SNL sailed from the 40th anniversary into Season 41 rather smoothly, though the waters roughened in recent weeks with the departures of Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah and Jon Rudnitsky. Thankfully, it’s clear skies ahead for Season 42, as the rest of the beloved cast will be staying aboard. Sailing metaphors!
“A bunch of hilarious people have one crazy, drunken night” is a familiar plot, and thanks to last year’s The Night Before, we’ve seen what happens when you put that in the context of holiday spirit — which makes this trailer for Office Christmas Party kind of impressive, considering how amusing it looks despite the fact that it feels like something we’ve seen before (Jillian Bell included).
Maybe a better title for this fake trailer for a fake faith-based drama would be God's Not Gay, but you can see how that one might have been a bit too risky. In the one sketch that didn't feature guest host Julia Louis-Dreyfus, SNL offers this hilariously silly satire of movies like God's Not Dead (okay, mostly just that movie alone), complete with Lifetime Original movie production values and melodramatic courtroom scenes.
SNL set a pretty high bar for the rest of Season 41 with Larry David’s hosting debut this past weekend, but will Melissa McCarthy prove so reliable with Kanye West, given all the controversy of late? Get a taste by the first promos as McCarthy gets her nails done with Vanessa Bayer.
Around this time last year, SNL presented a commercial parody centering around Totino’s Pizza Rolls, just in time for the Super Bowl. And it was a nasty piece of business, tearing apart the image of the NFL’s biggest game as a day for men and imprisoning Vanessa Bayer’s indefatigable housewife in the kitchen, where she was simply tasked with warming up more disgusting food. So when SNL aired another Totino’s sketch in last night’s episode, we simply assumed it would be a carbon copy of the first one. Boy, were we wrong.
SNL commercial parodies are at their best when they’re at their most scathing. The fake ad for a fictional dating app called Settl may not be as dark as that vicious, pro-gun parody from a while back, but it’s a different brand of cynical: Here is the app for people who are tired of trying to find the right person and just want to settle down with, well, any person.
While traditional live sketches are still the backbone of any given episode, modern SNL is frequently at its best in the pre-recorded segments. The past few years have seen an interesting evolution as the silly “digital shorts” of a decade ago have matured into full-blown filmmaking, with sketches that feel more like short films than just a comedy bit. Last night’s Ryan Gosling-hosted episode peaked with a pre-recorded sketch titled “Santa Baby,” which let both SNL and Gosling himself turn the weird up to 11.
Whenever the women of SNL get to together make a music video, it tends to be the highlight of the show. The show’s female line-up is the strongest it has been in years (dare we say ever?) and their fearlessness is only matched by their comedy chops. Nothing is off limits and they‘re not afraid to embrace their femininity in ways that feels honest, insightful, and occasionally deeply weird. Like this sketch, which finds Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, and guest host Elizabeth Banks singing all about the men who first turned them on when they were young girls.
Last night’s SNL was marred by a guest host who was only there because the show wanted to ride his controversial coattails to a few extra headlines. And it worked. Everyone was talking about Donald Trump being on the newest episode of SNL. Unfortunately, publicity does not a good episode make and the Presidential hopeful showcased a distinct lack of talent and comedic chops. Thankfully, there were sketches that didn’t feature him and some of those were good. Take the “Bad Girls” video, which is evidence that the current crop of women on the show may very well be the anti-Trump when it comes to being watchable and funny.
There were a lot of very funny people sharing the screen with Amy Schumer in this summer's hit movie Trainwreck, but only one of them was a current SNL cast member who could reunite with her on the small screen for a very funny, very silly sketch. We didn't think we'd be so happy to see Schumer and Vanessa Bayer sharing the screen again, but we underestimated how much we enjoyed this duo on the big screen, even though they only shared a few scenes together.