The "Late Night" host returns to "Saturday Night Live" and brings plenty of laughs, while newcomer Ego Nwodim impresses in her first major sketch role.
The "Late Night" host really only came into his own after taking over the "Weekend Update" desk, and yes, he made a return appearance there, as well. But he also starred in almost every sketch on the night, showing versatility and commitment to each character and ridiculous moment.
Chris Redd broke out a rock-solid Kanye West impression for the cold open, which also featured the return of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump for the first time this season, while Kenan Thompson finally found a way to revisit everyone's former favorite Jello-loving dad.
And perhaps most exciting for fans of the show, new cast-member Ego Nwodim got her first starring role in a sketch alongside Leslie Jones and she absolutely killed it. If this is the caliber of performance and humor she can bring on a regular basis, she should have a long and enjoyable tenures.
As usual, we're ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Cold Open and the regular "Weekend Update" segments. We'll skip the musical guests, because they're not usually funny - unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.
MONOLOGUE - Seth Meyers
As expected, Seth Meyers mostly reminisced about his many years on the show, but he also shared a story about when Kanye West hosted in 2007. They pitched him a sketch where he interrupts awards show speeches, and he loved it. The twist is that Kanye didn't interrupted Taylor Swift until two years later, and no one seems to remember that this is the order of these events. It was sweet and sentimental and political and topical, but not particularly sharp or biting. Plus, we're a little shocked no one dropped in to say hi; especially Kenan Thompson who shared a decade of that time with him. They could have reminisced together!
COLD OPEN - Kanye in the White House
Chris Redd busted out his Kanye West opposite the season debut of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kenan Thompson's Jim Brown. "He doesn't stop, he doesn't listen to anyone but himself," Trump thought as Kanye started ranting. "Who does he remind me of?" And that was the gist of the sketch, with Kanye spouting nonsense and both Trump and Brown thinking about it. Baldwin did get a dig in at himself when he spouted, as Trump, "Black people love me way more than they love Alec Baldwin." He was referring to his own comments to The Hollywood Reporter earlier in the week, when he said, "Every since I played Trump, black people love me." But that was about it. It was entertaining watching Redd sink his teeth into a pretty good impression, but Brown's presence was just an excuse for Kenan to react and the sketch had no point of view of its own.
Seth Meyers and Heidi Gardner show up three hours later as a clueless couple just back from "Koo-ba." "You know they're poor, but they've got rhythm," Gardner tells her friends. They described all of their adventures, including attending a rooster revue, which most of us would call a cock fight. It only worked because Gardner and Meyers were so committed to how stupid and pretentious their characters were, and how much no one else cared.
Chris Redd and Pete Davidson throw down some rhymes about the importance of trees. Alex Moffat tried to spread the message of overall environmental care, but their focus was just on trees. The whole thing was very short and very stupid, but a little funny, too.
Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson and Kyle Mooney are a lounge band. This is a recurring sketch with Thompson getting way too personal with Meyers about a thing that's got him in a funk. Unfortunately, it just kind of petered out rather than go anywhere super funny, unless you think it's funny that Thompson really loves his Gucci shoes and really doesn't want to have to throw them out.
We are absolutely here for the hilarious descriptions of what testosterone supplements did to Seth Meyers' middle-aged husband. His poor wife with osteoporosis (Aidy Bryant) can't handle his vigorous love-making, he looks like a tool at work. The twist is that this product undoes all of the supplement nonsense and returns him to normal, which actually says a lot about how many doctors prescribe medications to offset other medications. In this case, two supplements equals normal, and somehow Meyers was none the wiser. Beta Force, a product for wives!.
Beck Bennett took the title role as a cajun host with the most obnoxious accent that went from annoying to hilarious pretty quickly because of how outlandishly he said the most basic things. A liberal talk show, he was joined by an alligator, a chili pepper, Seth Meyers and Taylor Swift (Heidi Gardner). It's disappointing that Taylor really added nothing to the sketch, only there because she recently got political. But they mined some humor out of Seth being completely unable to understand Bayou Benny, and refusing to fight a MAGA biscuit (Alex Moffat).
Colin Jost and Michael Che dug into the catastrophic climate change report that came out this past week and why they're surprised how much they still don't care on a personal level. Theoretically, they care a lot, but scientists just need to make more of a personal connection, like telling white women climate change is going to take away all the yarn. It was a surprising open, as they just glossed over Kanye's ridiculous White House visit, which is fluff news at its best, to home in on a real story.
Heidi Gardner then dropped by as a Goop staffer who got totally freaked out when Che suggested Gwyneth Paltrow might be watching. Gardner plays nervous very well, as she stammered her way through an angst-ridden and ultimately vacuous rundown of two different lotions, both somehow "number one in the world!"
They got in a few digs at things like Radio Shack and a vintage TWA airplane being turned into a cocktail lounge, but it was just to kill a minute before reviving a classic "Weekend Update" segment from Seth Meyers' time on the show with Amy Poehler.
Seth Meyers slid out to join the boys on an updated "Really!?!" segment about Kanye's White House visit -- didn't really think they'd ignore it, did you?. We love that Che says he negotiated four n-words in his contract for this season, dropping the first one for this segment.
Seth Meyers was a film director who took ridiculous questions after a screening of his film like, 'Any reason the father was played by a man?" Kate McKinnon was a weirdly sexual Russian, while Beck Bennett was a concessions stand worker who, for some reason, wanted to claim to be Meyers' dad.. And yes, it just got more ridiculous from there. The cast clearly had a good time putting on different bizarre characters that are absolutely worth the price of admission. Even though it was completely nonsensical, this is one of those rare sketches we could have enjoyed more of, as they could have trotted through more wacky characters.
A Frightening Tale
The "horror" of this story was that Seth Meyers had to endure a two-and-a-half-hour lunch with a 22-year-old aspiring filmmaker (Kyle Mooney) who though he was the first person ever to realize the flaws in the industry. He was so ahead of his ti-- oh wait, no he wasn't. The bit was funny enough, with Meyers' friends around the campfire truly horrified by the mundane tale, but the twist was even more delicious. It's a curse and the only way to save yourself is to pass him on to someone else. Poor Beck Bennett.
Hey, finally Ego Nwodim gets a prominent role in a sketch in only her third show, playing a cop partnered with Leslie Jones. Both women were clearly having a blast as a pair of cops who are just in it for the hot dudes. The chemistry between Nwodim and Jones was palpable and they were absolutely hilarious getting totally inappropriate, with an able assist by Kate McKinnon who had to call in that Meyers was just her type.
We'll admit, they caught us off guard on this one. Seth Meyers walked into a cell as a new prisoner to meet his grizzled cellmate, played by Kenan Thompson sitting in the dark. But when he emerged, it was as Bill Cosby. Thompson was having an absolute all revisiting one of his funniest impressions as a clueless prisoner trying to hide contraband before a cell inspection, you know, things like a massive hoagie and a live turtle. It might have taken a while for Kenan to find a take on Cosby that still works after all he's done, and they handled it masterfully here, with him mostly befuddled and clueless.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
It was featured player week at "SNL" with both Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd shining in several sketches throughout the night, while newcomer Ego Nwodim got off to a promising start in "Thirsty Cops."
Beck Bennett was hilariously weird as Bayou Benny, but this one came down to Kenan Thompson and Heidi Gardner for us, with both offering multiple funny moments and characters. Kenan Thompson trotted out his boundary-less lounge singer, dropped Jim Brown into Trump's lunch with Kanye and found a fresh take on Bill Cosby in the funniest sketch of the night.
But while Gardner was lame as Taylor Swift, she had us cracking up both as a Goop employee and a woman just back from "Koo-ba," giving her just enough of an edge to take it this week. Gardner is growing into a bold comedian who's totally willing to go all in on these ridiculous characters, and she's delivering them brilliantly in only her second year on the show.
"Saturday Night Live" returns November 3 with host Jonah Hill and musical guest Maggie Rogers, Saturday at 11:35 p.m. et on NBC.
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