SNL: Jack Harlow, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

When Maya Rudolph was announced as the host of the March 27, 2021 episode of Saturday Night Live, I mentioned to my dad that this was only her second time returning to host. Then I guessed that in addition to all that, she’s also probably made approximately another dozen guest appearances. But it turned out the actual total is about double that! Musical guest Jack Harlow, meanwhile, is here for the first time. As for me and the number of times I’ve watched this show, that’s gotta be in the thousands.

If someone told you that an SNL episode would start with a pretend game show, would you believe it? Well, you’d better believe it, because that’s exactly what happened in this episode! It’s called Snatched, Vaxed, or Waxed (Grade: 2.5/5 Marches), and I laughed at the name “Cece Vuvuzela.”

Just like pretty much every other host in SNL history, Maya Rudolph came out and delivered a Monologue (Grade: 3.5/5 Marches), although it should be noted that she wasn’t the only person talking on the stage (quite frankly, that’s often the case). She brought out the new cast members, gave them funny nicknames, and then got on with it.

There’s this YouTube show called Hot Ones, in which celebrities eat hot ones, i.e., spicy chicken wings. SNL decided that it should do a parody-Hot Ones (Grade: 3.5/6 Ice Cubes) with Ms. Maya Rudolph as the normally unflappable Beyoncé. It was worth it for the whole routine about needing frozen H2O on her head.

In case you were wondering what I had for breakfast, it was heart-shaped Honey Nut Cheerios and Vanilla & Almond Special K, with blueberries on top, and it went down really easy.

It’s typical for an SNL episode to feature a pre-filmed music video, and we got two of them this time! The first was Boomers Got the Vax (Grade: Mild Edith Puthie Energy), which went really heavy on the late 90s Bad Boy hip-hop vibes.

It’s Passover time, so in the spirit of timeliness, we are blessed with the Kamala Harris Unity Seder (Grade: 3/5 Passovers), which is strong with the familial vibes. Martin Short showed up to play Doug Emhoff! He and Maya are good friends.

Oh wow, it’s already time for the other pre-filmed music video. This one’s called NFTs (Grade: 3.5/5 Marches), and it’s fun and informative about those non-fungible tokens that are so hot right now. Eminem vibes, Morpheus inspiration: what an early 2000s throwback!

Jack Harlow went with a 2-song medley for his first performance: “Tyler Herro”/”White Poppin” (Grade: 3/5 Marches). In the former, he mentions John Stockton, rendering his sports references about as old as he is. And in the latter, he mentions a “bluegrass girl,” which makes sense, as he’s from Kentucky.

You know something? I laughed at this edition of Weekend Update much more than usual! Particularly the parts when Che mentioned that he’s got some white women to whistle at and when Colin became confused about Muppet ethnicity.

I appreciate a good bit of silly talk in Weekend Update correspondents, and that’s what we’ve got with Cecily Strong’s impression of Dominion-doubting attorney Sidney Powell (Grade: 3.5/5 Jibble-Jabbles).

Then “Asian Cast Member” Bowen Yang (Grade: 3.5/5 Gay Passover Bunnies) shows up with some advice on how to combat anti-Asian hate. While his ideas might strike you as a little silly, that’s actually a good thing, as he is performing on a comedy show.

If you thought that a sketch with Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph as rival dance instructors with a romantic past would make for an enjoyable comedy scene, then you surely enjoyed the New Choreographers sketch (Grade: 4/5 Pictures of Jon Benet Ramsey), as did I.
SNL has a well-established history of unlikely awards show sketches. So with the Barfly Awards (Grade: 2.5/5 Marches) serving as just the latest example, I’ve gotta ask: in what theoretical fictional universe do these awards shows exist? What’s that place all about?

Jack Harlow was up for the traditional second musical guest performance, in which he was joined by Maroon 5 frontperson Adam Levine for “Same Guy” (Grade: 3/5), which has a decidedly introspective vibe.

The Shining has inspired so much pop culture in its wake, and the latest example to bring succor to my soul is The Maya-ing (Grade: 4/5 Perm Cancers), in which Maya Rudolph discovers all the mystical wonders of Studio 8H she is now privy now that she’s a cast member who’s returned to host.

Sometimes SNL airs a new episode the day before Easter, and that’s the case next week with Daniel Kaluuya and St. Vincent. Hopefully viewers aren’t too busy watching The Ten Commandments!