Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Emmy Episodes: Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live: Season 47, Episode 16 “Jerrod Carmichael / Gunna” (B)

I think I’ve only had two experiences with Jerrod Carmichael. The first was the pilot for “The Carmichael Show,” which I didn’t love, and the second was his directorial debut, “On the Count of Three,” which debuted at Sundance at the start of 2021 and was finally released this past May. That was a terrific film, and so I’m happy in that sense to see him honored as the one and only male SNL host nominated this year, the first solo representative in the Emmy comedy guest actor category for the show in a full decade. In terms of his actual hosting job, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I also didn’t find it too extraordinary. It was probably unfortunate for him to have to be burdened with all the comedy about the slap, which dominated the episode. Replaying the scene almost as it happened with Chris Redd felt a bit excessive but had some elements of humor, and I think what I preferred was the Trump “Hitch has arm” nonsense. Talking in his monologue about how he has to be the least famous host in SNL history and addressing his coming out in his special were nice touches that I think give him an endearing factor more than a funny one. He is certainly funny, but this episode didn’t give him all that much opportunity. Kate McKinnon was the best part of the “Is My Brain Okay” sketch, and the dumping-bodies-without-cremating them bit was more random than anything else. Though I know the show targets Trump endlessly, I did find myself surprisingly amused by him spewing contradictory comments like how he doesn’t like the “p” at the end of “coup” before repeatedly admitting everything.

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