Saturday Night Live: Phoebe Waller-Bridge / Taylor Swift
October 6, 2019 1:23 PM - Season 45, Episode 2 - Subscribe

I missed a little of the beginning and the end, in case I missed anything. Actually Taylor Swift's fifth appearance.

  • Cold Open: Beck Bennett, Matthew Broderick, Alex Moffatt, Kate McKinnon
  • Monologue: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • What's Wrong With This Picture: Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Phoebe Waller-Bridge,
  • Love Island: Cecily Strong, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alex Moffatt, Beck Bennett, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman
  • WANU Midday News: Chloe Fineman Waller-Bridge, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd
  • The War In Words: Mikey Day, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • Taylor Swift - Lover
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Elizabeth Warren: Kate McKinnon
    • Chinese Trade Representative Chen Biao: Bowen Yang
    • Supercentenarian News: Mikey Day
  • Royal Romance: Kate McKinnon, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett, Chloe Fineman
  • Taylor Swift - False God
  • Bar: Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Beck Bennett
posted by rhizome (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This was almost unimaginably bad, like the US doppelganger of a good episode. And yet it was marginally better than last week's. I love Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and her monologue was great, unsurprisingly. The rest of this was just junk. I did like Bowen Yang, though. He's really funny.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:52 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]

Bowen Yang was terrific and I think he proved last night that he deserved to be there and not just as a token hire.
posted by cazoo at 2:53 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]

Tough stuff. Bowen Yang was fun, though.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:35 PM on October 6

posted by komara at 5:17 PM on October 6

I didn't think it was terrible but it certainly wasn't a standout episode.

Matthew Broderick seemed a bit out of place. It took me a minute just because he's kind of the last person I expect to see do a cameo on SNL.

What's Wrong With This Picture felt unfinished and so totally wrong for the first non-cold-open sketch of the night.

I liked Love Island.

I always dismissed Taylor Swift but it's pretty obvious she's got some talent. I really liked the set in the first song, with the floating paper all over the place. That sort of thing is so distracting for me though because I spend the entire time trying to figure out how they did it, looking for the strings and whatnot.

I didn't really know anything about Phoebe Waller-Bridge and I guess I still don't. She was ok.

My takeaway from this episode is that Aidy Bryant is a national treasure. But I guess I knew that already.
posted by bondcliff at 5:49 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]

Has Broderick been on as a Trump staffer before? I feel like he has, but there's been so many Trump staffers (and so many guest actors on SNL to play them) that I can't keep track.
posted by ckape at 8:00 PM on October 6

Another middle of the road episode. I didn't dislike it, but I only really laughed at War in Words. The Bar sketch reminded me too painfully of the bar scene in the little town where I spent three years as a teenager and where my parents still live for me to find it funny. I hadn't seen Phoebe Waller-Bridge in anything (though I did see the first season of Killing Eve) and now think I must look her up and check out other things that she's done, so that's something.
posted by orange swan at 9:59 PM on October 6

Has Broderick been on as a Trump staffer before? I feel like he has, but there's been so many Trump staffers (and so many guest actors on SNL to play them) that I can't keep track.

You might be thinking about the episode of 30 Rock where he played a Bush staffer named Cooter Burger.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 7:56 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]

My wife and I are huge Fleabag fans, and we live in NYC, so we originally intended to camp out to try to get tickets to this episode. The Taylor Swift fans started lining up a day early, so that was the end of that plan. In retrospect, I'm glad - I though PWB was great, but this was an aggressively mediocre episode. Bowen Yang made me laugh very hard, so that was a bright spot.
posted by Ragged Richard at 10:31 AM on October 7

This episode was...not great. When The War in Words is one of the best sketches while also being probably the worst WiW so far, it's...not great. What's Wrong With This Picture was indeed pretty weak, which is kind of a bummer because Kenan Gameshows are decently-reliable bits.

We're only two episodes in but I want to say that Aidy and Mikey Day have switched visibility? I don't think there has been any Mikey-Alex team pieces so far this season and Aidy is all over the place, which if I'm not selectively remembering is a pretty great change. Maybe Mikey's just moonlighting in something right now. Only Lorne knows.

I haven't seen either of her shows, but PWB seems great and naturally talented. Maybe she's one of those hosts that just aren't great in a short-form one-take situation, like maybe cue cards make the difference. Taylor Swift was just OK, but I'm getting the feeling I'd feel just about the same after an actual concert of hers, and that maybe that's her overall goal for Taylor Swift The Product.

That sucks, Ragged Richard, they should break up high-attention pairings like that, even though it's only been weeks since the Emmys. I've pretty much given up on SNL booking anybody I haven't heard of though, so that's probably a pipe dream.
posted by rhizome at 11:35 AM on October 7

That sucks, Ragged Richard, they should break up high-attention pairings like that, even though it's only been weeks since the Emmys.

Yeah, my guess is that they initially paired her with Swift because they didn't think she'd be enough of a draw, and then she suddenly won three Emmys.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:30 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

Cut for time - Tampax Secrets.
posted by komara at 12:49 PM on October 7

> Expect the lead up to the election to feature lots of both-sides-ism and gags about whiny millennial feminists named Megan.

McKenzie, this time, but you called it, Ursula Hitler.
posted by Monochrome at 1:26 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

Maybe she's one of those hosts that just aren't great in a short-form one-take situation

I feel like they did a lot of "Have the UK guest do an American accent" pieces. There seemed to be a lot of recycled sketches (Love Island, War in Words, WWWTP) in this one which is a bad sign for so early in the season. Happy the news ran longer than last week and Bowen Yang is treasure and I hope he's soon in everything.

No Melissa (other than the cut for time pre-recorded piece) and no Pete. Swift was fine but I'm used to more energy from her, I loved that set design and the sound generally but enither song made me go "Hey I like this" but I'm past being their target demo. Eagerly looking forward to a post-Che newsroom, btu I liked seeing Kate talk about the bizarre Warren and the BDSM guy thing, because that was ripe for the right kind of laughs.
posted by jessamyn at 7:05 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]

Mikey Day was channeling Tim Kazurinsky on the Supercentenarian News. Aside from that desk piece and Bowen Yang's—the immediate superstar, the Chinese Leslie Jones—this episode and the previous one both struck me as pedestrian at best. Nothing horrendous, but also nothing leaping off the screen.

(Aside from wardrobe coordinators.)
posted by not_on_display at 9:56 AM on October 10

I’m surprised no one’s talking about WAMU Midday News, which was written by Nwodim, Redd, and, yes, Che. I was so excited to see Ego carry a sketch; she was fantastic. I thought it put it a lot of social commentary in an authentically funny way, because it was written by black comedians. I feel like Che pitched it to make a Shane Gillis-related point, and then Ego and Chris actually made it good.
posted by Ruki at 11:00 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]

I like WAMU a lot, but am generally cautious about opining on SNLs comedy about race. Where did you learn who wrote the sketches Ruki?
posted by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on October 11

It was on one of the SNL writers’ twitter.
posted by Ruki at 1:14 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

Bryan Tucker. I can’t figure out how to link tweets on my phone. Retweeted by Ego and Chris.
posted by Ruki at 1:18 PM on October 11

Link to tweet.
posted by not_on_display at 2:06 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

Oh! I have two VIP meet and greet tickets to see Kenan Thompson at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn at 1pm on 12/7 and I’m 90% sure I won’t be able to go. If this is something you might be interested in, MeMail me.
posted by Ruki at 4:19 PM on October 11

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