Saturday Night Live: John Mulaney / Thomas Rhett
March 3, 2019 1:12 AM - Season 44, Episode 14 - Subscribe

10 months since Mulaney last hosted.

  • Cold Open - Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villseñor, Ben Stiller, Bill Hader, Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffatt, Ego Nwodim
  • Monologue - John Mulaney
  • What's That Name? - John Mulaney, Cecily Strong, Bill Hader, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffatt, Melissa Villseñor
  • Toilet Death Ejector - John Mulaney, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner
  • Shark Tank - Pete Davidson, Cecily Strong, John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffatt, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Chris Redd
  • Unknown Caller - Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, John Mulaney
  • Cousin's Wedding - Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, John Mulaney, Chris Redd, Leslie Jones
  • Thomas Rhett - Look What God Gave Her
  • Weekend Update - Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Smokery Farms - Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant
  • Big Nick's Bodega - Chris Redd, Pete Davidson, John Mulaney, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villseñor, Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, Alex Moffatt
  • Cinema Classics - Kenan Thompson, John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon
  • Thomas Rhett - Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time
posted by rhizome (45 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
i feel like there's an alternate universe where mulaney is the head writer of snl and it's the best it's ever been
posted by JimBennett at 1:49 AM on March 3 [16 favorites]


Not gonna lie: a little bummed they had all the pieces to do a Stefon and chose not to.
posted by Etrigan at 4:42 AM on March 3 [9 favorites]


Cut for Time: Dianne Feinstein Message

I thought this was a pretty great episode. The Bodega musical, the cold open—Hader as Jim Jordan was fucking hilarious—Hader in What's That Name? Mulaney was great and his fingerprints are all over these sketches, but Hader really stole the show.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:13 AM on March 3 [11 favorites]


Also, they were missing a crucial piece for a Stefon bit, Seth Meyers.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:19 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


Seth films in 8G. SNL is 8H. I work farther away from the bathrooms than those studios are from each other.
posted by Etrigan at 5:34 AM on March 3 [8 favorites]


Best episode of SNL in recent memory.
posted by gaspode at 6:13 AM on March 3


This is why I watch SNL. 10% is very funny, 85% of it is a slog, and then 5% of the time something like this happens and they hit it out of the park and it happens live.

I don't think there was a dud all night, other than the musical guest.

What was Thomas Rhett anyway? Is he country? It seemed like he was supposed to be country but that was not country. I don't even know what music is anymore.

Did Weekend Update end too quickly? Usually they have two sets of guests. I wonder if they were going to have Stefon and decided not to at the last minute. I'm actually kind of glad he didn't show up. I love Hader and I'm very glad he was there and they used him so much but because he was there everyone was expecting Stefon. Hopefully the'll have Hader host this season because Barry is coming back for Season 2.
posted by bondcliff at 7:49 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I’ll admit it, avclub’s SNL recap has spoiled me. I can watch the highlights, and skip the musical guest.
posted by valkane at 8:18 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


I laughed! More than once! It was wonderfully goofy.
posted by mochapickle at 8:57 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I am so very pleased for John Mulaney. I cannot imagine just how wonderful it must be to stroll into the old office, tell your old boss that you're going to do a bunch of old skits he wouldn't let you do, and that you'll be back in ten months to do it again because it was such a successful show.

WU did end abruptly. After the monologue, it was practically time for the musical guest. Which is fine, because Mulaney's stand-up voice is eerily soothing to me.

I finally got Chad tonight! John Mulaney makes Pete Davidson better! But it was also an anti-Chad Chad skit, so I think that helped.


Are we doing a pool on when he'll host again? I say October, this year.
posted by Ruki at 10:06 AM on March 3 [9 favorites]


What was Thomas Rhett anyway? Is he country?

I'm pretty sure he's the first Christian Music artist ever on SNL.
posted by rhizome at 10:09 AM on March 3


Nah, he’s straight-up country, as inflected with Jesusosity as that often is.
posted by Etrigan at 10:25 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Son of Rhett Atkins. Has a song called "Beer with Jesus."

Hard pass.
posted by Ruki at 10:37 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Mixed thoughts on the cold open - the actual testimony was more entertaining, but I wish they actually went after Jim Jordon more like in the sketch.

Mulaney is delightful. Nice to see Davidson in non-Davidson roles.

McKinnon's Guiliani continues to be the best of her impersonations of the current gang.

Episode felt very edited, like Mulaney didn't want to cut certain skits for time, so other segments got trimmed down.
posted by porpoise at 11:36 AM on March 3


Nah, he’s straight-up country, as inflected with Jesusosity as that often is.

I know about that, but it's not what I heard. Any time there is higher-power imagery and talking about god as a "he," and as a character in the song, I start listening for the tropes. That is, I'm not just saying this because of the song title.

Anyway, good episode! Not my favorite of the season, but good!
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Has a song called "Beer with Jesus."

I’d drink a beer with Jesus. He could turn Coors into...well, anything better.

Not Natty Light, though. :(
posted by Guy Smiley at 2:40 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Re: Weekend Update. I get the distinct impression that someone left the meat tray out on a side table between dress rehearsal and live. Say, twelve to twenty-four hours?
posted by Mogur at 3:33 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the whole thing with the obviously stinky meat was funny but weird. Why wasn't it fresh meat? Or prop meat? It seems like the number of technical problems has skyrocketed this season, and I guess the stinky meat was tonight's big gaffe. (Well, that and whatever timing issues put the boring beardy singer guy in the 10-to-1 spot and then had Mulaney rush through the goodnights without any closing credits or anything.)

I'm always delighted to see Mulaney but I thought his last outing was stronger. None of these sketches were duds but the Bodega one was the only sketch that really shined for me. His monologue hit the New York references so hard that parts of it were kind of lost on me. Like, I've never heard the new sirens or the announcers in the subway, so there wasn't much for me to laugh at there beyond the energy of his delivery. I also thought his Bogart impression was disappointingly flat. He wasn't even really trying to sound like Bogie. I mean, everybody's got a Bogart, come on!

I was also disappointed we didn't get Stefon, but it may well be that they just didn't have a great bit for him this time. It did seem kind of obligatory that we'd see him with all the pieces in place like that, but maybe it felt obligatory and they didn't want to just go through the motions. Truth to tell, the character has felt a little "done" since he and Seth got married and went off for their happily ever after. We all want more Stefon but Hader once said something pretty wise when he was asked about a Stefon movie: "You think you want that, but you really don't." I'd rather be left wanting more than seeing the character get the Night at the Roxbury treatment.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:57 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I hang with a crew of problematic bachelors. We call ourselves The Squad.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:28 PM on March 3 [13 favorites]


I cannot imagine just how wonderful it must be to stroll into the old office, tell your old boss that you're going to do a bunch of old skits he wouldn't let you do, and that you'll be back in ten months to do it again because it was such a successful show.

That Classic Movies bit was hilarious and Kate was so good in it, but it 100% felt like it had been written for Kristen Wiig.
posted by mochapickle at 4:34 PM on March 3 [8 favorites]


Maybe it all was already-written sketches from the old days!
posted by rhizome at 4:41 PM on March 3


I hang with a crew of problematic bachelors. We call ourselves The Squad.

This got big laughs. Can someone please explain the reference? TIA
posted by DanSachs at 6:01 PM on March 3


Toilet Death Ejector was a previously cut sketch according to Mulaney's Instagram.

I like Stefon, but didn't miss him tonight.

I'm surprised (in a good way) at the restraint shown in Cousin's Wedding. It's not like the premise was subtle but I feel like most other TV shows (or even SNL) would have wanted to spell it out for the audience. Having Mulaney pull out the MLK church fan and not going to Kenan for a reaction shot? Great job.
posted by Gary at 6:09 PM on March 3 [7 favorites]


I hang with a crew of problematic bachelors. We call ourselves The Squad.

This got big laughs. Can someone please explain the reference? TIA


I don't know if it even is a reference.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:22 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised (in a good way) at the restraint shown in Cousin's Wedding.

That was the sketch of the night for me, and that was before I found out that the Cha-Cha Slide is a real thing.
posted by gladly at 6:37 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


What was the joke of Cousin’s Wedding? Honky square is, in fact, down with African-American culture and people? I don’t know. Seemed like a labored bit to me.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:53 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I hang with a crew of problematic bachelors. We call ourselves The Squad.

This got big laughs. Can someone please explain the reference? TIA


It’s so appropriative and “How do you do, fellow kids” for this guy who’s probably in his 40s to have a “crew” of bros. I feel like at least one draft had “posse” in there instead.
posted by Etrigan at 7:41 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


What was Thomas Rhett anyway? Is he country?

Not that I want to encourage the so-called country stations in defining the genre since they no longer are aware that women make music, but Thomas Rhett is played all the goddamned time on regular country radio.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:41 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Pete Davidson's Michael Avenatti head is really something to see. Impressive.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:46 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I thought the squad was a reference to Leonardo DiCaprio's Pussy Posse.
posted by Ruki at 8:12 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Taylor Swift had a squad, with lots of successful actresses and supermodels.
posted by mochapickle at 9:26 PM on March 3


Having Thomas Rhett on, singing a song where God is a male character and that his love object has "haters," and immediately after "Cousin's Wedding," seemed really gross and blatant on the part of NBC. Like they were trying to placate more right-wing audience members or something.

I haven't seen Green Book, but I got the sense that the people who made these decisions were huge giant fans of Green Book.
posted by witchen at 9:42 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


If it’s any consolation, the top comment on YouTube for the clip of this song is: “This sounds like an algorithm wrote this.” Ha.
posted by mochapickle at 10:38 PM on March 3 [5 favorites]


Pete Davidson's Michael Avenatti

Yeah! And his legs being too long and his knees up by his shoulders when sitting down. And the irrepressible smile/ smirk.
posted by porpoise at 11:56 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Bodega Bathroom and Cinema Classics were amazing!
posted by Pronoiac at 12:41 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


To Have and Have Not made me giggle a lot.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:34 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


It looks like at least some of the sketches on Saturday were old ones, according to John Mulaney's Instagram.
posted by apricot at 9:02 AM on March 4


For me, the funny bit about the "I hang with a group of problematic bachelors. We call ourselves The Squad" is that he was trying so hard to seem better than John Mulaney, but he hangs with problematic bachelors (and is one too, I guess) and they call themselves by a name that douchey college boys calls themselves.
posted by Aquifer at 10:33 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


if anything, to me it seems like a play on the pick up artist/redpill foreveralone scene.
posted by rhizome at 12:04 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


I can't decide if the neatly folded end of the toilet paper roll detracts from the bodega bathroom, because it suggests at least some level of care, or if it adds, because it suggest that the bathroom has literally never been used.

Chad had some real personal growth, recognizing that making Ferguson's life a living hell was his bad.
posted by ckape at 8:29 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]


I liked this episode skit-wise, the music performance was so bad though and it seems like the final sketch got bumped because of it. It was like a horrible amalgam between the worst of a few genres of music packaged into a performer who was made from second hand descriptions of hacky rock-pop-country stars.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:58 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]


I don't understand their music booking strategy at all. With the sole exception of Halsey (my first exposure to her), I've had to fast forward through every musical number for the last year, and this guy was no exception.
posted by Mogur at 4:02 PM on March 5 [2 favorites]


What was the joke of Cousin’s Wedding? Honky square is, in fact, down with African-American culture and people? I don’t know. Seemed like a labored bit to me.

This sketch was hilarious and kind of layered and subtle for SNL.

Joke one: The Cha Cha slide is a real dance, video here, but every dance in the sketch starting with "shoot them dice" was made up for humor.

Joke two: The sketch is set up to look like John is nervous because he is a square white guy going to a black social event. But nope, John is quite familiar with black culture and has black friends, he is just nervous because he is going to his girlfriend's cousin's wedding and thinks he won't know anyone.

Joke three: John is nervous because he thinks he won't know anyone, but he knows a friend, he is good friend's with girlfriend's aunt and his girlfriend's brother.

Joke four: The references to black culture. The idea of John Mulaney carrying a church fan and a back up church fan, and going on a Tom Joyner cruise and Beyonce 1 and Beyonce 2, etc, are all hilarious.

In sum, this sketch was steeped in a subset of black American culture and written by people familiar with that culture who didn't bother to make anything obvious for people who weren't.
posted by brandnewday989 at 6:36 PM on March 5 [17 favorites]


Agree to d.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:45 AM on March 6


Honky square is, in fact, down with African-American culture and people? I don’t know. Seemed like a labored bit to me.

This sketch was hilarious and kind of layered and subtle for SNL.


I thought it fell somewhere in the middle, a cute but kind of trite bit fleshed out with some very specific references that presumably made it funnier to people who weren't me.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:39 PM on March 6


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