The Trump-era SNL cold opens have been an interesting thing to watch. Normally, a sketch idea is pitched Monday, written Tuesday, then read-through and selected for the show on Wednesday. But the non-stop news has changed this. (It’s kind of crazy that the news has changed so much, so fast that we didn’t get an Oscars sketch of any kind. The Oscars seem like they were a month ago.)
A few times over the last shows, the cold open has just been left blank – as in, why even bother trying to come up with something that will be old news by the time it airs later in the week. (This has even been a problem for the daily late night shows. For instance, Seth Meyers will record “A Closer Look” a little after 6 p.m. eastern, and by the time it airs, something else crazy has happened.) There was almost a false calm this week after Trump’s address to a joint session of congress. As in, maybe it was safe to write a piece of political comedy earlier in the week? I heard rumblings early the cold open would be a sketch about the media’s reaction to Trump’s speech. Well, as you saw, the cold open turned out to be Jeff Sessions as Forrest Gump. Oh well.
Though, I do wonder if this is just the way it’s going to be over there for the foreseeable future. I just assume yes.
Octavia Spenser hosted a pretty solid, serviceable show (which includes Kate McKinnon’s pretty wonderful non-sequitur Kellyanne Conway bumpers), but there seemed to be an energy missing. The brutal early schedule now is giving us sporadic shows. After next week, SNL is off again until two shows in April, then three more in May. It just turned March and there are only six shows left. It’s going to be tough to sustain momentum.
Anyway, let’s get to the Scorecard: