Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Emmy Episodes: Saturday Night Live

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Saturday Night Live: Season 41, Episode 2 “Amy Schumer / The Weeknd” (B+)
Nominated for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Amy Schumer)

Amy Schumer is on a roll. The comedienne is experiencing a great period of success, starting with her variety sketch series on Comedy Central, now in its fourth year, and expanding over to the world of film with the Golden Globe-nominated “Trainwreck.” Last year, she contended in four different categories for “Inside Amy Schumer” and accepted the award for Best Variety Sketch Series. This year, Schumer is again nominated in four categories, but she adds to the list a bid for hosting “Saturday Night Live.” This is Schumer’s first time hosting the forty-year-old NBC variety series, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that she earned an Emmy nomination. Her introductory monologue is great, showing her ease with telling jokes in front of a crowd and emphasizing that she excels at stand-up comedy. The humor is sophisticated and as raunchy as it can be on broadcast television, and she’s very comfortable with her audience. As the show progresses, it gets more into the physical comedy that she’s known for on her own show, which I’ll watch and review soon. She’s fully committed to the absurdity of a Delta flight attendant dance sketch and a hot teacher sketch, and she has a lot of fun continually ruining what’s supposed to be a dramatic reenactment of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Inserting a feminine perspective into everything isn’t meant to be totally serious, but she does a superb job of sticking with the joke throughout the episode. She has stiff competition from other SNL hosts, but this is a pretty ideal submission.

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