Scarlett Johansson Returned to ‘SNL’ For the Fifth Time to Host a Solid Episode
Dream girls Scarlett Johansson and Lorde led a pretty solid week for Saturday Night Live, with a handful of fun, thankfully lighter than usual sketches (including, hooray, another creative cold open!) that were, if nothing else, at least a nice distraction from the week’s news.
Alien Attack Cold Open
Though, of course, the week’s news was terrible as usual, and we’re all still careening towards an uncertain but certainly scary fate; maybe, like in this cold open, some kind of alien attack? One thing’s for sure, if our fearless leader can’t keep his cool while watching a comedy show, there’s no way he’d be able to get his shit together enough to deliver some kind of Independence Day-style speech to the troops. So, a sergeant (Kenan Thompson) steps up when Trump (Baldwin’s back, despite recent threats of retirement) hears an attack has obliterated California, and is too hung up on what that means for his electoral college totals to really comprehend that we’re in the midst of a crisis.
It’s Scarlett Johansson’s fifth time hosting, and that means she’s going to get punk’d by Thompson, the show’s most experienced current cast member and de facto elder statesman. He crashes Johansson’s monologue to share a clip package of his contributions to her past sketches, and to present her with a five-timers’ velvet jacket. There’s also a five-timers’ song, which is actually just the song from the Subway commercial, but whatever, nobody really tried here. Kate McKinnon stops by to give some tiny kisses and share some sad Oscars stories; she co-stars in Rough Night, the summer comedy Johansson is promoting along with current thriller Ghost in the Shell.
A very nice man’s life is ruined when a local newscaster (Cecily Strong) mispronounces his job — but, to be fair, that early in the morning, “photographer” sure can sound a lot like “pornographer.” Denver Zoo documenter Danny Bangs (Mikey Day) is all smiles as he promotes his new book of cute animal photos, The Picture is a Little Fuzzy, to interviewer Johansson, but his harmless stories sound sociopathic thanks to a lazy caption writer, who ends up getting Bangs fired. (FYI, I checked, www.dannybangsanimals.com sends you back to SNL’s site.)
Inspired by the wild success of Logo’s gay dating show Fire Island comes this sister series, following five lesbians living it up — well, quietly, at a reasonable hour, at least. Stereotypes abound in this look at what it’d be like if five committed lesbians (and all their naturally water-birthed children) shared a beachfront home.
We don’t really want our pets to be able to talk back; they’d probably be pretty boring — or, like this scientist’s pup, they’d end up having some pretty shitty opinions. Researchers (Johansson, Mooney, and Day) are trying to pitch a device that reads pets’ minds to investors (Strong and Moffat), but when their test dog ends up telling them all about his love of Trump, it overshadows the fact that their invention actually worked.
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of all those super fun-looking Olive Garden ads? Actually, I kind of have, so this look at a director (Beck Bennett) getting all his shots was actually pretty satisfying — unlike actual Olive Garden pasta, which is nowhere near as orgasmic as those commercial actors (Day, Thompson, Johansson, and Leslie Jones) make you believe.
Ivanka Trump (Johansson, here) is complicit, in the IRL dissolution of reality as we know it AND also in this fun ad for her new perfume, “Complicit”! It’s aptly named, you see, because Ivanka’s a poisonous fame-seeker who calls herself a feminist and activist, even though she’s never done anything good for anyone. But, so pretty!!
Jost and Che hate on Trumpcare, the new travel ban, and, for some reason, World Orphan Week:
Former SNL writer-turned-Senator Al Franken stops by, to try and get some answers from a skittish Jeff Sessions; McKinnon’s AG is as delightfully Gump-y as ever, and Moffat’s got a pretty admirable Al (though a lot of it is in the glasses):
And Pete Davidson stops by to mention his new sobriety, and to roast some more of Trump’s staffers:
Shud the Mermaid
In this True Tale from the Sea, U.S. Fighter Pilot Harrison Beckett (Day) washes ashore on a strange island — only to find he’s been saved by a mer-man set on marrying him off to one of his daughters. Will Beckett choose playful Oceana (Strong), adventurous Aquaticana (Zamata), or the intriguing Shud (McKinnon), who’s bald and mostly blobfish but comes with a sexually open friend, Cunk (Johansson)?
Shanice Goodwin, Ninja: Rivals
When it really comes down to it, who do you want on your side in a fight: an orphan who’s been hanging out with a pudgy white guy for the past ten years, or a sassy Kohl’s cashier who’s secretly packing heat? Yeah, me too. Here, elite assassin Dominica (Johansson) tries her best to save her sensei (Moynihan) from the British mob, but in the end, it’s Shanice (Jones) whose street smarts save the day.
A Sketch for the Women
In honor of last weeks Day Without A Woman, in which the SNL cast and crew participated (according to Johansson and Bryant here), allies Bennett and Mooney helpfully stepped up to script this very feminist sketch, featuring all the female cast members — jk, of course the men didn’t write all the sketches this week, cause the show would have been a mess. 😇
Imagine showing up to a random family member’s funeral expecting somber stories and a few stray tears, and instead being serenaded with some synth-y Euro disco. It’d be pretty dope! That’s exactly what happens to David’s family here when his secret pals Dan (Thompson) and Dede (Johansson) show up at his service. His wife (Bayer) and her friend (Bryant) are pretty surprised to find he’s been penning “deep club” tracks, but at least one fun nephew (Moffat) is into it.
- Maybe it’s because I watched SNL immediately after I watched the ‘shrooms episode of Love, but, after seeing her performances here I’m pretty sure Lorde would be a lot of fun to do drugs with…
- Anyways, we’re in reruns for a few weeks, til March 8 with host Louis C.K. and musical guest The Chainsmokers.