Carey Mulligan Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che let Matt Gaetz and Mitch McConnell have it this week, and there was even a lowly mention of Donald Trump. But again, it’s nice that Weekend Update isn’t all doom and gloom after the 2020 election. In fact, Michael Che seems to be intentionally taking the time to piss off at least one group of people (other than Republicans) with at least one joke in every single edition. It’s been pretty amusing to see who gets angry at him each week.

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama on Their Podcast Renegades – Well, I wasn’t expecting to lose my shit laughing at Beck Bennett’s eternally smiley impression of Bruce Springsteen but here we are. I love that the wig makes Bennett’s head look ever so slightly too big to make his take on The Boss feel a little unhinged. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or if Bennet’s thick head of hair just makes that happen by default, but I hope that the writers figure out a way to reuse Springsteen again and again.

Pineapple on the Paul Pierce Scandal – It’s about time Punkie Johnson got some time at the Weekend Update desk for a breakout moment. Though she’s appeared there before, this was a nice standout bit for her to sink her teeth into. On any other night, this would have been one of the best moments at the Weekend Update desk, but Bowen Yang had to come along and steal the show.

The Iceberg on the Sinking of the Titanic – Bowen Yang recently made an admirable appearance at the Weekend Update desk to address the Asian hate and racism that is sweeping the United States. Now he returns with something on the complete other end of the spectrum. I don’t know how this idea came along, and I really don’t care, but this bit is hilarious. Bowen Yang frequently plays similarly flamboyant characters, and this one is no different, but it’s the premise and the execution that lets this one soar. The personification of the iceberg as the victim in the sinking of the Titanic is an amusing idea on its own, but in the hands of Bowen Yang, it’s a triumph of totally weird comedy.

The Host

Just listening to Carey Mulligan deliver her monologue, it seems like SNL was going to have trouble making her funny. I don’t know why they struggle with serious British actresses, but it can be a frustrating trend, especially when this is a time when you want to see non-comedic actors venture out of their comfort zone. To Mulligan’s credit, she certainly has plenty of fun throughout this episode, even if she’s playing it straight most of the time. But as you can see in this monologue, playing it straight takes a little of the comedy out of the equation. However, I will say that the idea of Mulligan telling her kids bedtime stories that sound like Oscar-worthy fever dreams is something that deserves some praise.

The MVP

Kenan Thompson - Saturday Night Live

Kenan Thompson – Aidy Bryant came close to snagging this one, but Kenan Thompson was consistently more funny in this episode. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If Kenan Thompson gets perturbed and shouts in a sketch, I’m probably going to crack up. It doesn’t always make a sketch work, but in this episode, the sketches in question were also great. Whether it was hosting an oddball game show or shouting about a destroyed “terlet,” Thompson was on fire this week.

The Final Word

Due to unforeseen circumstances, last week’s Saturday Night Live escaped my eyes, so I don’t have a point of comparison for whether the quality went up from the previous episode with host Daniel Kaluuya. But at the very least, the writers and cast of SNL finished this trio of spring episodes on a high note. Now the question is how will SNL close out season 46? They’ve probably got two or three more episodes left in them before summer arrives, but we don’t know who will host them or when they will be. With so many movies swapping release dates, it could be anybody’s time to shine. Hopefully we’ll know sooner than later and this season will go out with a bang.

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