Last night was the final Saturday Night Live of 2018 and the crew went out on a good one. Matt Damon came back for the first time in over a decade to host. Though he had come back earlier in the season to play Brett Kavanaugh, he really got to shine this week. He brought the kind of commitment to hosting that showed how much he really loves SNL. He is in more sketches than the average host—including the cold open, Weekend Update, and a pre-taped sketch that was cut for time. Laughspin is here to round up what the best of the best sketches were using our very own not-ready-for-primetime star scale. Let us know if you disagree in the comments and we will see you in 2019!
It’s a Wonderful Life (Cold Open)
Doing an It’s a Wonderful Life sketch isn’t exactly original, but this one works very well. The twist at the end is fun and the parody shakes up the sometimes-repetitive politics the cold open frequently takes. This sketch won’t be your favorite of the night, but it is good for what it is.
This monologue is not exactly funny, but it is really sweet that you can tell it means so much to Damon. It works especially well in a Christmas episode since it already feels like a time to be nostalgic. It is always a little hard to rate monologues that aren’t funny on purpose, but Damon really sells this one.
The Daddy Show
It is amazing that this sketch came on so early. It is both wonderful and horrifying if you think about the premise for a second too long. The sketch centers around a dog show for daddies. In context, this could have been really uncomfortable given that Damon had just talked about his father’s passing and being a dad himself. The ending isn’t exactly a surprise, but the sketch is just pure absurdist fun.
They have done this premise before and it is never anything new. The parents reminisce fondly on a day that is otherwise terrible. It is a simple premise that is always funny through its pre-taped juxtapositions. The idea, though often repeated, is still funny. Though I would argue the Mother’s Day version is better.
Overall, this sketch is very good. It is silly and has a great use of green screen towards the end. Aidy Bryant shines even though she is almost completely covered up.
Every time they do one of these audition sketches, it is just a reason to show off everyone’s impression skills. It’s amazing every time. Damon surprisingly does some good impressions and the cast members are flawless. I would watch a full Oscars ceremony hosted by Melissa Villaseñor as Sarah Silverman. Given that the Academy still hasn’t hired a new host, you could say there’s a chance.
This one is weird because it is more impressive than it is funny. Damon and Cecily Strong’s banter is funny, but the song itself is actually just hard to sing. There are pans to the crowd in the beginning, but by the end, they have stopped showing the audience which is too bad because seeing reactions to the song could have made this sketch funnier.
The best part of Weekend Update this week was the return of the Every Girlfriend from a Boxing Movie character played by Heidi Gardner. While she is usually a little one-note, finally meeting her boxer boyfriend is really funny and takes the character to a new level. Michael Che and Colin Jost also swap jokes for a change. Che reads jokes written for him by Jost and Jost reads ones written by Che. While it is an audience favorite, it is kind of cheap laugh. Che makes Jost say something racist and Jost just kind of writes sex jokes. Jost doesn’t push it far enough with the things that he makes Che say, so it feels a bit one-sided. This was really a toss-up between three and four stars, but it gets the lower score for the jokes at the top and a segment that is called Where is Wes? which is too long for what it is.
In all fairness, this reviewer knows a lot about Weezer (I was 12 at the exact right time to think Perfect Situation was very deep), and I am not sure this would be funny if you didn’t know about Weezer. That being said, this is a weird and funny sketch that is so simple and yet so specific.
This sketch goes on far too long and you will find yourself asking, “Why is Alec Baldwin here?” It is a funny enough premise, but not executed as well as it could be. Half of the cast is doing a Boston accent and half aren’t. In an episode that has a lot of jokes about Boston, this one falls a little behind the pack.
Happy Christmas, Britain
This sketch seemed to get cut for time live. It seems like maybe someone told the cast members before they went on that this might need to end early because there is an awkwardness to it. The jokes are a little easy and don’t actually feel very Brittish at times. Not sure if cutting it for time saves the audience or ruins the sketch, but the final product just doesn’t feel right.