TV

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Alec Baldwin Took Trump To The People’s Court

In any other season, the fact that Alec Baldwin hosted SNL for the 17th time would be a Big Deal – especially since he hadn’t hosted since 2011. Of course, since Baldwin is a borderline cast member right now anyway, maybe this takes away from it a bit. And, more importantly, SNL has become the “Donald Trump punching bag” show and nothing else about it seems to matter that much right now. My goodness, this is going to become exhausting.

This aspect really isn’t SNL’s fault. This all spurns out of the fact Trump gets angry at the show and angry when members of his administration are portrayed in ways he doesn’t like. (Trump certainly didn’t like that Melissa McCarthy portrayed Sean Spicer, which set off a week of sometimes annoying internet fan fiction casting for future episodes.)

So now we live in a world where political writers are criticizing SNL for being “too mean” and how a sketch might make the administration look sympathetic – as if the SNL writers care about that. (As if there’s some grand master plan as opposed to a bunch of people getting into a room and trying to make a TV show from scratch every week.) At this point it would actually be nice to have one show without any political humor – perhaps signaling a week in which nothing that interesting happened. A break from all this would be nice.

But that’s not going to happen. A week where nothing stupid happening looks like a pipe dream and at this point, people would freak out if SNL did a show of fart sketches. (I, for one, welcomed a fart sketch last night.) But it’s weird, you can almost feel the letdown on social media when a sketch isn’t political. SNL isn’t going to change the world, but people are now treating it like it might. Comedy can certainly be important, but demanding that it be important is venturing a bit too close to the Studio 60 mindset. C’mon, just let them do some fart jokes sometimes.

Sketch of the Night

“Cold Open: Sean Spicer Press Conference” So they went back to it the very next week, so what? It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, no one complains when they watch any other weekly series and the same character pops up. “Ugh, Jon Snow again? They are really running out of ideas, aren’t they?” Anyway, SNL could have Melissa McCarthy play Sean Spicer every single week and I’d be just fine with that. Sure, it doesn’t have the surprise factor anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wildly entertaining watching McCarthy zip around on her motorized podium. Now we will probably get a week of Spicer denying that he considered bringing a leaf blower to his next press conference.

Score: 8.4

Other Highlights

“Leslie Wants to Play Trump” When Alec Baldwin can’t make the show, they should just do this. Why not? Who says there has to only be one Trump on the show? Also, I love the recurring joke that Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney are in a relationship. I hope that never ends. It’s great there’s this continuity to it that I’m sure is confusing to a lot of people who don’t know where it came from.

Score: 8.0

“Trump People’s Court” There seemed to be some “oomph” missing from this for some reason. Though, Beck Bennett’s Putin has become a highlight of the show and I enjoyed the handshake between Putin and Trump – playing off Trump’s dumb thing where he yanks everyone’s hand into his chest. Though, this sketch was worth it alone just for Cecily Strong’s line about going one day without a CNN alert that freaks her out. This is true. Honestly, just one day with no news would be really great. I’ve had this discussion recently: remember how we used to be able to go a week without actively thinking about the president? That was normal. That’s the way it used to be.

Score: 7.0

“Gym Class” We all need a good fart joke sometimes. I think, maybe, I’d watch a whole show of fart jokes. It was a simpler world when we could just laugh at a person farting. Farts are funny. In the world we live in right now, it’s maybe hard to remember that, but it’s true: farts are funny.

Score: 6.0

***

Average Overall Score for this Show: 6.89

· Dave Chappelle 7.44
· Kristen Stewart 7.38
· Tom Hanks 7.35
· Lin-Manuel Miranda 6.99
· Margot Robbie 6.95
· Alec Baldwin 6.89
· Aziz Ansari 6.82
· Emma Stone 6.46
· Casey Affleck 6.37
· John Cena 6.17
· Kristen Wiig 6.12
· Felicity Jones 5.97
· Benedict Cumberbatch 5.73
· Emily Blunt 5.45

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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