Saturday Night Live: Rupaul / Justin Bieber
February 9, 2020 1:21 AM - Season 45, Episode 13 - Subscribe

  • Cold Open - NH Debate: Mikey Day, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Bowen Yang, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Jost, Larry David, Kate McKinnon, Rachel Dratch, Pete Davidson, Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson
  • Monologue: Rupaul
  • Black & White Charades: Rupaul, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon
  • Chad in Drag: Mikey Day, Rupaul, Pete Davidson
  • Work Birthday Dinner: Chloe Fineman, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Rupaul
  • Boop It: Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Chloe Fineman, Beck Bennett
  • Rupaul Reads to Children: Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Rupaul, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim, Beck Bennett
  • Justin Bieber - Yummy
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Oscars: Chloe Fineman
  • Thirsty Cops: Pete Davidson, Rupaul, Ego Nwodim, Kate McKinnon
  • The Old New York Show: Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Rupaul
  • Justin Bieber - Intentions

Rupaul's first time hosting.
posted by rhizome (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I appreciated that they gave RuPaul a little range in the sketch themes, but it was still definitely all pivoting on the host (and Cecily Strong). All in all, a solid effort by all.

And Chad is riiight on the edge of Too Often.
posted by Etrigan at 5:57 AM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cathy Anne's "Mick McDonald" for Mitch McConnell was inspired.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 8:30 AM on February 9, 2020

I was happy to see Chloe Fineman’s segment on WU. Her impressions were shot through with a maniacal giddiness that I really enjoy.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 11:31 AM on February 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Shit, I forgot Cathy Anne in the writeup. I thought this was a better than average episode, narrow range or not. Rupaul isn't overexposed in my life so for me this was just a fun cavalcade.

Chad in Drag made me pee my pants! Seriously, first time ever (or at least since I was a kid). Just the whole idea was perfectly incongruous and executed well (as well as any Chad segment is, anyway).
posted by rhizome at 10:34 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've never seen Rupaul in anything, I only know about him because, well, how can you NOT know about him? I thought he was great. Not a lot of great sketches this week but Rupaul did well.

Chad in Drag was good but I agree that Chad has probably been done enough.

More Chloe impressions, please. Always happen to see Cathy Anne. I think Weekend Update has been better this season.

The first time I ever heard of Justin Bieber was on SNL, I think Tina Fey was hosting, and he was this little kid. I see he's grown up now and... well... I'm still completely indifferent about Justin Bieber.
posted by bondcliff at 6:42 AM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

They were kind of in a bind, because everybody wants to see RuPaul in drag but getting into full drag is a big deal and once you've done it you've kind of committed for the night. So we got Ru out of drag, where he always looks like kind of an elegant space alien, some filmed drag stuff and the kind of half-ass drag of the Julia Sugarbakers at the restaurant sketch. (I thought that sketch was funny-ish, but it was a little too easy to picture Cecily Strong doing that at dinner somewhere and somebody at the table saying, "Oh, you have to do that on the show!" It felt like an inside joke being taken outside.)

I've wanted to see more of Fineman, her talent is obvious and she hasn't gotten a chance to pop, but her WU bit seemed a little too much like lukewarm standup to me. Like, she was really committed to the impressions, but the actual jokes were straight of the old Rich Little "wouldn't it be funny if so-and-so did this" tool chest. It's kind of weird that the show has her and Melissa, two women who are genuinely superb impressionists, and they rarely get a chance to do impressions outside of an occasional WU showcase thing.

Pete looked better in drag than I would've expected, even if he was slouchy and doing everything he could to not look good. But yeah, I've seen enough of Chad for a good long while.

The Thirsty Cops shit needs to go. Yuck.

Everything about Justin Bieber gives me douche chills.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:03 PM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Loved Chad & RuPaul.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:08 PM on February 10, 2020

I loved RuPaul "reading" to the children. "Victoria's Secret called - they want they wallpaper back!"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

I kept waiting for a RuPaul/Bowen sketch, but it was cut for time: Coal Miners Face-Off!
posted by crepesofwrath at 11:00 AM on February 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

OK, this episode started out fuckin' awesome, and then deflated quickly, except for Weekend Update, which was spot-on this week. The first four sketches:

• Cold Open— NH Debate: Fun stupid ensemble piece. I didn't watch the debates, so I was coached by my TV SNL Date as to which impression echoed what thing.
• Monologue— Rupaul: This was actually one of the most genuine monologues in years, and maybe also one with the most uplifting message and delivery. That guy can wear a suit.
• Black & White Charades: This thankfully veered away from the "uh-oh" lane, and was just constantly funny. The pacing was quick and the timing was right on.
• Chad in Drag: I love Chad. Chad is the Beavis and Butthead of the 21st Century, like the guy Beavis and Butthead wanted to be. That's Chad. uhhkay.

And then the rest of the sketches were too confusing either in and of themselves, or unclear as to what the thrust of the sketch was. The Library one: I didn;t get the premise: why the unexpected special guest for reading time? Shrug. Some jokes were funny, but really coulda tossed that.

I had absoloutely NO idea what ANY of Chloe Fineman's desk piece was about! And neither did my TV Sweetie! We were both like, "But the audience are all laughing so they must be getting something we don't have any reference to!" I was trying to figure out if it were like Oscar Nominees from the 1940's filtered through movie Characters nominated in the 2020's, but it just felt like that Jon Rudnisky desk piece where you are awed and say, "Wellp, yep the kids got talent, but the show couldn't fit them in, it's too bad." But I just could not keep up. I'm going to rewatch that maybe if I'm ever in that area of SNL-land again.

And that's nothing compared to how confused I was with the Old New York Show. It was like the whole thing was as VIVID, COLORFUL AND QUAINT AS CAN BE but I came away with nothing else.

Except! That the second half of the show, RuPaul, no fault of his own, had to be reading much more off cue cards than being his natural self; and unfortunately, it was obvious. RuPaul is funny as hell from what I've seen and remember from the 90's. But other peoples' words coming out of his mouth not so much.

Oh yeah Weekend Update and who was that music, Sam Rockwell? Johnny Depp? Brad Pitt? Whoever that kid was, tell him to stick with the classical mix, it added a lot of depth and possibility to what was just silly lyrics in the better-known mix. And then yeah he took that away and it was jusyt shit songs by an aging Beebstr. The Yummy Yum Yummy Yum has been STUCK IN MY GODDAMN HEAD all day though. And I did appreciate the spare visual effects. And, in his defense, he STUCK THE LANDING at the end of the yummy yum song. The rest of his dancers on one foot trying to keep STILL but failing. Beeb stood there on one leg, stone cold still with a grin on his face.

And Weekend Update was just great, even with Chloe's ... someone please tell me, is there a point I hit in life where a person's like, "I do not get the context of this joke and wonder how it rose to the ranks and is getting big laffs," etc.? But Cecily's Cathy Anne is a character that ENDURES, she can't even stop for a second to light her cigarette, I mean EVERYone knows Cathy Ann. I've worked with Cathy Ann at several low-pay high-burnout jobs.

Che and Jost were smooth, on target, no really questionable material. They hit the target. You may say bad things about Michael Che,
posted by not_on_display at 10:19 PM on February 14, 2020

everybody wants to see RuPaul in drag but getting into full drag is a big deal

Yeah that was obviously going to be the bind at the outset. Like the thing Ru Paul is known for is the thing he mostly can't do. I was happy to see him in full-on drag for the Chad sketch (I somehow love that stupid sketch) but when he was in the library I was like "Wait, is this drag queen story hour" because that's a HUGER thing in libraries and this was lateral to that in a way that I liked but it felt super weird. Like if there had been a football sketch in last weeks' show but the host played a sportscaster.

neither did my TV Sweetie!

I am right here!

I agree the coal miners face off was one of the better ones. I just felt that this episode was super New York-y which just meant I didn't get some of it. Which is fine, I certainly don't have to get it all but between a few too many drunk-y sketches which just push all my buttons (the drunk dad one was WAY too close to home, so yay I guess?) and Ru Paul is great as a person I am sure but bad with comedic timing somehow, so this just didn't do it for me.

And was Bieber wearing elevator sneakers? His whole outfit just seemed to be obscuring the fact that he is very short and wore tall shoes so he wasn't a tiny person in front of all those great dancers. Songs were fine, I find him so odd. And surprised there was no Mackinnon-as-Bieber thing going on
posted by jessamyn at 9:03 AM on February 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

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