Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Dave Chappelle/Foo Fighters

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SNL: Dave Chappelle, Foo Fighters (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

The last time Saturday Night Live aired a new episode on NBC the Saturday immediately after an American presidential election, the host was Dave Chappelle. And the exact same thing happened this year! Was that booking intentional? I would guess “yes.”

Back in 2016, the musical guest paired with Dave was A Tribe Called Quest in their first ever SNL appearance. But this time, the musical guest is Foo Fighters, in their 8th ever SNL appearance. Like the host, the lead singer of the Foos is also named Dave. How often have the host and musical guest on the same episode had the same first name?! I can’t think of any other time, so let’s take a beat to honor this moment.

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If you’re wondering where I was at while watching this episode (and I bet you are, because I usually let you know), I got up and had a fine Sunday breakfast of scrambled eggs and buttered English muffin. It was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I got out of bed, but it was forecasted to go up by 30 degrees by the middle of the day. In November!

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: John Mulaney/The Strokes

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SNL: John Mulaney, The Strokes, Ego Nwodim (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

With this, the most Halloween-iest episodes of Saturday Night Live, former SNL writer John Mulaney enters rarefied hosting territory by hosting more than once in a single calendar year. His last time on the Studio 8H stage was on February 29, 2020, which was a notable date not only because it was a Leap Day but also because it was one of the last live in-studio shows before the pandemic necessitated the shutdown of most in-person gatherings. This booking might demonstrate that the folks on SNL are not a superstitious lot, for otherwise they would fear that Mulaney’s presence would portend another shutdown. Or perhaps they are superstitious, just in the opposite direction, with the hope that his return might augur a return to safer times.

Musical guest The Strokes, like Mulaney, are also making their fourth official appearance.

They were last on in 2011, a time when Charlie Sheen was inescapable. What’s Carlos up to these days? Still throwing heaters?

While watching this episode, I downed some scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee cake, and the night before, I watched some football and put on a hybrid Halloween costume, so I was ready and rarin’ to go!

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Adele/H.E.R.

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SNL: H.E.R., Adele, Kate McKinnon (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

There is a long and proud tradition of musicians serving as both host and musical guest on the same episode of Saturday Night Live. There’s also a tradition that’s not quite as vaunted but that’s just as notable of musicians serving as only host while letting someone else provide the tunes. On October 24, 2020 AD, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (dude, we’re getting Adele!) joined the likes of Sting, Snoop Dogg, and Chance the Rapper by making her hosting debut while allowing Gabriella Wison (aka H.E.R.) to make her MG debut. And now I am going to offer you, my readers, some reactions to how they performed.

When I woke up on Sunday, it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which was sweet relief from a preceding week that had been a bit of an Indian summer with swampy 60-something days. So as I’m writing this review, I’m not sweating any more than I ought to be on a late October day in Brooklyn.

Cold open was of course the last Debate (Grade: What We Expected). I laughed when Jim Carrey Biden revealed that he bought his suit on a train.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Issa Rae/Justin Bieber

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SNL: Justin Bieber, Issa Rae (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

SNL Season 46 Log. Episode 3. No major emergencies. Time for some funnies!

Insecure creator-star Issa Rae is making her hosting debut, and I think that’s a commendable booking decision. She has the chops to be goofy, which she doesn’t always have the opportunity to show off in Insecure. But on SNL, there’s plenty of room for her to kick back and be silly. In fact, it’s encouraged.

As for the tunes, Justin Bieber is the musical guest for the fourth time in his career and the second time in this calendar year. To which I say, “Huh.” I’m open to the possibility of liking his songs more now and in the future than I have in the past, but I wouldn’t have pegged him to be such a Studio 8H fixture at this point.

I woke up early Sunday morning. Before 7:00 AM, even! But I stayed in bed a little past 7:00 because I like to rise with the sun. Then I watched this episode and took some notes while I watched.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Bill Burr/Jack White

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SNL: Bill Burr (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

Bill Burr is a comedian who’s been around for a few decades, but this episode is his first time ever appearing on Saturday Night Live. So what finally got him on the radar of Lorne & Co. enough to land that hosting gig? Is it because he starred in a movie this summer with Pete Davidson? That certainly could’ve helped. Is it because his name is almost the same as current American Attorney General William Barr? Possibly, although no reference was made to that during the episode.

The musical guest was originally supposed to be country singer Morgan Wallen, but he was recently behaving in a way that’s not recommended during a pandemic, so SNL vet Jack White stepped in as a replacement. I’d never heard of Morgan before he was booked; hopefully he does something more commendable at some point in the future so that his reputation isn’t forever based on a lapse in judgment.

I got up early Sunday morning and started watching with my typical bowl of cereal. I also made time to write down the dream I had the night before, which featured Drs. Doug and Carol from County General Hospital (even though I’ve never seen an episode of ER!).

Now let’s get on to the review! And for as long as the pandemic is ongoing, I will continue to space out my thoughts on each sketch.

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Jeff’s Wacky Back-in-Studio SNL Review: Chris Rock/Megan Thee Stallion

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SNL: Megan Thee Stallion, Chris Rock (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

If we’re responsible during a pandemic, we can return to some of our pre-pandemic routines before the pandemic has fully run its course. And Saturday Night Live sure looks like it’s being responsible, which is presumably how we can explain its return to Studio 8H (with a real-live host, musical guest, and studio audience to boot!) after a trio of resourcefully assembled remote episodes back in the spring.

Pretty much every sketch in this Season 46 opener has something to do with the pandemic in one way or another, which is perfectly reasonable, considering that every part of daily life currently has something to do with the pandemic in one way or another. But host Chris Rock and MG Megan Thee Stallion aren’t here because of pandemic reasons; they’re here because, as is usually the case with SNL guests, they’ve got something to promote (Fargo Season 4 and new music, respectively).

As for me and my SNL viewing routine, as per yoozh, I woke up early on Sunday morning and fired up my DVR. I was feeling a little congested, so I popped some phenylephrine and it seemed to hit the spot. Then I ran 10 miles after Update, and it was off to the races!

In deference to pandemic precautions, I have decided to give each sketch its own line in my review so as to visually represent 6 feet apart. Let’s get to it!

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL at Home Review: Kristen Wiig/Boyz II Men

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CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

Whoa-whoa-whoa, Saturday Night Live Season 45 wrapped things up before the dates in May even hit double digits. Well, actually, while the finale began airing on May 9, most of it aired on May 10, as this late night sketch show typically airs most of its episodes in the early morning hours (which of course feel more like night).

But no matter what particular minutes this 18th episode of Season 45 aired, it was indeed the season finale. Kristen Wiig wasn’t officially announced as the host during the opening montage, but she certainly performed more hostly duties than any of the other stay-at-home guests, so we’ll call her the host. And as for the music, we’ll take it II Motownphilly with some Boyz II Men (featuring Babyface).

As for my state of mind while watching, I cooked up some scrambled eggs that I started chowing into right as I summoned up the cold opening. I considered just having a quick bowl of cereal, but since it’s Mother’s Day, I decided I must get eggy with it. I added some milk to make it fluffy. It spilled a little out of my teaspoon, but not enough so that the dish up didn’t end up sufficiently fluffy.

Note: in honor of the holiday, all of my grades for this episode will be mom-based.

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL at Home Review: Brad Pitt/Miley Cyrus

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CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

The SNL at Home experiment continues onward! For #2, we don’t have a host or musical guest this time, at least none officially announced during the opening montage. Although, Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus essentially fulfill the same duties that Tom Hanks and Chris Martin did last time. I’d like to say for the official record books that they were in fact the host and MG, but I generally go by what Darrell Hammond (previously Don Pardo) says. (Though, for what it’s worth, Season 45’s Wikipedia page currently does list them as the host and MG.)

In a similar state of confusion, I went to bed on Saturday night planning on making scrambled eggs in the morning, but when I woke up, I was more in the mood for cereal, but when I made it to the kitchen, I was back to being in the mood for eggs. So, the rumors are true, I did cook some eggs and toast. It was the right call.

(One quick note so that we’re all on the same page: for as long as new episodes remain at home, I’ll aim to make my grades for the sketches wackier than usual.)

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL at Home Review: Tom Hanks/Chris Martin

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CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshot

Saturday Night Live Season 45 wasn’t meant to end early, after all. Social distancing restrictions might make a live broadcast a little difficult right now, but they haven’t diminished our capacity to create and consume comedy. Thus, we have our first ever “SNL at Home” episode. It’s all pre-recorded, but so was a significant portion of the 1984-85 season, and that was a great year!

Tom Hanks and Chris Martin are officially announced as the host and musical guest, and I see no reason not to include this episode towards the official all-time ledger. Erg, Hanks has now entered diamond status as a ten-time host!

On to the show, which begins with the cast quickly saying hi via Zoom and then goes into an at-home-ified opening montage. Meanwhile, I prepared for the show by running about 12 miles on Saturday morning, going to bed early, getting plenty of z’s, and then watching the sketches early on Sunday (as per usual). Bananas seem important in this era (and all the time), so I had one with my cereal for breakfast.

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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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