Saturday Night Live: Bill Hader, Arcade Fire
March 18, 2018 1:41 AM - Season 43, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Host: Bill Hader, Musical Guest: Arcade Fire

  • Anderson Cooper - Alex Moffat, Kate McKinnon, John Goodman, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen
  • Opening Monologue - Bill Hader
  • Californians - Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Alex Moffat, Cecily Strong, Pete Davidson
  • Kiss Me I'm Irish - Beck Bennett, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong,
  • Girfriends Game Night - Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner, Melissa Villaseñor, Cecily Strong, Bill Hader
  • Jurasic Park Screen Test - Alex Moffat, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Lesli Jones, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, Luke Null
  • Arcade Fire - Creature Comfort
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Betsy DeVos - Kate McKinnon
    • Pete Davidson
    • Stefon - Bill Hader, John Mulaney

  • Sacred Rock - Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner, Bill Hader

  • CBC News Hour - Bill Hader, Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, Arcade Fire

  • Arcade Fire - Put Your Money On Me

  • Undercover Office Potty - Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Chris Redd, Bill Hader,

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Girlfriends Game Night was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long while. Just when you thought they couldn't take it any further, they do. It was insane and tested my bladder control.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:50 AM on March 18, 2018


I also enjoyed the Jurassic Park Screen Tests, McKinnon's Devoss, and Pete Davidson's editorial was kind of awesome. The cut-for-time skit, St. Patrick's Day, was also off the chain, but Girlfriends Game Night was definitely the funnier of those two completely bizarre and surreal skits.
posted by Stanczyk at 8:05 AM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Cold Open - My kingdom for a non-political cold open, although this was better than usual. Having the host in the cold open is irregular, but amusing. Also I love John Goodman. He would make a good Mueller too.

Monologue - I am very fond of Bill Hader. I was not fond of that monologue. I liked the quick change part though. That was cool. Except for the fact that it went into...

The Californians - Ugh.

Kiss Me I'm Irish - Ugh.

Girlfriends Game Night - I enjoyed it, but that was probably because it was a breaking cascade.

Jurassic Park - Consistently funny. Moffat has an impressive Hugh Grant. Ditto Hader's Alda. Although Gwen Stefani was not famous when Jurassic Park was filmed. Neither was Lisa Kudrow.

Arcade Fire - I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on earth who doesn't care about Arcade Fire.

WU - I can't decide if I liked Pete's editorial or if I want to jump up and down and shout that mental illness isn't a contest, but he was on a mug of Klonopin and I'm on a cup of Xanax so I'll let it go. I've always felt kind of meh about Stefon, but... *ahem* MULAAAAAANEYYYYY!!!!!

Sacred Rock - Eh.

CBC News Hour - I laughed. I'm sorry.

Undercover Office Potty - Meh.

Luke Null Count - 1 sketch, 1 line
posted by elsietheeel at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Probably had the least amount of Mikey Day of any other episode this season. Pretty harsh on the Irish and Canadians, though!

It was...OK? I always want Bill Hader to be better than he winds up being, but that monologue was ass. I think he needs more structure (i.e. editing) than live sketches provide. I have no idea how he breaks during Stefon anymore.

I like the Californians, but the writing/improv for it is always weaker than I'd like.

My sum total of Arcade Fire exposure is their appearances on SNL, and I'm fine with them. They're always a bit lighter than I think of them being.

And so...Kate is the only cast member willing to do political characters?
posted by rhizome at 9:41 AM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I haaaaated Pete Davidson's WU bit. It's one thing to use your own mental illness as comedy, but bringing someone else's panic attack into the bit, and the whole contest thing is uncool. And to be honest, it kinda seemed like he really did feel that way and tacked on a "no, but seriously" at the end because someone said he had to. Maybe I'm just hypersensitive because I see so much of my sister in Pete.

I do like Stefon, not so much for the character but for the Mullaney/Hader dynamic, so I was super excited about that cameo.
posted by Ruki at 9:56 AM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I have no idea how he breaks during Stefon anymore.

I think he does the character without previewing all the cue cards, and the whole game is for the writers to make him break.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:23 AM on March 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


I think he does the character without previewing all the cue cards, and the whole game is for the writers to make him break.

Yeah iirc part of the running gag of Stefon is that John Mulaney, who showed up last night as the lawyer, "Shy", would actually switch out or add new jokes to the cue cards to try and make Hader break. I love this; for me it adds a layer of tension and anticipation to the sketch and makes the whole thing even funnier.
posted by lalex at 10:29 AM on March 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


Girlfriends Game Night was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long while

Interesting to hear people be into this because for me it was the only real dud in an otherwise pretty solid show (after a run of not-great stuff). But I can be touchy about how SNL portrays older people for whatever reason, so maybe just not my bit.

I love Hader in basically anything but I was surprised they didn't give him a stronger monologue.

it kinda seemed like he really did feel that way

That was my feeling, I think he's struggling to figure out what his role on the show is, he's sort of new to being "out" about his mental illness, and he's really very young, still, so I'm not surprised he's a little hit or miss. I laughed at his bit, but felt weird about it. However a move to an actual neurodiverse cast (and not just people with substance abuse issues?) seems useful.

I always love the screen tests. I thought reprise of the Sacred Rock thing seemed a little forced but was fine and for some reason office potty made me laugh my ass off. Bennett was perfect for it. I also loved Kiss Me I'm Irish though between this and the other dating shows and all The Bachelor stuff they do, they can retire those for a while.
posted by jessamyn at 10:54 AM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Nice seeing John Goodman as Tillerson.

I kinda loved 'Jurasic Park Screen Test' but I like impersonations in general.

Super conflicted about Pete Davidson's WU bit, like, good on him but shit's complicated and he should know better? Though the bit was pretty darned meta.
posted by porpoise at 1:54 PM on March 18, 2018


I've got a daughter on the spectrum and with some related mental illness issues and as she says about this issue, Nothing about us without us. Pete's monologue seemed to touch on that. It wasn't that he wasn't sympathetic to a panic attack, he was making a point about packaged mental illness, and the very predictable response to Love's piece about it, in contrast to the experience of people who are fully immersed in coping with significant mental illness. It was also very funny and honest. I liked it. It was a bit mature for my kid but I bet she would have liked it too.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:00 PM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Okay but mental illness still isn't a contest. I'm batshit crazy along the lines of Pete, and I've had many panic attacks and they suck no matter WHO you are and what your "regular" mental health is like. Shit, the first one I had was ten thousand times scarier than the last one I had, so all sympathies to Love for that.

Mugs of Klonopin for all!
posted by elsietheeel at 3:09 PM on March 18, 2018


All in all, this was a slightly-above-average episode. Monologue into costume change is an excellent and rarely-used trope. And I am hoping Pete finally knocked the air out of this sketch. Having it end by including Vanessa's picture and a "how different the world was five years ago" Waze vs GoogleMaps contest, that is an honorable way to kill the sketch.

I was conflicted about the Game Night sketch because, on one hand, punching down on old people—but, on the other hand, Cecily gets a sex ride on an out-of-control wheelchair, furniture gets knocked around and Melissa is first to crack up. I watched that one 15-second part again and again on YouTube, just to watch how the jalopy started careering off the side of the road.

I thought Pete's desk piece was also funny, but really in a way you can speak to if you are actually someone who deals with their own thought disorders. Many other attempts at forging humor out of mental illness seem dehumanizing. This seemed self-deprecating, illustrative of the obstacles he himself will have to, and is (maybe?) trying to overcome (e.g. how symptoms can cause inappropriate reactions to others' suffering), if he's eventually going to respond to things in a more normative/neurotypical way. Humor and Mental Illness both involve transgressions of social expectations which can make the "normals" squirm or laugh or both, and this was a pretty good depiction of many different tensions involved.

Take it easy, Tiny Dancer. And don't go shitting in your stapler.

(starting to think: this is the second "problems shitting at the office" sketch that's aired. I wonder!)
posted by not_on_display at 3:18 PM on March 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Why does it have to be Billy Joel’s hands?

So you can pretend it’s Bruce Springteen’s

Best line of the night.
posted by ian1977 at 4:11 PM on March 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I loved John Goodman as Rex Tillerson.

The Kiss Me I'm Irish sketch made me think of my mother's maternal grandparents, who were both Irish-born, and even though they met in Canada, cousins, though not, thankfully, first cousins, nor even second.

I loved the 1992 Jurassic Park Screen test. That's one that's funnier if you're old enough to remember how those actors and other celebrities looked and what work they were doing in 1992.

The "Canadian accents" in the CBC news sketch were unbelievably bad.
posted by orange swan at 8:01 PM on March 18, 2018


Che really didn’t seem happy to be there at the beginning of WU. He warmed up, but he practically mumbled through his first set of jokes.
posted by jimw at 8:12 PM on March 18, 2018


I really enjoyed Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff, that was great.

I didn't like the Californians at all, but I realize that may be my Bay Area persona rebelling identity hella rebelling against equating monied coastal Orange County with California.

Jurasic Park Screen Test killed me. There were so many awesome/awful/ridiculous 90s caricatures. Every time I thought, Nice So and So, but where's Lisa Kudrow? there she was. It was a cavalcade of 90s nostalgia that the recent post on the blue did not even touch on.

I read the thread before watching the episode and knowing that John Mulaney is messing with Hader's Stefon cue cards cracked me up while watching WU. I have seen a couple Stefon's in the past and the idea that he is reading some of it cold makes so much sense.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:58 PM on March 18, 2018


A decent episode. Hader is one of the greats, but the writing seemed a bit lazy. There's something almost sadistic about how they keep bringing back The Californians. I've heard Hader talk about how passing cabbies used to yell at him that the sketch sucked... but here it was again, and at the top of the show!

It seemed like the camera was really struggling to keep up with the action at times. Somebody would be talking, and the camera would still be on somebody else. I don't think I've ever seen them have that problem before, and here it was happening in multiple sketches. The show seems a little more "live" lately, with lots of little flubs slipping through. Did Goodman actually hurt his hand on that glass he broke? Something about it seemed a little too real.

I wasn't sure what Stefon shouted at the end of his bit, but apparently it was "Jill Stein 2020!" I'm not sure what to make of that. Was Hader sincerely endorsing Stein? Is it a joke, like you'd have to be as crazy as Stefon to vote for Stein?

Loved the poop lamps sketch. "They smell like normal lamps to me!"
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:13 PM on March 18, 2018


> Did Goodman actually hurt his hand on that glass he broke? Something about it seemed a little too real.

I'm assuming it was sugar glass, and because his hand was sweaty a 'shard' stuck to it after it broke.
posted by komara at 7:08 AM on March 19, 2018


Aw, Arcade Fire.

"drums"
posted by Pronoiac at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yeah I was also remarking to not_on_display that it's been a while, or seemed like it, since the musical guest was in any of the sketches and I've missed that sort of interplay.
posted by jessamyn at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2018


Not being a fan on The Californians, I was cursing under my breath through pretty much all of that quick-change.

Enjoyed the Tillerson portion of the cold open, the other parts not so much. I don't think there was really any reason to bring Wolff back other than Fred Armisen was already there so they could do The Californians, and for the 5 minutes he was relevant last year I had assumed that Scaramucci would just be basically Bruce Chandling.

Enjoyed the undercover potty sketch, which I feel like probably wouldn't have worked as well with someone other than Beck. Of course, now I'm overthinking it and wondering if the guy had a mental episode and is imagining the voices and made everything himself, or is being taunted by trickster spirits with false promises of discreet in-office pooing.
posted by ckape at 12:59 PM on March 20, 2018


MOOSES ON THE 9
posted by Stanczyk at 5:19 PM on March 20, 2018


Grumblings about Che in the wild.
posted by rhizome at 5:20 PM on March 20, 2018


I'm not sure what's going on there; are those DMs or deleted posts from Instagram?
posted by lalex at 5:40 PM on March 20, 2018


I think both, or something like that. Apologies if this turns out to be scurrilous nonsense, but it does fit with how several here have described their sense of him.
posted by rhizome at 5:52 PM on March 20, 2018


I think they're whatever the Instagram equivalent of Moments is, those stories people do? I've seen this in a few different places.
posted by jessamyn at 6:14 PM on March 20, 2018


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