Friday, September 7, 2018

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 third 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 43, Episode 16 “Host: Bill Hader” (B)

This episode serves as the Emmy submission for two different nominated performers, host Bill Hader and two-time defending champion Kate McKinnon. Though she didn’t portray Hillary Clinton in this hour, she did get off to a great start with what may well be her second-best role, Jeff Sessions. It was very funny to see her joined by John Goodman as Rex Tillerson, Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff, and Hader as a very Italian Anthony Scaramucci. Hader is clearly at home on this show, shouting excitedly, “I’m nervous now!” and changing into costume mid-monologue. The latest installment of “The Californians” was about as funny as I think it can be, with the Google Maps versus Waze argument standing out as the highlight for me. Hader definitely breaks character a lot and encourages those around him to, both in the old man sex sketch and his beloved Stefon appearance on Weekend Update. The #metoo parody got me nervous for a moment before I realized that it was just making fun of Canadians being so nice and apologizing all the time. What’s good about Hader’s performance is that it’s about as far away from playing Barry on his hit HBO show, and it’s very possible he could win. McKinnon didn’t just play Sessions, she also got to be very funny as Betsy Devos, whose best line I thought was that in Wyoming there should be a school for bears. She could win a third time too. The portable bathroom in the lamps sketch was sort of funny, but my favorite was the “Jurassic Park” screen tests, with Hugh Grant, Alan Alda, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, and Jodie Foster making me chuckle.

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