• Saturday Night Live recap: Halsey sings through stale SNL


    Saturday Night Live recap ranking scaleYou’ll love Halsey after this week’s Saturday Night Live. Halsey appeared last year as the musical guest when Sam Rockwell hosted, but she got to do a lot more this time around. The 24-year-old singer both hosted and performed as the musical guest. She even painted a giant picture live on the show. While Halsey was adorable and tried her best, she was stuck in some sketches that didn’t quite work. This week, in general, was very political, but some of that political commentary fell flat. Also, if you like ‘Jeff Bezos’s penis‘ jokes, this was really the week for you. As always, Laughspin is here to tell you what you can’t miss and what to skip using our totally super official Star Scale.

    SNL Cold Open

    This week’s cold open featured a Meet the Press parody where the press only talked about Bezos’s penis. The cast delivered surprisingly good impressions of Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney), Eugene Robinson (Kenan Thompson), and Peggy Noonan (Cecily Strong), but it’s hard to appreciate these not-easily-recognizable pundits. This sketch started strong but went way too long. Having the only joke in this sketch be about the Amazon CEO’s dick pics works better than expected, but by the end, you will be bored.

    Halsey SNL Monologue

    Halsey’s monologue was adorable, but not necessarily funny. She does some jokes about New Jersey that are extremely safe and then turns the monologue into a sentimental, “I used to watch this show as a kid!” speech. While many hosts bring up “watching as a kid,” she gave her own spin to it and talked about the women on SNL. She doesn’t name names, but given her age, it would have been the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler years, most likely. It was sweet, but not funny.

    Them Trumps

    They did not need to make a second Them Trumps. The first one was funny because it was surprising, but the sequel goes nowhere the first one didn’t. We loved the original, so just watch that one again.

    State Meeting

    This sketch about Virginia politicians asking questions about when they could do blackface is funny, but it is very one-note. It’s a shame in a week like this where a lot of sketches were pretty one-note. That being said, this sketch will get you laughing. Often, hosts don’t get the best parts, but Halsey gets the funniest line of the sketch when she asks if blackface is ok if you are half-black and half-white, before the biracial singer reveals it was for a costume where she is both Michael Jacksons.

    Valentine’s Day Song

    Who doesn’t love a song bit? While this one seems to have just been filmed on the sound stage, it is one of the better ones we have seen in a while. It is hilarious for anyone who’s mom still buys them Valentine’s Day presents. Also, Halsey, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant look like they are having the most fun while making this.

    Parents Call

    Hosts often have to play the straight man, and if they get to be funny, it’s in a role that isn’t a stretch for them. So, Halsey doing a character in this sketch is really unexpected. She makes some great choices for the voice of the mom and the premise of the sketch is really relatable while still being absurdist.

    Women of Congress

    There is something about this Charlie’s Angels parody that does work. It has a super long intro and then just one joke. It might have worked better as just an intro and cut the next scene which makes the congresswomen look shrill and makes the Charlie’s Angels reference confusing. There are some laughs here, but not quite enough.

    Weekend Update

    Sometimes it is hard to rate Weekend Update because there are so many parts. There were three special guests this week plus all the jokes from Colin Jost and Michael Che. Che giggled a lot this week, which sometimes feels like breaking for breaking’s sake. SNL usually uploads all their segments to YouTube, but this week they did not upload a part of Weekend Update where Melissa Villaseñor plays Lady Gaga (potentially due to licensing a song). Her impression wasn’t amazing, which was surprising coming from the usually spot-on Villaseñor. It seemed like an excuse to let her sing. Weekend Update also featured Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner playing an Instagram couple, which was unmemorable.

    Karaoke

    SNL did not upload this sketch, but if you are watching on Hulu or have bought the episode, it is about 48 minutes in. It’s too bad they didn’t upload it, because it was a pretty funny sketch, but since it features a sorority pledge class singing the song What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes it might have been too expensive to post. In it, the pledge class does increasingly mean and absurd dares. The funniest line in this sketch features a racist macaw and we would recommend you watch it—that is if you can find it.

    Black History Month

    This is one of the smartest bits of the night. The black cast members continue to get interrupted by white cast members Mooney and Bennett as they try to give a speech about black history and SNL. The only issue with this sketch is that it is not self-aware at all. It does not remark on how the show has actually not had many black people on it for many years. The bit is funny, but the speech makes SNL itself sound like a more diverse show than it is.

    Maurice

    It has been quite a while since we have given something a one star, but this sketch isn’t great—especially if you care about homophobia or sex workers’ rights. The premise is the father of a family gets into cam modeling. The characters take an incredulous approach to the growingly-popular revenue stream, which leaves a bad taste in the mouth. There are funny lines, especially when the wife and the brother’s girlfriend start supporting him, but it just kind of ends.

    Riverdale

    Pete Davidson doesn’t do a lot of characters—and he especially doesn’t do characters that aren’t the chill guy—so it was great to see him get into one in the final sketch of the night. He breaks a lot in this sketch, but it’s nice to see him commit to an accent and a goofy premise. The sketch goes on a little long and their Jughead could have done a lot more, but the corpse premise is funny.

    Rosa Escandon

    I am a stand up comic and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. When I'm not on stage, I am Comedy Editor for The Tusk, sit on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival, and writing my next project. I am passionate about writing about feminism and comedy as well as how women, LBGTQ people, and minorities are changing the face of comedy and entertainment. You may have seen me on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, aplus, or maybe just on twitter.

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