t Started Testimony at a Hearing” Show.

Jason Bateman decided to devote his Monologue (Grade: 3 Lessons Learned) to a discussion about his chimpanzee co-star from the “Monkeys Throwing Poop at Celebrities” sketch from his first time hosting, and dang, it got dark. Kind of a cool and unexpected idea, though.

Wow, SNL sure does enjoy making sketches about periods run amok at a Sleepover (Grade: 2 out of 3 Flooded Houses). Outrageousness can go a long way. The inappropriate threesome proposition tips it over the edge.

Next up we’ve got a music video called “Stu” (Grade: 5 Phat Elfs), based on Eminem’s “Stan,” in which Stu (as played by Pete Davidson) takes the place of Stan, while Santa Claus (as played by Jason Bateman) takes the place of Slim Shady. While the original song is 20 years old at this point, “stanning” culture is still very much alive and kicking, so this parody is still highly relevant. All that holly jolly mixed with the heartbreaking obsession – man, what a winner.

Following a commercial break, we’ve got a sketch featuring some Outdoor Cabaret (Grade: Liza Minelli But Not Really). SNL sure do love to do sketches about weirdos singing in off-the-beaten-path live venues!

The Christmas Conversation (Grade: A Not Very Ginger Fall) is about parents trying to make their adult children who aren’t going to make it home for the holidays feel guilty. This scenario is too stressful to watch even when there’s not a pandemic raging on.

SNL often likes to present sketches in which its guests are self-aware about some sort of controversy they’ve recently been involved with, thus the Alabama Christmas Party (Grade: 2 Beers). It was mostly pretty typical, what with Morgan Wallen visited by future versions of himself attempting (not-so-successfully) to warn him away from his imminent mistakes, but then it got a little cuckoo at the end when Pete Davidson showed up apparently doing a Cartman impression.

After playing himself in a sketch, Morgan Wallen performed a song. It’s called “7 Summers” (Grade: Country Boy Stuff). He’s a typical country boy, and he has no intention of hiding it.

Michael and Colin seemed to be more or less in a good mood while delivering the news on Weekend Update. And why not, as they were joined by a couple of their best friends. First up was Pete Davidson, as himself (Grade: 3 Pete Davidson Vibrators), talking about his native Staten Island. And you know he’s got plenty to say about that topic!

And then finally it’s Heidi Gardner as teenage movie critic Bailey Gismert (Grade: 3 Gumps), and she’s here to talk about 90s Best Picture winners. And why not! Her thoughts about The Silence of the Lambs and Buffalo Bill are sure to raise some eyebrows…

The Santa’s Village sketch (Grade: Too Many Safety Precautions) was mostly conceptualized around the physical comedy of attempting to be festive while in a bubble ball, but my attention was piqued mostly by the fact that a (non-cast member) child actor had a few lines of dialogue. That doesn’t happen very often on this show!

During Morgan Wallen’s second song, “Still Goin’ Down” (Grade: Country Boy Stuff), I noticed that he had a mullet, and I wondered if he had grown it in between his two performances. Or maybe I was just noticing it now because it paired more obviously with his sleeveless shirt than his previous outfits did.

And the final sketch of the night is a pre-taped bit entitled “Bits” (Grade: 4 Kids out of 5 Burritos) in which Kyle Mooney gets to shine as a guy who struggles with his comedic timing while hanging with his bros. He even sings a song about it! And it’s even accompanied by animation in which he kills a bird with an arrow while it’s holding a sign that says “THE BIT.” What a world!

The next new episode will air on the next new Saturday, December 12., 2020. Timothée Chalamet (who I once saw on the subway) will be the host and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (who I’ve seen multiple times on my TV) will be the musical guest.