Octavia Spencer Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che brought a solid Weekend Update to the table this week, and even the jokes that didn’t get the reaction that they hoped (such as Jost’s U2 punchline) offered up great writing. But the real gems of Weekend Update this week were the guests.

Eric & Donald Trump Jr. – Mikey Day and Alex Moffatt have played Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump before, but they’ve never been given this much time to play with them. Portraying Eric Trump as the dumb, childish younger brother who needs naps, snacks and juiceboxes is absolutely hilarious. What I love most about their portrayal is that Alex Moffatt still comes off like a douchebag even when he’s being an immature child. That’s talent.

Laura Parsons on the 2017 Oscars and Trans Rights – Vanessa Bayer’s perfect child actor voice is what makes this recurring sketch work every single time. The enthusiasm with which she says things that are way mature for the character’s age is just infectious.

The Host

There’s no doubt that Octavia Spencer was happy to be at SNL, though at times it felt like she was delivering an artificial kind of energy, especially during her monologue, which was surprisingly short and lacking much of anything that was all that funny. You can only criticize a host so much for flubbing cue card lines since the cast does that from time to time too, but Spencer didn’t seem quite so attuned to the live comedy setting. It didn’t help that the sketches for this show didn’t give her much to do, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

The MVP

Saturday Night Live - Weekend Update - Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

Alex Moffatt & Mikey Day – Both Moffatt and Day were perfect in their Weekend Update segment as the Trump brothers, not to mention their appearances in the Girl at the Bar sketch. Combine that with the fact that Moffatt nailed his impressions in the Zoo-opalis sketch and Day was hilarious in the Sticky Bun sketch, and these two were equal MVPs for the night. I have a feeling they’ll be upgraded to full cast members next season.

The Final Word

This wasn’t all that great of an episode, but it also wasn’t downright terrible. Most of the sketches landed somewhere in the middle. The show seemed to be hurt by venturing away from the lampooning of certain politicians, despite the fact that it still struck blows at Jeff Sessions and the Republican party. But the energy that came from Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer in the previous episodes really took some wind out of SNL’s sails this week, not to mention a lack of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. They can’t have both of them every week, so the writers have to figure out how to make their political satire work without them.

As a bonus, there was some fun to be had at Kellyanne Conway’s expense by having Kate McKinnon appear throughout the show kneeling somewhere on the stage and looking at her cell phone:

Saturday Night Live - Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway

We’ll be back next weekend after Scarlett Johansson hosts SNL for her fifth time on March 11.

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