John Mulaney’s second SNL hosting gig of the year hit all the notes you would expect. There was a stronger-than-usual monologue and, of course, a musical sketch that both brought back a recurring Mulany-SNL favorite and celebrated the wonderfully weird realities of life in New York City.
Mulaney’s much-beloved “Diner Lobster” sketch has gotten a new spiritual sequel each time he’s hosted. The show has covered bodega bathrooms, and in February skewered New York’s La Guardia airport with an airport sushi-themed sketch. But the latest sketch managed to cover life in New York during a pandemic while still serving as a celebration of the city both Mulaney and the show call home.
Pete Davidson and Chris Redd once again encounter Mulaney in an iconic New York City location, this time a Times Square souvenir shop. Davidson foolishly says he wants to buy some ‘I <3 NY’ underwear, which kicks off a long series of musical numbers about life in quarantine. There’s a number called “Send In The Crowds,” a song from the “diddler on the roof” and a powerful number from Maya Rudolph as the Statue of Liberty.
The sketch was what often makes SNL its best. There are knockoff costumed Times Square impersonators, show-stopping numbers about chain coffee shops — “Even Tim Hortons is closed, Canadians weep” — and the Bubba Gump shrimp mascot doing its best to steal the show. By now Mulaney’s hosting gigs on SNL have developed their own bits; he later reprised his role as a hopelessly meme’d man getting embarrassed at work by his nephew. But by now “Diner Lobster” one has clearly become the most fruitful of the bunch.