Saturday Night Live: Steve Carell, Ella Mai
November 19, 2018 3:59 PM - Season 44, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Host: Steve Carell, Musical Guest: Ella Mai

[apologies to DizzyOnBugSpray!]
  • The Ingraham Angle - Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Cecily Strong
  • Opening Monologue - Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Ellie Kemper, Kenan Thompson, Nancy Carell
  • Disney - Steve Carell, Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day
  • Message from Jeff Bezos - Steve Carell
  • Friendsgiving - Steve Carell, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Beck Bennett
  • RBG Rap - Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd, Pete Davidson
  • Space Station Broadcast - Steve Carell, Leslie Jones, Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffat
  • Ella Mai - Boo'd Up
  • Weekend Update - Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Bigfoot Erotica - Mikey Day
    • LaVar Ball - Kenan Thompson
  • 50's Sleepover - Steve Carell, Heidi Gardner, Aidy Bryant
  • Ella Mai - Trip
  • RV Life - Steve Carell, Heidi Gardner, Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon
  • Space Thanksgiving - Steve Carell, Cecily Strong, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Beck Bennett
  • GP Yass - Steve Carell, Heidi Gardner, Cecily Strong
posted by rhizome (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That was not good.
posted by bondcliff at 4:21 PM on November 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I thought it was underwritten, of the six episodes so far it's in the bottom half with Seth Myers and Jonah Hill.

I liked the Bezos thing a lot and "kern cornels" in Space Thanksgiving made me laugh. The Thanksgiving song idea was decent, but everything around it was stiff. Alex Moffats' Zuckerberg could be great, but was a bit too reliant on "ha ha he's a robot" flowstoppers.

I hope they don't ruin the RBG thing. It was already tenuous (though welcome!), and the SNL writer's room hasn't proven they have a very deep well of material there.

I thought Disney and RV Life had some squandered potential.
posted by rhizome at 4:40 PM on November 19, 2018

Yeah, there were a lot of sketches that didn't really take off. Like the Disney one... I could see how it could have worked but just wasn't executed well. Highlights for me were the obvious comedic chemistry between Steve Carell and Heidi Gardner, the RBG rap (despite mostly rehashing old SNL RBG sketches) and, yes, Friendsgiving, which started out reallllly dumb but which I've now inexplicably watched twice.

Also, do we need to send out a search party for Ego? I am tired of only seeing her for 30 seconds tops, especially when other players are dominating the screen with forgettable characters. Is it a bad sign for her SNL longevity that she has been barely featured, or is this pretty normal for newbies?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 4:41 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Steve Carell: GREAT HOST. Did not seem like he was reading off cards, had great timing, etc.

Most Sketches: Uncomfortable or sucked. Fathers doing horrible things. Oddly enough, though, me and my sweetie noted that Michael Che did not dump directly on white girls or brag about his cavalier attitude toward family planning. Nice work, Che!

First song by Ella Mai was great. Second was just so-so.

But yeah, this episode did not jump off the screen at all.
posted by not_on_display at 5:08 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Huh. This one is getting lousy reviews but I thought it was pretty good. It was like the weird, dark sketches that usually get pushed to 12:50 AM were all spread through the show. My only real complaint was I thought the Bezos sketch made him seem too cool with all the Trump-razzing stuff, when in reality Bezos is an asshole. But it was Trump-razzing, so that's always good.

I also noticed that Che cooled it with the woman-bashing this week. I don't know why he did, but I was glad to see it. I felt like the Bigfoot erotica thing was just a little kink-shame-y (I pay my rent writing kink smut on Amazon), but then again it was pretty funny and that guy is a neo-confederate swine so fuck him.

Another week without Baldwin. Is he just gone now? Writing around his absence just feels weird. The show badly needs a Trump. I don't feel like Darrell Hammond would be right, his Trump is too 2006 and not venomous enough. Is it too late to bring back Taran Killam?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:06 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Isn't Alec Baldwin having ah, more legal issues right now?

Is it a bad sign for her SNL longevity that she has been barely featured, or is this pretty normal for newbies?

From what I recall of "Luke Null Watch" at the AV Club every week, yes and yes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:20 PM on November 19, 2018

> > Is it a bad sign for her SNL longevity that she has been barely featured, or is this pretty normal for newbies?

> From what I recall of "Luke Null Watch" at the AV Club every week, yes and yes.

Sasheer Zamata made it 2.5 years as the non-Leslie-Jones black woman (imagine, TWO black women on SNL)—but I think Ego can outlast Sasheer—she seems to have more pop/zing to her 30-second characters. Sasheer had a couple chances at recurring roles, but that was it, and the rest was "the wholesome girl who answers a question in an ensemble piece" or "the other date on the double date". I am hoping Ego can elbow her way into more stuff, rather than those two traps.

I miss the days when Danitra Vance or Ellen Cleghorne could really sink their teeth into a character.
posted by not_on_display at 8:57 PM on November 19, 2018

Kenan Thompson and writer Bryan Tucker were on Good One: A Podcast About Jokes last week to discuss his Lavar Ball Impression. (Bonus: his appearanace on Inside the NBA from last year).
posted by Gary at 9:57 PM on November 19, 2018

I don't think I've even ever seen the real LaVar Ball.
posted by rhizome at 2:31 AM on November 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

At first I thought that was the real Besos.

I loved that Villaseñor kept her alien makeup on for the closer.
posted by porpoise at 10:36 AM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Space Thanksgiving seemed like it was written for the sole purpose of seeing how many cast members would break during it. I think Melissa Villaseñor broke before the camera was even on her. Leslie and Keenan didn't hold up much better.
posted by neilbert at 1:30 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Bezos sketch was a pandering embarrassment. Jost and Che's political takes are consistently trash. The space Thanksgiving sketch was dire, even without the technical difficulties (West coast viewer.) Pete Davidson remains a comedy black hole.

I enjoyed the absurd escalation of the Thanksgiving song sketch. The space station disaster sketch had some great physical comic acting and Leslie Jones pulled off some nice Jack Benny-like slow burns to the camera. The beauty school dropout song sketch had a nice weird premise, but didn't do much with it. Aidy Bryant, as usual, was a highlight.

I liked the RV sketch, mainly because of Heidi Gardner. Of all the current cast members, her talent reminds me the most of Kristen Wiig. I am a fan.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:12 PM on November 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

The RV sketch wasn't funny, but I rewatched it so many times because it was cathartic as fuck. Heidi Gardner saying "This is hell" is all of us.
posted by Ruki at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

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