This weekend’s Betty White-hosted “Saturday Night Live,” which featured musical guest Jay-Z and former female cast members like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Molly Shannon, was the highest-rated episode of the show in a year and a half. Some thoughts:
- People are raving about how great this episode was, and I can’t help but attribute that to the Internet’s knee-jerk tendency toward hyperbole. So many subpar episodes get dismissed as the “worst ever” that when a pretty good episode comes along, it gets elevated to “AMAZING!” I mean, I enjoyed it, but let’s not lose our minds here.
- The presence of Fey, Poehler, et al. highlighted how bad the non-Wiig women are in the present cast. I never much liked Maya Rudolph when she was on the show, but she’s light years beyond the atrocity of Jenny Slate.
- Jay-Z is probably the coolest human being on the planet. And Bridget Kelly, who sang Alicia Keys’s hook on the “Empire State of Mind” part of his 8-minute medley, is welcome to wear that black dress to my apartment any time she wants.
- I will say this for Betty White: For the first time ever, I watched the entirety of a “Scared Straight” sketch.
- I thought the “Census” sketch (embedded below) was a smart and fitting follow-up to the Christopher Walken classic.
That’s about it. I could bitch about the lousy skits (Latin talk show with dancing), but there’s always something like that to complain about. Also embedded below is video of the “Debbie Downer” sketch that was cut due to time constraints. It’s nothing special, but it’s not like you’re too busy to watch. “Oh, I’ve got just enough time to read blogs, but I can’t be bothered to watch a video.” Yeah, sure thing, Doctor. The president’s on line two.