SNL: Bad Bunny, Regé-Jean Page, Melissa Villaseñor (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

Here’s something I’ve never done before: written a review of an SNL episode hosted by Regé-Jean Page with musical guest Bad Bunny. (How Bad is he?!) Here’s to new experiences!

I got up early on Sunday morning, enjoyed some heart-shaped Honey Nut Cheerios, visited the bathroom a few times, and got to watching the comedy.

If the real Britney Spears were to host a talk show, do you think it would go a little something like Oops, You Did It Again (Grade: “Oops”? Or Maybe It Was on Purpose?). For the purposes of the people who wrote this week’s cold opening, the answer is “Yes.” Much of this sketch was more stuck in the muckety-muck than it was ha-ha, but Pete Davidson as Andrew Cuomo was just plain-old counterintuitively inspired.

Regé-Jean Page is most famous for starring on a famously horny show, so unsurprisingly his Monologue (Grade: 3/5 Interruptions) featured some of the ladies of SNL being horny.  According to my notes, the funniest parts were odd phrasing choices like “She’s just Chloe from regular SNL” and “extremely hot sex man.”

When the Actors Spotlight sketch (Grade: 3/5 Coldy Squares) began, I was expecting Debette Goldry to show up, but no, instead this was about black actors from Great Britain who have British accents. Also then we get silly, because Ice Cube (as played by Kenan Thompson) pretends to be British. Kind of adorable, really.

My biggest takeaway from the Loco music video (Grade: Normal Amounts of Insanity) was that it’s been a year since a dude touched Ego Nwodim’s character’s butt.

Now it’s time to talk about the sketch in which a game of billiards is interrupted by a spirited reception towards Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” (Grade: I Don’t Drive Very Often Nowadays). I’m not too familiar with the song, so I couldn’t relate to it too much, but I can relate to the oddness of Kate’s old Italian man character.

The Mr. Chicken Legs Pageant (Grade: 3/5 Jack Skellingtons) just comes right out and announces its silliness. But what it doesn’t announce right away is the way that Aidy Bryant sneaks in there at the end and inspects those chicken legs. That’s something special.

The Job Interview (Grade: 4/5 BBDOs) had me all sorts of jazzed, because it’s one of those rare sketch comedy successes in which every character is equally unhinged. There’s no need for a sane base reality, and that just means a lot to me. Bonus points for Bowen Yang’s note-slipping.

Bad Bunny is joined by Rosalia for his first number, “La Noche de Anoche” (Grade: 4/5 Stage Steps), which is all sorts of sexy. Is this the first time an SNL musical performance has ever been entirely in a foreign language? I can’t recall any others! (The closest one I can think of is when Luciano Pavarotti sang in Latin while Vanessa Williams handled the English parts.)

I like to list jokes that made me laugh when talking about Weekend Update, so here goes: who likes Ted Cruz?, the NASA Rover becoming a racist tweeter, and which half of Israel’s been vaccinated.

Also when it comes to Weekend Update, I like to discuss the correspondents. First up is Pete Davidson (as himself) (Grade: More Boats Than People), who talks about pandemic-era Valentine’s Day and discovers striking similarities between his mother and the show that he’s a cast member on. Pete’s one of our modern philosophers.

Then Heidi Gardner shows up as Jessie Raunch (Grade: 3.5/5 Blades), an aid organization program director who is inexplicably dressed just like famous movie villain Freddy Krueger. That fact does not go unmentioned! Quite frankly, I would’ve gone cuckoo if it had been ignored. But can you imagine if they had dared to do it that way? Oh man, that would’ve been something!

The Sea Shanty sketch (Grade: A Whiff of Seasickness) is at least the second time this episode in which Kate McKinnon really saves the day with a rather small part. Hardly a shocker.

The scene in which two families get really competitive about saying Grace (Grade: God Is Surely Smiling) is really special because it’s one of those sketches that ultimately just becomes a celebration by the end. Who can complain when everyone on screen is just dancing with abandon?

If you had guessed that the prerequisite Bridgerton sketch would be about Intimacy Coordinators (Grade: Plenty of Beef Sleeves and Dong Bags), you may have won some betting bucks (if, that is, you put your money where your prognosticating mouth is). Anyway, Pete Davidson and Mikey Day had a lot of fun playing a couple of hastily hired coordinators who aren’t quite as sensitive as they probably should be, and I don’t blame them!

Bad Bunny’s second song, “Te Deseo lo Mejor” (Grade: Taking a Seat), is also entirely sung in Spanish, and because I’m not fluent in the language, my mind drifted to the visual elements, like what appeared to be a wrestling title belt draped across Bunny’s leg and his earth-tone collared shirt. (Of course, I also notice the visuals even when I understand the lyrics.)

Oftentimes nowadays, the final sketch of an SNL episode prominently features Kyle Mooney and/or Beck Bennet (when it’s not cut for time), and that was very much the case with The Grocery Rap (Grade: 3.5/5 Pandemic Cures). For the record, Kyle and Beck were very much accompanied by Andrew Dismukes. I became fully sold on this sketch when Beck started blubbering in the manager’s office.

Next week, we close out February 2021 SNL‘s with a fellow named Nick Jonas, who will be providing the hosting and the musical guesting.