After writing for Saturday Night Live from 2008 to 2013, comedian John Mulaney returned to Studio 8H as one of the rare hosts who had only written on the sketch series rather than being a full fledged cast member. Due to his time spent on SNL, Mulaney had no problem with some of the issues that first-time hosts can struggle with, such as performing live, reading cue cards and hitting marks, but it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

Even though John Mulaney knew exactly what he was doing, that doesn’t mean the show was without hiccups here and there. Like any regular episode of SNL, there were good sketches, and there were bad sketches, but the former were so disappointing simply because of the potential by having Mulaney as host. Mulaney’s awkwardly charming personality helps elevate some of the sketches, but otherwise, this felt like a mostly middling episode in the laughs department.

Let’s run through the best and worst sketches from the John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live.

The Best

National School Walkout – The teens marching as activists for gun control may seem like they have their shit together, but let’s not forget that they’re still awkward kids at their core. Even brave students taking a stand against their government have to deal with hormones at the worst times, and Mulaney perfectly plays this sketch with his boyish demeanor and voice.

Note: It’s interesting to see the change that was made to Mulaney’s character between dress rehearsal and the live show. As you can see in the publicity still above (which comes from dress rehearsal), Mulaney originally had a different wig. But the hairpiece they went with for the live show was significantly better.

Switcheroo – John Mulaney has always had a soft spot in his heart for cheesy sitcoms of the 1980s and 1990s, and he sends them up with this sketch rebooting one of those “classic” TV shows from decades ago. The (fake) show was called Switcheroo, and it followed a father and son who switched bodies and had to figure out how to live their life. But while most body switch comedies deal with the mundane aspects of this kind of problem, Switcheroo took things in a troubling direction. While the set-up for this sketch is hilarious in the execution as we see it, there’s still a part of me that feels like it could have gone even further. But even so, this was certainly one of the best sketches of the night.

Wild Wild Country – A good parody should be funny to someone even if they haven’t seen what’s being parodied. So while this spoof of the Netflix documentary series Wild, Wild Country is a perfect send-up of the source material in style and execution, the addition of Kenan Thompson’s character among the cult proceedings makes it funny to audiences who haven’t seen it. Of course, if you have seen the series, then it’s that much funnier. Plus, bonus points for bringing Nasim Pedrad back for this one.

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