SNL: Chris Stapleton, Adam Driver, Aidy Bryant

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in January 2016.

If “SNL” is going to book Adam Driver, then he is going to be called upon to do two things (assuming the writers are not suffering from temporary insanity): reference “Star Wars” and utilize his famous intensity. Surprisingly enough, the former is used sparingly; meanwhile, the latter is taken advantage of throughout the episode (which, depending on your opinion of the “SNL” team’s mental state, is either very much expected or totally shocking). This is the right decision. “Star Wars” is bigger than Driver (or any one person), and reliance upon intergalactic material could have been a distraction, but the character conviction he brings is comedy dynamite if deployed properly.

6th Republican Debate – The standard clown car jokes about the GOP field have mostly exhausted themselves, and Darrell Hammond’s legacy Trump impression is really the only performance here that has a strong enough default mode to run on autopilot. Thankfully, Ted Cruz gifted the comedy world a notorious moment with his “New York City values” comment. Instead of just repeating that jibe (which this sketch could very easily have gotten away with), Taran Killam’s Ted makes it just a little bit absurd by pairing it with “Seinfeld” references. Nothing groundbreaking, but enough to get by. B-