Saturday, September 7, 2019

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 fourth 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 44, Episode 14 “Host: John Mulaney” (B)

I’ve never been a big fan of comedian John Mulaney, who I first encountered in the short-lived 2014 FOX sitcom “Mulaney,” and I wasn’t sure what to make of his Emmy nomination before I watched this episode after not enjoying his appearance in season 43, which was Kenan Thompson's submission. Instead of sharing his excitement to be on the show and playing along with sketches involving other people, they just gave him a microphone so that he could do stand-up for his monologue. That worked well, since he’s definitely funny, and he seemed pretty game for all the other sketches he was in during the rest of the episode. The one I enjoyed most was where he and another contestant had to guess the names of the wives of their friends or bridesmaids of their wives, which featured Bill Hader as the host but also was just genuinely funny. The Scream parody where Pete Davidson didn’t care or notice that his mortal enemy from high school was trying to kill him was somewhat amusing, while the black-and-white movie reenactment was all about Kate McKinnon and less about anything Mulaney was doing other than playing the straight man. I was surprised and entertained to see McKinnon, who in her submitted episode, hosted by Liev Schreiber, had everyone else cracking up, break character and find herself unable to stop laughing during the meats sketch, which was admittedly clever. Obviously, the content of this episode is old news at this point, but the fact that Weekend Update was able to just start playing clips of Trump talking without needing to include any commentary is definitely noteworthy.

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