Louis C.K. Closes a Great SNL Finale


SNL in Season 40 has had a fantastic run. And on their finale, unlike others, they didn’t rely heavily on meta-surprises and cameo appearances; they just prepared good sketch comedy and showcased what has been an absolutely stellar cast. Louis C.K., now third-time host, was featured as a great player also, but he didn’t overshadow the proceedings; he instead worked with them to facilitate the showcase of their talents. In short: SNL40 ended just as great as it started.

COLD OPEN: SUMMERTIME
 (McKinnon, Hammond, Cast)
Hey, what a fun way to open the show! It’s always great to see the entire cast involved in something which shows just what a strong ensemble the show has. And hey, the Clintons are definitely going to remain a part of our lives!
Blackometer: 7.8/10


LOUIS C.K. MONOLOGUE
(Louis CK)
The monologues are typically at their best when the host is a standup comic who can just go out there and do their thing, engaging with the audience by just telling jokes (the very first SNL with George Carlin featured this in 1975). Louis C.K. is great at what he does! But of course, like Chris Rock’s monologue last fall, this is some…sensitive subject matter. Look, I’m a black male, and the “mild racism” bit didn’t upset me because it came from the perspective of comparing his 70s upbringing to now. That’s fine. The second half, although it didn’t have to be worded that way, was up there with riskiest things in 2015 TV comedy.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzh7RtIJKZk

THE SHOEMAKER & THE ELVES (Louis CK, Thompson, Bayer, Bryant)
Oof. My biggest problem with this sketch is it’s placement. By itself, a sketch about dominance and fetishes could be buried later in the show. Mostly, it was just hard watching this sketch after some of the monologue subject matter. And the ending (which felt like “how do we end this?”) made me frightened that we’d get a “Darrell’s House
-esque reprise which makes everything make sense. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Blackometer: 5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao9HFGiK_Pg

THIS IS HOW I TALK (Louis CK, Pharoah, Bayer, Jones, Bryant, McKinnon)
This one was saved instantly from being dead on arrival, simply by Louis C.K.’s first monologue as a Sprint employee who has to continue impersonating his boss’ voice. Watching him here reminds me of Micheal Keaton during the Ad Agency sketch last month – a host who’s just in control and in charge of the sketch.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8PXvqYpGCM

WOOD PSAs (Moynihan, Bayer, Bennett, Louis CK, Strong, Zamata)
Yes, this was silly…but it was funny! More Beck Bennett singing backup in ad parodies.
Blackometer: 7.2/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/wood-psas-062234183.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Killam, Davidson, Moynihan)
The best part of Taran Killam’s Tom Brady was Jost’s boyish “oh-aren’t-you-perfect” charm towards him. Pete Davidson ended the season just as charming at the desk as he was at the season premiere, and I can’t wait to see him get even more involved in Season 41. And I’m sucker for puns, and a goofy Colin Jost joke, so yes, “Jalapeno business” was definitely for me. Finally, we got the amazing Riblet, which, even if we’re not completely surprised with the character, will always be fantastic.
Blackometer: 7.8/10

https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/weekend-part-1-062311476.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/weekend-part-2-062713832.html

CABANA (Thompson, Bayer, Louis CK, Strong, Zamata)
This is exactly the same sketch we saw in the Dwayne Johnson episode, and that one only worked because of his undeniable energy to sell the sketch. However, we don’t get that here, and Louis C.K. didn’t seem as into this one as his previous sketches, so it just didn’t work. It was a pretty basic copy-paste from last time.
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/cabana-061711334.html

POLICE LINE-UP (Thompson, Davidson, Killam, Mooney, Bennett, Louis C.K.)
I will always laugh at a well-done “we’re over-the-top theatre people” sketch. Beck Bennett is definitely the star here, and Kyle Mooney (as we’ve seen before) nails several of the mannerisms you’ll see in a thespian troupe. The two of them, for sure, have claimed their place in the continued future of this strong ensemble cast.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/police-line-062235322.html

WHOOPS! I MARRIED A LESBIAN (Thompson, Louis CK, McKinnon, Bryant, Moynihan)
I started to type “if this were a sitcom, I’d watch it” just because of how good everyone is in it. However, I’d rather watch half an hour of either Reese De’What reacting to/defending failed sitcoms like this, or a sitcom featuring Bobby Moynihan playing the 50’s dopey best friend character. He’s got that down like no other.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=snl/forgotten-tv-gems-062713540.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Louis C.K. Monologue
Worst Sketch of the Night: Cabana
Joke of the Night: “Jalapeno Business” – Jost
Observations: Another good episode that strongly represents how solid Season 40 has truly been. This cast (and writing staff) could return as it is in the fall with no changes and sustain the show just fine, provided that they have nowhere to go but up with the talent they possess. My personal hope is for no cast changes whatsoever. Unlike previous seasons, there are no rumors of a repertory player moving on to pursue a movie career or another show; and none of the featured players seem to be in danger of being grossly under-utilized like last season. (You could make a case for Sasheer Zamata not finding a true voice on the show yet, but she has at least shown the potential all year.) Also, the cast is at 15 – which is bigger than it needs to be for letting each of them shine, but still manageable. Plus, the cohesion among them seems very strong, and we’ve also had great glimpses of connecting to each cast member on occasion. It’ll be exciting to see what Season 41 of this truly miraculous show brings to Studio 8H!

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.81

By the way, here’s another cut sketch by Kyle Mooney as NYC standup, Bruce Chandling

Thanks for reading these SNL recaps this season! Happy summer, and here’s to many more SNL seasons!
-BB2

Michael Keaton: 7.15
Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Louis C.K.: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Reese Witherspoon: 6.76
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Taraji P. Henson: 6.42
Amy Adams: 6.18
Scarlett Johansson 6
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5

Reese Witherspoon Celebrates Moms on SNL


Reese Witherspoon last hosted the season premiere in 2001, the first show to air following the 9/11 attacks, with the now-infamous monologue with Lorne Michaels, Rudy Giulani and firefighters of New York. This time around, she helped the case honor mothers everywhere in a very sweet monologue, and was game for just about anything else! We got some great sketches, some sketches that didn’t go anywhere…a more consistent but interesting episode of SNL.

COLD OPEN: 2016 REPUBLICAN (Strong, Bennett, Thompson, Moynihan, McKinnon, Mooney, Killam)
The DJ brings out the Republican Candidates out, introducing them as these ‘hip’ characters. This doesn’t make them any more interesting though. It’s just a less-messy version of the GOP at Coachella sketch they did last spring. Moynihan’s shirt was fun, though.
Blackometer: 5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/2016-republicans-cold-open-061817401.html

REESE WITHERSPOON MONOLOGUE (Witherspoon, Strong, Pharoah, McKinnon, Zamata, Bennett, Bayer, Thompson, Davidson, Bryant, Mooney, Moynihan)
How nice was this? This may be the nicest Mother’s Day offering on SNL they’ve pulled off in recent years. Most of the cast brings their real mothers out to apologize for the weirdos they were as children, followed by a clip reel of home videos. Not only was this incredibly sweet, but it serves as another great way in which we get to know the cast as just themselves. And man, you can tell from watching these people as kids that they were going to be on TV someday.
Blackometer: 9.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqVbmDOGq70

THE L.A. SCENE (Witherspoon, Strong, Thompson, Pharoah, Davidson, Mooney)
That sketch existed for a fart joke and “voices.” Not too much else…but the best part was really how Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah didn’t know how to operate sound for the show.
Blackometer: 5.8/10

PICTURE PERFECT (Killam, Bennett, Bayer, Strong, Moynihan, Witherspoon, Thompson)
First, Moynihan’s reaction to the clue he had to draw was worth the price of admission. Then, Thompson as Reginald VelJohnson (which is as great as it sounds) throwing  his pen in disgust took it to another level. Between these things and Taran Killam’s slimy game show host, we ended up with just a great sketch.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_kuC35F06E

MR. WESTERBERG (Witherspoon, Thompson, Moynihan, Bayer, Bennett, Davidson)
I didn’t think I was going to like this sketch once I realized where it was going. But something about Beck Bennett’s insistence in his delivery just sold me on it. Everyone else is mocking their boss’ voice and general comments, while Bennett reveals some pretty disturbing things Westerberg has said to him. It’s not quite like anything else SNL puts on regularly, and until the formula for the sketch is realized, you can hear the audience trying to figure out just how to respond. In the end, I felt just as bad for Beck Bennett as his coworkers.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx-dJnKIa9U

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Jones, Strong, Witherspoon, Thompson)
“To whom it may concern” is the best way to start a love letter. Leslie Jones continues to be such a force on Update, and I personally think it’s going to be a better idea for them to use her as the closing segment instead of opening – she’s got to be a tough act to follow. Also, the best chemistry on Update was, hands down, between Jost and Jones, which is truly one of the strongest things the show has right now. The Two Girls at a Party were fine, if not on and off rather quickly, and Willie is always fun. Jost and Che sharing their mother’s jokes was just as nice as the rest of the cast’s apologies in the monologue.
Blackometer: 8/10

https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-062421367.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-062008165.html

HIGH SCHOOL THEATER SHOW (Bryant, Witherspoon, Killam, Mooney, McKinnon, Moynihan, Jones, Bennett, Strong)
This was one of the best sketches of last fall with Cameron Diaz, and as soon as I saw the set being built during commercials, I knew this new rendition, this would not disappoint. With lines such as “next time, don’t like…love” and “guess what? We were black!”, I was right.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnWh8tKfMbk

SOUTHERN LADIES (Strong, Bryant, McKinnon, Jones, Witherspoon)
This was just a lot of talking in southern accents and trying to be weird. Everyone was good in it, but it just didn’t amount to that much. Poor Cecily.
Blackometer: 4/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/southern-ladies-062143889.html

WATER SLIDE (Bennett, Mooney, Zamata, Moynihan, Witherspoon, Thompson)
This one also went nowhere for some reason. I’m not sure if more plot material was cut to make room for the second Florence and the Machine song, or if it would’ve been just four more minutes of those two ride attendants talking. But hey, you have a great water slide set and some kids ready to go, so I guess you can’t bail on the sketch.
Blackometer: 2.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/waterslide-061716384.html

WHISKERS R’ US (McKinnon, Witherspoon)
A cat who’s a registered sex offender, while another one lies about having gone to Princeton. Third time we’ve seen this sketch, and it’s still just a joy.
Blackometer: 7.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/whiskers-r-061907342.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Reese Witherspoon Monologue
Worst Sketch of the Night: Water Slide
Joke of the Night: “Next time, don’t like…love.”
Observations: This episode was a pretty good offering of what the season has been – the highs are pretty high, the lows are at least (usually) interesting, and we’ve gotten a better connection to the people we watch on screen each week. SNL now has good momentum heading into the finale of what has been a pretty stellar season, and it will be great to see what this closing offering will bring.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.76

In other news, make sure you check out this fantastic cut sketch from Leslie Jones, Inner White Girl, which was probably made more for the internet than it was a live audience.

Next time: Season 40 Finale with Louis C.K.!!!
-BB2
Image result for snl reese witherspoon

Michael Keaton: 7.15
Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Reese Witherspoon: 6.76
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Taraji P. Henson: 6.42
Amy Adams: 6.18
Scarlett Johansson 6
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5

Scarlett Johansson’s SNL: What’s There to Say?

Saucy: In a sixties-inspired thigh-skimming shift dress, Scarlett Johansson gave viewers of SNL something to set their pulses racing - a very sexy dance
Scarlett Johansson’s previous hosting performances in the 21st century have been, shall we say…serviceable? She’s not particularly known for being funny, or even as energetically entertaining as a Dwayne Johnson- or Kevin Hart-type host. In fact, the last show she hosted was among the worst of the 2010-2011 season. Plus, viewership of this show was already, as the cold open pointed out, stilted by the televised Mayweather fight. My point: this episode had nothing to lose. I watched to see how the show might comically deal with this week’s top stories, mainly the Baltimore riots and the Gay rights act  – and it was pretty obvious that this is where all the best energies went.

COLD OPEN: MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO (Killam, Thompson, Pharoah, Bryant, McKinnon)
Aidy Bryant as Pacquiao is pretty great. Though, Pharoah and Thompson abandoning the sketch just seemed too obvious somehow.
Blackometer: 6/10

SCARLETT JOHANSSON MONOLOGUE (Johansson, Thompson, Killam)
I guess Scarlett Johansson wants to use the word “baby” to confuse a child’s lullaby for a sexual song, complete with backup ladies. Taran & Kenan’s reactions were pretty great, but I don’t know…it just didn’t seem to really go as far as it could have. Which is an overused criticism of the average lacking SNL sketch, but…here we are.
Blackometer: 5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/scarlett-johansson-monologue-062424875.html

RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED (Strong, Killam, Johansson, McKinnon)
I liked this rendition of Right Side of the Bed better than the first time it aired (the Martin Freeman episode in which it was the worst sketch of the night). It didn’t stick to exactly the same formula as last time, allowing the two ideas of the host vs. guest to be better balanced – in this case, more towards the over-the-top hosts. Johansson, as with her other hosting gigs, relied on her thick Brooklyn accent pretty quickly, and it didn’t add too much (but hey, it didn’t take away either). Also: Kate McKinnon’s Hozier.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/side-bed-062707032.html

ORIOLES (Bayer, Thompson, Killam, Moynihan, Johansson, Bennett, Pharoah, Davidson)
The James Franco-hosted show last fall cut a brilliant morning talk show sketch in which the hosts suddenly had to discuss the Ferguson events – doing all they could to divert from it while on air. This Orioles sketch was a re-attempt at this format, and I’m glad they found it fitting to air this time. It wasn’t quite as biting as the cut Ferguson sketch, but the “knee grows” line was pretty excellent.
Blackometer: 7.5/10

BLACK WIDOW (Johansson, Pharoah, Bennett, McKinnon, Killam, Strong, Moynihan)
Well, why not?
Blackometer: 7/10

GIRLFRIEND’S TALK SHOW (Strong, Bryant, Johansson)
I’ve never really enjoyed these, and I’m actually afraid that they’re getting less and less interesting. There might be one or two funny lines from Aidy Bryant in them (who, until tonight, seems to be generally on air less than last season, or even last fall), but there doesn’t even seem to be much of a point in doing them anymore. It’s literally the same thing every time, but with no real new jokes. Plus, this seemed like the longest installment, dragging on without much to say. I think it’s beyond time to put these out to pasture.
Blackometer: 3/10

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Moynihan, Bayer, Thompson, Pharoah)
Colin Jost, this spring semester especially, has been proving his case a bit more each week as to why he deserves the Update desk. Seriously – although it’s been taking more time than most of us would have liked, the reasons for him being selected as an anchor are shown more consistently throughout each episode. I won’t say the hosts’ interactions are getting better (they’re not), but Jost as a host is the most. (Sorry.) Each of the talking segments were fine (McKinnon practically owns Update talking heads now), but it was truly Jay Pharoah’s Shaq making Kenan Thompson break that gave me my hardest laugh of the night.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-062423712.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-062707890.html

DINO BONES (Killam, Strong, Thompson, Bayer, Davidson, Johansson)
What was this sketch?!?!?!?! I have nothing to say.
Blackometer: 1/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/dino-bones-062536489.html

BLAZER (Killam, Wiz Kalifa, Thompson, Pharoah, Che, Bennett, Moynihan)
This…was pretty great. Somehow, we went directly from the worst sketch of the night to the best sketch of the night in no time flat. Here we have Taran Killam as a cop who makes light of race-centric police brutality, going so far as to have his own filmed theme song while pouncing on only black guys. The payoff for his efforts turns out to be a clever comedic way to address these cases.
Blackometer: 9.5/10

VIRGIN FLIGHT (Killam, Davidson, Bayer, Johansson, Moynihan, Pharoah, Bryant, Jones)
I was waiting (and hoping) to like this one, because it was just so weird. It may have not been weird enough…or perhaps just too one-note. Either way, it just kind of stayed floating around in first gear and never got towards anything memorable (like much of Johansson’s sketches tonight).
Blackometer: 5.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/virgin-flight-062306011.html

JINGLE WRITERS (Killam, Mooney, McKinnon, Bryant, Johansson)
This is Exhibit A in why I need more Aidy Bryant sketches on the show. I hope we get a couple more of these before the close of the season. It reminded me a little of Tim Robinson’s Roundball Rock sketch in Season 38. Anyway, it gets points for being weird.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/jingle-writers-062535888.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Blazer
Worst Sketch of the Night: Museum
Joke of the Night: “That knee grows stronger every day”
Observations: At 11 sketches (including Update), the only interesting sketches were the ones which in some way addressed the biggest news stories of the week – all in different ways. The Internet will probably like Johansson’s Black Widow romantic comedy the most (in which she seemed the most comfortable, other than the final sketch). The odds were a bit against this episode, but I have more faith in Reese Witherspoon’s and Louis CK’s final two shows as the 40th season comes to a close.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.0

Next time: Reese Witherspoon!
-BB2

Michael Keaton: 7.15
Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Taraji P. Henson: 6.42
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5
Welcome to Virgin airlines: Scarlett also portrayed an air stewardess in one of the skits 

Taraji P. Henson Finally Made It on SNL

Like many, I was a fan of Taraji P. Henson way before her Empire days, which means that I was already expecting a host who knows how to command the stage and give it everything she’s got. And that’s just what we got last night! It wasn’t the strongest show, but as host, Taraji was incredibly engaged, and gave very strong efforts into every performance. In other words, she really wanted to be there to accomplish a dream come true, and it showed.

COLD OPEN: HILLARY CLINTON VIDEO (Bayer, McKinnon, Hammond)
Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton returns in lieu of her impending announcement for her campaign. We may very well be seeing more and more of McKinnon’s Clinton, and if that’s the case, the ‘scary and biting but warm’ manner in which McKinnon plays her might be great enough to be welcomed. And hey, Bill’s back!
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXdNYXMQoy8

TARAJI P. HENSON MONOLOGUE (Henson, Killam, Thompson, McKinnon, Davidson, Bayer, Jones)
Not the most memorable song monologue, nor one that the audience was super into right away, but I’m glad she didn’t just play a soft version of the TV character that got her on SNL, like some hosts would have done in the past. Kerry Washington’s monologue last season was basically that, and it didn’t quite hit, so…Taraji P. Henson sings! Sure, why not!! (Also: Kenan Thompson being in Good Burger 7 would be beyond sad because I guarantee that would air on BET today, buried behind a rerun of BeBe’s Kids.)
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/made-monologue-074305571.html

DEPENDS LEGENDS (Bennett, Bayer)
After this aired, I instantly saw the interwebs comparing it to the 90s commercial “Oops I Crapped My Pants”, also about elderly diapers. It may not be fair to compare the two, (they are, after all, still just poop jokes) but…if you had to: a diaper on the Truman headline or Tony Shaloub isn’t quite as great the pride the “Oops I Crapped My Pants” gentleman has when he announces that he’s wearing some. Okay, why not I guess? I’ve already forgotten about it, as it probably won’t go farther than a chuckle-worthy idea.
Blackometer: 5.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/depend-legends-074508606.html

TEACHER TRIAL (Bennett, Bryant, Strong, McKinnon, Davidson, Henson, Thompson, Moynihan, Bayer)
“Ren and Pimpy” was my favorite out of Pete Davidson’s nicknames (which is the 17th one out of the 19 that I’m supposed to find funny, I’m sure). Hey, how about Pete Davidson here? This sketch can be filed under the ‘he was great back then too’ that we’ll refer to in a few years when he’s truly owning SNL as the star.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM28YFrMdfI

HOME  2 (Killam, Zamata, Pharoah, Henson, Strong, Thomson, Davidson, McKinnon)
I was hoping a Home parody about hip-hop artists would show up on this show. Not sure if Taran Killam’s Jim Parsons will live on as my favorite impression of his, but that’s beyond the point. As far as impression-reel sketches go, this wasn’t as memorable as I would have hoped. I still remember you, Back to the Future audition sketch.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/home-2-074006980.html

QVC (Henson, McKinnon, Bryant, Moynihan)
Kate McKinnon (channeling Molly Shannon and a bit of Liza Minnelli) & Taraji were doing everything to sell this sketch. Unfortunately, with each question of “now what is that third way??”, this just didn’t go anywhere. That’s too bad, because I kind of wanted to know what a 3-way poncho is. What we got instead was just women acting quirky in voices. Oh well…I’ve seen much worse on the real QVC.
Blackometer: 5.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/qvc-074607916.html

SOUTH CENTROS (Thompson, Pharoah, Che, Zamata, Jones, Henson, Coster-Waldau)
So, I still haven’t seen GoT. (Sue me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) But even without that, I thought this was a fun way to integrate it with, of all things, Boyz n the Hood, which I am familiar with. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I was familiar with both sides of the parody, but even without that, I thought the final product was fairly good.
Blackometer: 7/10

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Bayer, Crystal)
Michael Che getting miffed about white protesting without punishment followed by Colin Jost’s “hey!” was a great little moment. He’s becoming a better master of ceremonies figure behind the desk this year, but he’s really at his best when he’s the lowly, kind of nerdy guy playing off of someone else (Leslie Jones, or Che taking a crack at him are great examples).
McKinnon, busy having the night of her life, appeared as Cecilia Gimenez to defend her ugly Lucille Ball statue and reveal other celebrities she has created ‘art’ for (though I thought her Don Knotts looked more like Don Rickles, frankly).
You know, Che’s interaction with Jacob might be one of his top 5 segment interactions because he is trying so hard to engage Jacob, which means he can’t display his usual “this is just nonsense” attitude. However, Billy Crystal’s appearance as Jacob’s father got it pretty close to reverting back. And hey, Billy Crystal!
Blackometer: 7.8/10

https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-074006257.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-074608619.html

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT (McKinnon, Bayer, Killam, Bryant, Pharoah, Mooney, Bennett, Strong, Henson)
This sketch should have just been all about Jay Pharoah’s Common. My lord, was that great. Without that and Wanda Sykes, this would only have been about as fine as the first time they did it back in October. Always good to see Nick Offerman’s mustache. And I get the feeling that Taraji P. Henson has always wanted to play Wanda Sykes, who I’m sure will be excited that the Internet knows who she is again.
Blackometer: 6.5/10

VLOG (Zamata, Mooney, Henson, Pharoah)
Credit where credit is due, this was stronger than the first appearance of this sketch on Chris Rock’s show. It was a little more focused, and Taraji just takes it to another level and sells the heck out of it. Also: poor Jay Pharoah…he still gets the worst chores assigned to him.
Blackometer
: 7.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/vlog-074711436.html

SESAME STREET (Henson, Muppets)
Ha, this was kind of charming, predictable or not! If nothing else, the Muppets have reactions faces worthy of being back in the cast again. It’s only been 40 years. Anyway, Taraji was fun here, even is you can’t take the jokes as far (Cookie is a very, let’s say, adult character, and it’s not like the Sesame Street Muppets can go much farther than what we get here). Poor Elmo.
Blackometer: 6.8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CToJuXILmKw

THEIR OWN LEAGUE (Thompson, Killam, Bryant, McKinnon, Strong, Moynihan, Henson, Jones)
Here’s the problem I have with this sketch: I think there may have been more here originally. They got right up to the point they were trying to make, made it quickly, and then jumped ship from that point instantly. The sketch seemed over as soon as it was over, and…I don’t know. With all that’s been taking place in society lately with racial struggles (especially with Taraji P. Henson being a major celebrity frontrunner of “Black Lives Matter” convos), this sketch seemed like it wanted to do more than just say “hey, we’re all equal!” and then bail so quickly. Maybe her character or Leslie Jones had more to say! Not like a sketch in a comedy show needs to be a piece of culture that makes a big statement, but…I don’t know. I could very well be looking too much into it, it just seems like a halfway missed opportunity. It didn’t help that some of the timing was off too.
Blackometer: 4.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/own-league-073809498.html

CONNECTATRON (Killam, Strong, Moynihan, Pharoah, Henson)
Okay, so the version of this sketch that made it to air was pretty terrible. It was so truncated and rushed that you could barely make sense of it. The online version is obviously from dress rehearsal, in its’ full original form, and much more fun. The idea of a power-ranger-esque character not wanting to cooperate in the heat of battle, due to, shall we say, saltiness, is actually funny. The only thing just barely holding it together in the live version (hardly twice as short as the online version) was how much fun Taraji was trying to have. I get that the time cycle of SNL has to fit perfectly in the 90 minute slot, but why not just stretch the time a bit more and show us the full good nights instead of rushing through a sketch hap-hazardly and then barely giving us a good nights with the cast (again and again)?! Alas, here we are.
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/connectatron-074404331.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Teacher Trial
Worst Sketch of the Night: Connectatron
Joke of the Night: “Cops don’t like pictures. It’s their least favorite thing to shoot.” – Che
Observations: There’s not much more I can say about Taraji P. Henson other than that she was a pretty great host. The energy she brought, even in lackluster sketches, maintained the continuous positive vibes SNL has had for most of its’ 40th season. Not a lot of great sketches unfortunately…but lots of great energy! And hey, how about Kate McKinnon? She was everywhere tonight, further establishing the mini-Renaissance she’s been having on this show. Who knows – in a season in which there’s a very strong ensemble with no real “star” (like Eddie Murphy or Will Ferrell or Kristen Wiig), maybe she grabs that mantle.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.42
Next time: Scarlett Johansson!
-BB2

Image result for snl taraji p. henson

Michael Keaton: 7.15
Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Taraji P. Henson: 6.42
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5

Did Michael Keaton Host the Best SNL of the Season?

Image result for snl michael keaton

It should be no surprise that Michael Keaton did, indeed, host the best SNL of the 40th season last night. Despite how long ago his two previous hosting gigs have been, Keaton is a true actor who throws himself into the material. Whether starring in sketches or blending in with the cast, he was just dynamite all night, and the cast reacted to this commitment and energy exceptionally well. Best of all, there were no true duds last night.

COLD OPEN: ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR (Bennett, Pharoah, Thompson, Killam, Mooney, Davidson, Strong, Moynihan)
I now want a sketch starring Moynihan’s Steve character playing basketball. Or Charles Barkley trying to solve scientific problems.

scientific problems.
Blackometer: 6.2/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/ncaa-tournament-cold-open-061219677.html

MICHAEL KEATON MONOLOGUE (Keaton, Killam, Moynihan, Pharoah, Strong, Thompson, Bennett, Zamata, Davidson, McKinnon)
How great was this? It was an ambitious monologue, but it’s worth it to see Jay Pharoah in these costumes. “YOU GUYS TOLD ME TO DRESS UP LIKE THIS!!!!” was my first big laugh of the night. Mainly, it’s just fun to watch Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan enjoy geeking out over Michael Keaton. Who wouldn’t? Also: a strong monologue really does set the tone for a strong show.
Blackometer: 8.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFRZGFLyxjY

CNN NEWSROOM (Strong, Zamata, Moynihan, Keaton, Thompson, Bryant, Pharoah)
Once you’ve seen the reenactments that CNN released of someone opening a door, this is well deserved. What’s odd here is that the graphics look like table scraps from the animated movie Food Fight. That’s right, CNN – your recreations are on par with Food Fight.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9qblOghuKk

PROM QUEEN (Keaton, O’Brien, Davidson, McKinnon, Bayer, Moynihan, Zamata)
Man, oh man. Okay: this sketch is good, and everyone in it is brilliant (especially Vanessa Bayer as the wife who checks out at 7:30), but it’s in order for it to work, you have to accept that you’re watching Mike O’Brien take his teacher to prom. I don’t know – I usually enjoy Mike O’Brien’s highly esoteric videos, but the premise was a bit of a stretch. Again, everyone was still good – it’s just a large pill to swallow. I might be in the minority on this one.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFqHiMkVvxo

EASTER HOTLINE (Zamata, Strong, Mooney, McKinnon, Killam, Jones, Keaton)
This is funny because it’s true. Also, how about Sasheer Zamata? I don’t know if this sketch was her brainchild or not, but a starring role for her is definitely welcomed.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/easter-hotline-061842061.html

AD AGENCY (Strong, Thompson, Jones, Bennett, Keaton)
It’s interesting – a lot of the sketches in the first half of the show felt like the kind of material which would appear towards the end of the show. Yet, here we are, with Michael Keaton bleeding profusely while talking about huge knockers.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/ad-agency-061551705.html

CHURCH OF NEUROTOLOGY
(McKinnon, Bryant, Strong, Mooney, Jost, Moynihan, Bayer, Zamata, Killam, Davidson, Thompson)
This seemed pretty brilliant as a sendup to the discovered Scientology video it’s parodying. But really, that’s about all that’s here…a really brilliant replica, without anything distinctive going on. The production values support it enough to make it even more entertaining. Anyway, Colin Jost looked great in those big 1990 dorky glasses.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOpapeX6Vzs

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Davidson, Reedus, Killam)
Man, this crowd was so live – the most responsive and reactive I’ve heard them all season. Granted, the laughter wasn’t grandiosse until we got past Pete Davidson’s Walking Dead bit, but man, by the time Jebidiah Atkinson, this crowd was just eating out of the palm of their hands. What’s more, you can tell that they knew the show was going well. It took a while to get beyond that first gear, but man – Taran Killam just commands the stage as Jebidiah Atkinson.
Blackometer: 7.8/10

https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-062138234.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-061551506.html

SMART HOME (Keaton, Strong, McKinnon, Bayer, Bennett, Mooney)
There was no laugh-out-loud moment here (other than the Googly-eyes and everyone needing to leave at once), but the premise was interesting. Oddly enough, as weird as this is, I wish it would have gone even weirder. It felt like there was something else in here waiting to happen instead of just these objects with eyes on them. Anyway, I spent my time trying to understand where this going more than being entertained by it. And then the pipe appeared from the couch.
Blackometer: 5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/smart-home-061551057.html

EASTER CANDY (Keaton, McKinnon, Moynihan)
This was almost identical to the Halloween message sketch with Edward Norton last season – yet maybe funnier. The amount of laughter this sketch encouraged from me was quite substantial. Literally every line and every facial expression Keaton does is hilarious. This one will likely end up on my Top 15 sketches of the year, no contest. ‘Twas a great way to end a great show. “Yesterday was Good Friday, but this…this is the best Friday.”
Blackometer: 9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnUEecEs3Xk

Best Sketch of the Night: Easter Candy
“Worst” Sketch of the Night: Smart House (which wasn’t ‘bad’, just the least excellent)
Joke of the Night: “I gave this up for Lent last year. You know what I gave up this year? Cocaine. ……almost.” – Keaton
Observations: There wasn’t a bad sketch last night – everything we saw was either pretty good or great! The show brought forth its’ true A-game to produce a solid quality of sketches, most of which were highly bizarre. And there’s nothing wrong with bizarre! IT kept things, even at worst, very interesting. Let’s hope the show can sustain this good energy into next week’s show as we continue to climb towards the season’s end!

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 7.15
Next time: Taraji P. Henson!
-BB2

Michael Keaton: 7.15
Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5

Dwayne Johnson is Cooking Up Some Energy on SNL

Now 4th-time Dwayne Johnson came with the most energy the a host has had since Kevin Hart’s show back in January – maybe even more? He unsurprisingly proved to really transcend the show just on pure energy and commitment with every sketch appearance he had. And with Michael Keaton and Taraji P. Henson following him, it feels like we’ll have a great stretch of three spring shows that can pull SNL out of its’ recent array of inconsistencies (no names *coughblakesheltondakotajohnsoncough*).

COLD OPEN: THE ROCK OBAMA (Pharoah, Killam, Mooney, Moynihan, Johnson, Zamata, Bennett, Jones)
Dwayne Johnson did this sketch twice in 2009 with a mostly different cast (save Moynihan and Kenan Thompson). There was even a different person playing the president! It’s just a thrill to see how much he loves playing The Rock Obama. Just when I wondering if they would do anything different this time: boom. She Rock Obama.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5GN90UiImo

DWAYNE JOHNSON MONOLOGUE (Johnson, Zamata, Bryant, McKinnon, Strong)
“Franchise Viagra” are two words I wasn’t quite expecting to hear as the subject of a song. It wasn’t the most memorable thing in the world, but still, Johnson was having the time of his life singing about it. It really did set the tone of the night for all the energy The Rock was cooking. I could smell it. See what I did there? (Also: Did I miss something?? This guy sings???)
Blackometer: 6.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/franchise-viagra-monologue-062025232.html

PEPBOYS (Strong, Moynihan, Bayer, Bennett, Killam, Mooney, Bryant, McKinnon, Pharoah, Zamata)
I need to see if this one grows on me later, but…I don’t know. The idea of targeting the doomed Starbucks campaign #RaceTogether is a good one. However, in execution, it was somehow a little uncomfortable to watch. That’s obviously the point, but I’m not sure. I think the direction of a good idea just went into a place where it didn’t necessarily need to go in order to make its’ point.
Blackometer: 5.9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNvEWxbLSEA

WWE PROMO SHOOT (Johnson, Moynihan, Killam, Mooney)
To prepare for this match effectively, Coco hired a lawyer to dig up personal information on his opponent Trashyard, and also spent 8 months catfishing him. The only thing possibly funnier than the lines The Rock was bellowing would be Moynihan’s reactions. “THAT IS SO INTRICATE!!”
Blackometer:
8.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_yWxB9VW0c

NEW DISNEY MOVIE (Johnson, Killam, Pharoah, Strong, Moynihan, Mooney, Davidson)
Yes. I would watch the heck out of this. Also: deer puns.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFJz2IMUeDE

DINNER DATE (Thompson, Bayer, Johnson, Strong, Bennett)
This was good just because of the sheer energy and chemistry between Johnson and Cecily Strong. It’s the kind of sketch that could have easily gone wrong (or just played off as annoying) in the hands of the wrong host. However, now I’m wondering if I wouldn’t mind a $5.00 Walmart-bin movie for a Friday night at home featuring these two just bothering people, getting into mischief. And of course, singing about bananas.
Blackometer: 7.3/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvn0F0LEVNE

THE JUNGLE (Davidson, Johnson, McKinnon, Mooney)
This went exactly where I was afraid it would go. But credit where credit is due: The Rock was selling the absolute heck out of this material, even if it was low-hanging fruit. (But it still wasn’t good.)
Blackometer: 3.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHxEOgTFc_0

BROGAINE (Bennett, Mooney, Davidson, Zamata, Thompson, Johnson)
This was okay at best, but definitely not anything special in the Mooney/Bennett lineup of pre-produced videos. That comes from a mix of both the plot and the same ‘bro’ voices they’ve used in most of their pre-produced sketches. It felt like any other one, which makes me wonder if I’ll remember it in two days time. Although, I did like Beck Bennett’s “WHOO-HOO!!!”
Blackometer: 5.7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/brogaine-061455890.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Thompson)
Another solid Update! Kate McKinnon’s Olya Povlatsky returns, fully recharged with more life than the average recurring character. (Somehow, an Olya Povlatsky segment in 2015 is the last place I expected to hear a joke on Kelly Rowland.) Che’s neighbor Willie also returns to talk about the joys of spring, despite just how awful his life has become. It’s a little more biting, but just as enjoyable as his Christmas appearance. Update in 2015 has started to become looser in general – I wish we would have had more time for our two anchors to continue their #RaceTogether chat. Also, Colin Jost has just been on fire behind the desk in 2015, and I’m not sure we’re fully realizing it.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-061839932.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-062737563.html

COOKING WITH PAUL (Thompson, Johnson)
How goofy this was. But somehow, once again, Kenan Thompson finds a way to make one joke fun to watch for three minutes. I think this may be the only sketch in which Johnson was playing the straight man while something weird happened around him. Also, on twitter last night, someone referenced that this character is what happens when one of Kenan’s All That characters from the 90s, Pierre Escargot, grows up.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/cooking-paul-062025782.html

IMPROV SHOW (Zamata, Bryant, Davidson, Bennett, Mooney, McKinnon, Strong)
Kate McKinnon makes a pretty eerie Robert Durst. Alas, for those of us who started this sketch hoping for a return of last fall’s High School Theatre Group Sketch with Cameron Diaz, it was quite the disappointment with the weirdest choice for a focus (topical or not). I’m still not certain if there was a point here, other than the show acknowledging this guy.
Blackometer: 4.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/improv-show-061455373.html

INTERROGATION (Johnson, Bayer, Killam)
Good lord, this was something. It was very short, but there are so many great lines and deliveries by The Rock with these lame insults. Once again, he sells the heck out of material – but unlike the jungle sketch, here it just slays. I laughed the lost at this sketch – and then it just stops. There’s no way the original creation of this sketch was this short.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/interrogation-061454689.html

CIRCUS (Mooney)
I will say: this crack at Mooney’s awkward on-the-street interviews is definitely better than his attempt meant for the 40th anniversary special. Although the point is the incessant awkwardness of him approaching these people, there’s also a charm to it at times that I felt more here than his prepared anniversary segment.
Blackometer: 6.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/circus-062025202.html

Best Sketch of the Night: New Disney Movie
Worst Sketch of the Night: The Jungle
Joke of the Night: “Do you really expect us to just sit here and follow the yellow brick lies?!” – Johnson (Runner up: his catfishing of Moynihan in the WWE Promos)
Observations: Most of the hosts have been great in SNL’s 40th season, but The Rock is definitely one who should be noted as a potential frequent each year. 2009 was his last hosting job, and on this show, he displayed a fantastic amount of infectious energy. Seriously, he was on fire for 90 solid minutes, being as committed as ever with each and every minute. Can you imagine some of these sketches with someone like Justin Bieber or Paris Hilton hosting? (Just a friendly reminder that this happened.) Otherwise, this truly felt like an episode in which everyone returned from a two-week hiatus feeling very refreshed. Let’s keep it going for Birdman and Cookie these next two weeks!

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.81
Next time: Michael Keaton!
-BB2

Martin Freeman: 6.98
Bill Hader: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Dwayne Johnson: 6.81
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5

Chris Hemsworth is Cock-of-the-Walk on SNL


Chris Hemsworth was an electric host, who was completely committed in everything SNL threw his way. He was so committed, in fact, that even less-than-great sketches with him were at least interesting to watch because of his engagement with the cast. He almost reminds me of Andrew Garfield’s first hosting gig last season, in terms of his charm, energy, and readiness to just throw himself into making anything work. Even the few things that I didn’t think totally worked at least had something interesting to glean from them – which is much more than we could say in recent weeks surrounding the anniversary show.

COLD OPEN: A MESSAGE FROM HILLARY CLINTON (McKinnon)
Kate McKinnon wins the role of Hillary Clinton, most recently played twice last season by Vanessa Bayer. Here, she deconstructs her emails and even Netflix accounts to prove she has nothing to hide except covetousness for the presidency – if she chooses to run. Kate McKinnon brings her own thing to her Hillary Clinton, and she is just a thrill to watch, making this work more than it probably should have.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/hillary-cold-open-071950438.html

CHRIS HEMSWORTH MONOLOGUE (Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Luke Hemsworth, Thompson, Strong, Mooney, Moynihan, McKinnon)
This monologue had two gears: a nice moment with Hemsworth and his brothers (even the black one) on stage, and then fake questions. The material wasn’t great here, but it was at least better than last week’s. I wish more had been done with the Hemsworth family on stage instead of the questions we got, because Hemsworth showed that he really does have some pretty good charm with the cast. While there’s not much here, I will say that Kenan’s monologue appearances are pretty great.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/chris-hemsworth-monologue-072354988.html

AMERICAN EXPRESS (Hemsworth, Zamata)
Somehow, I was waiting for McConaughey to show up here with Hemsworth. He does a pretty great job of capturing his “how did this happen?” fame.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzSROE_7Lv8

BROTHER 2 BROTHER (Hemsworth, Killam, Strong, Mooney, Bryant)
Incessant deconstruction at its’ finest. Growing up and seeing Disney Channel shows, I was always thinking, “this is what should be happening right now.” Taran Killam was a committed in this as he’s ever been in anything. The piling on of his character might have been a bit much at some point, but it did lead up to a better-than-average payoff. Finally, Cecily Strong’s teacher here more than makes up for last week’s retread of her Cathy Anne troll.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DAE5pTwtFk

EMPIRE PROMO (Thompson, Zamata, Hemsworth, Pharoah, Jones, Che)
I’ve seen some Empire. I don’t know that Taraji P. Henson is quite that violent. This reminded me of last season’s Scandal parody, taking a similar angle, except toning down Hemsworth’s happy-go-lucky-khakis-pants-wearing role to “so this is how you guys operate? Okay…I better stay out of the way…” Everyone is great here; I do wish, though, that there was more going on to Hemsworth’s newbie character to observe than just the characters being upset with each other. The show is actually pretty brilliant with great performances from what I’ve seen – yes, they have plenty of discrepancies, but I don’t get the feeling that they’re known just for being angry. Anyway, this is still good.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YljIbGPnDg

SPACESHIP (Hemsworth, Strong, Thompson, Zamata, a chicken)
Okay – when I watched this live for the first time, I thought it was dead on arrival with the entrance of a live chicken. Then, something magical happened – Hemsworth sold it. His interaction with this live chicken proved how good of a host he can be, and single-handedly pulled the sketch into a stronger gear than it deserved. This is one that would only work with a versatile, engaging host, and having a solid actor here really made it work.  The individual lines weren’t that amazing (until Kenan’s “she’s done!” towards the end), but the commitment everyone had here (especially Hemsworth) made it work. Also: How bizarre. I’m beyond curious to know who dreamt this up mid-week, running on no sleep before the table-read.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAxJg74NbwA

THE IGGY AZALEA SHOW (McKinnon, Pharoah, Zamata, Hemsworth)
Kate McKinnon went from playing Hillary Clinton to Iggy Azalea in half an hour. Meanwhile, there wasn’t a lot going on here other than a few fairly accurate impressions, but not memorable enough to be much more than that. It felt like just another branch of Vanessa Bayer’s Miley Cyrus Show sketches, despite how good everyone was here.
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/iggy-azalea-show-071950948.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Jones, Strong)
There truly are few greater things than the chemistry between Leslie Jones and Colin Jost. I’ve never laughed as hard at the two of them as I did at the very end of their segment here. Cecily Strong’s Girl at a Party character was as solid as always, which is no surprise.
Meanwhile, I think this Update features Che and Jost having the most fun we’ve ever seen them have behind the desk to date. Jost’s big flub on the joke he took from Che turned out to be the funniest moment of the entire night, and showed just how great and comfortable he can be! And man, the chemistry between the two of them just took off with that whole bit in a way we haven’t seen too much on air yet. If Che wants to punk Jost every week and it’s at least as funny as what we saw last night, I’m totally on board. Update has been pretty solid all season long, but this was definitely the best one yet.
Blackometer: 9.3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-072354961.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-072735883.html

AVENGERS (Strong, Moynihan, Hemsworth, Killam, Davidson, Pharoah, Bennett)
Hemsworth was having a blast jumping around the stage in this one, which makes the entire sketch quite the joy to watch. I wish there was more going on here, but it was fun watching him bounce around.
Blackometer: 6/10

MOVIE SET (McKinnon, Hemsworth, Thompson, Zamata)
Kenan Thompson’s acting coach worked on The Jefferson’s for one day. This is pretty one-note and stupid, but I admit that Kenan Thompson sells it with each crazy sound he makes. Not an amazing sketch, but I can’t help it that I still laughed.
Blackometer: 6.3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/movie-set-071948523.html

REALITY HOUSE (Bennett, Hemsworth, Mooney, Killam)
This may be one of my favorite Kyle Mooney-Beck Bennett sketch of the season since “Bad Boys” from the season premiere. It was funny upon exposure of what it was mocking, it shifted into second gear and kept the hilarity going, and ended perfectly. Their reactions to each other in each sarcastically underrated situation (and that flashback) were the best parts. Sans Update, sketch of the night right here.
Blackometer: 8.7/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnEiMaqQL4I

DOLCE & GABBANA (Bayer, Strong)
By now, this has become one of the most reliable current sketches in SNL’s cannon. Bayer and Strong’s repartee and deliveries are fantastic, and I get the feeling that this is one of their favorite things to perform. Also Chris Hemsworth looked like he’s been doing these with them for 5 years now.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/dolce-gabbana-072353168.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Weekend Update & Reality House
Worst Sketch of the Night: The Iggy Azalea Show
Joke of the Night: Leslie Jones yelling “SHUT UP!!!” at Colin Jost
Observations: As I had hoped (and anticipated), Chris Hemsworth brought a stronger episode to revival the previous episodes the show has had recently. He truly added a vitality to sketches to make some of them better than they might have deserved to be. The cast also didn’t look like they had to work overtime to compensate for a not-that-great host. Can this momentum sustain the rest of the season now that they’ve recaptured it? I definitely think so!

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.81*
-BB2

Image result for saturday night live chris hemsworth

*Please Note: I did my scoring math incorrectly prior to the initial post of this review, and it has since been corrected.

Martin Freeman
: 6.98
Bill Hader
: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
Chris Hemsworth: 6.81
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton: 5