Because of Saturday Night Live‘s nature, one episode can vary greatly from the next. Such was the case with this week’s episode, easily the best since the season premiere. Jonah Hill and Maggie Rogers sparked some much-needed life and energy into the proceedings, and it really showed both in the sketches and performances. The political nature of the show felt more subtle and with better intent than it often does, and it really made for a light-hearted and enjoyable Saturday night.
The episode began with a murmur, a cold open featuring Kate McKinnon as Laura Ingraham in a start that didn’t provide much hope for what was to come. Thankfully, once Jonah Hill took the stage for his opening monologue, the vibe quickly shifted to a much more welcoming one. He made it known that it was his fifth time, joining the coveted “five timers club.” Welcoming him to the club, Tina Fey, Candice Bergen and Drew Barrymore joined him on the stage in a cute moment, commenting on #Me Too, among other things.
What ensued thereafter was a much better hit-to-miss ratio than normal for SNL. Hill unsurprisingly was able to bring flavor and skill to his sketches, often either making the cast members laugh with his commitment to characters, or with himself breaking character in some of the most hilarious and obnoxious skits. Pictured above, Hill plays a six-year-old with a thick New York accent and dirty mouth, accompanied by his nanny, played by Leslie Jones. She was barely able to keep it together throughout the sketch, as Jonah seemed to be having a ton of fun with the character. It would remain one of the best sketches of the night.
Weekend Update is another segment of the show that can vary greatly from episode to episode, and I thought that it was better than average this week. I am in the pro-Che & Jost camp, and I find them to be a really charming duo that plays well off each other. Along with some very funny bits on the impending election and celebrity news, Davidson appeared as himself in one of his funniest monologues yet. He addressed approaching the election and his broken relationship with Ariana Grande in thoughtful and hilarious fashion. Kenan also brought back his Big Papí character, one that has really grown on me over time and is one of his most infamous characters during his long tenure with the show.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this episode was the presence of Maggie Rogers, an artist I had never heard of beforehand. From the start of her first performance, I was entranced by her commanding stage presence and the excellent production of the music behind her. It was a perfect blend of music and performance, and the second song she performed carried the same level of execution as well. This is Saturday Night Live at its best, putting a young and motivated new artist in a showcase for what she can be. In similar fashion to Kacey Musgraves last season, I am now eager to run and check out her album, and that is exactly what we look for in our SNL performers. A new, vibrant musical performance was the cherry on top of what will likely go down as one of the better episodes of Saturday Night Live this season.
Saturday Night Live continues Saturday 11/10 at 11:30/10:30ct on NBC
with Liev Schrieber / Lil Wayne