That was one of the worst Saturday Night Live episode to come out in a while. Not that there was much hope with Jimmy Fallon as host, but it didn’t even live up to those meager standards.
I’ll start off with the good stuff. Because there was some. The pre-taped commercial for Turtle Shirts, for instance, won me over, not with its premise but its execution. I’m not sure why everyone gets a drunken smile on their face before retracting into their button-up, but it was a hilariously stupid touch that saved the sketch. I also enjoyed the ten-to-one about background actors being bad at basketball, and have to give credit to Fallon for his double Travolta stunt on Celebrity Family Feud.
But the rest was hard to sit through. Things started with a now-reliably mediocre Trump sketch in which he fires Steve Bannon in the style of a reality TV contest. Fallon then came out and turned his monologue into a roving song and dace number to celebrate the show’s live broadcast across the nation.
Both were predictable moves. The show didn’t reveal its true blandness until coming back from its first commercial break with a Celebrity Family Feud sketch, which (double Travolta’s on this one aside) are always poor excuses for the cast to do impressions for two or three lines. Kate McKinnon’s Kristen Stewart impression is a thing of beauty, but I’d rather see it in a sketch where that impression is the actual focus.
Things picked up a bit with the pre-taped High School Musical sketch, which continues this era of SNL’s rewarding hatred toward kids who act. If one bit from last night deserves to get shared all over social media, this was it.
The rest of the show revolved around Jimmy Fallon singing, and it was a chore. Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer showed up, but the impression is hitting its diminishing returns phase, particularly when she has no reporters to battle.
The nadir came with a return from Fallon and Rachel Dratch’s Boston characters. I know they have fans and the Dratch cameo was nice, but I’ve never found these characters funny and didn’t love having to spend another five minutes with them.
But hey! Weekend Update was better than it’s been in a while. That’s something, right?