Saturday Night Live Season 46 Discussion

I still watch every week. Figured we should have a discussion thread.

Oct 2, Chris Rock/Megan Thee Stallion

The cold open about the debate was way more lame than I thought it would be. They can do much better. I didn’t like Jim Carey as Biden and thought their portrayal of “Biden trying to not get angry” was too heavy handed. Maya Rudolph had previously been great as Kamala Harris but she seemed off tonight.

Chris Rock’s monologue was pretty good. He’s good at monologues it’s his job.

The video song segment (show me the bottom of your face) was good. I typically like these bits.

Everything else was kinda blah. The actors seemed very off. The NBA bubble sketch really fell flat. I don’t think people were receptive to the idea of interviewing women to be sex objects for NBA players.

I thought Megan Ther Stallion’s performances weren’t great. The staging of the musical acts has been phenomenal lately. And the costuming was superb.

Anyone else have thoughts? I give the episode a C.

Jim Carrey doesn’t do impressions. There were a few laughs in the opening, but it could have been much better. I’d agree with the C grade, even after grading on the curve because of the pandemic.

I just finished watching it on Hulu a couple minutes ago and can’t think of a single high point. The performances are first rate (I really likeed Chloe Fineman‘s Drew Barrymore), but the writing was really disappointing.

There were definitely some pretty severe timing issues in the cold open. They’re obviously working with a much smaller floor crew and I guess fewer cameras. I noticed in the name-change sketch they were using a single hand-held camera on the main stage when they would typically use two or three mounted cameras in the Before Times.

Obviously it’s been a pretty big change from the way they usually do things. Chris Rock’s monologue was pretty good but as usual he’s mediocre at reading his cards in the sketches. The video game sketch with Kyle and Beck was the highlight of the episode to me. Great punchline with Kenan at the end. I have a feeling that they had to slice that sketch in half at the last minute and came up with that joke to escape.

Yeah, I think the video game sketch was the highlight as far as sketches go, and I LOL’d at the Kenan payoff (I suppose it’s funnier if you’re of the age where Kenan was a Nickelodeon teen star when you were a kid, like me).

The stunt performer sketch had a really great premise, and I absolutely adore Kate & Aidy, but it managed to fall flat too. If anyone is interested in a real stunt performer quarantine challenge video, here’s one:

Neither did I. Jason Sudeikis is a better Biden. Also what was up with the audience seating? I know they have a limited and screened audience because of social distancing, but everyone seemed to be sitting close together in small groups that were spaced out.

I assumed each group was a hospital team that work in close proximity with each other already.

I don’t disagree with anything anyone has said so far in this thread.

My impressions based on past experience:

The season premiere is often not a particularly strong show. It’s like they need a week or two to really get their groove back.

The show has often been at its best in election years.

However, the show’s political sketches in recent years have not, in general, been as good as they were in the past. Maybe that’s because they don’t currently have writers who are really good at political humor. Maybe it’s because they never really figured out what to do with Donald Trump. Maybe it has something to do with their decision to rely so heavily on guest stars and stunt casting.

I agree with the above criticism regarding the political sketches. I watched an episode of David Spade’s Comedy Central talk show earlier this year where he had Norm MacDonald, Kevin Nealon, and Dennis Miller as guests where they discussed the use of these “ringers” to play big polticial figures. Spade said something along the lines of “if I were a current cast member on the show, I would be royally PO’d about this.” I get the distinct feeling that is probably very true.

Part of it is the fact that the Trump situation is just not very inherently funny, the way that he has so degraded our political system. Another part is that Trump is hard to parody. Normally, when SNL parodies a politician, they find the little foibles or nervous tics that the person exhibits from time to time, and make the impression totally about that. We laugh at these because we know that, while the person displays these occasionally, the impression is not who they really are.

With Trump, all of the stuff that you would normally parody is the totality of who he is. There’s no “there” there. We can’t force ourselves to laugh at it because we always have in the back of our minds the fact that this is not divorced from who this guy is on a day to day basis. It’s depressing, if anything.

The “Name Change Super-spreader”. Dang. Reminded me of the “Cornel Lingus” sketch with Chris Walken years back. Don’t know how they got away with that.

I laughed out loud at the name-change sketch, aimed squarely at all our inner 12-year-olds and I think it hit the mark.

Carrey was on odd choice for Biden. I didn’t think he was terrible, but I agree it’s better to stay in-house for major figures like that, if for no other reason that they’re more familiar with the show’s pace and timing. Alex Moffat might be a good choice.

Weekend Update was strong, IMO, but they obviously had to scramble and rearrange after the Trump COVID news broke. I look forward to seeing Jost and Che take on the election.

Also agree there was a good deal of meh filler, but of course that’s always the case to some degree. I still like this cast and I’m hoping for a strong season.

Here’s the prequel with Rachel Brosnahan. Definitely works better with tighter timing.

Never saw that one. A bit tamer than last Saturday, I think.

Nothing other than personal taste, I assume, but I preferred Carry’s Biden. Thought he had Bden’s mannerisms and speech down better that JS’s, which impressed me as more of an exaggeration.

Thought the show about average for SNL. As Tom Hanks said on the first COVID show, some hits, some misses.

This old fart sure doesn’t get what passes for popular music, tho.

We had the best music. Our kids want to have something different so they’re stuck with something less than the best.

Wow, amazing that iPhone’s autocorrect will do. I totally meant the performances WERE great. Damn.

I have to admit I snickered at that too. “Maybe you can take some more time to find Mike Litt later.”

I think they were trying to go for the Onion-style Biden a little bit:

I’d really appreciate hearing what impressed you as great about the performances. I simply do not understand.

-As far as I could see, it was all (or at least mostly) lipsynched, with no live musicians. So it was basically a dancing/lipsynching performance?
-And I’'m not a dancing expert, but the moves did not impress me as terribly challenging.
-I can appreciate the express sentiment valuing of women of color, but found that message incongruous w/ what impressed me as extremely sexually suggestive movements.
-I had a hard time understanding most of the lyrics, couldn’t understand a word of the male singer who joined the 2d song.

I understand that many people like this kind of music, but I simply do not understand. Moreover, I do not wish to question the entire genre of music, just these specific performances.

Yeah it’s definitely not about the singing but the performance. Loved the dancers, the stage, the lighting, the costuming, the video work. The song itself was dope. I love her swagger. I was impressed by the messaging.

I did like the first song better than the second one. The second was not nearly as impressive.

Some people prefer the dulcet tones of a young person standing mid-stage with a guitar. I skip that stuff every time. Gimme a performance and I’ll give you a chance and probably a round of applause.

When Woody Harrelson was the host earlier this year, he did a great Biden. Harrelson captured Biden’s charm; Carrey portrayed him as manic and that’s wrong.

What’s odd is that Carrey started his comic career as an impressionist. He was very good, and he showed that over the years on late-night shows when he would do instant impersonations on the couch.

We’re stuck with him through the election, though. Maybe in a different sketch he won’t feel the need to channel Fire Marshall Bill.