Sunday, September 5, 2021

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 sixth 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 46, Episode 15 “Host: Maya Rudolph” (B-)

It’s strange to think of Maya Rudolph as a guest on this show since she’s appeared in all but one of the episodes from this season that I’ve watched so far, but this is apparently only the second time she’s ever hosted. Her Kamala Harris is consistently entertaining and a bit livelier and more creative than the Joe Biden impersonations by Jim Carrey and Alex Moffat. The casting of Martin Short, an actor I’ve recently been enjoying quite a bit on Hulu’s new series “Only Murders in the Building,” was a fun choice to play her husband Doug, though that sketch got a little off-track pretty quickly. I do enjoy seeing Aidy Bryant’s Ted Cruz, who is always funny and oddly spot-on. I don’t know where it came from, but Pete Davidson singing NFT lyrics to Eminem was an unexpected delight. He’s been one of my favorite players since I saw him in non-SNL projects “Big Time Adolescence” and “The King of Staten Island,” and it’s great to see him take on something like this that feels like it’s out of his normal routine. I was also pleased to see Bowen Yang doing his own bit since I’ve heard so much about him but he hasn’t been too prominently featured yet this season (his submitted episode is coming up soon on my watchlist). The Maya-ing sketch felt somewhat appropriate as a way to hark back to Rudolph’s history on the show, though that concept has certainly been done to death. I like Rudolph but I don’t think this is the best work on this show she’s done.

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