Larry David Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

Lately, even when the sketches of Saturday Night Live fall flat, Weekend Update has stayed strong. As Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump doesn’t pack quite the same punch as it used to, the Weekend Update desk has become the best place to take digs at this circus of a presidential administration. Michael Che and Colin Jost are in a good groove this season, and hopefully they can keep it up throughout the rest of the year.

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. on Paul Manafort – This might be my favorite new recurring duo on Weekend Update. The way Alex Moffat plays Eric Trump like a clueless but smarmy little brother is hilarious, and the way Mikey Day talks down to him like a concerned but kind older brother is parody at its finest. The look on Moffat’s face when he discovers the right way to eat Fun Dip is fantastic.

Angel, Every Boxer’s Girlfriend from Every Movie About Boxing Ever – I’m not sure Weekend Update is the best place for this character, but Heidi Gardner is great in this role. The increasing level of drama and sadness from this character is amusing, but I can’t imagine this will be a recurring character since it’s mostly a one-note joke. That’s how most Weekend Update characters work, but this one doesn’t feel like it will have legs.

Leslie Jones on Baseball – It may not be as fun as Bill Murray celebrating the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory, but having Leslie Jones fawn over the Houston Astros was still pretty fun. Her energy and flirtatious nature is always perfect for moments like this and the way she yells at Colin Jost is always funny.

The Host

While Larry David is a comedy legend, that doesn’t preclude him from missteps. And when it came to his stand-up monologue, it felt like he was trying out new material instead of telling polished joked. I don’t know how often (if at all) Larry David gets in front of an audience to do stand-up, but he could probably use some time testing out jokes before doing them in front of millions on live television. While he proposed amusing premises, none of the jokes felt fleshed out. This was an open mic set of jokes at best. Even Larry David seemed to catch on to this when he seemingly sarcastically saying, “I think I’m doing quite well.”

Alex Moffat and Mikey Day as Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

The MVP

Mikey Day & Alex Moffat – Since this was a thoroughly average episode of Saturday Night Live, there wasn’t much to celebrate, and that didn’t make it easy to pick an MVP. But since the best laughs of the night came from Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance on Weekend Update, these two get the honor. Following closely behind is Cecily Strong, who continues to deliver some fine characters and commendable straight-man work, even though she wasn’t in a lot of the better sketches of the night.

The Final Word

This wasn’t the best way to kick off a new batch of Saturday Night Live episodes, but that’s just the way things go sometimes. Not even Larry David’s trademark personality made this episode any better. In fact, it might have even hindered the episode from being better. David might be a brilliant comedian, but his range is limited. Even so, the writers didn’t seem up to the task of delivering their best material this week, even if the performers did a solid job trying to make it work.

Next week we’ll have fresh blood on stage with Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) hosting, as well as Taylor Swift as musical guest, so hopefully that episode will be a little more fun and varied. We’ll have a full review after the episode airs on November 11th.

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