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 18 “Host: John Mulaney” (C+)

This is the second consecutive episode of this show in which a cast member is contending but the host isn’t nominated. John Mulaney is a stand-up comedian first and foremost, and he referenced the fact that he used to be a writer on the show and is happy to be back hosting it. Unfortunately, I think most of his sketches aren’t all that fantastic, featuring him in a pretty standard role either as someone whose unusual behavior towards one person goes unnoticed by everyone else or the straight man where other people are doing totally objectionable things. Fortunately, there were some great guest stars who managed to steal the show – and elicit great responses from the audience – in the opening sketch. Ben Stiller playing Michael Cohen was hilarious, and Robert De Niro showing up as Robert Mueller was an obvious lead-up to a “Meet the Parents” milking-nipples parody. I laughed most at the list of fake Laura Ingraham sponsors cited by Kate McKinnon as yet another absurd version of a public figure. This episode, of course, is the submission for Kenan Thompson, who earns his first Emmy nomination for acting after fifteen seasons on this show. He contended last year for original music and lyrics, for which he’s nominated again this year. I was wondering if he was going to get a big spotlight since he tends to be in the background in most sketches, but he actually had three big showcases. The first was playing the guy who was just in it “for the ass” in the “Wild Wild Country” parody, and he returned to Weekend Update with his latest LaVar Ball, whose best line of the episode was “You say tomato, I say this tomato cost $500.” Of course he almost broke character, but he also got to sing in the style of “Les Miserables” as a diner lobster finally being ordered off the menu. I think many may throw their votes his way because of the time that he’s put in on the show, and few would object to him being rewarded for those years of comedy service.

No comments: