Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Eddie Murphy/Lizzo

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

It’s the last new Saturday Night Live of 2019, and I got a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed to watch it recorded on my DVR. I finished writing in my dream journal while still in bed and added a very yellow banana to my cereal. I bet Eddie Murphy was also feeling refreshed, as it’s been 35 years since he last hosted (and 35+ years since he left the cast). Hopefully Lizzo was also feeling refreshed, or at least excited, as this is her first time as music guest. Incidentally, I believe that “Liz. OH!” is what you say when you realize that it’s been 35 years since Eddie Murphy last hosted.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Scarlett Johansson/Niall Horan

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Let’s take a moment to recognize how much Christmas cheer Saturday Night Live manages to regularly contain. On most seasons, there are three new episodes in December, and all three of those year-ender outings typically have a significant percentage of holiday-themed sketches. In the middle of that snowy sandwich in 2019 we’ve got Scarlett Johansson hosting for the sixth time, and Niall Horan is providing the tunes for the first time without his former bandmate bros.

Let me set the scene of my viewing for you: I made myself a couple of pancakes for breakfast that went down easy, the day after I ran a 5K race. Yum!

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Jennifer Lopez/DaBaby

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

If it’s the end of a decade or the start of a new one, it must be time for Jennifer Lopez to host SNL. Her first two times were in Februarys 2001 and 2010, and now we have her again in December 2019. Meanwhile, DaBaby is joining her for his first jaunt as musical guest. Hey, if he makes some more appearances after this one, are we going to have to start calling him “DaChild” and then “DaAdult”?

When 11:30 (or actually 11:29, according to the channel guide) rolls around, it’s time for the show to start, not because we’re ready, but because we can. (But if you record it, it’ll be waiting for you the very next morning on your DVR!) So as 11:30 hit on December 7, 2019, Alec Baldwin was unsurprisingly in his Trump costume, but he was joined at NATO (Grade: 2.5/5 Merkel Moans of Ecstasy) by a couple other guests, i.e. Jimmy Fallon as Justin Trudeau and Paul Rudd as Emmanuel Macron, and while it’s nice to see some old friends, I’m not in favor of guests always playing such high-profile roles. You gotta develop your farm talent! Although, the James Corden-as-Boris Johnson of it all wasn’t so bad, since he’s an SNL noob. J. Lo comes out for her Monologue (Grade: 3.5/5 Gravity Defiers), and we’re all expecting her to dance, WHICH SHE DOES!, but how many of us also expected her to rock that green dress again? Wowza.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Will Ferrell/King Princess

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Do you want to know a little secret? Will Ferrell is my favorite SNL cast member of all time! He regularly graced the Studio 8H stage from 1995 to 2002, and I don’t think it’s too out of line to say that he appeared in a lot of hilarious sketches that multiple people remember fondly. Since ending his tenure and moving on to other career ventures, he’s also made time to return for some visits, which has led up to him hosting for the FIFTH time on November 23, 2019, thereby becoming only the fourth former cast member to join the Five-Timers Club. Also appearing in an official capacity in this episode is musical guest King Princess. She’s only 20 years old currently, and I think she’s someone we’ll be noticing for a while.

Alec Baldwin-Trump showed up for the White House press conference cold open (Grade: 3/5 Large Pies, Extra Cheese), and somehow it felt somewhat fresh. It helped that it was just a few minutes long, and Will F. imbued some new energy into the proceedings as Gordon Sondland. You can always bank on an excellent Monologue (Grade: 4.5 New Blorks) from Will Ferrell (or as Tracy Morgan says, “Will fuh-RELL!”), thanks to his knack for subverting common monologue tropes. This time was no exception, as he became phantasmagorically puddly-lipped in the presence of surprise guest Ryan Reynolds.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Harry Styles (Season 45)

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

It was a big family weekend for me this … weekend. Birthdays, food, and candles galore! So if it sounds like I’m writing this review after staying out all night partying, you know why. Hosting AND musical guesting this mid-November SNL outing is millennial Harry Styles. The last time we had someone pulling double duty was Chance the Rapper just two episodes ago. Is this a record for the least amount of time between double duties? Almost certainly so. I don’t think it’s even legal for it to happen two episodes in a row.

The opening sketch, as surely expected by anyone with expectations, centered around the congressional impeachment hearings. the formula for most SNL political sketches is: here’s our version of what we all saw happen on the news earlier in the week. But I wish more often it were: here’s this imaginary scene featuring the people in the news. I suppose this story was too big to sidestep, but at least they spruced it up a bit by turning it into a soap opera. So I give Days of Our Impeachment a Grade of a Few Fainting Spells. Anyway, then Harry Styles pranced out for his Monologue (Grade: 3 out of 5 Suspicious B-Camera Shots) and with those wonderful yellow pants and open-collar blue shirt, I’m tempted to say he’s promoting his fashion sense much more so than any of his music. And I must say, I think Harry and his episode started out strong as he played an office intern sent out on a Lunch Run (Grade: 3.5/5 Frederick Douglass Boulevards) who’s intent to get some Popeye’s chicken sandwiches in another example of SNL astutely commenting on racial American stereotypes.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Kristen Stewart/Coldplay

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Hello world, it’s time for me to post my review of the fifth episode of the forty-fifth season of Saturday Night Live. Kristen Stewart is hosting for the second time ever. I thought she was promoting Seberg, which is looking like it’ll be a pretty small release, even as far as small releases go. But then I remembered that she’s also going to be in the latest edition of Charlie’s Angels, which comes out soon. And Coldplay (the coldest of bands? certainly not the most playful) is the musical guest for, wow, the sixth time. That’ll have you thinking about the passage of time.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Chance the Rapper (Season 45)

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

After a short one-week break (presumably so that the cast could catch up on their sleep), SNL is back with a new Season 45 episode, with Chance the Rapper pulling double duty. He’s hosted before, been musical guest before, but never both at the same time … until now! I don’t know exactly what he’s promoting right now, but he seems like the type of person who releases new music often enough that he’s always promoting something. And they seem to like him at SNL enough that he can stop by whenever he wants to. To give you a sense of where I was at while watching, I made myself pancakes. You might notice that I eat pancakes frequently on the weekends.

For the cold open, Alec Baldwin showed up as Trump again. I wish I could muster more enthusiasm. “Deep State lizard conspiracy” made me laugh, and I enjoyed Fred Armisen’s very silly Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Trump Rally (Grade: More Turkey Puns, Please) Chance the Rapper inserted plenty of rhythm into his Monologue (Grade: 4/5 Second Places) by debuting a little rap (alongside Kyle Mooney) about the second bests of various attractions, as inspired by his hometown of Chicago, the “Second City.” At first blush, this feels like it deserves a place in the Monologue Song Pantheon.

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