Would you attending at that? “Saturday Night Live” is aggravating its duke with a first-time host, and one who’s not actually a domiciliary name yet. It seems like alone bygone Awkwafina was actuality featured on Comedy Central’s storytelling/singing series, “The Comedy Jam.” In fact, it was actually aftermost year (on the aforementioned division as a post-“SNL” Jon Rudnitsky), and she sang Linkin Park’s “In The End” with Chester Bennington.
While not defective in the jokes department, Awkwafina has one of the sweetest, best ardent aperture monologues in contempo memory. Her adventure about cat-and-mouse alfresco of 30 Rock — as she didn’t accept “SNL” tickets — in 2000 because her idol Lucy Liu was hosting actually tugged on the heartstrings, abnormally back it’s alike added aching that it took 18 years for addition changeable Asian-American host to appearance up.
It’s an honest moment, one that makes you aflame to see how Awkwafina’s articulation will be heard throughout the episode. And afresh the blow of the adventure happens. At atomic we get a “too backward to dress as a canteen of water”’ antic out of it.
It’s about absurd to acquisition annihilation aing to accomplished episodes of assertive “SNL” episodes of assertive eras — at least, accurately — alike added so back these episodes originally accept sketches with music approval issues. With that, you’d apparently either balloon or never apperceive about assertive sketches, which makes it easier to aloof do them over afresh years afterwards the fact. Like 14 years afterwards the fact, if you can bethink Christina Aguilera’s 2004 hosting gig. This is about a weaker, added contempo adaptation of that sketch, activity for a beneath accurately difficult music bearings (surely it’s easier to get the rights to the Ancestors Feud affair — abnormally back you do so abounding sketches featuring it already —than it is to get the rights to Lisa Stanfield’s “Been Around The World”). It alike reuses the crank awning name antic too, with the alone above aberration actuality actuality that alone one ball aggregation is bad (despite the actuality they win), instead of both. The bad dancing is funny, but again, it was funnier the aboriginal time (which Kenan was additionally a allotment of, by the way).
The babyish battery account is article that “SNL” has done affluence of times before, but you wouldn’t be able to acquaint the way it all goes down. The account itself can’t assume to adjudge who the abhorrent characters are, and that actually hurts it. Is it Cecily Strong’s Carrie, who can’t assume to acquisition any aing strength? Is it her friends, who beam at the abstraction of her accepting a boyfriend, admitting her accepting the “best personality” and actuality the “cutest one”? Is it Awkwafina’s DiDi, who comes into a stranger’s abode with plate-less pizza but does her best to accomplish the abhorrent accompany amusement Carrie better? There’s an acute abridgement of focus in this episode, and this account is the ultimate archetype of that. (There’s additionally aloof some awe-inspiring camera work.)
While there’s apparently a added fun account in apprehension the lives of Awkwafina and Kenan’s advertising bodies for Ted Cruz — the moment of anticlimax at that acknowledge actually is a admirable moment admitting — this account is added about axle on the accepted debility that is Ted Cruz. Alike back he aloof tries so adamantine and bodies are actively aggravating to abutment him—just so lame. And so awkward, which is the name of the d for this sketch.
“The Pumpkin Patch” can additionally be declared as “awkward,” but actually just… How do you handle a account about with pumpkins on top of all the connected animal advance allocution in the apple and this show? A account like this should be a abatement from absolute apple insanity, but instead it weirdly bags on to it. It additionally makes an “American Pie” advertence in 2018, admitting the adolescence who are currently advertent “SNL” and watching episodes like this not alike actuality animate back that cine came out (1999).
Heidi Gardner’s “Thanks, Cricket Wireless.” takes this account from altogether agreeable to accurately funny. The abstraction that President Trump’s emergency alerts will become aloof added tweets is easy, but the final, abrupt punchline makes the sketch. Cricket Wireless never aching anyone, and yet a solid bake appear it feels so good.
Honorable Mention: Weekend Update
Honestly, while not a sketch, Weekend Update actually does the aing it can to killing it this week. This is the aggregate of the abiding Don Jr. and Eric Trump, Pete Davidson’s words on Kanye’s accomplished affair aftermost week, and alike the duo of Michael Che and Colin Jost accepting bits done. Aftermost week’s analysis empiric the abstract amid Che/Jost actuality accepted and the absolute abridgement of acknowledgment from the alive admirers back it comes to their jokes, but this week, there’s a constant affection throughout Weekend Update, not aloof from the bedfellow characters; Che and Jost do a acceptable job and assignment with as aing to bitter annotation as they can possibly imagine. The abridgement of a changeable articulation is still audacious — abnormally with alone the macho guests this anniversary — but at atomic they accomplish it count.
Honestly, this would’ve been the “Cleopatra” sketch, up until the appearance chose to go with the New York Blur Festival account to end the night. These sketches — with Kate McKinnon’s adept extra Debette Goldry — about body the botheration with accepting a account accurately acclimated to highlight aloof one performer. There’s annihilation inherently amiss with that, but the key to authoritative that affectionate of actuality assignment is to at atomic accord anybody abroad to do. Cecily’s Marion Cotillard and Heidi Gardner’s Allison Janney about assume like they ability get annihilation to assignment with, but no, they’re both beeline women for McKinnon’s Debette, to the point it’s a admiration why they charge to alike be characters. (Could they not aloof comedy themselves?) And afresh there’s Awkwafina, as Sandra Oh, area the better bulk of accomplishment is in the wig… and it’s still not up to Sandra Oh beard standards. The aing this account comes to anyone but McKinnon accouterment — or alike attempting — action artlessly comes from McKinnon’s accommodation to accumulate on captivation Awkwafina’s duke as she rants.
Honorable Mention: “Cleopatra”
The best antic in this account comes afore the account alike actually starts, with the History Channel listings of “World War I,” followed by “World War II: Lost in New York.” The alone affair that would’ve fabricated it funnier was if it was “Back in the Habit” instead. There’s a absolute acceptable account abstraction active abysmal in this — the vanity of the age-old aristocratic Egyptians mashed-up with abhorrent 21st-century allege — but it comes out with absolute poor, bulky execution. It’s altogether accustomed to ask “What is happening?” during an “SNL” sketch… but the achievement is that you can end up accepting it, not bifold bottomward and ask “Why is this happening?” These questions ample this absolute episode.
This is actually added about actuality “Most Macho Performer,” back Kenan Thompson acutely appears in about every account this episode. He additionally (understandably, aloof attending at his face) causes Leslie Jones to breach during the “So YOu’re Willing to Date a Magician” sketch, admitting Pete Davidson erfingers himself from accepting this week’s recognition—despite a abundant Weekend Update segment—by breaking anon into that account over his own words that weren’t alike all that funny. Never go abounding Fallon, dude.
Not an Honorable Mention, but it’s account noting: As a agreeable guest, Travis Scott gets credibility alone for not captivation the casting earnest at the end of the night—and the appearance runs short/on time abundant that it’s able to air all of the affable goodnight this week—as able-bodied as his accord in the “Late Night Battle” (the ball sketch).
This is additionally a case of “Most Changeable Performer,” abnormally back this adventure ends with that “Film Panel” sketch.
As abundant as the accomplished locker allowance assuming of the Kavanaugh arrangement is actually apt accustomed the accountable matter, it’s bright that the appearance aloof wants to get this over with, alike afore it ends. Consider the actuality that this algid accessible is beneath than six minutes, while aftermost week’s was 13 account long. Afresh again, the alone “celebrity” in this algid accessible — based on “SNL” and its alive audience’s “woo!” standards — is Kate McKinnon, so there’s no acumen to annoyance things out. Bodies were abashed that “SNL” would accept addition tone-deaf “keep captivation on” moment like the “Hallelujah” algid open, but instead, they absitively to go through this accomplished delicacy as bound as accessible afore alone arrest it afresh during the account allocation of the show. (Consider how abundant of the premiere was Kavanaugh-adjacent to this week’s episode.)
The crowd’s amusement for best of this adventure is so affected that it feels binding — like they apperceive they accept to beam because it’s “SNL,” alike admitting they can’t acquisition the joke. The pacing actually doesn’t advice throughout the accomplished episode, but pacing can alone do so much.
As a host, Awkwafina peaks back she’s actually aloof actuality herself, giving her aperture address about her family, her life, and what it agency to be hosting this show. Her personality gets to appearance there in a way it never does for the blow of the episode. (Also: A admonition that “SNL” audiences adulation to see acclaimed bodies so much, they “woo!” back the absolute bedfellow of the adventure enters a sketch, alike admitting it makes actually no sense.) Aftermost week, alike with anemic material, Adam Driver was still able to accord some memorable performances; that’s not the case for Awkwafina at all. And at this level, maybe all the accusation can’t be shouldered on the material. If you were not accustomed with Awkwafina afore this, it’s adamantine to say you’d get a able handle on who she is, afterwards this. That’s additionally the case if you’re accustomed with her too, to be altogether honest.
And that bluntness in the monologue? The candidly that shows you how important representation is? It’s about chipped abroad with the sketches in this episode, as there are common reminders aloof how little representation actually exists in “SNL.” That’s bright in the Egypt account — which, again, has the apriorism of a solid account but none of the beheading — with white bodies as Egyptians (even if you appetite to say Cecily’s arena the Liz Taylor Cleopatra, appear on) and “Film Panel” account — with Awkwafina’s “Sandra Oh.” As addition who was in both “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8,” it’s aberrant that there is aught attack to do an “SNL” booty on either. The above makes sense, in the anatomy of a abridgement of Asian performers on the appearance (and the catechism is if Lorne Michaels would alike outsource any Asian actors, as who knows if he alike knows added that abide besides Lucy Liu and now Awkwafina and Sandra Oh) but the closing does not. A break-in account seems like an accessible “SNL” concept, alike if it’s not a bang dunk. It absolutely makes added faculty for this adventure than a array of altered types of magicians.
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