Devika Syal ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, aired on October 4th, and featured first-time host Sarah Silverman and musical guest Maroon 5.
The Saturday Night Live crew should have considered making this episode the season premiere, seeing as it provided the audience with non-stop laughs from start to finish. This provided a fresh start after the show’s less than impressive season premiere last week.
This episode had a promising cold open, featuring a made-up “part two” to President Barack Obama’s (played by Jay Pharoah) interview on 60 Minutes. Pharaoh’s spot on impersonation of President Obama portrays the nation’s leader as the sarcastic, blunt, and hilarious leader most of the United States wishes he could publicly be.
The sketch tackled current issues the country has been facing, such as the problem with the terrorist group ISIS, making a joke suggesting their increasing use of social media by using popular Twitter hashtags to spread propaganda.
Host Sarah Silverman’s monologue was flawless. She began on the stage, briefly speaking to the crowd before entering the audience and plopping herself down on a fan’s lap, feeding the fan with compliments before jokingly demanding reciprocation. She then proceeded to perform a stand up routine-turned-rant, all while sitting. Silverman then revealed that she used to work on Saturday Night Live when she was young as an audience plant placed there to ask the host fake questions to aid the monologue. Clips of a young Silverman asking those questions were shown, cutting to live host Silverman answering herself many years later.
Saturday Night Live also tackled an issue that seems to be beaten to death in national news recently: ebola. A pre-recorded movie trailer spoofed the summer blockbuster The Fault In Our Stars, based on a book by John Green. However, this time the romance was between a teenage girl with ebola and a teenage boy who was bent on giving her a romantic love story while physically keeping his distance to avoid catching the disease. What made this sketch so funny was the sudden plot twist. Viewers saw a seemingly predictable movie trailer only to be slapped in the face with laughs when it is revealed that the protagonist has ebola rather than cancer. It definitely made light of the serious situation currently going on in Africa.
After an appropriate amount of time, Saturday Night Live featured a tribute to the late Joan Rivers. It showed Rivers, played by Silverman, entering heaven and giving one of her famous roasts about all the other celebrities in heaven, such as Freddie Mercury and Steve Jobs. Bobby Moynihan played Benjamin Franklin, who sat off to the side laughing at her pop culture references even though he admitted to not understanding any of them.
The Weekend Update segment was definitely an improvement over last week’s. Anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che seem to have found their footing as they shot joke after joke and even paused mid-news to discuss the rules on what they can and cannot say on the air. Hearing Jost ask Che if he is allowed to call his girlfriend “bae” is definitely not something that can easily be forgotten.
Maroon 5 played two of their newer songs, “Animals” and “Maps” and they played them well. Frontman Adam Levine’s falsetto tones showcased his talent for singing live. This performance was special because it featured all the members of the band, including keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, who returned to the band earlier this year after a long hiatus. Levine was also seen in a few sketches throughout the night, and has hosted the show before.
The greatest aspect of last Saturday’s Saturday Night Live was the use of one-liners. It is common knowledge that comedy is all about timing, and this episode thrived on the funny quips thrown out by the cast in the heat of the sketch. Because of this, it is difficult to capture how truly great the episode was in words without simply providing a full transcript of the show. For example, Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney, two actors who work incredibly well off each other, performed a pre-recorded sketch titled “Poem” that cannot be adequately described in words. The only way to appreciate just how funny the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live was would be to watch it!
Hopefully, Saturday Night Live can continue this upward trend into next week, when beloved ex-cast member Bill Hader returns to host the show. Who knows which other ex-cast members will return to help him revive the characters and sketches that ended when they left. Viewers will have to tune in to find out!
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 pm on NBC.