Monday, August 28, 2017

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. For the second year in a row, 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 42, Episode 4 “Tom Hanks/Lady Gaga” (B+)

Watching six episodes of SNL back-to-back means lots of nostalgia and also lots of laughs if you can get past the fact that everyone expected making jokes about Trump to be a thing of the past rather than a daily hellish reality. Clinton getting bingo in the debate was funny, but my favorite was Trump calling the Mexican president “Senor Guacamole.” This episode is the Emmy submission for two performers: host Tom Hanks and supporting actress Leslie Jones. Hanks is back for the ninth time and feels perfectly at home, going straight into a humorous bit where he plays America’s dad. He was great as the white man in the Trump hat on “Black Jeopardy,” and he was obviously having fun as David Pumpkins in the weird and not scary haunted house. Playing Sully as a pilot who wants all the glory was the real highlight. Jones, a considerably louder presence, wasn’t in all that many skits and certainly not in prominent roles, but she got the chance to come out on Weekend Update and proudly declare that she keeps her porn in a folder labeled “porn” and that the only person who can hack her is her. It’s a very definitive Jones moment, and if voters like her, this is a superb showcase of her talking directly to the camera. Some other highlights from this enjoyable hour were the trailer for CBS’ new “Transparent” ripoff and two terrific Weekend Update quips: “If you’re a person who loves Michael Moore and you’re still on the fence about Donald Trump, you don’t exist” and “Trump is so cheap, he’s low-balling people on their 15 minutes of fame.”

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