SNL Weekly Review: October 22, 2016 by Dylan Zsigray ’18

I have been excited for Tom Hanks to host Saturday Night Live for weeks now and I was psyched going into last night’s episode.  I’m glad that SNL is going into a two-week break because I think that they need it.  Four consecutive episodes is a lot, but last night’s episode was an excellent way to send the show into the break.  Tom Hanks portrayed really funny characters and a lot of the sketches were original, which made them that much more fun to watch.  Below is my review of last night’s episode.

“SUPERSTAR!” (The Best Sketch of the Night)

“Haunted Elevator”: This sketch was amazing.  Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan dancing, along with Hanks portraying a character named David Pumpkins made this sketch very memorable.  Everyone involved with this sketch seemed to really enjoy it and it showed through their acting.  I would totally go on a haunted elevator ride just to see Day and Moynihan dance and David Pumpkins interact with you.  Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett did a good job of acting scared throughout the sketch and the ending where David Pumpkins somehow entered the elevator was really clever.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this sketch was included in SNL’s Halloween episode, which airs the weekend of Halloween each year.

“I gotta have more cowbell!” (Good Sketches)

“A Girl’s Halloween”: The energy that the trio of Vanessa Bayer, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong really showed last night with this sketch.  The three of them work really well together in sketches.  I enjoyed this sketch mostly because of the writing.  Having girls planning their night out and then it all going downhill hours later was humorous to see.  I feel bad for Moynihan because he spent all that time decorating his storefront window.  Plus, Bayer’s cheese costume was funny to look at.  The editing of this sketch was also a strong aspect of the sketch’s success.

“A Funny New Comedy”: This sketch was good because of the fact that unnecessary shows with superficial plots like this actually exist.  The premise: a family that all has been diagnosed with depression on the same day was an interesting one and everyone involved with this sketch did a good job of bringing the sketch alive. And, you have to believe that executives at CBS have actually thought of creating shows like this to get their shows back into the spotlight during awards season.

“Black Jeopardy”: This sketch first premiered with Louis C.K. hosting back in Season 39 and it has been funny ever since.  However, the writers switched it up this time around and made Hank’s simple-minded caucasian character actually understand the answers given, meaning that he could come up with the correct questions.  This new character type was really fun to see.  On a side note, since the departure of Jay Pharaoh, who normally appeared in this sketch with Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones has taken his place.  I actually think I enjoyed Jones’ character more.

“Tom Hanks Monologue”: As I’ve said before, the monologue in each episode of SNL either usually hit or miss.  This time, the originality of the monologue made it a funny one to watch.  Tom Hanks should be everyone’s go-to person to talk things out with.  He should travel across the country on Election Day and console everyone after they’ve voted.  Hanks should also bring his pumpkin suit when he goes as well.

“Well, isn’t that special” (Hit or Miss Sketches)

“Cockpit”: I have yet to see Hanks’ new movie, Sully, but the concept for this sketch was clever. If Sully chooses to fly again, he’ll have to follow the FAA guidelines and it was funny to see Sully (Hanks) act like he does not need to.  Baldwin was also included as the captain in this sketch and both Baldwin and Hanks had good chemistry between them.

“America’s Funniest Pets”: This sketch has been included in previous episodes (I think) and it is usually just a time filler each time.  I mean, what really draws the viewer in in this sketch are the videos.  Hanks, who was the host, gave a light-hearted and humorous description of what was going on in each video while the French hosts, portrayed by McKinnon and Strong, give really dark and over-the-top descriptions.  This was an good way to end the show last night.

“Weekend Update”:  This was not a great Weekend Update this episode.  Both Michael Che and Colin Jost seemed off and I suspect that it’s because they’ve done four shows in a row.  I think that everyone involved with the show needs a break.  Aside from that, what saved this Weekend Update run was Leslie Jones and Cecily Strong appearing.  Some people hate it when Jones appears on Weekend Update as herself but I enjoy it.  Jones tells it like it is and that is funny to listen to and watch.  The highlight though was Strong’s character: The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation at a Party With.   Her depiction of someone who does not really know what she’s talking about, but still has to argue about everything is really funny and Che seemed to be on board with it.  Plus, since this character does not appear on Weekend Update that much, it is a nice surprise when the writers include her.

“Buh-bye” (Bad Sketches)

“Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Third Debate Cold Open”: After four of these, it’s time to stop doing these heavy-political sketches as the cold open. I understand that SNL always does this each election season, but this time around it was not very good.  This is due in part to the fact that last week’s debate was very structured because of Chris Wallace moderating, so there were not many rants or funny lines done or said by either candidate.  Basically, there was absolutely no good content for this sketch and it showed.  This sketch was nearly ten minutes of half-hearted comedy that neither Alec Baldwin or Kate McKinnon seemed to be getting into.  I almost wish that SNL would have chosen to do the banquet dinner that both Clinton and Trump attended, which was full of good content.

SNL is off next week, but I believe that there will be an SNL Halloween episode next Saturday.  This show is full of classic Halloween sketches that have been on the air since the show’s creation.  On November 5, Benedict Cumberbatch will host.

Dylan’s Ranking of the Episodes:

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Lin-Manuel Miranda
  3. Margot Robbie
  4. Emily Blunt

 

 

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