‘SNL’ Season 40 Discussion: Woody Harrelson And Kendrick Lamar

Previously: Woody Harrelson’s monologue and a True Detective reunion

Cold Open

Well, at least it looks like Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam were having fun. You know how some people skip Marc Maron’s WTF intro and go straight to the celebrity interview? That’s how I’m beginning to feel about SNL‘s cold opens this season. None of them have been memorably awful, but they’re just so bland. Obama and McConnell prank-calling Hillary, only for them to freak out when she calls them back, is something, but the rest was mostly nothing.

The Dudleys

Was this SNL passive-aggressively firing back at anyone who demands they hire someone from every race, gender, sexual orientation, and area code in the United States, or maybe an acknowledgement of the fake-sitcom blandness that inspired Too Many Cooks? I’m not sure, but I do know I’d watch a version of The Dudleys starring Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black and super-gay Woody Harrelson. “Hey, what’s that? It looks like a…Woody!”


Now that’s a twist I didn’t see coming. “Match’d” was humming along just fine as three dolts used their best lines on Cecily Strong’s “horny as hell” 18-year-old (“Roses are red, my balls are blue, why don’t you bend over so I can see inside you?”), but it kicks into another gear when it turns out the game show host is her dad. I liked how Woody never snapped — he played it cool, choosing to mentally f*ck with the contestants, rather than physically attack them. That’s good father’ing

New Marijuana Policy

Huh, apparently this Woody Harrelson fellow likes weed. Who knew? “New Marijuana Policy” started off well enough, when it seemed like it was building to something great. Instead, the cops tell a stoner-filled mob that although they can’t be arrested for carrying 25 grams of weed or less, that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to smoke a blunt in public. The Rugrats capper was a nice touch, but considering the high production values, this felt like it should’ve been more than it was.

Halftime Speech

Haha, concussions are…huh. Not only was “Halftime Speech” insultingly unfunny, it also reminded me of Peyton Manning’s famous halftime dance with Will Forte, which is what I think about every time one of his 723 commercials is on. Helps them go by quicker.

Weekend Update

Dat ass, though.

Weekend Update: Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones seems to have recovered nicely from her epic flub. She’s always enthusiastic, but particularly so here, and I’m glad it appears we don’t have another Jenny Slate situation on our hands. Though if Leslie wants to start throwing dropping some f-bombs on that “tall glass of almond milk” Colin Jost (he should never say the word “gangster” again), who are we to stop her?

Old New York

New York ain’t the same these days. Some old-timers complain about their favorite pizza joint being replaced by a damned dog spa, others bemoan the lack of decent crack. Guy Who Complains About Drugs is actually a good role for Woody, because I’m pretty sure he played that part IRL for good chunks of the 1970s. And 1980s. And…probably most of his life.

“Campfire Song”

I had “Paul and Phil” stuck in my head for weeks after the Jim Carrey episode. Eventually, it was replaced by the “Too Many Cooks” theme song, which has now been usurped by “Apples, In the Usual Way.” I don’t know why I loved this stupid sketch so much, but I did. It might be Woody’s playful enthusiasm, or the reveal that all his friends actually know the weird song he’s singing, or “bad job, Eva,” or, most likely, apples, apples…Well, there goes the next two weeks of my life.

Last Call

The thing about Woody Harrelson is, he’s a weird dude. Having him play the straight man isn’t his comedic strong suit. That’s why he’s so great in “Last Call,” dropping bits of drunken nonsense to unpopular glory holes replaster Kate McKinnon, like “As long as you don’t mind taking a detour through STDetroit” and “I think I dejaculated” before getting his Pushing Daisies on. Also, his name is Chip Fister. If you’re going to only watch one sketch from this SNL, make it “Last Call.”

Kendrick Lamar, “i” and “Pay for It”

Kendrick Lamar is as good at rapping as Woody Harrelson is at making references to weed. His new album can’t come out soon enough.