SNL: Larry David & Miley Cyrus
SNL is back, praise be! Lots of impressions, recurring characters, and a giant host break made for a lively episode with the biggest point totals thus far for both Meat and Al!
Meaty's take: I texted Al earlier today with my impression that this episode was a bit lackluster, an opinion I am revising slightly upon reflection. I do think that the cold open was underwhelming, except for the consistently hilarious/terrifying Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon). I also maintain that the second half of the episode lost momentum (despite the amazing "Beers," which after last recap you can probably guess was my favorite). But, if I think about it, there were enough laughs to make this an enjoyable episode.
In the first half, there was a patchy "Price is Right" sketch that was unfocused but included Alec Baldwin-as-Tony-Bennett hawking digestive medicine. Poop jokes, always good for a LOL. The pre-taped segment in which Aidy/Sarah Huckabee Sanders imagines herself in Demi Lovato's "Confident" music video was also majestic, as is anything Aidy does that involves pop music, lip syncing, and extravagance.
Of the three sketches in the second half, I obviously liked the Kyle/Beck/Larry pre-taped sketch "Beer" which was shot like a family sitcom, in which Kyle and Beck look forward to "cousin CJ" visiting. They hope he will look after their fish during their big bike ride. When CJ arrives there's a slight wrinkle—he's addicted to beer! He throws chairs, and also plays the guitar so hard that he breaks the fish bowl. He then stabs Kyle. It's hilarious.
I thought "Fresh Takes" was really interesting—a little bumpy, but I liked the concept and the cast. Alex and Mikey are definitely stepping up this year, and I like them as a duo, plus Kate as their "friend who is a girl" adds some chops. The trio are freshman who host a school news program wherein they dish the gossip before morning announcements. They are joined by Larry David as AP US History Teacher Mr. Burton. It quickly gets weird when Mr. Burton knows way too much about the sex lives of students.
It wasn't a knockout but it was amusing, and it has strong potential for a recurring sketch. There's so many directions it can go depending on who the host is (who would fill the 4th host spot). There were also "commercials," from the magic club and the drama club, which can change constantly and keep the bit fresh. Like "The Californians," I feel like this one could build on itself and evolve into something excellent.
Favorite sketch - "Beers." The completely irrelevant interstitials! The 80s lighting! The fish! The stabbing! Reader, I loved it.
Favorite line - Alec Baldwin/Tony Bennett: "You drop one of these plinko chips into your tum tum and ten minutes later your sphincter starts paying out like a slot machine."
Favorite moment - A tie! Both from Weekend Update. First, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.'s appearance, in which Eric learns how to eat fun dip. Alex Moffatt really kills it as earnest moron Eric. His look of incredulity and then shock as he discovers the joys of fun dip sugar is *chef's kiss* perfection.
Image property of NBC/Universal
Second, the Houston Astros visiting "new baseball fan Leslie Jones." Particularly the moment when Jose Altuve sits on her lap. BRB SQUEALING with adorableness and jealousy.
Fun fact: during the entirety of the Astros' postseason run, my mother repeatedly texted AND emailed me biographical information about Houston right-fielder George Springer. In the hopes that this information would help me find, woo, and marry him. So George, if you're out there...Hi?
Meaty's point total for Episode 4/Larry David: 38 (!!!)
Al's take: Meaty did a pretty good overview of the episode, so I'll skip right to favorites and the spare thoughts that I wrote down as I was watching.
Favorite sketch - "Press Conference." (Aidy as Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Demi Lovato's "Confident" in case that sketch name wasn't clear enough.) I truly don't believe I have to say one single thing to explain this choice, except that I am shocked it wasn't also Annie's pick. Shocked.
Favorite line - "In a minute I'm going to tell you a six-minute riddle about taxes, but first I'm going to take some questions."
It's worth watching the whole thing. Video property of NBC/Universal
Favorite moment - Honestly, I loved watching the cast in "Baby Steps" act like idiots in grown up baby costumes.
Odds and Ends
- It's insane to keep doing the exact same kind of Alec Baldwin-centered political cold opening when so much crazy stuff is going on every week. Yes, the Manafort indictment is fascinating and a great topic for a sketch, but let's see him doing ANYTHING else with ANYONE else other than just standing there next to Trump like a boring stack of wax.
- On that note, it was a delight to see Baldwin play someone else. Tony Bennet talking about poop is a delight.
- "We're going to win this thing the Bernie way. Which means when I lose I'm going to bring everyone down with me!"
- Aidy's Sarah Huckabee Sanders quoted Amy Schumer's sketch/song "Milk Milk Lemonade" FROM THE PODIUM. I've never seen Inception. Is this what watching Inception is like? (I know these lines exist outside of Amy's sketch, but I firmly believe that was source here.)
- "Wanna smoke? No way. That's gay." This line is so unexpected and funny it startled me.
- Miley in "Baby Steps" reminded me of the EXCELLENT "We Will Stop" from when she hosted after the Republican government shutdown. Go watch that sketch.
- Alex Moffat did Manafort and Chris Hemsworth in the same episode! What a neutral face he has!
- The fun dip bit was amazing, but I might have gotten even more joy out of Eric mimicking Don Jr.'s hand motions.
- George Dr. Octopos
- Larry breaking for the REST of the sketch after Kate simply asked him "...are you okay?"
- Annie and I both guessed Miley as a musical guest, so we got the same points for her, which was +2 for being the musical guest, and +3 for appearing in a sketch. This was not an impressive guess, because SNL loves Miley, and with good reason. I loved being reminded of how good of a singer/performer she is, but I wish she had performed other songs from her album. I like those but they aren't even in my top half faves. Also the little taste we got of her in sketches was infuriating because she's so good and it made me mad we only had that little bit.
Al's point total for Episode 4/Larry David: 35 (This would be remarkable if Annie hadn't beat me. As is, it's not worth commenting on.)
Meaty again: Whoooo! *flails wildly in celebration*
See you next week for Tiffany Haddish & Taylor Swift!