Saturday Night Live: Adam Driver, Kanye West
September 30, 2018 7:06 AM - Season 44, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Host: Adam Driver, Musical Guest: Kanye West

  • Kavanaugh Hearing - Leslie Jones, Alex Moffat, Cecily Strong, Matt Damon, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Rachel Dratch, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon
  • Opening Monologue - Adam Driver
  • Fortnite - Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Adam Driver
  • New Look - Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Lorne Michaels, Beck Bennett, Wendy Williams, Kid Cudi, Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant
  • Domenico's - Mikey Day, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffat, Adam Driver, Cecily Strong, Melissa Villaseñor, Heidi Gardner
  • 80s Party - Mikey Day, Adam Driver ,Beck Bennett, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner
  • Kanye West & Lil Pump - I Love It
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Kate McKinnon
    • Serena Williams - Leslie Jones
    • Pete Davidson

  • Career Day - Alex Moffat, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Adam Driver

  • Kanye West & Teyana Taylor- We Got Love

  • Neo-Confederate Meeting - Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Adam Driver, Heidi Gardner, Aidy Bryant, Chris Redd

  • Kanye West & Kid Cuddi & 070 Shake - Ghost Town

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That Kavanaugh thing was something awesome. And I always enjoy a Ginsburn.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:24 AM on September 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Kanye afterward
posted by Etrigan at 8:28 AM on September 30, 2018

Did anyone else love Career Day as much as I did? Because I loved it a lot.
posted by Etrigan at 8:29 AM on September 30, 2018 [15 favorites]

I only watched until the end of Weekend Update. I have to say that after the events of this week, Pete Davidson's joke about switching out his fiancee's birth control for a TicTac felt pretty off. As did the line about the guy at the party feeling remorse for the rest of his life.
posted by sardonyx at 8:48 AM on September 30, 2018 [7 favorites]

Good solid first episode. The opener was brutal. Damon crushed it is Kavanaugh and I'm always happy to see Rachael Dratch show up.

I don't get Kanye. I'm sorry. I just don't get it. I realize I'm probably not supposed to but... whatever. Also, fuck him and his fucking MAGA hat.

I liked Pete's segment on WE. "Remember when that whole city pretended that kid was Batman?"

Did Ego Nwodim have more than a single line? I know that's pretty typical for new cast members in early shows but I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do.

God I was really happy not to see Baldwin show up as Trump. I hope they're done with him.

I didn't know what to make of 80s Party. What was the angle? Was there even one? I couldn't tell if they were making fun of the fact that we're holding people accountable for what they did in the 1980s or what. I enjoyed it in an uncomfortable way.

I really enjoy just about everything Kyle Mooney does. Loved his new look.

All in all I thought it was a decent premiere. The show is never perfect so "not a dud" is about the best I hope for and they more than surpassed my expectations.

I hope they bring Damon back but also that they don't over do it they way they've done with Baldwin.
posted by bondcliff at 9:22 AM on September 30, 2018

I hope they never have a reason to bring Kavanaugh back, but Damon was great. Starting out shouting, "WHAT?" made it.

I didn't get Kanye's first performance wearing the water bottle costumes. I'm perfectly happy to believe that I'm an old, and it's not meant for me, but I generally like Kanye's music.

Speaking of being an old, the Fortnite sketch spoke to me.
posted by gladly at 10:42 AM on September 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was assuming the Kanye costume was a callback to this tweet from a simpler time.
posted by halation at 11:23 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

"[Kanye] thinks he's Andy Kaufman, but he's Dan Nainan." - Austin Walker
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:42 AM on September 30, 2018 [7 favorites]

I didn't know what to make of 80s Party. What was the angle? Was there even one? I couldn't tell if they were making fun of the fact that we're holding people accountable for what they did in the 1980s or what.

It was a comment along the vein of "Okay, you know all this stuff that we're shaking our heads over now, and we're all so shocked that 'oh mercy what horrible stuff these people did in high school'? Don't forget that back when they were in high school, YOU were also in high school WITH them, and we all were watching movies that PERPETUATED the idea that the stuff they did was cool."

So it's kind of like, hold them accountable, but also hold rape culture ITSELF accountable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2018 [9 favorites]

I thought the Kavanaugh Hearing was terrific, although I rolled my eyes at how they took the time to get in a dig at Feinstein being old for a bit of the ol' "both sides." But I was dreading that the show might get in a lot of "these silly white women" stuff (that's a drum that Che banged a lot last season) at a moment when we really don't need that, but fortunately the show made a lot of good points and was pretty funny making them.

Kanye was insane and cringey, as is to be expected. The bottle-and-giant-lady thing was a fun visual, and I liked that lady's pasties in the second song, but then he showed up in a MAGA hat to shoo everybody off the stage for the goodnights, so fuuuuuck him. A lot of lefties talk about him the same way they talk about Chick-Fil-A, like, "Oh, I despise the politics of this person/corporate entity, but what they produce is so delicious I just can't stay away!" Well, lucky me I guess, because Kanye's music sounds worse than farts to me (with the notable exception of Gold Digger) and Chick-Fil-A tastes like farts, so I'm free to hate them both without having to guiltily enjoy their fart-product.

(I think the bottle suits were just a reference to something in the song itself. Wasn't there some line in there about how she had to always have a bottle of this and a bottle of that? So, it was probably an illustration of how she was this domineering woman and the guys were just her little bottles, or some shit like that. Ugh all over you, Kanye.)

I think the 80s party sketch was basically just taking a gross 80s party movie and saying, "These people in the headlines lived this shit." It was simultaneously making fun of gross 80s party movies and showing how the gross people in the headlines connect to that stuff. (Remember the end of Animal House, where we see what happened to everybody and we find out that John Belushi's character became a powerful political figure? I keep thinking that we're living that now, that Kavanaugh is Bluto.) At the same time, there was stuff to remind the audience that we probably have our own youthful indiscretions to feel guilty about. So, that's a lot of weight for a sketch to carry, but I thought they did well with it.

The career day thing was fantastic and made me wish they'd used Driver more. The Burger King coffee thing was one of their weirdest product placement bits yet, with a lot of unappetizing stuff about "burger juice" coffee that landed a lot harder than the idea that the coffee itself was any good. Also, man, was Mikey Day having an attack of the forehead sweats, or what? Poor guy was glistening.

I could go on, but this is already too long and I have a Sunday to have. In conclusion, good show, but Kanye needs to go away now please.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:38 PM on September 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't like Pete Davidson. I did like Kyle's bit about him, though.

You can tell Che wrote the Vermont skit. And I know, I know, Michael Che, but... the racism of white progressives is a topic that comes up a lot in my social circle and, well, I've spent a lot of time in Vermont. The mister, who is a not an SNL fan, doesn't know what Che has said about Boston, and who spent many years working there, thought the "It's ok, I'm from Boston," line was spot-on.

I'm a bit salty that they couldn't find someone better to play my man Whitehouse in the cold open.

So they cut skits that featured Driver more, but left the BK Joe one? Why are they making that premise a recurring bit?
posted by Ruki at 2:42 PM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ryan Gosling in Terrezano's
posted by Ruki at 2:54 PM on September 30, 2018

So they cut skits that featured Driver more, but left the BK Joe one? Why are they making that premise a recurring bit?
The AV club reviewer is pretty convinced they're chasing that sweet sweet product placement money.
posted by tjgrathwell at 4:04 PM on September 30, 2018

sardonyx, completely agree with the Davidson birth-control-for-tic-tac "joke" being really lazy and gross, given that it's 2018 and that we had just watched a 15-minute sketch about an accused sexual assaulter who may be what swings the balance of the Supreme Court towards banning abortion. I believe what he was joking about is called "rape by deception" and it's illegal.

Otherwise I wasn't super impressed by this episode - I'm looking forward to seeing more Ego. Loved Career Day though.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:33 PM on September 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Kavanaugh Hearing" was great. Damon nailed it. I liked "80s Party", and the RBG and Serena Williams bits. I didn't care much for the rest, and I don't get Kanye West at all, and WHYYYYYYYY did they let him wear that fucking MAGA hat.
posted by orange swan at 7:28 PM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

orange swan: WHYYYYYYYY did they let him wear that fucking MAGA hat.

An easy way to say "hey look, we represent both sides of the political spectrum, even if one is hell-bent on destroying this country and the world, looting everything they can on their way out."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 PM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't get why anyone thinks Kanye is a genius. He says all kinds of stupid shit, and I don't know what his mental issues are but loving Trump is so downright foot-shooty. He can't even explain why he loves him, can he?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 PM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

He wore the MAGA hat at the end and at some point towards the end of the song he called for everyone to join him. I saw one cast member skip (??) to the stage to join him when the tv broke for the local midnight news.

Who was that cast member. Are they that star struck that they don’t se a MAGA hat? Or are they MAGA adjacent? Wtf?
posted by ian1977 at 9:48 PM on September 30, 2018

According to ONTD, it was Kate. Also according to ONTD from ages ago, she previously dated Bari Weiss.
posted by Ruki at 10:32 PM on September 30, 2018

No wait, the ONTD comments were about Kate dancing to the last song, so I don't know if it's the same thing.
posted by Ruki at 10:50 PM on September 30, 2018

Video of West having a big rant just after the show ended, claiming he was "bullied" backstage for wearing the hat and alleging that the media is 90% liberal. You can't see it in this video, but apparently some of the audience was booing and Driver and a few cast members were visibly annoyed and walked out. It doesn't speak well for those who stuck around and danced. McKinnon's response is particularly puzzling. During the rant she literally looks like she's being held hostage, staring down at the stage and obviously in distress, but then when the music strikes up again she starts dancing in this big, kind of exaggerated and frantic way. I look forward to the next edition of the Live From New York book when we can find out what those people on the stage were thinking during that shitshow.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:26 PM on September 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

They sure made a statement about how they refuse to make statements with this episode.

One twitter comment I saw pointed out that Kavanaugh actually comes off better in the skit, because in fiction you have to adhere to some level of acceptable behavior for it to work. Also, I suppose there's some lesson to be learned that Kavanaugh's drinking bros have names like they should be on Jason Mendoza's 60-person dance squad.

Driver seemed under-utilized, and I noticed he didn't really promote anything, though I suppose Blackkklansman has come and gone and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote's release is a mess.
posted by ckape at 1:03 AM on October 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Kavanaugh sketch was devastatingly hilarious. Damon does a better Kavanaugh than Baldwin does Trump. Fight me.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:32 AM on October 1, 2018

I lean toward ckape's. What they could have done is made him more proud of being a jock-asshole, glorifying and describing bad behavior. I don't think Damon has the temperament for that, though.

I thought Driver in the Career Day sketch will probably be one of the best of the season. I hope there are better, but statistically it'll be top 10, maybe top 5. If Driver didn't help write it, I'd love to see the staff pursuing more of that kind of depth. Not like it's meaningful, just that, you know, maybe every viewer doesn't have to get every single joke in every sketch, LORNE.
posted by rhizome at 10:06 AM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wait, Kate McKinnon dated Bari Weiss??? That is deeply ... something.
posted by lunasol at 10:45 AM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I saw a clip of Kanye on SNL as I was leaving the IHS ever, I said, "Oh shut up, Kanye."
posted by elsietheeel at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

"Oil has little to do with profit, marm!"
posted by rhizome at 2:42 AM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

And I know, I know, Michael Che, but... the racism of white progressives is a topic that comes up a lot in my social circle and, well, I've spent a lot of time in Vermont.

There is a Black Lives Matter flag hanging over the high school in the capitol city. Vermont is not perfect and it is definitely very (too) white, but there are a lot of people working on prison reform and complicated issues surrounding racism, not just congratulating each other on having a transgender woman running for governor (tho that is cool). I liked that sketch but it clearly felt like a Che sketch. Like would it kill you to have a few other women in it?

Did Ego Nwodim have more than a single line?

I think she had two lines, but a lot of outfits, so maybe they ease in new cast members by just getting them used to changing clothes every 20 min.
posted by jessamyn at 11:34 AM on October 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Did Ego Nwodim have more than a single line?

Didn't you see the 80's sketch? She brought the cocaaaaine!
Of course she had more than one line.

one day this episode will be crushed beneath my feet, and turned into oil—and humanity won't be around to suckle it from mother nature's teat, and that will be my final revenge!!!!
posted by not_on_display at 8:52 PM on October 3, 2018

Lorne Michaels has banned performers for life, for offenses a LOT less grievous than what West did. I suspect West won't be banned, though. He's a guaranteed ratings-grabber.

I think West is an asshole, but I also think he's crazy. I have my own issues with mental illness and I don't throw around the word "crazy" lightly, but I think West is a toxic combo of asshole and crazy. I think he's mentally ill, but I also feel like even if you got him into therapy and gave him some good meds he'd probably be less delusional but he'd still be an asshole. In a year he'll probably be ranting about how the Republicans are secretly lizard people or something, but for now his crazy assholery is working in Trump's favor.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:20 PM on October 6, 2018

Armchair Diagnosis: Ye's got Narcissism or Borderline Personality Disorder, maybe with some variation of manic bipolar stuff. It's all about him. It's hard to be around people who are assholes, but I am sure (as lots of mental illnesses go) he doesn't consider himself an asshole, nor would, if he were in therapy and on meds, he choose to be an asshole.

Or maybe not. Hollywierd attracts these people. One of my support group moderators had a previous career in casting in LA, and she said looking back, after her second education, there were lots of mental-illness/disorder flags she wouldn't have recognized at the time about all sorts of talent, famous or not.
posted by not_on_display at 7:22 PM on October 6, 2018

I try not to reach for "crazy," either, but it's clear he's in "weird celebrity," land, which might just be easy to fall into with that kind of freedom. Whether he you know, chooses to entertain, and what he does with our time, too, is I guess a matter of luck these days.

I realize his music (and maybe personality) might be meaningful to some people, and I can leave it alone on that basis, and I've heard some interesting stuff out of him, but this feels like a kind of Johnny Rotten of the Information Age, and artificial. But taboos to break are so much more targetable now, so motivated artists (I'll say it) can pick and choose ones they want to riff on. You can hear it in Trump, too, just with a different set of targetables.
posted by rhizome at 9:51 PM on October 6, 2018

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