Saturday Night Live: Harry Styles / Harry Styles
November 17, 2019 1:14 AM - Season 45, Episode 6 - Subscribe

First time hosting.

  • Cold Open - Days of our Impeachment: Cecily Strong, Jon Hamm, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffatt, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson
  • Monologue: Harry Styles
  • White Get Out: Heidi Gardner, Harry Styles, Melissa Villaseñor, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd
  • Joan: Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Harry Styles
  • Childbirth Class: Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Mikey Day, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Harry Styles
  • Airliner: Mikey Day, Harry Styles, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang
  • That's the Game: Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Harry Styles
  • Harry Styles - Lights Up
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Jeff Sessions: Kate McKinnon
    • Dean Foods President of Milk Production Scooter Reinholdt: Kyle Mooney
  • Sara Lee: Harry Styles, Bowen Yang, Cecily Strong
  • Baby Faye: Beck Bennett, Harry Styles, Mikey Day, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant
  • Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar
  • DJ Casket Twins: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Harry Styles, Chris Redd, Alex Moffatt, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson

posted by rhizome (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Harry's voice hearing it for the first time. I wonder if his music is good.
posted by bleep at 10:56 AM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I only caught the post-Weekend Update stuff (which is the reverse of how I usually watch it) but I was incredibly amused by almost all of it, even if the Funeral DJs never landed exactly as well as it should have.

Having grown up wondering what insulting gay joke on Saturday Night Live people were going to use in reference to me in junior high, I'm always going to support in 2019 something as unapologetically gay as the Sara Lee sketch. The fact that Harry Styles being in it led to "GETTING RAILED TO DEATH" trending on Twitter is just icing on the pound cake.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:58 AM on November 17, 2019 [8 favorites]

70s glam is my aesthetic so I've become heavily invested in Harry Styles, man of fashion. I was not disappointed. I was not disappointed at all. I was surprised, though, at how much I enjoyed the episode! He was having so much fun with everything and the sketches were good.

During Joan, I gave skritchies to my dog, who was snoring on the couch next to me. The spot I was skritchying happened to be one of the shaved spots from a recent, expensive stay at the emergency vet after she ate something she shouldn't have, so I was really feeling the ending there!
posted by Ruki at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, One Direction came about after the point where I decided my interest in boy bands went from "charmingly gay" to "unseemly" so I am not really that aware of them, but in my role of Gay Pop Culture Uncle to the youth of today, I have positive feelings about the children-becoming-adults having Harry Styles as their object of desire. He seems like a good balance of things without a lot of the toxicity of my generation.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:25 PM on November 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

He is very charismatic and did a nice job, and I thought the show was successful. Never hurts to see Jon Hamm. But, I was pretty sad, as a middle-aged childless woman, to see two sketches make fun of that demographic. : /
posted by Glinn at 2:35 PM on November 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

This one was kind of a slog for me and I'm surprised to see that the reviews seem pretty positive. (I'm starting to wonder if I'm from a different planet than the AV Club reviewer. He seems to hate everything I like, and vice versa.) The cold open was weak and it's weird and a little distressing that they're regularly making jokes about what a checked-out, ghostly presence Pete Davidson has become on the show. I was never his biggest fan but it seems like something is really wrong with the guy these days and it's weird how he keeps dropping by for these cameos where the joke is that he's hardly on the show anymore and looks spacey and unwell. Here the joke was that he can't even remember what character he's playing!

The filmed bits were good but the live stuff was pretty weak. Like, the premises were OK, the kind of stuff SNL has made work plenty of times before, but the laughs weren't there. I kept getting that feeling they joked about on The Simpsons way back when, when Krusty the Clown is hosting SNL and about 15 seconds into some listless bit he groans, "Ugh, this goes on for another six minutes." Every sketch kind of felt like the last sketch of the night, and not in the good way. It also seemed like there were more technical problems than usual, weird camera movements and LOTS of bonking noises in the first half hour or so. It was like the show had noisy neighbors.

Will Farrell next week. I'll probably check it out because I seem constitutionally incapable of not watching SNL, but the show's current doldrums plus Will Ferrell sounds like a long, long watch.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:50 PM on November 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I liked it overall. Harry's not much of an actor, but he was into it enough to smooth over many rough spots, such as obviously staring at cue cards. Not a lot of flubbed lines and a lot of it was played with a knowing wink, which is more than I can say for some other hosts. "Nervous but relaxed" is how I'd characterize his flow, and I don't think he cracked more than a stifle the whole night.

Cold Open was under-written. I like the idea, but it needs...well, what it probably needs most is fewer characters. The monologue was "fine," as fine as his music.

I liked the childbirth class, totally a list of "fish out of water" riffs and nobody else had more than a couple lines and reaction shots, but it was simply silly enough and some of the bits were not bad. Enthusiasm carried it for sure, and the "we learned English from Instagram" thing worked really well.

That's the Game was not quite as good as Joan, but better than the C grade Airliner sketch, which I think was the worst sketch of the night. I wanted Baby Faye to be so much better than it was, and I love centerpiece-Cecily sketches, but ultimately it was a 10 to 10-to-1 sketch. DJ Casket Twins needed a bit more weed in the writer's room. Or less. Either would have probably made an improvement. White Get Out was good but still needed some massage.

Weekend Update is really annoying me these days: wayyyyy too much personality. However, Scooter Reinholdt was the character of the night for me. I rewound it a couple times just to get all the lines, and Hyper Kyle is a great character.

As for the tenor of the show, I think practically the entire crowd was there for Harry like it was for BTS, so the audience's effect was muted. I think I laughed more than the crowd did, and that's OK.
posted by rhizome at 3:50 PM on November 17, 2019

This was a terrible episode. Woof.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:15 PM on November 17, 2019

Was pleasantly surprised by Styles.

I enjoyed 'Childbirth Class' more than I expected, but that's probably from my latent racist/ ignorance of Icelanders - birthed from my limited understanding of the founder effect (read: incest) of physical beauty and survivability (athleticism), and a historical isolation that allowed a different social equilibrium to stabilize.

Really tickled by 'That's the Game.' Giving Redd more screen time is always good, and Thompson shows that he knows when to colour within the lines and when to tease the 4th wall. Probably reading waay too deep into Redd's character's eye scar; on the surface it reads as "hard" - but I read it as "lucky" and "was in a situation over his head" not to lose function in an eye, and that's why Homo sapiens still have eyebrows/ ridges coming off our occular orbitals, and to a lesser extend cheekbones.

I'm a "bleeder" (in boxing terms - prone to impact derived epidermal tears) and most ofl my eye-/ brow- ridge scarring has all been because of stupid shit.

'Airliner' was technically proficient and Day does the languid accent perfectly.

Thought that this was a pretty epic 'Weekend Update' - Che pretty much digs on Jost along the lines that fanfare.mefi has been chastising me for arguing against digging on Jost. And it works, since this felt a lot more pre-scripted and everyone was ok with it, compared to a sketch that felt more like an ambush/ unexpected calling out where Jost wasn't ready to respond - in order to make him uncomfortable just for laughs rather than to make a point to laugh about.

It was definitely punching down on Miller/ White supremacists' physical appearance but used punching (and calling out hypocrisy is almost always fine) up to Jost as a counterweight? He definitely knew the gameplan that was being executed.

fwiw, fuck Miller and his ilk.
posted by porpoise at 5:54 PM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I dunno, kind of poor to middling? Some good stuff, like That's The Game, but seemed like a lot of the sketches needed more work. The airliner sketch seems like it would've worked better with more (or all) the focus on the passengers reacting, rather than giving the pilots so much screen time. DJ Casket (twins?) absolutely needed to end with the realization that Grandma would've actually loved this, but they needed a better way to convey that than Beck just saying so. Baby Faye kinda burned its one joke before it even started.

On the plus side, Kyle did great on Weekend Update, and it was nice to see them switch up their normal social media intern formula.
posted by ckape at 6:46 PM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Middling show, I don't even remember The Game.
It was nice not having an obvious misogynist joke from Che for a change though.
posted by Marticus at 1:25 PM on November 18, 2019

He seems to hate everything I like, and vice versa.

Ha, and I am the opposite. I really like getting to come in to FanFare because I think there are often a lot of different opinions on how the show went. We really liked the first part of the show (opener was good but maybe a little busy, Heidi fainting was funny) and then it started to draaaaag. I appreciated that Styles was up for doing a lot of stuff and I felt like he was a good host. But also agree that there were a lot of odd technical things (Kyle got milk right on his mic but it seemed to be fine) and many of the last few sketches (I liked DJ Casket Twins) were just not good. Like I'm not sure what Baby Faye was going for, and I agree with rhizome that I love Cecily sketches but "Mom is a jerk to kid" sketches always kind of leave me flat, may be my own thing.

I think one of the hardest parts was that I really liked White Get Out (esp the ending) and I felt that it and The Game were the strongest sketches and then... bah. Harry's music isn't my thing but he seemed to do fine at it. Agree that the audience was probably there for him and not the usual SNL thing. And Sessions... I'm tired of that routine. Kate's a talent but I feel there's not that much you can get out of that bit. Che's thing with Colin-as-Better-White-Supremacist, I mean... he's right. Miller's a weird troll and there were better ways to drag on him but I appreciated that part of the joke.
posted by jessamyn at 2:43 PM on November 19, 2019

I've been trying to get my DH to watch Get Out so I couldn't explain the White Get Out skit. Not yet anyway.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:23 PM on November 19, 2019

Heidi fainting was funny

Honestly like 80% of why I enjoyed this episode so much was residual good feeling from how much I loved Heidi Gardner's reactions in the first two sketches. She really stole the cold open.
posted by solotoro at 10:51 AM on November 23, 2019

The Sara Lee sketch is just instantly iconic.
posted by storytam at 9:01 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

"Must get rid of toxic in the community" made me fucking die laughing and I've been saying it around twice an hour ever since
posted by en forme de poire at 6:19 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

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