TV and Movies

'Saturday Night Live' Gives Issa Rae Far Too Little Screen Time in a Subpar Episode

Issa Rae was meant to host Saturday Night Live back in the spring, before coronavirus shut down production on the sketch show in the studio. But Lorne Michaels brought her back to make good on their original plans. Unfortunately, this meant she was forced to host an episode where political satire is taking up the space of three sketches, giving her far fewer opportunities to shine throughout the night. Even the sketches that managed to include her didn’t make use of her comedic potential, which only added to the frustration that this subpar episode brought to the table.

Anyway, let’s look at the best and worst sketches from the Issa Rae hosted Saturday Night Live.

The Best

5-Hour Empathy – This is brilliant satire. In one of SNL‘s traditional commercial parodies, this sketch tackles the struggle that white people have with confronting their own lack of understanding years of systemic oppression and ever-present racism. This is one of those great sketches that confronts a significant social issue with great comedy. Kenan Thompson’s presence as the commercial’s narrator who keeps the subjects from getting off easy is the icing on an already fantastic cake.

eBay – With a show like SNL, whose reputation comes from being live, it can be a little frustrating when the best sketches are the pre-recorded sketches. But great comedy is great comedy, and in this sketch, everyone who has been cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic gets taken to task for spending money on things that they thought would occupy them at home. How many things have we bought that have just sat collecting dust since we bought them? The sad look on Chris Redd’s face when he says, “Guitars hurt, nobody tells you that,” really got me.

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TV and Movies

‘Saturday Night Live’ Recreates Presidential Town Halls with Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey

Thursday’s presidential town halls took the spotlight during “Saturday Night Live’s” third episode of its 46th Season.

Alec Baldwin was back in his guest role as President Donald Trump, while Jim Carrey portrayed former vice president and current democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden for the third week in a row. Mikey Day portrayed George Stephanopoulos, Kate McKinnon portrayed “bad ass” Savannah Guthrie, and Maya Rudolph returned as Sen. Kamala Harris.

The late-night sketch comedy show was expected to recreate this political event, especially given that Trump’s real-life town hall aired on “SNL’s” own network, NBC. After it was announced that NBC would air that event, a number of top performers and producers — including talent that currently work on NBC shows — signed a letter asking the network brass to rethink that decision. The “SNL” team did not sign that letter, clearly working on a different kind of reaction, which played out on Oct. 17.

“One town hall was a thoughtful, cogent discussion of the issues facing our country. The other featured President Trump,” the cold open began.

The town halls were then “recreated” and intercut with each other to simulate the at-home viewer “flipping back and forth” between them. The vibe Biden’s town hall was going for, Day as Stephanopoulos said, was “poorly attended college lecture” and would feature “softball questions” from those who support Biden, as well as those who hate Trump, Day as Stephanopoulos noted — although he did ask those who were asking questions to “limit how many times you outright say you hate President Trump.”

The highlight of Biden’s town hall was his response to how he would handle COVID. “Here’s the deal, unlike the president I actually have a plan.” When asked what it was, he replied, “A plan? It’s a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.” When it came to his plan, he said, “Let me start with a story, mixed with a complicated math problem: If you have three million doses of vaccine and the vaccine leaves Chicago at 10 a.m., what time would it arrive in Washington, and please show your work.”

Every other time his town hall was on-screen, he was in the middle of a seemingly long-winded story, including talking to God and telling him he could save the country and painting in a Bob Ross style wig.

Meanwhile, when it came to Trump, McKinnon’s Guthrie said right off the bat that “if you were mad at NBC for doing this town hall, just let me get a few questions in and I think you’ll thank me.”

She started by asking why he won’t condemn white supremacy, to which Baldwin’s Trump responded, “I do. I do condemn it. I’ve always more or less condemned it.” Addressing QAnon specifically he said, “You mean the group that thinks that democrats are a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, that I’m their messiah? I don’t know anything about them at all. All I know is they’re against pedophilia and I agree with that. If anyone is against pedophilia it’s me, the man who was close personal friends with one of the most famous pedophiles on Earth. Rest in power, Jeffrey [Epstein].”

Telling Baldwin’s Trump he wasn’t just someone’s crazy uncle didn’t deter him either, noting this is just a preview to what’s to come in a few months when households’ actual crazy uncles gather for Thanksgiving. “Stand back and stand by,” he said, giving a salute.

Baldwin’s Trump also evaded McKinnon’s Guthrie’s questions about when he last tested negative for COVID by saying he got tested all the time and “there are so many COVIDs: COVID-12, COVID-14” and that his doctors say he is doing great and “my lung is beautiful.”

“I never died or saw hell or the devil — he never showed me a list of my sins. I was just alive and strong the whole time,” Baldwin’s Trump said.

Rudolph’s Harris interrupted Trump’s town hall to ask “what the hell is happening” with the masked woman behind Baldwin’s Trump who was nodding furiously and at one point even twerking.

The sketch gave each candidate a chance for closing remarks. Carrey’s Biden promised he would not tweet once if he is elected (“because I don’t know how”) and he will only have one scandal: “I will mistake Angela Merkel from my wife from behind and tell her she’s got a rocking caboose. There’s no malice in that.” Baldwin’s Trump asked America if they are better off than they were four years ago, and when a graphic of America on a globe exclaimed a resounding, “No,” he replied, “All right, then just try and take me alive.”

“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

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TV and Movies

The Return of 'Saturday Night Live' Is a Bit Rough with Chris Rock and Plenty of Coronavirus Sketches

Saturday Night Live made its triumphant return to Studio 8H, complete with a live audience tested for COVID-19 and socially distanced for safety, including a floor crowd full of first responders. Unfortunately, the return of SNL was a little bit rough, perhaps shaken up by the new normal of producing the show with enhanced safety protocols. There were certainly plenty of coronavirus-centric sketches, and not even the seasoned SNL veteran Chris Rock felt like he was totally comfortable.

Let’s run through the best and works sketches from the Chris Rock hosted Saturday Night Live below.

The Best

Remember those viral videos from earlier this year featuring stunt performers waiting for production on movie and TV shows to resume? That’s where the inception of this sketch comes from, but then it turns into a pseudo featurette on two specific stunt performers, a pair of women who frequently do prat falls and other humiliating stunts as middle-aged mothers in family friendly comedies. It’s another great pairing of Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, and at this point, they could have their own sketch show with all the comedy duos they’ve created.

It’s always fun when the musical guest gets in on the sketches. In this case, Megan Thee Stallion helps, Chris Redd, Pete Davidson, Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim in a music video for a hip hop track about wanting to see the lower half of a woman’s face hidden by protective masks while out on a date. It’s a catchy track, especially when Megan Thee Stallion enters the fray, and the progression of the narrative only makes it better.

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TV and Movies

Jim Carrey's Joe Biden makes SNL debut and it's as chaotic as you'd expect

Jim Carrey made his Joe Biden debut on Saturday Night Live as their take on the first presidential debate devolved into chaos. 

The satirical sketch show made its return this weekend for its 46th season, and started with their take on Trump and Biden’s first public clash, which took place on Tuesday. 

With the pair’s first interaction being less-than-well received, it was perfect for Jim Carrey to cut his teeth as the Democratic nominee for president. 

Joined by Maya Rudolph as running mate Kamala Harris, and Alec Baldwin who returned as Trump, things got off to a start with the declaration: ‘We thought it was important to see it again… since it might be the only presidential debate.’ 

Strolling out in a set of aviator’s, Jim Carrey’s Biden came equipped with a tape measure to ensure he was socially distant enough from Trump. 

Trump (who was diagnosed with coronavirus three days after the debate took place) swore that he had taken a Covid test to be present for the debate, after appearing at a fundraiser where no one wore one. 

Repeatedly interrupting each other, Biden eventually needed to calm down – and recruited Harry Styles, who made a cameo appearance at the voice of a relaxation app (which actually exists, by the way, and is amazing). 

Eventually, ‘Momala’ Kamala Harris stepped in to smooth things over – and kept it cooler than ever as she declared: ‘I think if there’s one thing we learned tonight, it’s that America needs a WAP: woman as president. 

‘But for now I’ll settle for HVPIC – hot vice president in charge.’ 

We knew it would be must watch TV.

The presidential season is fully upon us, with the SNL team returning for its 46th season and taking shots at both the Democratic and Republican nominees.

On the Weekend Update – a comedic take on the news cycle – Colin Jost and Michael Che were quick to call out Trump as he tackles coronavirus at an Army hospital.

‘It’s a bad sign for America that when Trump said he tested positive for a virus, 60% of people were like, “prove it” – and it’s very weird to see all these people, who clearly hate Trump come out and say, “we wish him well”,’ Colin joked.

‘I think a lot of them are just guilty that their first wish came true.’ 

Michael Che added: ‘A lot of people on both sides are saying there’s nothing funny about Trump being hospitalised with coronavirus – even though he mocked the safety precautions for coronavirus – and those people are obviously wrong. 

‘There’s a lot funny about this. Maybe not from a moral standpoint, but mathematically, if you were constructing a joke… The problem is it’s almost too funny. It’s so on the nose! 

‘It’d be like if I were making fun of people who wear belts and then my pants just immediately fell down.’ 

Just two days before testing positive for coronavirus, Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden for his use of a mask.

Saturday Night Live airs weekly on NBC in the US.

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