Amy Schumer is hilarious all on her own. Did she bring that magic to Saturday Night Live, or did NBC’s premiere live show drag her down?
I’ve mentioned this before, but Amy and I actually share an alma mater. That means nothing, but hey, I’ll admit a bit of a bias toward her work. Regardless, her summer flick Trainwreck was fantastic, and landed her this week’s hosting gig. She was joined by The Weeknd, whose best song is simply magic. Dude makes good music.
[This episode’s score has been updated to reflect the new scoring system.]
Air Date: 10/10/15
Host: Amy Schumer
Musical Gust: The Weeknd
Fox & Friends: Speaker of the House Cold Open
Well, if there’s one thing we can expect from the next season-and-a-half of SNL, it’s a political opener — blame that darn election. While Bobby Moynihan’s Brian Kilmead is hilariously stupid, we’ve seen this largely unchanged sketch a few too many times. This episode’s congressional guests didn’t do much to spice things up either.
When standups host SNL, we’re in for a treat; it’s a chance for them to try out new material. Amy’s stuff was fantastic, but honestly, that’s no surprise.
This is technically a recurring sketch, but man, what a way to ramp things up! Hey, Fox & Friends, this is how you bring a sketch back.
Let’s ignore the funny feeling this sketch gave me and talk about what a perfect package (zing!) it was. You’ve got Kyle Mooney, who can deliver stilted dialogue better than anyone else on the cast, you’ve got Schumer doing the juvenile dirty jokes she does so well, and you’ve got Aidy Bryant cockblocking at every turn. Plus, the whole thing was shot with spot-on 90s porn grain. This is what Amy’s fans will be passing around on Facebook.
SNL has done some great satire over the years, but this wasn’t it. Other than a few quick sight gags, like a pregnant Vanessa Bayer touting a hunting rifle, nothing here hits the mark. Whatever point the writers were trying to make, they didn’t.
Michael Che’s jokes landed better than Colin Jost’s this week (that Black History Month line was gold), but their gun control bit was hilariously on point. A little cameo from The Weeknd was good for a chuckle too. Jay Pharoah’s Solomon, who seems to have fallen directly out of a Tyler Perry movie, made a decent first showing; I hope to see this character go further. Kate McKinnon’s Mrs. Santini also made an appearance, but her material wasn’t a strong as her first time at the desk. Overall, this was a solid, if a bit lengthy, news break.
You don’t see historical reenactments on SNL too often. You see great post-Update sketches just as infrequently. Schumer’s unashamed performance totally sold the bit, and I can’t imagine it would have been as funny with another host.
Hands-Free Selfie Stick
Remember when that “Guns” sketch flopped? This is how satire’s done. We can all agree selfie sticks are the first sign of the end times, and the “shove it” attitude of this sketch really drove home the point. I’ve got a few friends who could learn from this…
City Council Meeting
This was basically just a character parade, but each citizen who took the stand was funny in their own right. Highlights were Aidy Bryant’s Miss Krang and Amy Schumer’s gun-crazy six-year-old.
A simple premise, an uninvited guest at a baby shower, led to a great sketch. Schumer’s boisterousness perfectly collided with the rest of the ladies’ calm demeanor. Cecily Strong as the crying materialist and Vanessa Bayer as the miffed mother-to-be were great choices.
Like I said a few sketches ago, I’m biased toward Schumer. But the fact is, this was a great episode worth watching: the highlights make up for some of the weaker moments. Here’s hoping Tracy Morgan can keep the momentum going next week. That’s gonna be one to talk about.
Tony is Laser Time’s keeper of the Saturday Night Live scoreboard. Hit him up on Twitter to talk comedy any time!