The evening wasn't quite as consistent otherwise, as some sketches seemed to make it to air not yet fully formed. None were downright bad; there were just a few that felt like they lacked polish, consistency or a proper and funny ending.
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.
COLD OPEN - Mother's Day Message
The cast brought out their actual moms to offer the punchlines to various setups, like Kenan Thompson's mom admitting she can't remember a time he wasn't on the show, Aidy Bryant's mom planning to "tear it up" at the after-party. Most of the moms started complaining about the show's political overtones, with several Trump supporters in the mix, while poor Kyle Mooney had to deal with his mom liking Kenan's sketches more than his own. There were some cute moments, but this was about celebrating moms more than making laughs.
This was a game show celebrating mothers and sons, but Mikey Day and Kate McKinnon had to go and make it weird. How do you annoy your mom? Chewing your hair or wearing hats? How about leaving your shared bed early? "My producers are asking that you limit your songs to no songs," Schumer bubbly told Kate's creepy mom. Usually these game show sketches don't really have a way out other than cutting to commercial, so kudos for adding the detail that Kate helps Mikey aim in the bathroom for our grossoutro. Kudos means YIKES in this case. The sketch could have leaned a lot more into the weird and creepy, but they managed some cringy moments.
In this fake local news segment, Cecily Strong checks in on a children's theater production of "Lil' Rent." In order to make the musical more family-friendly for his kid cast, Mikey Day changed the subject matter of "Rent" from HIV/AIDS to diabetes, and said it didn't really change anything. The copy/paste change from AIDS to diabetes actually took none of the sting or adult nature out of the script. Amy Schumer played a seven-year-old uber-conservative who was still somehow willing to play a prostitute. "She only speaks Spanish and I speak white," she explained. The overall idea was funny, but it didn't quite come together fully in execution.
"Seems like there's a new case of heart disease or diabetes around here," Leslie Jones noted to her cooking partner Kenan Thompson on this southern-style cooking and gospel show. Cecily Strong was almost their guest, until she revealed she was atheist and literally got swept right off the set. Instead, Amy Schumer dropped by as a "healthy" chef who offered smarter alternatives. Did you know it's healthier if you drink it through a straw? That's right, she was a total idiot. The cast had to ad lib when the blender didn't work properly, with Amy saying, "Sometimes the Lord doesn't work," and Leslie Jones shooting back, "Well, I don't know about that." Everyone was committed to the silliness of the premise, but it lacked a real punch or sharp ending to really help them bring it home.
Kate McKinnon's disgustingly desperate single woman found herself alone at the bar next to an equally awful Amy Schumer at closing time. It just kept getting worse and worse, and even Alexa suggested bartender Kenan Thompson just kill himself. The climax of these sketches is always when Kate and whoever her victim/date is finally start going at it with obnoxious tongue action. She and Amy proved no exception, though the weird moisturizer face masks added another layer of disgusting to their affair. Kenan admitted that this used to be a fantasy, but after watching these two go at it, we can't blame him for his ultimate choice.
MONOLOGUE - Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer worked out some new material related to her having just gotten married, and it was sharp and fun. She was saddened to think she won't get the "You Up?" texts anymore, and mocked her fiance for throwing a box at her while sleeping to propose ... and waiting until she was almost too old to have kids. "You're not in love, you're just tired and I know all your passwords," she said. "Remember when we were raised with the illusion of equality?" she asked the women in attendance. It was a pretty standard stand-up monologue, so nothing groundbreaking or super-memorable, but she had some sharp material.
Handmaids in the City
"I couldn't help but wonder, are women allowed to do anything anymore?" Amy Schumer asked in this "The Handmaid's Tale"/"Sex in the City" spinoff. She and her three friends cracked jokes about the oppressive world they lived in, where they were subjugated, brutally raped and even lost their names. "I'm seeing someone new," Cecily Strong told the girls. "I'm Ofgary now." It was utterly bizarre how vapid their conversations still were in light of their situation, but you know? That would probably be the case for most people.
You know what a high school graduation needs? How about an extreme promo like it's a monster truck rally or something. No? Well, too bad, because it got one anyway. The mega-closeup shots and ridiculously mundane antics like having a pregnant teen rock the parents section, the principal mangling names and the goth kid having normal parents all got a lot more dramatic with the right voiceover. Honestly, this probably shouldn't have worked as well as it did, but extra points for Kenan Thompson for a rock solid pratfall off the stage wrapping it up beautifully.
"I'm not gonna pretend I know anything about the Iran deal," Michael Che said, referring to the president's decision to pull out of it. "But Trump is. You know the only part of that deal Trump has read was the signature on the bottom that said Barack Obama and that's all he needed."
After a slew of pointed Trump jokes that mostly hit their mark, Michael welcomed Heidi Gardner back as teen movie critic Bailey Gismert. She was... a fairly typical emotional trainwreck. Oh, and apparently she's like totally into Thanos. "He's a good dad," she said.
Michael and Colin Jost then dove into other issues like the recent spate of black people getting the cops called on them for doing stuff and being places. Michael suggested the "Megan Tax," where they could score $50 each time they're pointlessly harassed.
Melissa McCarthy then dropped by as Michael's doting stepmother. "You were doing a joke about Judy Rutiani. And I don't know who that is but I can't wait to laugh," she giggled. She absolutely stole the back half of the sketch by just doing what she does. If she could just scoot a little closer she could read those cue cards.
The jarring scene shifts made this one of the funniest sketches of the night. Amy Schumer was a mom receiving breakfast in bed from her young son, and she told him the day he was born was the best of her life, as you do. But then we cut to that day, and she's screaming and cursing in pain and there are doctors everywhere and the whole thing looks like childbirth going horribly wrong. It just kept getting worse as husband Mikey Day was freaking out, Amy pooped and they were both disgusted by the baby. But the soft piano music and Amy's sweet narration about this "Best Day" juxtaposed perfectly with the hilariously over-the-top horror of the day to keep the shock and laughs coming.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
He usually doesn't get a lot of love because he's almost always dropped into a sketch as the straight man, but Mikey Day made it work for him this week. He was the tone-deaf director of "Lil' Rent" who had no idea anything was inappropriate about his rewrite, as well as the completely inappropriate son to Kate McKinnon's weird cult mother. But his best turn was alongside Amy Schumer as a dad reliving the best day of their lives when their son was born. All it needed was "Psycho" music to really capture the true spirit of the day all parents gloss over with very thick nostalgia glasses.
The season finale of "Saturday Night Live" is already here, coming next week with host Tina Fey and musical guest Nicki Minaj, airing live coast-to-coast at 11:35 p.m ET/8:35 p.m. PT.