SNL: Benedict Cumberbatch, Solange, Dana Carvey and Bill Murray (Recap/Review)

Saturday Night Live - Season 42

SNL is being invaded by the British this season. Emily Blunt hosted the third episode of season 42 and heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch stepped up to the mic for episode five thanks to Doctor Strange. The episode was  a bit funnier than Emily’s so either different writers were used or Benedict is just easier to write for.

The Best overall skit of the night was the “Weekend at Grammy’s” aka Surprise Bachelorette Party. Where Aidy Bryant plays dead as a doornail Grammy whose surprise stripper party carries on regardless. It could have been a tribute to Weekend At Bernie’s.

The Best Gag of the Night Award goes to Colin Yost on Weekend Update with the foreigner’s learning to run for their lives at the New York Marathon in case Trump is elected.

The highlights of the episode had more to do with the Chicago Cubs, Dana Carvey, aka Church Lady and Bill Murray leading his beloved Cubs in a “The Voice” singing sketch.

The only thing disappointing about Carvey’s bit on the “news” was “SATAN” was only used once. This however was soon forgiven when he did the  little song. (The “all of Hollywood is gay except for” gag was also very funny.)

The “Weekend Update” crowning moment had to be Murray though.  It was important enough that Michael Che and Colin Yost got out from behind the desk to participate in the segment.

The rest of the live skits were a mixed bag, somewhat on par with the so-so status of fellow Brit Blunt’s appearance on the show. It seems that the guys and gals in the writers bullpen have a hard time translating for “foreign guests.”

A pre-recorded “toilet humor” sketch had Cumberbatch as a Bond-ian type who has the only cool (Koohl. Get it?) toilet in an Orwellian society where sitting on the commode is meant to be humiliating.

As fake SNL adverts go, this was more clever than funny but it matched the tone of the evening. The overall theme was focused on why Benedict Cumberbatch is so hot.

The cold open to the show had Alec Baldwin reprise his crowd pleasing Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hilary Clinton for the last time before the presidential election next week.

While the open was amusing it did feel a bit too much like the run up to the 2016 election…overly long.

The Most Impressive Performance (of a SNL regular) Award  belonged to Cecily Strong with her openmouthed delivery of a hysterically funny “English” accent. No doubt the performer was coached by the expert Benedict Cumberbatch.

Various members of the cast have tried out their versions of English pronunciations and imitations but only Strong nailed it. All teeth and shortened “T’s” Cecily was very nearly spot on.

“Why is Benedict Cumberbatch Hot” was a waste of time and felt, quite frankly, like filler.

The Chicago Cubs tributes were cute and special (Not Dana Carvey special.) and the delight of Bill Murray heightened the song they performed. The professional athletes did well in the “Bachelorette” skit and the “Weekend Update” segment.

Solange, as musical guest, proved that in terms of genes, the Knowles family got more than their fair share in the talent pool. Beyonce’s kid sister delivered two splendid performances that pleased the studio audience and the folks watching at home.

This episode was, perhaps, more special because of Carvey, Murray and the Chicago Cubs than Benedict Cumberbatch and that is a shame. The Doctor Strange star is, by his own right, funny.

Anyone doubting that should check Benedict out on YouTube clips from The Graham Norton Show or head over to BBC America to see the talkshow in it’s entirety.

SNL, aka Saturday Night Live, airs Saturdays on NBC.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

One thought on “SNL: Benedict Cumberbatch, Solange, Dana Carvey and Bill Murray (Recap/Review)”

  1. Cumberbatch is actually a very good comedic actor (I adore a radio series he did called Cabin Pressure) but I just knew SNL would be a dud because the writing quality has been going down hill for years.


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