SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Paul Rudd/DJ Khaled

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CREDIT: Steven Molina Contreras/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Colin and Michael Switch Jokes – Michael and Colin’s semi-annual tradition of writing compromising jokes for each other is now the best part of their Weekend Update era. There’s a potential pitfall that just repeating the formula could lead to diminishing returns, but this edition proves that there’s still room to up the ante. As usual, Che has written the sneakiest punchline (MLK running his mouth), but Colin implying bestiality for Michael is also a fox-like triumph.

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Emma Thompson/Jonas Brothers

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Meet the Press – Oh wow, a political cold open that’s not only funny, but quite possibly the best sketch of the episode! This is basically the inverse of the How’s He Doing? sketches from the Obama era, but here it’s even more extreme and patently nonsensical. Certain Republicans have knotted themselves into a Trump-supporting bind that is dangerous for everybody and just plain stunning in its blind loyalty. Honestly, Kate McKinnon’s version of Lindsey Graham saying, “Harder, Daddy” isn’t that far off from the real thing.

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Adam Sandler/Shawn Mendes

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Holes – So Beck and Kyle discovered that clothes are just holes to cover up your bodily holes, and then they made a song about it, and now we get to bask in the joy of their wonder. It sounds like a cheesy ’80s power ballad, although the sartorial style is more reminiscent of Michael Bolton and other over-the-top soft rockers. And there’s even some “We Didn’t Start the Fire” influence there with the rhyming of Federico Fellini and Roberto Benigni. Wonderfully singular.

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Emma Stone/BTS

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

The Actress – When you’re an actor, I imagine you take your rewarding parts wherever you can find them. So as mundane and ridiculous as this sketch is, it strikes me as ringing 100% true. Not in the sense that Emma Stone actually has experience playing a non-sexual role in a porn video, but in the sense that she, and so many others, have surely had bizarre moments of character discovery, or have at least been fighting for them. That feeling of vulnerability is powerful, and I’m glad we got to witness it.

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Kit Harington/Sara Bareilles

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Terry Fink – One successful formula for a hilarious Update guest segment is a character who has a habit or personality quirk that justifies a bunch of wacky dialogue. And we have an excellent new example from Alex Moffat as film critic Terry Fink, who makes sure to be tripping on plenty of LSD whenever he sees a new flick (or just its poster in the subway or the middle of Times Square). Thanks to him, I now know about Dumbo‘s “touching jihadi message.”

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Sandra Oh/Tame Impala

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CREDIT: Megan Krause/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Discover Card – There’s a current ad campaign about people reaching their doubles at customer service, and there’s a current hit horror movie about people being targeted by their doubles. Somebody at SNL made the connection and astutely decided, “Let’s mash ’em up!” And lo and behold, we have this hilarious commercial parody in which it turns out that the you’s of Discover Card are actually the Tethered of Us, and Ego Nwodim finally gets a showcase performance.

It’s good to know that everyone can be so wonderfully, specifically overwrought in the Test Prep sketch.

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Idris Elba/Khalid

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Can I Play That? – The push to avoid having actors of one identity group play characters of any other identity group is, I believe, generally well-intentioned, and it has done real good in terms of achieving better representation in the entertainment industry. But it can also be taken to ridiculous lengths that forget that the point of acting is to (typically) play someone other than yourself. But at least the tying-oneself-in-knots and constriction that result from that ridiculousness are, we now know, a great formula for an SNL game show parody. This could make for a decent recurring sketch, considering that, even though the joke has already been fully established, these controversies and conundrums tend to keep cropping up.

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