Sandra Oh stopped by SNL to host for her first time Saturday night. Oh became just the third Asian woman to host the show in its 44 seasons. While most of the time, Oh was confined to playing the straight woman, she got to step out and showcase herself in a couple of sketches. The Killing Eve star generally seemed a little nervous throughout the show but seemed to try her best every time the camera was on her. The biggest joke of the night was about the much-talked-about and very-much-unread-by-basically-anyone Mueller report. While some sketches failed hard, there were a couple that may be instant classics. Here’s the Laughspin report on which Saturday Night Live sketches you must watch.
SNL Cold Open
The game in this sketch works really well. The structure centers around each person saying the same thing only dumber. The William Barr lines are great, but the Donald Trump dialogue fall a little flat. An announcer says that the Trump lines are supposed to be tweets, but the lines do not sound like tweets, so that kind of spoiled it for us.
Sandra Oh SNL Monologue
This monologue is just all over the place. There isn’t a central theme, which seems to make Oh struggle. A lot of Oh’s punchlines don’t land and her timing is strange. About halfway through, Leslie Jones comes out to help, but by then it’s already a flop.
Warning: this sketch kind of gives away the plot twist to the movie Us. If you haven’t seen Jordan Peele’s newest film, you might want to save this sketch for later. If you have, it is a super funny sketch playing off the Discover Card ‘We treat you like you’d treat you’ campaign. Newcomer, Ego Nwodim, gives an amazing performance as both a Discover customer and her tethered.
There is nothing memorable about this confusing Jussie Smollett sketch. Unless you are following this story very closely, some of these jokes will go over your head and make the sketch more confusing than it needs to be. There are a couple of good lines in this like when Smollett keeps referring to himself as the gay “insert black celebrity here,” but overall, this sketch doesn’t say anything new or interesting.
This sketch is great up until the ending, which maybe could have used a little work. For fans of Jane Austen, this scene is a perfect heightening of classic literature tropes without being so specific that it would alienate an audience. Pete Davidson plays a character out of his usual wheelhouse in this, which is also great to see.
This sketch would be funny if it wasn’t so long. Oh has to play the straight woman in so many of these sketches, so it is nice to see her playing a wacky character. Unfortunately, the sketch doesn’t heighten the situation each time she comes out, so the sketch drags.
This sketch should convince producers of the show to get an Asian cast member. SNL writer Bowen Yang does a good job stepping in to play Kim Jong-Un, but there is something strange about adding someone who is not a cast member to a scene. The first half of the sketch feels dangerous. Not in a push the envelope way, rather in a humanizing a dictator kind of way.
This sketch is visually perfect. There is an opulence that drips from this sketch. It captures the drama of an old movie and sets it against the mundane perfectly. Everyone has seen a scene where someone dramatically writes a check. This sketch flips that on its head and focuses on the check instead of the act around it, which is hysterical. Easily a top sketch for the episode and possibly a top sketch of the season.
This week’s Weekend Update is mostly just forgettable. There is nothing terrible about it, but there isn’t much that is great. Cecily Strong returns as Judge Jeanine Pirro. The impression is spot on, but this appearance of the character doesn’t add anything new to what we have seen from this impression before.
Electric Shoes feels like a classic SNL sketch. It may not go anywhere new, but a powerhouse performance from Kenan Thompson and a goofy song that will get stuck in your head uplift this sketch. The sketch goes on for a little long, but that feels correct thematically. This sketch is joyous and silly. Do not skip it.
This sketch is the right type of confusing. There are so many lines in this sketch which will make you want to rewind just to make sure you heard it correctly. The melodrama in this sketch is its biggest asset. It’s nice to see Oh able to play around with the character even if she has to start as the straight woman.
Some people might love this sketch, but there is something about it that feels both too ‘out there’ and toooverdonee. SNL loves to do a wacky character, and when it is Kate McKinnon it works. Still, something in this sketch is off. The character of Louise isn’t bad in itself, but the scene doesn’t mesh well and the end result is more confusing than it is funny.