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Sarah Silverman came back to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, 20 years after she was fired from the show’s cast. The episode gave her the chance to sit in the lap of an unsuspecting audience member and perform on a very sad riverboat. But was the episode actually a piece of turd from the planet of barf? Read on to find out.
The cold open started the episode on a decent note, with President Obama blaming ISIS’ success on social media. Evidently, there are people on Tinder who are “DTJ,” or “down to jihad.” Perhaps the best part of the sketch was the writers acknowledging that it doesn’t really make sense for the CIA to be on Tinder. Because if you can’t shine a light on your own logic issues, who can?
Silverman was never better or more natural than during her monologue. First, she plopped herself down into an audience member’s lap and stayed there for an uncomfortably long amount of time, revealing that she wants to get her “hair shampooed like a little child or a princess or a quadriplegic.” Then, she hilariously fielded absurd questions that her 20-years-ago self had asked to celebrity guests on the show. Nothing brings back the ’90s more than the query, “Are you going to be doing any solo albums now that you’ve left Wilson Phillips?”
The fake commercial for The Fault in Our Stars 2: The Ebola in Our Everything was topical and included quips about the main character wanting to hop “on a plane or a crowded bus.” The ad was nowhere near the level of perfection of last week’s fake Marvel trailer, but it was fine. Even better was a commercial for white people, which felt like it could also be a statement about the proliferation of white faces on SNL.
Next up was a clever sketch about a supposedly unpopular soap opera called Supportive Women. It served as a funny sendup of soaps — and presumably offered a chance for the show to make a little money by hawking Emergen-C — although any message about gender issues was lost.
Weekend Update wisely gave co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che a little freedom to riff, as when Jost asked Che if he could use “cray cray” and other slang terms. It’s just too bad that none of the segment’s material was particularly solid. (That robotic cheerleader joke was painful.) The episode’s Update highlight may have been Al Sharpton mispronouncing “MSNBC.”
Several of the evening’s sketches clearly fizzled out, like one where Vanessa Bayer played a woman who loves her expensive juicer (more product placement!). Yes, repeating “nut butter” is amusing, but the sketch still died early. And Joan Rivers probably would have loved mocking the show’s unremarkable tribute sketch.
The riverboat sketch was a dud, and seeing Adam Levine get hit by a car — so many fake bodies got thrown around in this episode! — was not as hilarious as the writers must have thought. That said, hearing a song with the line, “You cheated on me and then you gave me fudge” was legitimately funny, not to mention that the song could probably be a hit. Fudge deserves its pop-culture moment.
By the way, where exactly was last week’s hero Pete Davidson? One memorable sketch does not a career make, Pete.
Three best sketches of the night:
1. Sarah Silverman’s monologue
2. Supportive Women
3. Amsterdam sketch — but mostly for the fudge song
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper