SNL recap: Emma Stone is wasted on subpar sketches

Saturday Night Live recap ranking scaleEmma Stone came back to SNL for her fourth time as host. Stone’s first time hosting was in 2010 and in the nine years since she has become a hosting fave. While Stone has a lot of experience on the SNL stage, the episode might have belonged to BTS. The show referenced the super popular K-Pop boy band a lot. The screams from the audience every time BTS was mentioned showed how excited everyone was for the musical guest. All BTS aside, the sketches this week delivered a wide range of laughs. Laughspin is here to tell you all the highs and lows from this week’s Saturday Night Live (and don’t worry fangirls, we didn’t judge Korea’s favorite boys Beyond the Scene.)

SNL Cold Open

The execution of this week’s cold open feels sloppy. SNL does so many political cold opens that it’s nice to see them doing something new. This one, however, feels too long and the heightening isn’t linear enough. Having Stone’s Birdman co-star Michael Keaton come on to play Julian Assange also doesn’t quite work. It feels lazy somehow, especially since Keaton doesn’t do an impression.

Emma Stone Monologue

Sometimes when a celebrity hosts SNL for the third, fourth, or fifth time, the monologue gets a little too inside baseball. Stone’s monologue suffered from this. When hosts come back five times, they join the five-timers club; five-timers monologues are always full of inside jokes and references to the point they can be annoying. While it is only Stone’s fourth time hosting, they really lean into the idea of her wanting to be a five-timer.

Fashion Coward

This is a great ad parody. Sometimes commercial parodies feel a little canned, but this one feels really new and inventive. The last line really ends the sketch strong and the writing, in general, is smart and well structured. The base idea of the sketch is funny, but the performance here really elevates the humor.

Dorm Room Posters

It’s really special when SNL does a follow-up to a sketch when a host returns, but the Posters sketch should not have gotten this treatment. Posters first came about when Stone hosted in 2017. While the premise of posters talking to a boy is funny, bringing back this sketch didn’t add anything. The sketch also, unfortunately, relies too much on the joke that a hot girl is dumb, which feels too easy.

Hobby Song

This sketch is hard to assess. There are moments that are funny, but there is something missing. The sketch takes a long time to reveal the turn, which might be part of the reason it doesn’t fully work. The song has fewer jokes in it as you might expect. Some lines of the rap feel very earnest, but the tone is off. That being said, the music video is directed very well.

The View: Jenny McCarthy on Vaccines

This parody of The View doesn’t work. There are two halves of this sketch and one works better than the other. The first half is just the women of The View talking about immigration. The impressions really carry this section, especially Kate McKinnon’s amazing Joy Behar. The second half starts when Stone comes in as Jenny McCarthy. The biggest issue in this sketch is the pacing. It ends abruptly after getting a really slow start and there is something in that pacing issue that really hurts the sketch.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update had two returning characters this week. Neither did anything new this time around, but one was much funnier than the other. Aidy Bryant’s child travel expert character, Carrie Krum, was funny without heightening anything from her last appearence. Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner brought back their Instagram couple characters. This appearance struggled to be as funny as their first appearance. Sadly, Bryant couldn’t carry the entire Weekend Update on her own (Micahel Che and Colin Jost certainly didn’t) to keep this one from drowning.

The Actress

This sketch is so wonderful in its weirdness. The tone of this digital short doesn’t fall in line with anything else in the episode, which makes it stand out in all the right ways. Stone commits so thoroughly to the role that it reminds you how good of an actress she is. There is one moment in this sketch which is an emotional gut punch, which is usually too nuanced for an SNL sketch. This sketch is funny without sacrificing its beauty. If you skip a bunch of sketches to get to this one, we don’t blame you.

Chalmers Reserve Event Wine

This sketch is highly forgettable. There are some funny lines, but it somehow feels dated as soon as it’s done. The best line comes when Stone and Kyle Mooney make fun of their own accents, but the moment is too brief. The Chalmers are originally set up to be funny characters but are almost immediately forced to be straight men as the winemakers’ antics take full attention.

Royal Baby Video

Day does a mean Prince Harry impression. This sketch is full of great impressions and larger-than-life characters. This recurring sketch does a great job of making different jokes each time they make it. While the format is the same as a previous Royal Wedding sketch (below), and of course it is always about the royal family, the world is expanded each time.

Ladies Room

The Ladies Room is a hard sketch to talk about. It starts off as this avant-garde and absurdist piece…but it ends as a poop joke. It covers so much ground and parts of it are good and other parts fall really flat. The singers—played by Cecily Strong, Leslie Jones, and Stone—are really funny in the first half, but the second half just undercuts them. It’s a really lackluster way to end Saturday Night Live.

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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