The Seinfeld co-creator and all-around funny man hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time. Is it worth watching? Should you “curb your enthusiasm” before tuning in?
Bad puns aside, I’m not quite sure why Larry hosted this week. He’s currently in Broadway show Fish in the Dark, and he portrayed congressman Bernie Sanders on the show a few times, of course. But really, any excuse to get him on stage is fine by me. And on the musical side of things, there’s The 1975, a band I really only know from my little sister’s recommendation. They weren’t too bad.
Message from Ted Cruz Cold Open
SNL’s political openers have become its (largely unwanted) bread and butter, and because of this, it’s a big deal when cast members are chosen to portray certain candidates. As much as I love Taran Killam, he brings nothing original to his Ted Cruz impression. And although I don’t like Senator Cruz either, I’m very tired of this GOP bullying.
Is it fair to call this an “anti-monologue?” Larry’s self-hatred is some of the funniest stuff we’ve heard in this segment all season. Seems like he wrote much of it himself too.
Sometimes, you just scratch your head and wonder where a sketch came from. Such is the case here. Is it funny? Absolutely. Can I wrap my head around it? Not at all. “Can a bitch get a donut?”
Bern Your Enthusiasm
This is exactly how a parody sketch should work — it’s hilarious even if you’ve never seen the show it’s based on. This was perfectly paced, with a smart payoff, and lots of idiosyncrasies made even funnier if you watch Curb. Jay Pharoah does a pretty good J.B. Smoove too.
This was already going great with Larry complaining about women and children boarding first, then we get the delightful surprise of having Bernie Sanders himself show up. Shame it was so brief.
Another rock solid sketch. First we get Vanessa Bayer perfectly suppressing rage while fixing up pizza rolls for her meathead guests, then things take a hard left when she brings the snacks into the living room. Good stuff all around.
The tweets were right — SNL didn’t have to edit a thing to make that GOP debate entrance gaffe hilarious. And for the most part, Colin Jost and Michael Che had some good zingers this week. Kate McKinnon’s Sturdy Barbie is a fantastic character I hope to see more of (side note: Kate could totally kill it in Fargo). And although Jon Rudnitsky hasn’t done much on the show yet, his take on Dirty Dancing is one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen on Update. On top of that, we got Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in character as Derek Zoolander and Hansel… even if their bit was just OK. All in all, this was a strong, albeit overdone, Update. But seriously, let’s not have 16 minutes of Update unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Gotta love the post-Update stuff. This weirdly reminded me of the puppet class sketch, which was one of Bill Hader’s best. Larry was the perfect washed-out hippy.
Peyton & Cam
Timely, observant, funny, and oddly touching — plus a twist ending! Can’t ask for anything more from a sports sketch.
Last Call with Larry David
Been a while since we’ve seen this recurring sketch, and the one-liners are still on point. At least one of these will be on Kate McKinnon’s “best of” playlist one day.
The only thing keeping this episode from a perfect score was the weak opener. The sketches were original and funny, and Larry David absolutely killed it — not bad for a guy who asked us to keep low expectations. Who’s ready for Melissa McCarthy next week!?
Tony is Laser Time’s SNL guru. Hit him on Twitter to talk late night (as in “talk shows” — he probably won’t tweet you back after 11).