Sam Rockwell Is a Cussin’, Dancin’ Fool on ‘SNL’

rockwell-snlSince Sam Rockwell was announced as the first SNL host of 2018, I’ve been stoked. I’ve been a rabid Sam Rockwell fan since he danced to Pharoahe Monch in Charlie’s Angels. Then danced again in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I can’t remember if he danced in Moon, but it was a very good movie. His cameos both on the Stella TV series and shorts proved that he could sell fake moustaches and absurd dialogue like “Do you think I’m some sloppy, wet pussy for you to fuck?” We knew Rockwell could dance and swear, but we had no way of knowing how much of both he was going to do on this week’s episode of SNL.

Cold Open

Now this is the weird sex content I want to see on SNL. Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon bring some real heat to their portrayals of co-hosts/lovahs Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. I’ve never watched a single moment of Morning Joe, but I loved Moffat talking over Chris Redd’s guest commentator and mumbling stuff to McKinnon about feeding her meat. Then we were graced with two SNL alums: Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff and Bill Murray as Steve Bannon. I only wish those two would have also murmured sweet nothings into each other’s faces like Joe and Mika. The parallel structure would have been very pleasing.

Monologue

Podcast Who? Weekly breaks down all celebrities into Whos and Thems. During his monologue, Sam Rockwell made a case for his Golden Globe win elevating him from Whodom to Themdom. “Am I a big-ass honkin’ movie star now?” he asked. “Did I just go from Actor to Big Ass Deal?” He then bursts into song—“A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis—and dances through ninja fights and dame-kisses. Ironically, this is a character actor’s version of being a leading man.

Science Show

Rockwell plays a TV scientist who is working with the two dumbest kids to perhaps ever live. A pretender to the throne/spiritual successor to the Mr. Wizard sketch with all the genital rubbing, this sketch also marked the first swear of the night. We should not have been surprised that Sam Rockwell couldn’t contain himself. He said “ass” on the Golden Globes red carpet and like 20 times in the monologue.

Tucci Gang

Was this made just for me? I know there are other Stanley Stans out there, but I have a Google Alert set up for Stanley Tucci because I always want to keep in touch with the Tooch. I have his name emblazoned on the back of my punk vest. Pete Davidson is always charming as a SoundCloud rapper, and Rockwell makes good use of his dance moves yet again. Like the original “Gucci Gang,” this song runs a little too long to support its main/only joke. But, a white man is chastened for beatboxing at the end, so I still give this 5/5 Stans.

The Look

A red carpet rundown show on E! can’t quite figure out how to behave in our newly woke times.  Looks-obsessed dum dums swing wildly over to what they think feminism is, to the point that they boo Eva Longoria’s unborn child for being a boy. (While still assuming that genitalia determines gender, because they’re dum dums.) This sketch was too real. As virtue signaling becomes the new American pastime, we’re going to have more moments like Debra Messing calling out E! during its own red carpet coverage and Al Roker trying to make the Times Up movement seem super fun.

My Drunk Boyfriend

Who would win in a fight: My Drunk Boyfriend or Brownie Husband? Probably the one that can move. My Drunk Boyfriend is a lifesize doll for women who need to take care of someone at all times. Women are taught to find the fun in emotional labor. When we were little, we played with dolls that wet themselves and we had to change them. My Drunk Boyfriend pees in your hamper, which is almost as good!

Weekend Update

How times have changed. Jenny Slate suffered huge career consequences in 2009 for accidentally saying “fuck” on-air, but we can be pretty sure that head writers Jost and Che probably won’t even lose sleep over saying “shithole” intentionally. It’s not even bleeped on YouTube. I’m all about profanity, but I am not okay with Colin Jost’s fake “oops” after he curses.

Oprah swings by to talk about her potential presidential project: “I need to get white women back on track.” Chris Redd guests as Stedman, her longtime boyfriend/hype man.

I was wondering why Kenan wasn’t Stedman, and then he came out as LaVar Ball. Honestly could have done both. No shade on Chris Redd — he brought great energy, but the difference in Look between Stedman and LaVar Ball is a wig removal and a shirt change. Ball comes through to talk about the benefits of Lithuania, making it sound like a horror-movie setting and less like a real place. I refuse to learn who LaVar Ball is, but Kenan sure is having a lot of fun playing him.

Aidy Bryant also came by Update, as herself, to talk about the work women do to make everyone feel comfortable. It was funny and her barely-concealed anger was entirely relatable. I look forward to purchasing items from her plus-size clothing line.

Peter Pan

A thing I never thought I’d write: I wish more men took the time for self-reflection like Captain Hook. Rockwell plays the fictional pirate who realizes how creepy his boy-kidnapping comes across “in today’s climate.” Rockwell’s accent is 1) very consistent and 2) not a pirate accent. I enjoyed the choice. I also enjoyed the little piece of apple that was stuck in his wig for the whole sketch.  

ATM

A white man is shamed for his racism, then a black man’s class bias is confirmed. The big twist at the end is that the white woman is a sex worker. Who was this sketch for, and what was it trying to say? We may never know. I am glad, however, that Chris Redd got to utilize his very crazy eye acting, last seen in Popstar.  

Marcus Comes to Dinner

A son’s new boyfriend, a gay porn star, looks awfully familiar to the uptight father. If Frasier were on today, this is what it would be like. I’m not saying Martin would be watching gay porn, but Martin might watch some gay porn. I’m not sure why this didn’t get more laughs. There were definitely bursts of laughter, but quality moments from Redd and the long monologue from Rockwell went by unnoticed. The SNL audience gave more love for Halsey, who cannot sing. It’s the children who are wrong.

Genetics Lab

Puppy!

There sure have been a lot of live animals this season. We’ve been graced by a llama, kittens, a spider/metaphor, and now this good boy. Scientists at a gene splicing lab are allegedly doing work that could save lives, but in reality are grafting dog heads onto human bodies. I’m sure this is a very damning condemnation of how science has been perverted by the pursuit of funding, but I just like watching a dog eat a sandwich.

Chantix

Cecily Strong plays a woman who Chantix has hired to talk about how the drug has helped her stop smoking, because she’s a real woman and not an actress. Strong chafes at being classified as “not an actress,” since she’s done community theater and is working on her one-woman show. Every time she tries to assert her acting prowess, Kate McKinnon’s voiceover lady cuts her down. It’s weird that the #spon was at the 10-to-1 spot. It seems more like the place for the human/dog hybrid, or at least a sketch that features the host. But I still enjoyed Strong telling the camera that she’d do nudity, including “full bush.”

 

Photo by Will Heath/NBC.

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