Saturday Night Live Report Card: Season 43, Episode 16: Bill Hader

Stefon Vincent Price Lindsey Buckingham Bill Hader returns to SNL this week for his second hosting gig since leaving the show. The return of an SNL alum is alum is always a momentous occasion, and this is ecertainly no exception.

Cold Open: Anderson Cooper White House Turmoil:
This was definitely one of my favorite cold opens of the season. It took another week off from Baldwin's Trump (good choice) and gave us some of the more interesting members of the Trump administration, Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci and Rex Tillerson (or as I call him, Rexxon Mobil). It also gave us the return of Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff, an impression that first appeared in a terrific Morning Joe cold open earlier this year. All of this made for a cold open that managed to make me laugh, which is actually a shakeup from the typical cold open. So that's nice.
Score: 9/10

Bill Hader Monologue:
This monologue felt really short, and that's probably because it was. That much was referenced in the monologue itself. But that doesn't mean it was bad! It was actually pretty good. There weren't that many jokes in it, but that honestly didn't matter that much. This was short, sweet, and one of SNL's better monologues this season.
Score: 7.5/10

The Californians: Replacing Rosa:
I'm not going to pretend that The Californians is some sort of comedic genius, it really is not. It's pretty much just an excuse to talk about California roads in "Californian" accents. But it just felt so good to have it back. I certainly missed Rosa and Karina, who were both great parts of the earlier Californians sketches, but their absences didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the sketch.
Score: 8/10

Irish Dating Show:
Game show sketches are overused on SNL, but maybe there's a reason. Despite the lack of creativity, I like these game show sketches. They're usually pretty fun and occasionally, they'll shake up the format (like the one from Jessica Chastain's episode). This one stuck to the status quo, but I still really enjoyed it. The look of pure shock and disgust on the face of Aidy Bryant's character was priceless.
Score: 8/10

Girlfriends Game Night:

This was something. And I don't really know if I loved it or hated it. I do know I was grossed out by it. It certainly was dirtier than I would expect from SNL, but that's not really a bad thing. I laughed at this sketch, but the concept of it was just kinda unappealing.
Score: 7.5/10

Jurassic Park Auditions:
I'm a sucker for SNL's audition sketches, because I am a big fan of just about any sketch that exists solely as a way for the SNL cast to show off impressions. And this has to have been one of the best sketches of that type this season. So many of these impressions were so great, with Bill Hader's in particular being very funny. I also loved Heidi Gardner's Drew Barrymore, as well Aidy Bryant's Roseanne and the reprise of Kenan's OJ Simpson.
Score: 10/10

Weekend Update:
There was just so much to love in this Update, with both the return of Stefon (along with guest John Mulaney!) and another piece by Pete Davidson. But my favorite part was the return of Kate McKinnon's Betsy DeVos, this time defending her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad interview with 60 Minutes. Her first, all-too-brief appearance as Secretary Betsy was thoroughly entertaining.
Score: 9/10

Sacred Rock:
This sketch was just incredibly bizarre. That's not at all unusual for this show, but the humor usually balances it out to make a sketch that's bizarrely funny. This was not that. The insane heavily outweighed the humor here. That said, Bill Hader acting like a weirdo for a few minutes is always fun to watch. So this wasn't all bad.
Score: 6/10

CBC Report:
This was going pretty well, with most of the jokes landing pretty well, until Arcade Fire showed up. That's when it took an ugly turn. It went from a funny little sketch about "Canadian Harvey Weinstein" to just "Hey, Arcade Fire is here." The sketch was short enough, and with nearly half of it being boring, that really drags down the score.
Score: 6/10

Undercover Office Potty:
This turned out a lot better than I expected. When it started, I expected it to be a really terrible sketch.  After all, it is a sketch about pooping in lamps. But I actually really enjoyed it, despite being an odd concept. Some of SNL's best commercial parodies are really crazy, and this surely qualifies as crazy. This certainly wasn't one of SNL's best commercial parodies, but it was also far from its worst.
Score: 8.5/10

This was a solid, if imperfect, episode. Bill Hader is a true SNL great, and it's always great to see him back in Studio 8H. This was no different. He was the MVP of nearly every thing he appeared in, and managed to make even the strangest of concepts work in some way. That's the hallmark of a host that needs to return again and again and again. But maybe, if he does return as host, he can bring Stefon's husband Seth Meyers along with him. That would be nice.
Score: 8/10
Grade: B
Pass or Fail: Pass
MVP of the Week: Bill Hader
Sketch of the Night: 
Jurassic Park Auditions
Worst of the Night: CBC Report

Top 5 Hosts of the Season:
 Chance the Rapper
2) Saoirse Ronan
3) Sterling K. Brown
4) Tiffany Haddish
5) Jessica Chastain

What did you think of this week's SNL? What was your favorite sketch this week? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below!

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »