Saturday Night Live: Kristen Stewart/Coldplay
November 4, 2019 10:55 AM - Season 45, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Kristen Stewart wears a lot of wigs and Coldplay hides dancers in the audience.

Cold Open: "Elizabeth Warren" McKinnon, Gardner, Strong, Moffatt, Villaseñor, Fineman
Monologue: Kristen Stewart, Davidson, Bennett, Mooney
America At War: Day, Bennett, Fineman, Stewart, Bryant, McKinnon
Short film: Duolingo for Talking to Children: Stewart, Bryant, Moffat, Thompson, Gardner, Mooney
Farrows Ball: Bennett, Bryant, Mooney
Hero Dog: Strong, McKinnon, Gardner, Day, Thompson, Bryant, Redd
Corporate Life music video: Day, Stewart, Mooney, Bennett, Davidson
Music: Coldplay: "Orphans" dancers!
Weekend Update: Jost, Che, Aryant, McKinnon, Vilaseñor, Gardner
Jury Deadlock: nearly everyone
Baltimore Club: Nwodim, Thompson, Stewart, Bennett
Music: ColdPlay: “Everyday Life”
Astrology: Bennett, Stewart, Day, Bryant, Moffatt
posted by jessamyn (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I liked the Duolingo commercial.

The Monologue was kind of weak. She was really good last time she was on, if I recall correctly, so I'm not sure what happened this time.

I really don't remember most of the sketches. Were they just that forgettable?

They're getting a lot of mileage out of the "dog in sketch does a thing that dogs do" stuff lately.

I don't get Coldplay. They're perfectly harmless, I suppose, but there's nothing at all even remotely interesting about their music, is there? It's like elevator music if recorded by U2 during their most boring years.

I do appreciate when the musical guest does some kind of interesting performance, and it seems like they're doing that more lately.

I LOVED the little girl in the Weekend Update sketch but I couldn't tell who it was. She played it so well. Was that Melissa?
posted by bondcliff at 11:09 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I liked Farrows & Ball very much. There wasn't that much there, but for whatever reason the over pronunciation of colour and labour worked on me. It helped a LOT that they delivered it all straight and didn't corpse. I can imagine a lot of other cast members past and present ruining that one.

The raw meat/fish that's been sitting backstage all day bit on WU was pretty funny the first time and ok this time. I hope they don't try it again because there doesn't seem to be much left to that bit.

I like Kristin Stewart pretty well in general and she's great on SNL but it's really surprising how much better she is on pre-recorded bits (Duolingo and Corporate Life were both great) than live. She seems to really hold focus on the queue cards a lot. That's true of most hosts but much more so with her. She doesn't break constantly or take herself too seriously so she's better than a lot of hosts.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:45 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


There was nothing about this episode that I really enjoyed, and a lot that was just flat and or questionable. But above everything else: get rid of Michael Che. He had at least three jokes during Update that were just atrocious and make me think about what a miserable and juvenile person he must be to think that those words were funny.
posted by komara at 12:14 PM on November 4 [10 favorites]


Duolingo and Corporate Life both made me laugh a lot, I loved Farrow & Ball (especially Aidy's affirmation that she was drunk), and I liked the twist at the end of Baltimore Club. Interesting that the last two sketches of the night were all about "older people having 'weird' sex lives."

And yeah, Che continues to be rough, and not in a "but Norm Macdonald could get away with it" way. He is grating and unfunny along with other problematic writers, not in spite of them.
posted by witchen at 12:27 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


I liked Farrows & Ball very much.

Yeah I did not think I would (I very much hate the "Family gets together and starts yelling at each other over trivial nonsense" brand of sketch because I lived it and it wasn't funny) but it was weird enough that I enjoyed it, straight through til topless Kyle at the end.
posted by jessamyn at 12:51 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Duolingo is one of the best prerecorded's in recent memory. So good!

It's like elevator music if recorded by U2 during their most boring years

I always thought of them as Radiohead with all the weird stuff filtered out.
posted by rhizome at 1:16 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


color

velour

colour
posted by Monochrome at 1:33 PM on November 4


Please let me know if somebody really invents Duolingo for kids. I actually really like (other people's) children (mostly) but you'd hardly know it based on how I'm somehow even more awkward around kids I don't know than I am around adults I don't know.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:53 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Loved the Duolingo sketch but I would have loved an extra tag on the Duolingo for Talking to Your Dad bit with Kyle Mooney saying something like, "so...did you see that World War II documentary?"
posted by acidnova at 2:28 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Hah that would indeed have been great. They could make a Totino's series out of it! I suspect the "my guys" commercials were paid placements, so I suppose it could depend on how much $$ Duolingo has. Heck, maybe this one instance was also an ad! As long as SNL can make something truly funny out of it, I don't mind so much.

And absolutely the "...for Kids" was a bullseye in my interpersonal skills. Kids are like a different species! Maybe I should take this to AskMe.
posted by rhizome at 3:00 PM on November 4


They could make a Totino's series out of it! I suspect the "my guys" commercials were paid placements

Kristen Stewart was in one of the Totinos ones last time she hosted, and it was glorious.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:49 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I thought that Stewart was better last time (famously, the haircut sketch).

Sneaking suspicion she may have a depressive disorder of some kind, making it easier not to corpse?

Absolutely, Bryant: "Yes I am!"
posted by porpoise at 3:53 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


This episode hooked me early on for the single reason that the first sketch, Farrow and Ball, was bizarre enough to be any other episode’s ten-to-one sketch.

SNL, I currently watch you out of a sense of obligation. If Farrow and Ball were your baseline, I would sing your praises!

Anyway, Kristen acquitted herself well, and it was great to see a lot of Aidy happening. Kate gets tons of deserved attention but I think Aidy clearly deserves to be a breakout star.
posted by ejs at 10:43 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I'm totally on board with Aidy getting much more work. She's good at playing a wide range of emotions. She plays that midwestern charm with a hint of evil mischief in the corner, and mostly a good heart.

Kristin Stewart was a good host I thought. She brought a kinda harmless but surly punk edge to the show. A lot of the sketches were a little overlong, but most of them had a good concept at the core, and good execution.

I also agree with Che being in the mold of Norm, or Dennis Miller—trying to push the boundaries, but sometimes falling flat on his face, and making it worse by trying to climb out of it with an adlib. I give him credit for trying, but at least one joke per episode, I think, "Come on, was that really necessary?" I like him MUCH better when he speaks truth to power than when he punches down at whoever.

And yes, the little girl was Melissa. Oh god that piece made me wince but laugh at the same time. Heidi Gardner should have a long tenure at the show.
posted by not_on_display at 12:04 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I don't know if it's just the way they play it, but the Jost/Che gimmick seems to be that they're reading the stories for the first time on-air? I'm not sure if that's better than "OH COME ON" faux-surprise, and this may be colored by that time (last ep of season 44?) they explicitly did it, but there's something about the way their bits go over the edge that feels played-up.
posted by rhizome at 8:07 AM on November 5


Some of the stories, they are reading for the first time on air. A lot changes between dress and on-air, especially with the news—it's much more easy to interchange pieces in that format than it is in a regular sketch format. So when they cut to Jost, and he's just looking down at his papers with a grimace, or if when the cut to Che, he has a seemingly ad-libbed rejoinder to one of Jost's stories, I believe it's not rehearsed.

LIVE TV IS DANGEROUS, FOLKS!
posted by not_on_display at 5:15 PM on November 5


Stewart was great if only because she seemed to have actually memorized her lines and was acting the part, rather than the usual "obviously reading cuecards and muddling through" approach most hosts take.

WU was pretty funny. We lost it when Che went into his "alternate jokes about the 67-year-old mother that corporate nixed" act.

......................
~I don't know if it's just the way they play it, but the Jost/Che gimmick seems to be that they're reading the stories for the first time on-air?

The way the show is put together, it may well be that some of the WU jokes/acts aren't completely formed until just before air. It certainly feels like it, anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


The way the show is put together, it may well be that some of the WU jokes/acts aren't completely formed until just before air.

Historically, this is the case. Stuff changes between dress and air. But that's how it's always been, and Jost and Che -- who are now the longest-tenured duo in WU history -- just haven't settled into the role.
posted by Etrigan at 6:13 AM on November 6


Jost and Che -- who are now the longest-tenured duo in WU history

Sometimes I still wish Cecily Strong warmed up to the job when co-hosting with Seth Myers and Colin Jost. See this clip from January 2014 for example, just before Seth left SNL.
posted by not_on_display at 12:29 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


What a different time back then in 2014.

Great sketch to choose, btw (or was that her only? I didn't watch SNL regular until shortly after 2014?) - Strong and Myers looked like they had some complementary chemistry, enjoying spinning off corpsings.

I'm not a fan of Che bullying Jost, and no matter how meta you dig into it, Che's still being an ass to Jost almost every week and sometimes it feels like it actually cuts a little deep.

Jost tries to dig back sometimes, but I can't recall a single one that's actually cutting.

But Jost and Che closing out WU and Strong and Myers fist bumping each other out.
posted by porpoise at 6:29 PM on November 6


Colin Jost is attempting to marry Scarlett Johansson right now, he's not getting cut by anything on the show.

Jost tries to dig back sometimes, but I can't recall a single one that's actually cutting.

"Cutting ripostes" is not what I'd call A Colin Thing.
posted by rhizome at 8:20 PM on November 6


Can we at least agree that Colin Jost is one of the Luckiest Men Alive™? To do so little (what is his weekly workload, really?) and have so much. Must be nice.
posted by witchen at 10:43 PM on November 6


He's from Staten Island, private school educated, went to Harvard, etc. He's been with SNL since 2005. I like the guy just fine, but it's a combination of luck, privilege, and grooming.
posted by jessamyn at 6:42 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]


Whereas with Che, it was Manhattan, a magnet high school, then did standup since 2009, started at SNL in 2013 and a quick stint on the Daily Show in 2014 before being picked to host WU. Less privilege and grooming, but lots of luck and talent. (Named after Che Guevara, too!)

So sometimes Che's punching down, agreed. Sometimes he's punching upward, too.

As each WU duo (or host) has had their own unique style, I think it's great to see Jost and Che—having grown up practically next door to each other, yet having wildly different upbringings—working so well together as a team. I think they have flow, timing, balance, and they play off each other well and easily. And this, not in spite of, but because of their differences. Not an easy thing to do during our zeitgeist. They come off like they genuinely enjoy working with each other. You may despise Che, but we're in some heavy and nuanced times here, and Che's working both sides in the name of comedy.

(I think the problem people have is that they're both definitely in the "intellectual bro culture" area of the Venn Diagram of Comedy, which has always gotten off partially on thoughtless downward-punching. My take's they're in the more thoughtful section of that general broad brushstroke, but still, sometimes they get it right, sometimes they blow it, and sometimes... well, it's a toughie!)
posted by not_on_display at 10:25 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Also, best episode recap: Kristen Stewart wears a lot of wigs and Coldplay hides dancers in the audience.

Sometimes this is all I need to know.
posted by not_on_display at 1:46 PM on November 8


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