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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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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