LIVE FROM NEW YORK IT’S… Poetry, P*ssy, and Political Suicide

A.J. Tierney ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly TV Section Contributor

Quote of the Night

“He (Trump) tried to play it off as locker room talk. Which locker room, Penn State? “

– Colin Jost

Political Sketch

This week Saturday Night Live began with the VP Debate, but quickly cut to a breaking news alert covering Trump’s recent candid camera comments. News anchor (Cecily Strong) interviews Trump (Alec Baldwin). The GOP nominee attempts to “Apple-ogize” for his actions, refusing to actually say the word “apologize.” On a seemingly serious note, Trump sends his well wishes to Floridians dealing with Hurricane Mathew. But once he believes the camera is done rolling, Baldwin makes one of the more daring jokes of the night by saying , “ I wish I was that hurricane, tearing through all of that Miami pussy. I would just destroy it.” The sketch then cuts to Hillary Clinton’s headcourters, where the classic 90s song, “Celebration” plays. Clinton (Kate Mckinnon) tries to condemn Trump’s horrible remarks, but she can’t make it through without smiling, concluding that , “It’s a very sad day for our country and for all women- minus one.” Despite being a little long, the sketch was a huge success. It fearlessly tackled every possible joke surrounding this disastrous presidential race.

Best quote of the Sketch:

“I’m the new hispanic cast member and tonight I’ll be playing asian moderator, Elaine Quijano, because, baby steps.”

Melissa Villaseñor

Host/ Lin-Manuel Miranda

The Hamilton star began the show with a bang, singing an SNL adaptation of  his song, “My Shot”. Though Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping is predictable, it’s necessary. If he hadn’t done it, viewers would have been disappointed. The monologue was leaps and bounds above what we are used to from hosts, and marked the beginning of Miranda’s successful show.

Musical Guest/ Twenty One Pilots

The band performed live renditions of their hit songs, “Heathens” and “Ride.” The musical acts are typically spent waiting for Weekend Update and although Twenty One Pilots was fantastic, tonight’s show was all about Miranda and Trump. The band simply couldn’t compete, nor did anyone expect them to.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. Photo Credit: Alex Schaefer/NBC
Lin-Manuel Miranda. Photo Credit: Alex Schaefer/NBC

Weekend Update

Weekend Update began by setting the tone with, “This week, we almost heard Wolf Blitzer say pussy.” Colin and Michael immediately addressed Trump’s most recent scandal with a series of jokes that were the perfect blend of hilariously smart and painstakingly accurate such as, “Tape recorders have done more damage to old rich white dudes than tennis elbow.” However, the highlight of Update was Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon surprise appearance. The former cast members played two Independent voters from the suburban outskirts of Philadelphia. Though Jimmy clearly struggled with his accent, Fey, a Pennsylvania native, embodied the character perfectly, delivering hilarious lines like, “He (Trump) looks like someone opened a quesadilla to pick the chicken out.”

Best quote of the Segment:

“A new public bathroom has opened in China that is completely transparent. Oh sure, but when I use a transparent public bathroom, I’m vandalizing the Apple Store.”

– Colin Jost

Best Sketch of the Night: A Day Off with Kellyanne Conway

This sketch followed Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) through a typical day off. The scene alternates between Conway enjoying her day (underscored by “Walking on Sunshine”) to being repeatedly called in to defend Trump’s most recent remarks with statements such as,  “Yes, he did say it’s gross to watch gay people eat pasta, because he wants them to eat healthy food.” They say comedy is rooted in truth and this sketch proves it.

Honorable Mention: The Crucible Cast party

The musical skit involving “25 virgins and a lot of Sprite”, revolves around a high school play’s appropriately lame cast party. Miranda makes an appearance, rapping about being the lead in every show with lines quality like “I’ll lay you down on the bed and whisper in your ear,  ‘Mrs. Donohue said we could do Rent this year.’ ” Although it’s no “Dick in a Box”, the song held it’s own amongst the night’s hysterical line-up.

Worst Sketch of the Night: Music Man Parody

The show clearly bent over backwards to give Miranda as much opportunities to sing as possible, which seemed to be the sole purpose of this musical-based sketch. In it, the ensemble performs the entirety of “Wells Fargo Wagon” before any jokes are even made. Finally, Miranda arrives with bank accounts for the children instead of presents. Aside from the opening political sketches, SNL skits are rarely politically charged, opting instead for humor without deep underlying messages. Therefore, this skit’s blatant attack on big banks was fresh. However, both the concept and the execution were average and failed to match the rest of the high caliber show.

MVP of the Night: Lin-Manuel Miranda

With the ridiculously talented Lin-Manuel Miranda as a host, expectations for this episode were extremely high. However, SNL’s talented writers and actors went above and beyond. Given the scandal this week, it would have been easy to coast on the obvious Trump jokes, and although they definitely went there (and then some), they didn’t just stop there. With A Music Man satire that attacked scamming big banks and a Stranger Things parody that addressed police brutality, the night was chalked full of refreshingly bold, political commentary. The humor was fearless, a trait lacking in the show’s recent years. In addition to Miranda, guest stars Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, and Alec Baldwin helped the cast gain a strong season stride that will hopefully continue at least until the election is over.

Overall Grade: A


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