SNL: Kid Cudi, Carey Mulligan, Kenan Thompson (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

Fun fact: I enjoy watching Carey Mulligan acting in the movies1 Does that mean I’ll also enjoy watching her host Saturday Night Live for the first time? If you read this review, you just might find out! The musical guest is Kid Cudi, who I mostly know from his one-season stint as bandleader on Comedy Bang! Bang!, though I did also know him before that, and now I’ll know him even more after this.

I got my first COVID vaccine dose approximately 10 hours before this episode started airing. I’ve had some soreness around the injection site, but that didn’t really affect my viewing experience in any significant way.

The cold opening goes the local news route by putting an Eye on Minnesota (Grade: 4/5 Eyes) and the Derek Chauvin trial, and quite frankly, everyone involved does a fine job being goofy in the midst of such a distressing topic.

In case you were worried that Carey Mulligan wouldn’t deliver a traditional SNL monologue, well, quite frankly, you had no need to worry! Anyway, her husband shows up, he’s also a famous person, they act silly, and I give this Monologue a Grade of 3/5 Mulligans.

What’s Wrong with This Picture (Grade: 3.5/5 Wrong Guesses) is distilled into a reliable, repeatable formula, but it’s a formula that makes me laugh, so I’m not gonna complain! It’s got a riffing style in the vein of Rick and Morty‘s “Rixty Minutes.”

I guess we really do need a shameless scatological joke at least once per season. Thank you, Tremfalta parody commercial (Grade: Very Poopy).

The study session/date sketch (that SNL‘s YouTube page refers to as “Study Buddy” [Grade: Thick with Curly Hair]) is just an excuse for the power duo of McKinnon and Bryant to team up yet again, but this time, with thick glasses and WIGS! The bit in the beginning about the diorama of the Bush family is also worth mentioning.

The Weird Little Flute music video (Grade: Mildly Weird) has a very current style, but the songs it name-checks are mostly from previous eras. What do you know!

Speaking of flutes, I don’t think Kid Cudi featured any woodwinds in his first song (or his second, for that matter). Anyway, the track is called “Tequila Shots” (3.5/5 Kids), he’s wearing a shirt with Chris Farley on it, he’s sporting a mustache that I didn’t notice right away, and to be consistent with the vibe of the music, he sings about how he’s sorry to his mom.

Remember when Michael Che made a joke about clicking on a suspect from the CDC link during Weekend Update? That was kind of awesome. (See also: “the Averngers.”)

Also behind the Update desk besides Michael and Colin were Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen (Grade: Not Very Renegade), but the Michael Redd and Beck Bennett Impression Version. They talk a lot about Sprite … I wouldn’t have guessed that!

Also behind the Update desk was Pineapple (Grade: 3/5 Pierces), a stripper who was supposedly a client of former professional basketballer Paul Pierce. The joke about the “Jackson + Jackson” vaccine probably gave me the biggest laugh.

Also behind the Update desk was the Iceberg that sank the Titanic (Grade: 4/5 Ice Hats), but really it was SNL cast member Bowen Yang pretending to be an iceberg while dressed in a costume that called to mind the character-heavy late-90s SNL era. An unqualified triumph!

The Starcharter Andromeda sketch (Grade: 3/5 Paramount Pluses) asks, “What if Star Trek, but overly entitled drama queen young adults?”

Next up, it’s time to talk about the fake commercial for Lesbian Period Drama (Grade: 3.5/5 Lesbians), which takes a crack at all the expected tropes. Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Ammonite had very similar vibes, indeed!

The latest edition of The War in Words (Grade: Big Cocaine Energy) is basically exactly the same as all the previous versions, but you know what? They’ve still got it! I would like to ask, though, what attracted these two people to each other in the first place?!

Kid Cudi was cuddly, especially if you like melancholy musical numbers. His second song was “Sad People” (Grade: 3.5/5 Cudis), after all. His dress looked similar to something I’ve seen someone else wear before; I know that’s rather vague, but that’s about all I can remember right now!

The Beat Buddies sketch, aka the L’Eggs sketch (Grade: 4.5/5 Pantyhoses) zigs, and then zags, and then just plows straight ahead into the Hosiery Zone. 15-year-olds can certainly be impressionable, particularly when business ladies played by Aidy Bryant and Carey Mulligan deliver their spiel.

There wasn’t any announcement about the date or guest lineup for the next new episode, but I’m willing to guess that it will air on May 1. (May 1 of 2021, to be precise).