Saturday Night Live: Will Ferrell / King Princess
November 24, 2019 11:00 AM - Season 45, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Lots of cameos!

  • Cold Open: Alec Baldwin, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney, Will Ferrell
  • Monologue: Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Tracy Morgan
  • Heinz Relax: Will Ferrell, Beck Bennett, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Democratic Debate: Melissa Villaseñor, Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph, Colin Jost, Larry David, Rachel Dratch, Woody Harrelson, Chris Redd, Bowen Yang, Will Ferrell, Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong
  • Thanksgiving 1600s: Beck Bennett, Melissa Villaseñor, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Fred Armisen
  • Party At My House Tonight: Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffatt, Will Ferrell, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman
  • Pizza Commercial: Mikey Day, Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney
  • King Princess - 1950
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Guy Who Just Bought A Boat - Alex Moffatt, Ryan Reynolds
  • Cinema Classics: Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffatt, Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, Will Ferrell, Chris Redd, Chloe Fineman
  • King Princess - Hit the Back
  • Wally Culpepper & Chippy: Alex Moffatt, Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong

Cut for time: Episode YouTube playlist
posted by rhizome (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wizard Of Oz alternate ending was great, reminded me of the fabled lost ending of It’s A Wonderful Life.
posted by migurski at 11:05 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

i'm just here for king princess gah
posted by lazaruslong at 11:57 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am a total sucker for when they bring back a whole bunch of old cast members and other people doing cameos. Good episode.

I had to laugh when Ferrell started doing Tracy Morgan. That whole monologue was nice and absurd.

Thanksgiving 1600 was sorta cringy yet also funny. I see what they were going for. I liked the disclaimer at the end. |

No real opinion about King Princess. Nice to see some guitars and shit for a change.
posted by bondcliff at 2:32 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm not exactly a Will Ferrell fan (I can never really forgive him for his SNL era of endlessly recurring, one-joke characters like those freaking cheerleaders) but he was good here and he gave the show a jolt of much-needed energy. Last week it felt like every sketch kind of died in the crib, but this week everything worked fine enough... with one glaring exception.

The Pochahontas Thanksgiving sketch was a fucking mess. Like, grandpas today who are getting their news from Fox and ranting about how the immigrants are untrustworthy and full of diseases, those people are stupid racist fucks, but the American Indian grandpa who was saying that stuff here about the white colonists was right. His civilization really was eventually decimated by these invaders, he wasn't just a paranoid old racist, and to draw any parallel between his situation and your average Trump voter is just weird and wrong and ugly. I did appreciate that they had Ferrell admit that the whole thing was a mess, but lampshading that the sketch was problematic as hell didn't make those problems go away.

Maybe we can't expect really sharp political comedy from SNL at this point, but they keep giving us this stuff where it just seems like they're trying to provoke without making any real point at all. A couple of seasons ago SNL was doing these really on-the-nose feminist millennial sketches, Welcome to Hell and all that stuff, and they usually weren't funny and sometimes they were even kind of preachy and tedious, but I actually find myself missing that stuff now. These days too many of the political sketches have the wrong message (Kate McKinnon as Teresa May: "Fuck you, at least I'm trying!") or no real message at all beyond a bit of shock. It's like we're supposed to be scandalized that they went there, but we can never quite be sure where "there" is.

(I'm biting my tongue, trying not to slag off Michael Che yet again. I still feel like he's the main culprit dragging the show down with his misogynist Libertarian hot takes, but I've ranted about him on Fanfare too much already.)

At this point Fred Armisen is on the show more than some of the regular cast members. I was kind of surprised they didn't bring Jason Sudekis back as Biden, but they seem to have decided that Woody Harrelson is their Biden. That's a decision they may live to regret as the campaign drags on. Harrelson's fine in the role, but the Alec Baldwin Situation has shown us the drawbacks of having a major political player portrayed by a big star who's not always available.

I know I ended up sounding pretty crabby, but this was overall a pretty good show. That "Party at My House" thing was one for the books.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:27 PM on November 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

Mod note: Several comments removed because this has gotten way off the track from the "let's discuss this episode of this show" territory FanFare's focused on.

Ursula Hitler, I think at this point you do need to take it as having had said your piece multiple times on your feelings about Che and let that be; revisiting it thread after thread is a problem in a way that just having issues and expressing them once wouldn't be, and folks on the site have expressed discomfort with the pattern of behavior more than once. Let it be going forward.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

(remove from activity)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:56 PM on November 24, 2019

As much as I remember the era Will Ferrell was on as not very good, he is very versatile. The last sketch felt like the most Ferrell-era of the sketches, but back then it would've dragged on interminably, while this managed to not overstay its welcome. I enjoyed almost all of the sketches, though the Thanksgiving sketch was really a microcosm of all the ways the handling of politics has been bad on the show lately.

I hope the candidate impressions get sharper as the field narrows down, as it is Sanders and Warren feel like the only fully fleshed out ones, and probably not coincidentally they're the ones that carried over from before the current election cycle.

An awful lot of cameos, which I suppose is partially to be expected from a former cast member's 5-timer episode, but a lot of it is the political stunt-casting that's been going on for the past few years and I wish we could get back to having most of the impressions done by the cast.

Speaking of the 5-timers, the only acknowledgement I saw of that was one picture of him wearing the jacket in a bumper. The monologue on the other hand was kind the opposite of a 5-timer monologue, where he's all nervous and uncomfortable.

I hadn't really heard of King Princess until about a month ago, when Youtube's algorithm decided I aught to love her music and well it's kind of in my wheelhouse but not really anything I'm crazy for, although I think I had only heard the first song before, and the second one was more my taste.
posted by ckape at 8:32 PM on November 24, 2019

My wife and I watch the sketches after the episode airs, and the 1600s Thanksgiving ... oof.

Ursula Hitler: the American Indian grandpa who was saying that stuff here about the white colonists was right.

Yep, pretty much. Plus, Will Ferrell playing the "Native Grandpa"? And they bond over corn in poop? Who the hell signed off on this? We noped out before it ended, but I'll go back to see the disclaimer at the end, in case there's some saving grace in it.

I'm glad to hear there were better sketches, because Ferrell's intro was so dull we skipped to something else before it ended, and the debates were a mediocre SNL take on current politics, IMO.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:31 AM on November 25, 2019

What a weird episode! I feel sometimes like some of the skits now are specifically designed to have me (cishet white lady who tries pretty hard to be empathetic and mindful but has occasional failures to do that) be like "Wow this is kind of all over the place and sort of offensive!" and at the end the sketch is like "j/k j/k we knew what we were doing". And I'm like "Did you?" The puppet sketch was over the line for me, but it was the ten to one sketch so not that surprised but really it was rapey and ewww.

I think Ferrell is a talent but he's not usually my cup of tea. I heard him interviewed on Maron and it's so interesting, he's just like a normal guy, grew up playing sports, got along with his parents, etc etc. so I think he's coming from a different comedic place than what I am used to (self-hating nerd types who find other humans sort of mysterious). The root of a lot of his humor is exactly the discomfort type stuff that the monologue had, and the party at my house sketch. Loved the party thing, not so much the monologue, though I like Ryan Reynolds and he does a good job with that stuff.

I was telling Jim "He has a whole movie, maybe a few, about being a grown up in young people situations" (let's see.... Elf, Old School, Stepbrothers) and that kind of awkward kid thing is his thing. But I also don't assume he has any real social consciousness per se, so I didn't expect much and didn't get much. Was surprised there wasn't a sketch of him in his underwear (another trope) and oh hey there's his butt in the cut for time sketch.

Sick of Armisen entirely. Usually don't like Cinema Classics but liked this one. For some stupid reason I always love Guy Who Just Bought a Boat and it was funny to see RR in that one. Was fun to see all the people in the debate thread. King Princess, totally fine, no feels one way or the other really.
posted by jessamyn at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

I've only seen a few of the sketches. Cast List was cut for time but was pretty good Will Ferrell until it went on too long. Agree the Thankgsgiving thing was awful.
But I also wanted to say I recently rewatched Stranger Than Fiction and gosh, it is sweet. If you were looking for something of that nature.
posted by Glinn at 5:59 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Will Ferrel walks the knife's edge between horribly uncool, and hilarious. Between completely goofy and Fucking Serious. Only he could have pulled off any of the characters he played on this show. Even Tracy Morgan.

King Princess: lead singer's dad was apparently a studio engineer of some sort. She is younger than my kid. And she's studied the 1975-1983 era keenly. Knows how to guitar face and is angular like the Stones; first song was great. Second song sucked cause she lost the guitar. Two words: Leather Tuscadero. Two more: Joan Jett.

Oh wait, two more: Sandra Bernhart.

The 10-to-1 sketch was the worst of the bunch, but other than that, they were mostly good, if not a bit scary—as in "uh-oh, where's this going?"—but you know Will Ferrell. So adorbs, hos monologue was one of the better this season.

The news was even and funny. Even if I think the Boat Guy is a DB variant of Kevin Nealon's Subliminal Guy, Moffatt still plants a lot of well-worded smarmy DB small wanker jokes in there.

The democratic debate, I loved just cause it's a reason to trot everyone out, even if the satire's not nearly as biting as it needs to be. Right now it's the only thing I can stand Kate McKinnon doing, cause I wanna see HER nstead of the REAL Elizabeth Warren as the Dem 20 frontrunner. And Larry David can just shrug and kill as Bernie at this point.

And as much as Trump deserves a spankin by SNL, this ain't really it. It was the first year, but then they shoulda let Darryl Hammond take over as Trump. Or even Leslie Jones! God I miss her and Pete Davidson. Anyway, Alec Baldwin has worn out his welcome. I see no resemblance at all anymore between him and the real shithead in the oval office. LOCK HIM UP

What else what else... Anyway, IMHO, Cecily continues to be the underdog hero of the show, followed closely by Aidy. Ego's been WAY underutilized. Mikey Day continues to kill. He's like if Kenan Thompson and Taran Killam had a baby. We need more Chris Redd and Heidi Gardner, because they are the real future of the show, long after Kyle and Cecily and Kenan have moved on. We have just enough Beck and Kyle right now. Kate has to be reined back a little. She's not nearly as bad as Kristen Wiig, but damn, some weeks. Luckily she was okay in this one.

And the news, well, sheesh, how can you parody a world that's already become a parody of itself.

posted by not_on_display at 12:18 AM on November 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Pete was in Miami for a friend's wedding this week.
posted by Ruki at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am still trying to figure out what is going on with the terrible sound mix for the musical guests on this show, particularly this season... unless the musical guest is also the guest star. King Princess sounded like she was underwater in an electric bass kingdom, and I could tell she was killing it live. Harry Styles last week was fine. Same with Chance the Rapper. Then compare that to the mix for Billie Eilish, which also sucked.

Are the guest stars just getting more time to sound check their musical portion during the week? None of these bands looks like they have a complicated sound setup.
posted by queensissy at 12:33 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nothing substantive to add, but it was a bit disorienting to see Colin Jost outside of Weekend Update, even if his Pete impersonation was essentially just Colin Jost reading lines.
posted by Marticus at 2:25 PM on November 26, 2019

I thought King Princess was pretty captivating, despite the bad mixing. She has crazy charisma and something about her performances just brings back all of these nostalgic young pining queermo feelings for me, and it makes me very happy that the youngs have performers like this in the present.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:40 PM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Cast List sketch was much better than some of the things that made it to air, like I don't understand why they thought the others were better.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:34 PM on December 4, 2019

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