Saturday Night Live: Awkwafina, Travis Scott
October 7, 2018 6:55 AM - Season 44, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Host: Awkwafina, Musical Guest: Travis Scott

  • Bret Kavanaugh Post-Game - Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day
  • Opening Monologue - Awkwafina
  • Late Night Battle - Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Awkwafina, Leslie Jones, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Travis Scott
  • Emergency Alert - Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner
  • Cleopatra - Heidi Gardner, Cecily Strong, Awkwafina, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat
  • Ted Cruz Rally - Awkwafina, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett,
  • Travis Scott - Skeletons
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Eric and Donald Trump Jr. - Mikey Day, Alex Moffat
    • Pete Davidson

  • So You're Willing to Date a Magician - Leslie Jones, Awkwafina, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner

  • Baby Shower - Heidi Gardener, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Leslie Jones, Awkwafina, Melissa Villaseñor

  • Pumpkin Patch - Mikey Day, Beck Bennett, Awkwafina, Kyle Mooney

  • Travis Scott - Sicko Mode

  • Film Panel - Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, Awkwafina, Kate McKinnon

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another decent episode, though lately I'm finding if they have a good opener and monologue and Weekend Update is solid, I consider it a good episode. I just expect there's going to be a lot of duds. I knew nothing about Awkwafina but she was a pretty solid host. A bit obvious reading the cue cards but most first-time hosts are like that. I hope she comes back.

Glad they brought up the Kanye thing. I'm really liking Pete's short bits on WE and I'm always happy to see the Trump brothers.

Travis Scott is... not making music for me. I'll leave it at that. He did pretty good in the dance battle sketch though.

I liked So You're Willing to Date a Magician mainly because I have a couple of friends who are magicians. It was funny but it did that SNL thing where it didn't really have an ending.
posted by bondcliff at 4:58 PM on October 7, 2018

I enjoyed Pete Davidson's rant about Kanye so much. So many good lines.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2018

I haven't known what Awkwafina refers to because there was also a character with that name on BoJack Horseman, and I haven't seen her movie. She was good! She had a lot more range than hosts usually do.

Chris Redd should be Don Lemon. I don't know why Kenan is, except for...seniority?

I'm not sure it's accurate at all, but I think the Eric Trump act is better than it used to be. Not a huge fan of Debette Goldry, but the surrounding bits in her skits are quality stuff.

Solid episode!
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2018

> A bit obvious reading the cue cards but most first-time hosts are like that.

In our market before the 10 PM (Central) news they played an old Chis Walken episode. There is no one - and I mean no one - who has ever given less of a shit about looking like he's reading the cue cards than Chris Walken.

With that as a baseline for the night? I thought Awkwafina hit it out of the park.
posted by komara at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

The dance battle slayed me.

I am really looking forward to a musical act next act not seemingly booked by Kris Jenner.
posted by Ruki at 7:28 PM on October 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure it's accurate at all, but I think the Eric Trump act is better than it used to be.

I feel like they keep adding to it every time. Like having him mimic Don Jr's mannerisms is fairly new, I think, but I am totally here for it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:34 PM on October 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think it's that it has less Tourette's in it.
posted by rhizome at 7:40 PM on October 7, 2018

Awkwafina was game throughout but it's been a long time since I've heard an SNL skit tank like the baby shower thing. I think you'd maybe have to go back to the Will Ferrell era for a total whiffer like that. (I'd forgotten that kind of quiet, embarrassed laughter we used to hear when Jim Brewer or Chris Kattan was doing some lame, endless bit the audience wasn't going for. The baby shower sketch brought it all back.) The Cleopatra thing was modestly amusing but as toothless as could be, like something from a middling episode of Mad TV. Actually a lot of the sketches, like the magicians sketch, seemed kind of throwback-y. I'm definitely not saying every sketch needs to be super timely or political, but this was a remarkably blah, so-so show for one of the most tense, divisive, tragic and ridiculous political weeks I've ever seen.

There is no one - and I mean no one - who has ever given less of a shit about looking like he's reading the cue cards than Chris Walken.

I think Walken is a very focused, committed actor, in his own spacey way. But the SNL scripts get changed so much, right up to air-time, that there's simply no way to learn lines. I think Walken is one of their best hosts, because he's so deeply weird that he makes every sketch crackle. He's no longer the kind of A-list star they like to have as host, but I wish they'd bring him back. There's nothing "blah" about that guy!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:51 AM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Why was Ego only in one sketch? In an episode with so many group sketches, I was surprised to only see her face in the dance battle one!
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 8:30 AM on October 8, 2018

I loved the Cleopatra one, it just really tickled my funny bone.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:08 AM on October 8, 2018

Several times a year SNL introduces me to a host or musical guest that I've never heard of before. Once or twice a year I want to go track down other stuff they've done and that's the case with Awkwafina. She was great and had nice range. She also did a traditional monologue without going to walk-ons, song and dance numbers, or other dumb tricks and I thought it was great. Nothing stood out for me as amazing but I thought the whole show was really solid and funny.

I'm really glad we haven't seen Baldwin (or anyone) playing Trump yet this year. It got very old and I started skipping them every week. I'm not opposed to having an impersonation once in a while, but the cold open nearly every week burned it out for me.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:11 AM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm embarrassed to admit that my husband and I laughed until we cried at the pumpkin patch skit. We are 12.

I also liked Pete Davidson's segment on Weekend Update. I appreciate how open he is about his mental health struggles. I think it's important that he talks about it.
posted by Aquifer at 10:48 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I do too, I just wish he was a good comedic actor.
posted by rhizome at 11:08 AM on October 9, 2018

Has Beck Bennett played Mitch McConnell before and I've just forgotten? When he showed up in the cold open, the combo of the facial prosthetics and what Bennett was doing with his eyes and mouth made the resemblance startling.

I liked that the "Presidential alerts" turned into a dig at Cricket Wireless at the end...They've been writing endings so poorly lately that when an ending actually lands I really appreciate it.

And I loved Awkwafina's sincere story in here monologue about trying to get into the audience when Lucy Liu had hosted...I had a little lump in my throat, and it seemed like her voice might break so I was getting ready to tear up some, but instead I laughed at her shouting "Be my friend!" under the applause.
posted by doctornecessiter at 12:17 PM on October 9, 2018

So far it's been an acceptable-to-good year, with some shining parts to it. I love the new opening credits. I think they're the most visually striking since the days of Hartman & Lovitz & Dunn & Hooks.

First, nothing against Travis Scott—but Awkwafina should have doubled as the musical guest. Everyone in the Travis Scott area of the Venn Diagram today is trying to sound like some sort of ethereal beat-less version of Migos. I don't listen to words so much, so this just sounded like Autotune over some washy background. It almost could have been Enya to me. I understand why some people would smoke up and chill out to Mr. Scott's musings, but given my small sample of the music, it doesn't provoke any feelings in me.

Awkwafina was a good-enough host. She had good energy. But the episode felt a bit lazy. Another Baby Shower with unexpected rude guest sketch? Another "Women in Film" sketch that I think makes all the opposite points of what it is trying to make? I like Kate McKinnon in most things, but not as that recurring character.

There were highlights! I did love the Dance Battle sketch because of my affinity for 70's game-show music, and all the desk pieces were great. I could watch the Trump Brothers do anything. I am happy that Pete is getting more desk-time, and that he's been living up to the hype. WU's been solid lately, not off the charts, but plain ol' good. The Ted Cruz rally hit the right notes, taking the whole "mic feedback and awkwardness" trope and adding the right accents, from the wet ball of confetti to the flat basketball.

The other sketches were okay, good, pretty funny, etc.

But the pumpkin-fucking sketch was inspired. Any questions?
posted by not_on_display at 6:18 PM on October 10, 2018

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