Steve Carell returned to host Saturday Night Live for the third time last night. The Office star hosted back in 2005 and again in 2008, but that was over 10 years ago. Was he ready to jump back in? He has grey hair and does serious movies now, leading some to wonder: Can Steve Carell still be funny? Of course he can! But how did the show go overall? We let you know using our patented* SNL star scale!
*we do not hold the patent for this
The Cold Open
This is not the first cold open that features Laura Ingraham played by Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong as Judge Jeanine Pirro, and both of the actresses really have the impressions nailed at this point. The Laura Ingraham parody opens always suffer from being a little bit too long. The middle guest tends to drag, and even a fun Mark Zuckerberg impression couldn’t save it from feeling long. This opening ended with Ingraham interviewing Vape God. Pete Davidson’s impression of the real life troll was not particularly accurate, and McKinnon had to assure the audience one too many times that this character was based on a real interview which was a shame. The actual interview with Vape God might be funnier than the sketch, which is always a danger when parodying something that is already funny.
The big SNL headline this week will be “Steve Carell teases Office reunion in monologue,” but we should all know that this is a joke. It is not coming back, no matter how much you beg. Carell shows real acting chops in this monologue—or he is actually surprised by what is happening. Office alumni Ed Helms, Ellie Kemper, and Jenna Fischer join Carell along with Carell’s wife and children to ask him to bring back The Office. It is cute, but the real headline is that Kenan Thompson is on board for a Kenan and Kell reboot (please).
I really want to like this sketch, but something is just a tiny bit off. Carell plays a dumb dad, but at some moments it feels like he is less dumb and more someone who has had some sort of head trauma. The premise is funny, but in moments it goes too far and in other moments it doesn’t go far enough. I think the issue is the children don’t feel like characters. They just feel like the actors playing themselves while sitting on bunk beds. A funny visual, but not enough.
This got four Andy Sambergs because Carell does a great Jeff Bezos. The premise is a little weak, and it really glorifies a Lex Luther type, but the impression is so spot-on that it’s certainly worth a watch.
This sketch is great. The only reason that it doesn’t get the Gildas is that the twist at the end feels stale. But everything before that is genius and the song should be the new Thanksgiving anthem.
This is a fine rap. Nothing feels particularly fresh about it, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg has had enough “gangster” and “rap” jokes about her to last a lifetime, which for her is hopefully 116 years.
There is nothing particularly good or bad to say about this sketch. However, I have a lot of questions for whomever in props made all those dead monkeys.
Michael Che and Colin Jost’s jokes this week were better than recent weeks, even if Che’s Amazon jokes feel more like a rant. Thompson did his always fun impression of Lavar Ball, but Mikey Day stole the show with his impression of Denver Riggleman. For those unfamiliar with the Virginia Congressman, Riggleman caused a small scandal for posting Big Foot erotica on social media. This impression may have worked better back in July when the scandal broke, but honestly, it’s still funny.
1950s Sleep Over
This is a great Grease parody that works despite anyone actually saying the word grease. It’s a little out there, very silly, and gives way more laughs than the very similar Disney dad sketch earlier in the episode. The sketch features twist after twist, causing uproarious laughter each time. Carell and Aidy Bryant have wonderful chemistry together as father and daughter. When they start talking about Carell leaving the family, the 1950s-style voices fall away, which somehow makes it all funnier.
This sketch has an amazing premise and features an amazing performance by Heidi Gardner, but it otherwise feels a little sloppy. It feels like it is missing a little more structure and doesn’t live up to the premise’s potential.
In a show that already features a sketch in outer space and a killer sketch about Thanksgiving, it is surprising that Lorne let this space Thanksgiving sketch into the show. It isn’t that funny and just kind of ends without any resolution. I wonder what was so bad that it got cut over this.
Yass, hunty, we are giving this sketch three Mama Rus. Does it feel out of place? Yass! Just like this sketch, kitty-girl. The final sketch of the show suffers from straight people trying to make a gay sketch. It is fun, and it will make you laugh, but there is a hesitation to it. Much like when Thompson has to do a drag voice over and stumbles over the word squirrel. RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Jiggly Caliente and Peppermint appear in the sketch, and they really should have done the voice over for the fictional app. The lines they deliver are much funnier than Thomspon’s and they were already on set.
Disagree with our ratings? Let us know in the comments!