After a safe season opener last week, Saturday Night Live followed up the pairing of Chris Pratt and Ariana Grande with comedian Sarah Silverman and musical guest Maroon 5 for the second episode of its 40th season. Silverman, a former featured player in the 90s, made her hosting debut with a handful of silly sketches and digital shorts. Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine who has hosted SNL previously stepped out of his role as musical guest a few times appearing in two sketches, once as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and once as himself.
There were some highlights in a mostly blah episode so let’s check them out!
It’s always a double edged sword when stand up comedians host SNL. On the one hand, live performance is their thing so they are often good in that respect. On the other hand, often times when stand ups host, they do about a six minute set for their opening monologue. Silverman did both holding a handheld mic and doing crowd work followed by what was actually a really funny and more traditional opening bit where she was asked questions by a “cute girl in the audience,” footage of her from her stint as a featured player in the 90s asking the hosts silly questions.
White people! What can you say about them except we’re a dwindling majority? But until then, let’s all dance around to a catchy pop tune and celebrate!
Joan Rivers Tribute
One of the best ideas of the night was having host and Joan Rivers admirer Sarah Silverman pay tribute to the late comedian doing what else? Roasting the hell out of everyone else in heaven! Silverman as Rivers took on Benjamin Franklin, Richard Pryor, Lucille Ball and Freddie Mercury (Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine) in one of the better sketches of the night. The scene was then followed by a title card remembering Rivers.
Fault In Our Stars 2 Trailer
It sucks when your girlfriend has cancer. It sucks even more when she has ebola. SNL poked fun at one of the biggest hits of the summer as well as the current fear over ebola in the headlines with a fake trailer for The Fault In Our Stars 2: The Ebola In Our Everything.
Weekend Update: Garage and Her
Weekend Update continues to work out its kinks since the departure of Seth Meyers earlier this year removing Cecily Strong from the desk and replacing her with The Daily Show alum Michael Che. While Che continues to be strong, I still have a problem with Jost as co-anchor. Regardless, one of the highlights from Update this week was feminist music duo Garage and Her commenting on the Marvel premiere of lady Thor this week. The sketch featured Emmy nominee for her work on SNL last season, and one of my favorite cast members, Kate McKinnon and host Silverman weighing in on the superhero “controversy.”
All in all, the episode felt a bit weak. It feels like SNL hasn’t created any breakout characters in recent memory (think Stefon or the Target Lady) and will need to step it up if they want the 40th season to be one that is remembered. I’m sure we’re in for a treat next week though as Bill Hader returns to host with musical guest Hozier.