SNL with guest/host (see the monologue) Larry David whose open was perhaps the best of this season, where he spoke of being both a schmuck and a prick, also featured two brilliant cameos; Bernie Sanders and Zoolander 2 stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. This particular episode was top notch in terms of comedy and could, like David’s monologue, be a season best.
Granted the Quantico sketch was fairly middle of the road. When then title appeared it seemed that the SNL gang could have made fun of the NBC glamor-fest of a series that airs on Sundays. Sadly, the writers opted to ignore this chance and instead offered Larry David a chance to have fun.
The Bernie Sanders set was funny, with its theme of a cranky Sanders and 2 percent (see what they did there)and could have been called the “Bleep” sketch. Keeping with the Bernie theme, the “Titanic” skit was topped off with a “not so surprise” cameo by the man himself. The build up to Sanders’ arrival was funny however.
For example, David’s character called a kid a midget and was told off by Keenan’s character:
“Not cool sir!”
“I can say that, it’s olden times!”
This shipwreck gag was followed by what must be the best sketch ever in SNL history, combining the old comic commercial format with a brilliant television show tie-in. Vanessa Bayer plays the snack advertising wife who provides her husband and his friends with endless munchies while watching the big game.
As she brings the pizza snacks into the room, where the men have all been cheering and shouting out phrases in unison, she sees a blank television screen. Starting to freak out, the woman calls for her daughter and grabs a pair of scissors as the men, with their pupils all black and taking up the whole eye, face her.
Cue the advertisement for The X Files. Just brilliant.
Next up was The 1975 with their first number.
Kate McKinnon absolutely killed it in this episode. First knocking it out of the park in the Weekend Update feature as Sturdy Barbie:
“Almost all nipple”
McKinnon came on after the real-life footage of the Republican Debate stage debacle and while the entire sketch was very funny, Sturdy Barbie and the appearance of Stiller and Wilson in a brilliantly shameless plug for Zoolander 2, were the highlights of Update full stop.
Standout Moments in Weekend Update (apart from Zoolander and Sturdy Barbie):
Michael Che’s Vaginal pot suppository and the munchies punchline
Jon Rudnitsky and the entire Dirty Dancing skit, and his response to Colin Jost’s “you’re a SNL regular:
“Literally nobody knows that Colin.”
After the update, Pete Davidson and Larry David butt heads in one of the weaker, yet still funny, sketches about song writing class.
The ebony and ivory skit where “Cam Newton and Peyton Manning” do a duet in honor of tonight’s Super Bowl was clever and funny.
Cue the second number of The 1975 which one site felt sounded like a David Bowie “Fame” homage (or rip-off…).
The second McKinnon moment, that proved Kate really did rule SNL episode 1695, was also the last comedy skit of the night. In the barfly sketch she matched, and over-took, guest Larry David, throughout the skit. Final proof of this was when her character pulled up his toupee and started planting sloppy lipstick kisses on his bald pate. David could not keep straight face.
Perhaps there is hope for this long running comedy program after all. Despite season 41 having a few misses and rehashing old gags from yesteryear, this episode absolutely rocked it. McKinnon literally ran with the ball and the writers all come up with stunning set pieces. Although not every sketch was comedy gold, the ones that worked literally evoked tears of laughter.
SNL with Larry David was a win. A clear-cut Kate McKinnon, The X Files, Bernie Sanders and Zoolander 2 win.