SNL toasted guest host Brit actress Emily Blunt by plugging her upcoming Mary Poppins sequel (2018) and The Girl on the Train (2016). Bruno Mars wowed both Ms. Blunt and the audience with each of his performances. In keeping with the musical artists doing cameo’s, poor Mars was included in the least funny skit of the evening.
Overall, with the previous two episodes featuring guest hosts Margot Robbie and Lin-Manuel Miranda kicking off season 42 with a double bang, Emily Blunt’s segment was only so-so.
There were some standout moments, including Emily corpsing at her own line, “oopsy doopsy, I muffed it again.” (And Kate McKinnon almost breaking in the Honda Robotic’s gag as Blunt’s robot asks if she wants a “cheesy mini quesadilla” pronounced in the Queen’s English as Kes-ah-dilla. Repeatedly.)
In terms of clever, there was the “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” hamster skit. Despite the fact that the two arguing were not named George and Martha, it was disappointing not to hear “monkey nipples.”
The PBS coverage of the “Great British Bake Off” was also quite clever with the two northern “Coronation Street” type contestants (Blunt and Strong) who thought that they were on “Big Brother.” While some of the other accents were a tad dodgy, the jokes were funny.
Moynihan’s “shaking in me wellies” was spot on as was the “getting pissed down the pub.” McKinnon’s one weak point, it seems, is her “English” accent as proven in this sketch.
It was also a sly dig at British contestant type shows where the grand prizes for winning pale in comparison to the overblown ones offered on American shows. “There’s no prize money!”
The skit with high-class escorts, where Blunt and Jones double-teamed two middle-aged virgins was funny if a bit unevenly paced. (Somewhat like the episode.) Jones doing Stewie from Family Guy, badly, was topnotch as was her giant “Stewie” onesie.
Emily cracking up at her own line and slipping the lampshade over her face was the best part of the entire sketch though.
Two of the three pre-recorded segments were definite hits. The faux commercial for “unique” women’s body sizes by the company Chonk, was hysterically funny.
The second pre-recorded sketch was the Melania Trump music video with all the women in the presidential candidate’s life. It was funny, relevant and Emily Blunt was part of the cadre of Trump women who secretly hate the man.
The Burger King stretch limo was the least amusing of the night with most of the impressions dying a death with the audience. The payoff was Bruno Mars popping up in the last window and both the BK employees ditching their jobs to join the party on wheels.
The cold open with Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon doing the presidential debate, part two, was brilliant. These two do not have many Saturday nights left before the country makes up its mind on who will be the next president. It will be interesting to see what they come up with after the election.
The Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che was mainly about Donald Trump. Clearly this segment is getting its shots in while they are still relevant. McKinnon did a Russian turn to good effect but it was Vanessa Bayer’s Laura Parsons segment that stole all the Weekend Update thunder.
Bayer’s naughty newsgirl spontaneously auditioning for the new Mary Poppins and her usual glee at being incorrect were show stoppers. Out of all the characters that are paraded across the Update stage, this is one is top notch.
Emily Blunt did very well on her first stint as guest host on SNL. The singing open, the first plug for Mary Poppins, was entertaining. However the rest of the show was just so-so. It was as if the episode had been a carry over from last season’s hit and miss presentations.
The best line from the show, apart from Blunt’s Michael Crawford-ish line from the escort skit, was the “As you can tell from my accent, I’m smarter than you.”
One can only hope that Emily is invited back and offered a better set of skits to perform in