SNL returns for Season 37.  No cast changes, with the exception of Nasim Pedrad being promoted to repertory player.  Alec Baldwin hosts for a 16th time, breaking the record for most all-time he had shared with Steve Martin.

Cold Opening – Either the 7th or 8th GOP Debate
With the number of candidates present, this was at its core a showcase of impressions, and as that, it was hit-or-miss.  Jason’s Romney was as bland as Romney, Paul’s Paul was mostly accurate but a bit too Dennis Kucinich-esque, Andy’s Santorum was confused, Kristen’s Bachmann was at her absurd best, and Taran’s Huntsman started speaking English like a Chinese person apparently because they didn’t know what else to do with him.  I haven’t watched any of the GOP debates, but from what I’ve heard, it seemed like SNL painted an accurate picture – in fact, it may have been too accurate.  There were some gags in the sketch – Perry getting confused while tired, Paul getting pushed into a corner due to his ideological purity – that seemed to be based on very specific moments from the actual debates that most viewers probably were not familiar with. So, this sketch was clever … I think. B

Alec Baldwin’s Monologue
No surprise that Steve Martin showed up.  You had to figure he would be there at some point during the night, and the monologue would be the most likely place for that.  At first, this monologue was in danger of being one big shameless plug … for an ice cream flavor.  The steroid angle was indeed a clever way to address the record-breaking.  And Seth Rogen’s cameo was ultimately beside the point. B+

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