Saturday Night Live, Season 41: My Favorite Moments (And One Orange-Colored Issue)

Another season of Saturday Night Live has come and gone. While not as well-publicized as the fortieth anniversary milestone season or filled with as many controversial casting choice as the thirty-ninth season, it still has a bunch of praise-worthy moments. Let’s take a look at some of them. 1: “Tracy Morgan, Demi Lovato”: 30 Rock reunion monologue While I may have some issues with Tracy’s non-SNL humor, I was heartbroken when he got into a car accident and nearly died. Among other well-wishes, SNL gave him a mini-tribute in the fortieth season anniversary episode and Tina Fey said that she would write him into Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt once he was up to acting again. I was one of many comedy fans who cheered when SNL announced that Mr. Morgan would be hosting the third episode of the then-new season. Whether due to nostalgia at seeing Tracy reprise his old characters or joy at seeing him hale and hearty again, the episode was a success, with every sketch getting at least one huge laugh out of me. However, one true highlight of the episode was the monologue. Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Alec Baldwin, and Jack McBrayer all reunited to make a fake 30 Rock sketch happen. I am not kidding when I say that I jumped up and screamed when it first started. During the commercial break, I had to rewind to catch the first few lines of dialogue. It’s genuine, heartfelt, and feels like a classic 30 Rock scene.

2: “Matthew McConaughey, Adele”: Should You Chime In On This? Game Show Saturday Night Live has a long tradition of topical, biting humor and taking shots at the week’s current controversial topic. However, some people just aren’t qualified to talk about certain topics. For example, panels on women in comics led by an all-male group. This sketch is based on just that, with a game show called Should You Chime In On This? It’s the Internet’s favorite game show, both reviled and glorified in comment sections everywhere! Just don’t activate the “All Lives Matter” siren. “Should You Chime In On This?” can be found on the NBC website. 3: “Adam Driver/Chris Stapleton”: Aladdin You don’t always need a big production or an absurd premise to sell a sketch. Sometimes you just need to apply a dose of reality to something unrealistic, then ramp it up. In this particular case, Cecily Strong’s Jasmine gets hit in the face with a seagull, a nuclear warhead, and the contents of an airplane toilet. It just proves that Disney needs more slapstick. Forget giving Elsa a girlfriend, just give me a solid ten minutes of Anna, Olaf, and Elsa having a Three Stooges-style pie fight in the Frozen sequel.

4: “Ronda Rousey/Selena Gomez”: Screen Guild Awards

Hey, remember the controversy over the Oscars? You should, because it’s still a problem. Back when it first began spreading over the Internet, SNL parodied it by having several minority leads in films get nominated for an award, only to lose to the white person, even if they literally appeared as an extra. Topical, smart, and amusing.

5: “Larry David/The 1975”: Bern Your Enthusiasm I’ve never seen Curb Your Enthusiasm save for a few clips featuring a Seinfeld reunion. However, I knew enough about the program to enjoy the prerecorded sketch. Basically, you make an episode of Seinfeld and replace the main cast with a grumpy old man. In this case, instead of starring a fictionalized version of Larry David, it stars Bernie Sanders as portrayed by Larry David trying to get votes.

6: “Melissa McCarthy/Kanye West”: The Day Beyonce Turned Black/” Ariane Grande: “This Is Not A Feminist Song”

Continuing the trend of wonderful prerecorded films in this season, the thirteenth episode of the season (and eight hundredth episode of the show) took on cultural appropriation. Face it, not every piece of media is made for white people. This fake horror-movie trailer shows white people across America going into shock after realizing that Beyonce is African-American. It’s a smart piece, which is why I’m putting it in the same ranking as a music video from the following episode.

Titled “This Is Not A Feminist Song”, it’s another in a long line of amazing music videos from the female cast of Saturday Night Live. It’s a meta-piece about the different kinds of feminism and the difficulties that come from trying to tackle such a nuanced issue in a small amount of time. I could see it in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, based on the similar tones. Both sketches have the kind of intelligent writing that we need more of, especially as society continues to evolve.

I wouldn’t feel right about discussing the best moments in this season without covering a major issue. My only major lowlight of the season, Donald Trump’s episode. -1: “Donald Trump, Sia”: No. Nothing. Not even Martin Short’s cameo as Ed Grimley in the "Hotline Bling" music video. It just makes me wish that he hosted. Larry David’s cameo in the cold opening, monologue, and “Student Theatre Showcase” sketch barely made me chuckle. I was tempted to turn off the television halfway through, and I’ve never had that temptation before, except for one night when I wasn’t feeling well. Even then, I didn’t do it. Saturday Night Live, you made a bad decision by doing this and I look forward to future interviews wherein the cast members express how they really felt about Drumpf hosting the show.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.