Saturday Night Live: Sandra Oh / Tame Impala
March 31, 2019 1:33 AM - Season 44, Episode 16 - Subscribe

First time hosting.

  • Cold Open - Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon
  • Monologue - Sandra Oh, Leslie Jones
  • Discover Card - Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd
  • Empire - Sandra Oh, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim
  • The Duel - Sandra Oh, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, Beck Bennett
  • Tishy - Mikey Day, Alex Moffatt, Sandra Oh, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett
  • Putin - Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, Cecily Strong, Alex Moffatt, Heidi Gardner, Sandra Oh
  • Tame Impala - Patience
  • Weekend Update - Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Jeanine Pirro - Cecily Strong
    • Anne McClain, Female Astronaut - Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Beck Bennett
  • Office Birthday - Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, Sandra Oh, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett
  • Cheques - Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim, Sandra Oh
  • Jarvis Fillmore - Kyle Mooney, Leslie Jones, Kenan Thompson, Sandra Oh, Alex Moffatt, Heidi Gardner
  • Tame Impala - Borderline
  • SAT 2s - Aidy Bryant, Sandra Oh, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day
posted by rhizome (15 comments total)
I want to make a shoutout for Oh's vintage (it's almost certainly a repro, though) CBC t-shirt introducing the band's second set.

Liked 'Cheques' - I have two stacks of Cheques from 2018; only used one cheque because a landlord still wanted a verification of bank information even though I e-transfer everything. Also, fond memories of writing silly/ absurd notes in the memos when repaying friends in college.
posted by porpoise at 10:51 AM on March 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

I need to find my checkbook today, as it happens, and when I do, I am absolutely going to write out that check in the most dramatic manner possible.

Cecily's shoes flying off made me giggle like... Well, like Colin Jost, I guess.

Glad to see Pete doing more Not Pete stuff. In two weeks, I'll actually be seeing his stand-up because he and Mulaney are doing a show in PVD.

I liked Discover Card the best.
posted by Ruki at 11:16 AM on March 31, 2019

I'm not familiar enough with "Us" or Empire to include them, but at the very least the run from The Duel up through Weekend Update was probably the best stretch they've done all season. I was on the fence about Tishy at first but I think they pulled it out. I wish the Jarvis Fillmore centered less on Jarvis Fillmore and more on the Roots of Rock infomercial, a thing that has been ripe for ages (though I think there was a Kristen Wiig take on it once?).

Over all, Putin, Cheques, and SAT 2 were the highlights for me. Tame Impala and WU were good, too. I don't often LOL at WU, but both the add-ons were great and the news parts worked better than they ususally do, even with glitches/breaking. Cecily seems to be putting some work into developing her Pirro more, which is great.

I use checks all the time! I write at least one every month, and I just had to order a new box of...god dammit, somewhere along the line my checks started coming in books of 23 instead of 25! Anyway, it looks like a book of 253 lasts me about a year and a half, because I save my registers.
posted by rhizome at 12:37 PM on March 31, 2019

I thought this was mostly a dud of an episode. Sandra Oh was great and seemed game for anything though. I don't really know much about her but she was very funny.

I enjoyed Aidy as Anne McClain, even if they got some of the facts wrong (McClain did a spacewalk herself a couple of weeks ago). It was a funny bit and, I dunno, I have a soft spot for SNL doing actual astronauts. "I'm Nick."

Tishy was funny but it had the usual SNL "we don't know how to end this sketch" thing at the end.

I only saw Tame Impala's first performance but... boring. I was kind of excited to see a bunch of long hairs with guitars and then they began and it was like 70s yacht rock or something. I guess I just have to accept the fact that I am old and don't get current music. That's ok.
posted by bondcliff at 1:01 PM on March 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

> I guess I just have to accept the fact that I am old and don't get current music. That's ok.


As for the episode: Here are my impressions, as messy in writing as this episode was in execution: WHAAAAT was that! The most uneven show ever. When it was funny, it was hilarious. When it wasn't, it was like I had to literally distract myself—for example the birthday kissing sketch? Possibly the worst since that elves-fucking sketch from a year or two ago. And I swear Kate McKinnon is venturing into WIIG territory if she keeps making fun of old ladies. STICK TO PLAYING GIULIANI igotbooedatayankeesgame! Two thirds of the way through that sketch I was like, Hey look, they have a Keurig too. Hey I recognize those jars. What does the sign on the fridge say? I don't wanna watch this sketch.

I loved Kyle's impassioned football player at the end, and how the camera made sure they caught Pete right behind him covering up his laughter. And what was with all the extras in that sketch! AND THE NEWS! They were really trying to press people's buttons, and it was great. I was concerned for Cecily's safety!

But then there was that goddamn Electric Shoes sketch and maaaaaaan talk about the worst episode of "What's Up With That".

All the films—Discover Card, Checques, and the Duel—brilliant. That sketch about that Empire actor? Unnecessary. Beck Bennett as Putin, yes, and that sketch, yes (but it'd have been stepped up a notch maybe if Sandra played our dear leader). But Beck Bennett as a creepoid, he plays that uncomfortably well.

Tishy! The 4Loko and the arm in the cast sold that one—but that ending: SHE OWNED SAMSUNG? COME ON That broke my delicate sense of suspended disbelief. (Yes, I believed the enchanted mirror, Tishy, everything, up to that point, really existed. I was in that liminal space which good television provides its audience. And then it came all crashing down.) OK that was my classroom sketch soliloquy

Sandra was adequate for the rest of the episode.

tame impala more like lame impala amirite
srsly strap on the guitars and quit fucking with your ear monitor
awww who forgot to plug in the guitar goddamit
also paul giamatti on congas saves the day

Goodbye Robert DeNiro playing reading cue cards as Bob Mueller. Off with ya! like Cecily's shoe!
posted by not_on_display at 8:01 PM on March 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

I don't disagree, not_on_display.

Bobby DeNiro looks but doesn't own the part.

This 'Kiss' sketch was cringe throughout. Not appropriate, not believable (based on a grade 12 grad 'party in the woods' experience, 22 years ago).

I forwarded through 'Electric Shoes' (but loved 'Space Pants' in a previous Peter Dinklage episode). The musical guest was even worse than usual?

Tishy - I was ok with it, but "I own Samsung" is super weak, since it's a family Chaebol. But I forgave it, because its a decent punchline for a suffering Mooney.

I felt Oh was feeling out of her territory and borrowed from Awkwafina's self parodies. But she looked hella looser in this sketch than she usually is, as herself. I hope she had fun doing that sketch.

It was definitely out of character and she pulled it off with style.
posted by porpoise at 10:16 PM on March 31, 2019

I thought Sandra Oh was great. About 10% of the time I've never heard of the host and this was one of those. I looked her up on IMDb and I've just never seen her in anything. But as with most of those times now I want to look up more of her stuff.

I didn't really like anything before Update though The Duel was ok. I liked everything from Cheques on quite a bit. Tishy had promise but wasn't quite there and had such a weird ending.

Cecily Strong as Pirro was fantastic. Aidy Bryant as Anne McClain was not great. I don't know what the weird speech pattern was (maybe Anne McClain speaks like that?) but it was also just too far from reality to work for me. She has spacewalked before so most of it made little sense. Also, she's still in space but they had her at the desk and her crew mates still in space? It was just weird.

And I swear Kate McKinnon is venturing into WIIG territory

A lot of what McKinnon and Wiig do I don't like or just don't understand and I don't get the huge love for either of them but with both of them when they're good they're SO GOOD and then I get it. It might be that they're so good that they're overused so they end up getting the weird stuff that doesn't work but anybody else might be even worse in it. McKinnon's quiet but strange old lady characters are kind of like Gilly - it didn't work and was uncomfortable the first time so let's do it 20 more times and not really change it up.

The musical guests are mostly a good time to get a snack and let the dog out. This week was no exception.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:25 AM on April 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I find Kenan’s showcase bits one-dimensional, self-absorbed, and self-satisfied. No thanks.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:44 AM on April 1, 2019

I’m just here to say I love Cheques.
posted by Monochrome at 9:03 AM on April 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Duel was a variation of Monty Python's Holy Grail Black Knight bit. I have a bit of a soft spot for that level of absurdity so I kind of liked it, along with Tishy. Cheques was just brilliant and the best part of the episode.

I also very much enjoyed this skit, cut for time, called College Admissions.

If you are unfamiliar with Sandra Oh, just drop what you're doing right now and go binge Killing Eve. THE BEST TV OF 2018.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:40 PM on April 1, 2019

"Don't forget the line after the amount or God knows how many zeroes they'll add"
posted by rhizome at 1:52 PM on April 1, 2019 [5 favorites]

> borrowed from Awkwafina's self parodies

Thought that too, but ❤️ Awk, so loved it.

Just saw Us after running across a review that claimed it wasn't too scary (the trailer gave me the heebie jeebies) and the Discover Card sketch was perfect and actually kind of an interesting comment on the premise of the movie & our morlock/eloi service economy.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 3:46 PM on April 1, 2019

> Duel was a variation of Monty Python's Holy Grail Black Knight bit.

With a bit of o' Bugs & Daffy duck season rabbit season hijinks. I think it worked on a lot of levels.
posted by not_on_display at 5:12 PM on April 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I wanted more "Pete Davidson's character doesn't know how to duel"
posted by rhizome at 7:20 PM on April 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I also very much enjoyed this skit, cut for time, called College Admissions.

That may have been the strongest piece in the set. Seems like the cast spent a day at a fancy mansion recording The Duel and Cheques (my other fave, I wrote checks all the time, they are like money here!) and didn't quite have it left in them for the rest of the bits which seemed... sort of weirdly negative in a lot of spots. Like I get that the duel was a takeoff on Monty Python but it's different if the person getting blown to pieces isn't a bad person but is a random woman in a nice dress getting shot by dudes. To me, anyhow.

Same thing with that stupid Jarvis thing. It's Kenan being Kenan which is funny, but the undercurrent is this amazing (so we're told) woman is getting screwed over. Tishy is all about how gross this woman is and why is a decently hot guy with her. Office Birthday was super super gross and I love McKinnon but am tired of her older person characters. I've loved Sandra Oh since I saw her in Last Night last century but I don't think she was well-used in this bad bad show. I am just happy she seemed to have a good time.
posted by jessamyn at 11:16 AM on April 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

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