Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Daniel Craig/The Weeknd

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

History shall remember that on March 7, 2020 (and in the wee hours of March 8), Daniel Craig hosted Saturday Night Live for the second time and The Weeknd performed as the musical guest for the third time. The last time March 7 fell on a Saturday, in 2015, Chris Hemsworth hosted and Zac Brown Band were the musical guest. And the last March 7 Saturday before that was in 2009, during which Dwayne Johnson hosted and Ray LaMontagne was the musical guest. (I was studying abroad in Australia at the time.) An encore presentation of that episode aired in the SNL Vintage time slot last night. Interestingly enough, Dwayne Johnson hosted once again on March 28, 2015, the very next episode after the Hemsworth/Zac Brown one. But right now, we’re here to discuss the Craig/Weeknd show. Let’s get to it!

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: John Mulaney/David Byrne

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CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

Hey, remember the ’90s? That was the decade when John Goodman hosted EVERY SINGLE SEASON of Saturday Night Live. Will the 2020s be the same deal for John Mulaney? His name is also John, after all, and he’s got a three-year streak going currently. It may have started in the 2010s, but maybe that will give him the momentum he needs to carry himself through another nine years. One of the musical guests during Goodman’s run was the legendary classic rock group Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and now Mulaney is being paired up with someone from the same well, as he’s joined by his Sack Lunch Bunch buddy, David Byrne.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: RuPaul/Justin Bieber

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

RuPaul and SNL. They go together like werking it and starting your engines. Surely he’s hosted once a year since the 90s, or at least once a decade? But no, this is in fact his first time hosting at Studio 8H ever. So let’s make up for lost time and get right to it. (Justin Bieber is also here.)

But first, we have some Democratic Debate (Grade: A General Sense of Necessity) business to take care of. You know how these things go: some recurring guest stars, a few burns, round and round … and round and round … and round and round we go. So let’s move on to the Monologue (Grade: 3/5 Classic New York Stories), which is one of those quick, “You know me, I’m (Insert Name of Cool Person Here)” Monologues.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: J.J. Watt/Luke Combs

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CREDIT: Saturday Night Live/Screenshot

It’s Super Bowl Weekend, and when Super Bowl Weekend comes around, you know those talent bookers at SNL are like, “I’ve got to get me a footballer to host!” It doesn’t happen every year, but it did happen this year, this year being 2020 AD. That footballer is one Mr. Justin James Watt (who was born precisely one year and 13 days after me [unlucky number 13]) Elsewhere in the building, Luke Combs isn’t letting his big bushy beard get in the way of crooning his country concoctions.

All right, on to the show: It’s one of those weeks, similar to many other weeks, in which the political news of the day is not to be ignored, and thus the very first sketch of the episode is a little playlet entitled “The Trial You Wish Had Happened” (Grade: 3/5 Ukes), wherein the impeachment proceedings get a little, shall we say, wacky? This one very much had a “why not” feel to it. In fact, I think the phrase “Why not?” was part of the dialogue. It was at about this point in watching the show that I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs and an English muffin, after having had a pre-breakfast of cereal about an hour earlier. Back to the show: athlete monologues tend to feel like they have a firm hand guiding them, and J.J. Watt’s Monologue (Grade: 3.5/5 Musclemen) was no exception. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can ensure that punchlines are delivered efficiently.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Adam Driver/Halsey

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

It’s the first SNL of 2020. We diddddd it!

So in the spirit of moving forward, I’m going to take a moment to look back. When I first started writing up SNL episode recap/reviews, I would usually watch some of the episode as it aired live (typically until around Update) and then go to bed and watch the rest on Sunday morning. But as I got older, I realized that I tended to get tired at nighttime and preferred going to bed before the show started and thus I would watch it all on Sunday morning. But this time, I got back in my old groove and watched the first couple sketches before tucking in for the night (though slightly DVR-delayed). I didn’t feel too tired, and the Australian Open was on, so I decided to roll with how I was feeling. Just so you know. Also, I had a milkshake while watching. I really had a hankering for one!

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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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