Saturday Night Live S42 E7: Kristen Wiig Comes Home For The Holidays

Cold Opening:
Earlier on Friday, Alec Baldwin confirmed that he would be returning as Donald Trump. At least we’re prepared for it. Grab your barf bags and cover the eyes of your children, lest they be scarred forevermore by the orange demon. Despite my jokes, I must say that it is refreshing to see a sketch with Donald Trump that doesn’t revolve around a debate. It helps to keep the impression from growing too formulaic. He is still portrayed as an utter buffoon and a reverse-Jack Donaghy, but we also see that Alec Baldwin’s interpretation procrastinates enough to rival even the laziest college student. Finally, I loved seeing Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney again. His impression just radiates humor.

Monologue: Yeah, another singing monologue, but it had a ukelele. How can I dislike a song with a ukelele, especially when it’s as bizarre as this? Kristen Wiig’s fever dream of a retelling of Thanksgiving is much more entertaining than the real thing, especially because it has less racism. Steve Martin and Will Forte didn’t really add a lot to the bit, but just seeing them was great. Although, I might be watching too much of The Last Man On Earth because I initially mistook Will for Phil Miller. You can watch it here.

The Bubble: Hey, hate websites and vitriol-filled comment sections? Whatever you’re accusing of being an echo chamber probably isn’t an echo chamber. Now this, on the other hand, is an echo chamber. Still, it’s a funny one and it contains some apt criticisms of society, particularly Brooklyn.

Secret Word: We’ve got the first recurring character for Kristen, sadly not with Bill Hader’s frustrated game show host. Kenan’s host seems oddly similar to his other game show host characters, but I do appreciate the vocal cameo from Bill. The main joke of Kristen Wiig’s actress immediately saying the word does get old after a while, but I mostly enjoy hearing the asides from the other characters.

Anderson Cooper 360: The newscasters start out seemingly stable, before growing more and more frantic. Still, despite the increasingly more disturbing (and real) news reports they deliver inane and insufficient commentary on, hardly anything changes. I was actually imagining it to be some kind of time loop and I was partially correct. The ending twist reveals it to be a Westworld-style set populated by robots. The twist wasn’t as chilling as the X-Files mashup in the Tostino’s commercial parody from last season, but it was still effective. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start checking CNN for robot duplicates. You can watch it here.

Target Commercial: SNL knows you need to vent. They’ve created a commercial parody specifically meant to parallel your real life frustrations. In fact, why do I get the feeling that this was written in a parking lot? Did a writer actually see this earlier in the week? “Mmmm, nice lunch break, I love Taco Bell- AHH, NUTS, I’M LATE, quick, quick, what’s going on around me? I need inspiration!”

QVC Auditions: I wasn’t really amused by the premise until the feuding neighbors actively started messing with each other. As the tension grew, it got funnier as I wondered how their conflict would finally end. As it happened, it ended with an anti-climax. Eh, at least the middle portion was good. You can watch it here.

The xx #1 Performance #1- “On Hold”: I enjoyed hearing the song. You can watch it here.

Weekend Update: Solid edition this week with both Colin and Michael landing some solid jokes at the expense of the Trump cabinet. A couple of jokes did fall slightly flat, but most of them stayed firmly in the tongue in cheek category. Pete’s guest segment made me laugh. I don’t know why, but he reminds me of Adam Sandler during his glory days on the show. Kenan Thompson’s guest spot as Willy made me laugh, as it usually does. Every time he sets up a punchline, I just imagine how disturbing it’s going to be. Most of the time, the events of his horrible life are worse than what I imagine. Poor, poor Willy. You can watch it hereherehere, and here.

Thanksgiving Parade: I’m pretty sure this is the Ghostbusters reference I was hoping for. Whatever the heck that was, I want to see more of it. Seriously, though, the sketch did feel rather short. I want to see more of that universe. You can watch it here.

Whiskers R We With Kristen Wiig: I want Kate and Kristen to star in a series of buddy cop movies. As of the sketch itself, cats and puns. What more do you need?

Surprise Lady: Thanksgiving: And another classic character returns! Yeah, I’ll admit, Aunt Sue is one of Kristen’s weaker characters, but I do appreciate the slapstick. Kristen Wiig eating a pillow hits the right bizarre note.

The xx #1 Performance #2- “I Dare You”: It was okay.

Overall Thoughts: The latter half of the episode dragged on slightly, but I really enjoyed the episode. It felt like a nostalgic tribute to the first time that I started watching the show live. It’s interesting to see how the newer style of humor melds with Kristen Wiig’s comedic style. In terms of politics, the episode didn’t have anything really laugh-out loud, save for “The Bubble”, but it did effectively insult Trump.

The twenty-third will feature a Thanksgiving special featuring the best of the show’s past Turkey Day material, including Rachel Dratch’s Debbie Downer character. That is, if the commercials are to be believed. As for the next live show, December third will feature Emma Stone as the host and Shawn Mendes as the musical guest. I have to say, I do prefer finding out who the host is live on the air rather than reading about it online. It just adds more excitement and anticipation.

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