You know, there’s no guarantee even a host like Tom Hanks – hosting Saturday Night Live for the ninth time – can deliver a great show on demand. I remember last time Hanks officially hosted in 2006 (he’s hung around as a pseudo host since then) it was kind of a letdown. It’s a big deal when Hanks hosts and things can’t always live up to these kind of expectations. Especially in a situation like this, where the cast is pulling off its marathon fourth show in a row.
Having said all that: this was a humdinger of a show. I mean, David S. Pumpkins! Here’s today’s Scorecard:
Sketch of the Night
“Haunted Elevator” This one should really have begun with one of those promotional clips that say things like, “From the team that brought you Kevin Roberts asking if a bitch can get a donut … comes David S. Pumpkins.” (And, yes, the “Kevin Roberts” team of Streeter Seidell and Mikey Day, plus Bobby Moynihan, wrote this.) My gosh, that music. And Hanks sells the hell out of David Pumpkins. When we see the “best of ‘SNL’ Halloween,” shows, we will now be seeing David S. Pumpkins for eternity. I want to be David S. Pumpkins for Halloween. I cannot stress enough how much I love that his catchphrase is “Any questions?” What a horrible catchphrase for a ghoul! I laughed every time.
Other Highlights and Lowlights
“Black Jeopardy” Here’s the thing about a sketch as good as “Black Jeopardy” has been: they really could just keep doing the same formula of the white person not getting any of the questions correct and we would laugh and laugh and laugh. But here they bring in Tom Hanks as a Trump supporter, flipping the script a bit, and bringing a whole new dimension to a popular recurring sketch. This was a very clever bit of comedy writing for a sketch that kind of has its formula set.
“A Girl’s Halloween” I’ve lived in New York City for 12 years and this sketch represents way too many nights I’ve gone out. I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, how is this New York City-specific”? There’s just something very unique to staggering around cobblestone streets while desperately looking for pizza.
“Cockpit” This should have been in the movie. This would have made a better ending than how the actual Sully movie ended. I bet this got a big laugh in the pitch meeting. It’s such a good idea. The sketch is just more awkward than funny, but the concept is just so clever. Just looking at Hanks as Sully sitting in the co-pilot’s chair made me cringe.
“Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Third Debate” I’m glad these are over. They stress me out almost as much as the real debate. And here’s the best news: because the debate sketches are over, that means this election is almost finally over. I think the world is out of Trump jokes. They have all been used up. Unrelated: I hope David S. Pumpkins runs for president someday. “Any questions?” might actually work as a pretty good catchphrase for a president.
Average Overall Score for this Show: 7.35
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair, and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.