Saturday Night Live: Saturday Night Live at Home: Brad Pitt / Miley Cyrus
April 26, 2020 1:24 AM - Season 45, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Command performance by Brad Pitt.

  • Cold Open - Dr. Anthony Fauci: Brad Pitt
  • What's Up With That?: Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Ego Nwodim, Bill Hader, DJ Khaled, Charles Barkley, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day
  • In Depth With Brian Sutter: Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson
  • Quarantine in My House: Pete Davidson, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider
  • Bartensen's Grocery Store: Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant
  • Big Dominican Lunch: Kenan Thompson, Bad Bunny, Alex Moffatt
  • AirBNB: Chloe Fineman
  • Released Early Hookup Calls: Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong
  • Miley Cyrus - Wish You Were Here
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Pete Davidson
  • Soulcycle Virtual Workouts: Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner
  • OJ Under Quarantine: Kenan Thompson
  • Cousin Mandy: Paul Rudd, Heidi Gardner
  • The Reveal: Beck Bennett, Bowen Yang, Cecily Strong, Chris Redd
  • Pornhub: Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Mikey Day, Melissa Villaseñor, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim
  • Whiskers R' We: Kate McKinnon
  • What's My Name: Kyle Mooney
  • Melissa's Big Date: Melissa Villaseñor
  • Aidy's Real Journals: Aidy Bryant
Cut for Time - A Message from Governor Whitmer: Cecily Strong
posted by rhizome (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely the stronger of the two (so far) in my eyes. They all seem to have adjusted to the strictures and are far more comfortable.

Chloe in particular saw her opportunity and took it. Heidi took a big swing, but whiffed. And the last four? Damn, if you manage to one-up a perfectly acceptable Whiskers R We, then you have done the thing.
posted by Etrigan at 5:57 AM on April 26, 2020

Yeah, production quality mostly much better than last time. But can NBC not afford to send everyone a decent mic? Half the actors sounded worse than my co-workers on a zoom call.

And I found myself surprisingly moved by the glimpses of real life. Things are not normal, and having famous people drop the facade for a moment really reminded me this really is hitting us all. No doubt Adam Sandler's house is WAY bigger and nicer than mine, but we're also both at home with a spouse and a couple of teens.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:12 AM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Loved Kate working with her own cats. They must be some pretty calm cats because if I get within five feet of mine with a camera they are out of there.

The whole show was pretty strong.

I laughed when Wish You Were Here started playing because that's such a song that the Guy With The Acoustic Guitar At The Party is gonna play but, damn, Miley killed it.

I loved National Treasure Aidy Bryant going through her journals.

It was just all so good. Keenan had some good ones. What's Up With That, Big Pappy, etc.

I'd imagine it takes a lot of work to put these together but I hope they keep them up.
posted by bondcliff at 7:29 AM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Cut for Time - A Message from Governor Whitmer : Cecily Strong

This is only, like, 10% more accent than Whitmer actually has when she lets it slip.
posted by Etrigan at 8:26 AM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

I got the feeling that Kate McKinnon was working with her one and only cat...Just one cat, her cat.
posted by Oyéah at 9:37 AM on April 26, 2020 [10 favorites]

This is the one and only time I ever heard Miley Cyrus sing. She was great.
posted by Oyéah at 9:37 AM on April 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I know everyone's desperate for companionship now, but c'mon Melissa, having American History X as your favorite movie is a definite red flag.

It didn't even register to me until the musical introduction that there wasn't actually a monologue this time.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was all just the same cat, except one time with a brown filter on it.

When the title said "member of the coronavirus task force" I assumed it would be the mypillow guy.

Generally they seemed to have a better handle on what they could do with their limitations, though they've still got a ways to go until they're up to the level of most tiktoks that I've seen.
posted by ckape at 10:21 AM on April 26, 2020

This is the one and only time I ever heard Miley Cyrus sing. She was great.

I'd suggest The Backyard Sessions.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:57 AM on April 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Loved Kate working with her own cats

Cat. Singular.
posted by amtho at 3:01 PM on April 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't know whether I'm imagining it, but I've long felt it's a thing that a guy will be asked "who do you think should play you in the movie?", and he'll say Brad Pitt because what the hell, Pitt's kind of the sine qua non of sexy guy, wouldn't you want to be represented as Brad Pitt? It's just nice to know that it's actually happened to someone. I hope he's pleased.
posted by Grangousier at 4:08 PM on April 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

I've heard that the question posed was Brad Pitt OR Ben Stiller.

"Here are some suggestions that I've heard. Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt. Which one?" Camerota said.

Fauci laughed and responded, "Oh, Brad Pitt, of course."

posted by porpoise at 5:11 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Good ep! My wife, a grade school teacher, said something like, “I looove Aidy Bryant, but she probably would have driven me nuts as a student,” which I thought was funny.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:12 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

My 11 year old niece and I watched this together today. She got 5 % of the jokes but really loved What's Up With That and said the song will never leave her head. These guys are doing the best with what they have. I like the experimental/improvised nature.
posted by elvissa at 7:54 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah they're just getting warmed up. You can see the production values have risen as more sophisticated equipment has made its way down the food chain. We need to get NBC to hook Pete up to some fiber optic. Lindsey Buckingham should have dial-up, not Pete. Great to see Melissa and Cecily come back, for Chloe to have two killer character-sketches in two shows in a row, more of Chris Redd, laugh track on the news, but also no monologue or goodnights. I could watch soulcycle ensemble sketches one after the other, but I also think Kate and Aidy are nailing it with their solo and duo eccentric stuff. yay kids. I didn't notice Moffatt in this one!

I like Pink Floyd and I thought the song was apropos, and Miley's a great singer, but this felt like too obvious a song. I think I liked Chris Martin's performance better... now who's gonna sing "The Times They Are a Changin"?

And we got to see Jason Sudeikis revive the role that made him famous.
posted by not_on_display at 8:52 PM on April 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Miley's cover of "Wish You Were Here" was fantastic.
posted by porpoise at 8:56 PM on April 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fauci laughed and responded, "Oh, Brad Pitt, of course."

That just made me extra love that bit.

I've really appreciated the "show must go on" approach these folks have taken especially because they're... all over the place? Like you feel like some of them are at home (Michael, Beck, Heidi, Colin, Bowen, Alex, Aidy, Kate, Mikey, Ego, Chris and obviously Pete) and some of them are pretty obviously NOT at home (Kyle is in the Southwest? Kenan is somewhere with Palm trees? We know Cecily was upstate and looks to still be there) and then a few of them I'm not sure about (Is Melissa's place really that unfurnished? And what's with all the stairs? Chloe seems like she's definitely outside the city, but where?). And it's also fun to see everyone's tattoos that we normally don't see (Kenan's wedding ring and forearm tattoo, whatever Heidi has going on, Pete's we've known about).

We watched this after the fact, so it was funny to capture some of the little things that zipped by but were also fun like all the people waving in Pete's song (Nathan Fillion, Al Madrigal, Tan from Queer Eye not sure who else) and all the side notes in Aidy's journals.

Did not care for Miley's song but I think that's a combination of hating Pink Floyd (that CD was one of the first CDs my father ever owned and one of only about six we had when I was a kid with an early CD player) and the weird inappropriate feeling of her sultry shoulder look and that idiot smoke machine. She did a great job with it but not my thing.

I appreciate that they upped the production values of some of this (better lighting for most people, you can see the ring lights reflected in cabinets and eyes and windows, better costumes for some of it, a lot more post-prduction) so it feels like less of a one-off. And yet, yeah some of the microphone stuff is weird (but with so many Zoom and Facetime jokes, it's hard to tell how much is intentional), I'm really curious how this is all working behind the scenes.

]This is only, like, 10% more accent than Whitmer actually has when she lets it slip.

I would watch a whole SNL that is just cast members playing Governors who are losing it which is one of my favorite new comedy things on Twitter lately.
posted by jessamyn at 10:02 AM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm not going to drag her too badly because I think her heart is mostly in the right place, but please...don't give her any ideas.
posted by rhizome at 12:35 PM on April 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think it's great what they're doing, and we're watching practically a new medium being born. Yes, TikTok/Vine, but SNL has the added burden of relevance and continuity. On the short-form services someone can put a bucket on their head and repeat "amirite?" over and over, and the audience will find them (or not). On TV they have much greater strictures on their content and its intelligibility. It can't all be 10-to-1's!
posted by rhizome at 12:49 PM on April 27, 2020

This @home episode was definitely better than the first one. It actually surprised me that there was a second -- I'd assumed they'd just do it once, as a sort of stunt/novelty. But no, they're carrying on with the show, and they're sinking their teeth into the new format and learning how to make it work as they go. I respect that.

One benefit of doing this show this way at this time is that they'll be able to get SNL alumnae and no end of celebrities for cameos for the show -- because they're all sitting at home, unable to work, and there won't be any travel constraints. It's going to be fun to see who pops up on these episodes.

There was much to love in this episode. I liked Brad Pitt's post-wig-stripping moment of sincerity in the cold open, how he thanked the frontline workers etc. There was another such moment when Pete told Colin, "Oh, you live in a house with Scarlett Johansson. You're probably hoping the pandemic will never end," and Colin shook his head and said, firmly and without a smile, "That's not true." I liked that they took a few moments amidst all the jokes to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.

Incidentally, I have long observed that Brad Pitt seems to be every guy's idea of male attractiveness. When I used a telephone dating system back in the mid-nineties to the early aughts, so many of the profiles would include the words, "Well, I'm no Brad Pitt, but....", and I've heard lots of guys say something similar in person too. Dr. Fauci's joke was yet another of the many of its kind that I've heard, and it is so funny that SNL ran with that, and that he was in fact promptly played by the actual Brad Pitt.

Meanwhile Pitt's never turned my crank (het woman here). Mind you, I'm not going to deny that he was good-looking, even extremely so, because that would be silly. Of course he was objectively exceptionally attractive, even beautiful. But I was never excited about him or interested in him and never paid much attention to him. Of late years though, having come across numerous things he's said, while I still don't have the hots for him, I've begun to think that I would like him as a person if I knew him, because he seems so sensible, kind, self-aware, and down to earth.

Speaking of finding someone likable, seeing Adam Sandler clowning around with his wife and kids in his own house was adorable.

Weekend Update is the one spot, besides the faux Pornhub commercial, that plays the closest to what it does in the live show. You still get Jost and Che against the same background, joking back and forth. It has the same dynamic that it does when they do it in person. I'm glad they nixed the laugh track, which sucked, even though it was probably their castmates laughing.

I thought all the solo sketches done by women were solid: Melissa's date, Aidy's journals, Chloe's AirBnB, and Kate's Whiskers R Us. I enjoyed Kate's cat's little performance. The cat is clearly really bonded to Kate -- it gave her a noserub during the sketch! -- and was all, "The person is acting even more bizarre than usual, but she's at home with me all the time these days so whatever -- I can roll with it. Purrrrrrrrrr."
posted by orange swan at 6:30 PM on April 27, 2020

Yeah, it was pretty evident that after the first one, NBC was like "oh crap, this isn't going to be a one-off" and sent high quality cameras, microphones, green screens, and ring lights to everyone, and un-furloughed the graphics staff. A much more professional outing this time around, which frankly drained a little of the experimental charm of the first one. But hey, this is the New Normal, as they say. There probably won't be another show performed before a live studio audience for another two years.

Was glad to see the return of "What's Up With That," my favorite recurring sketch of recent years. My SO asked if the footage of Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis was recycled and I said I didn't think so, because then Armisen would have had a real saxophone instead of a toy. Tell me if I'm mistaken!

Weekend Update seems to be suffering badly from the lack of a live audience—I actually preferred it with the janky Zoom audience from the first go-round. Michael and Colin need to be snappier in their delivery, and the editor needs to be snappier in their editing.

I loved Chris Redd's use of FaceTime for his sketch. Mikey Day's inappropriate filter sketch was basically the same thing he's done three times before, which was disappointing after last time's funny Twitch streamer bit. Aidy's journal sketch was wonderful—she's SNL's secret weapon and should be recognized as such.
posted by ejs at 12:23 AM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was so tired Saturday night, that I fell asleep before the show started. Is there a way to watch the whole show (in the US) without installing the NBC app? The SNL YT channel seems to have just the individual skits posted.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:02 AM on April 28, 2020

Is there a way to watch the whole show (in the US) without installing the NBC app?

Hulu has it, and if you have cable it might be on demand through them.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:32 AM on April 28, 2020

The SNL YT channel seems to have just the individual skits posted.

The SNL YT channel does post all the episodes as playlists, so it will play all of the skits from the episode in a row, you just have to endure an ad before just about every skit.
posted by Sabby at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2020

Michael and Colin need to be snappier in their delivery

Agree that it was weirder this time around. It was more Update-like in that there were more graphics and tighter shots of the two of them talking. It was weirder in that... their resolutions were different? Colin seemed to be more low-res than Michael which just made it weird. Colin seemed weird in general, not sure why. I do think they'll be able to play with the format more, get a lot of special guests who are stuck at home anyhow, and hopefully be able to make the best of this.

Thorzdad check your MeMail.
posted by jessamyn at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think they'll eventually zero in on a pace for Update. Right now they're still missing the laugh breaks and leaving gaps everywhere, but there were a few moments where the flow picked up, where they didn't wait for a laugh so much, that I think points to success. I think this will have wider benefits too, since pretty much EVERY variety show, from The View to local news to Conan and The Daily Show, still has these glitchy gaps that make sense with an audience, and are apparently hard to drop when a show finds itself without one. It's a fascinating view into the dependency on audience that writers, actors, and directors have, and to see how they deal with that.
posted by rhizome at 11:53 AM on April 28, 2020

There's still a question of structure whether he's there or not.
posted by rhizome at 1:06 PM on April 28, 2020

People always said that about Norm MacDonald... but that doesn't explain why the Germans love him so much.
posted by not_on_display at 12:09 AM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some people go to the circus for the acrobats, some for the lions, some for the clowns. If the clowns fail to amuse you, that doesn't mean the clowns are "bad".
posted by amtho at 3:48 AM on April 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

elvissa, I have three videos I bet you’re gonna want to share with your niece: 1, 2, 3
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Interesting that it started out as "What Up With That" vs. "What's Up With That."
posted by rhizome at 5:35 PM on April 29, 2020

It was a treat to see What's Up With That again, probably for the last time. It's always so joyful, and the explosion of goofy gifs and memes was perfect. The song reminded me of how, in the early days, Kenan had "Ooooh-Weee!" as a kind of catchphrase for almost all of his characters. That was the Fallon era and the show seemed super lazy and self-satisfied, endlessly repeating sketches that weren't too funny the first time, and at the time I kind of dismissed Kenan as some hacky Nickelodeon kid. He sure proved me wrong! We're gonna miss that guy when he leaves.

I was surprised that they couldn't get Bill Hader to sit there in silent consternation as Lindsey Buckingham. He seems super loyal to the show and it's not like he can claim he was unavailable because of a scheduling conflict. Fred Armisen showing up AGAIN makes me wish they'd just say he's a cast member again. I mean, these days the guy is on the show pretty much every week!

I guess this episode had no host. I know the show has gone without a host before, but it's probably been... 30-something years? I was a little surprised they didn't just say Brad Pitt was the host, and give him a monologue and nothing else, like they did with Tom Hanks. But I dunno, maybe Pitt wants to hold out until he can host for real someday. Kind of weird to realize that he never has.

The whole WU bit about embarrassing Michael Che by making him say a misogynist joke was just weird. That's exactly the kind of joke he always makes! And then he said something like, "This undoes everything I've ever done," like that joke wasn't totally on-brand for him. I've made my feelings about the guy very clear in these threads, but I'm honestly baffled. The whole premise of the bit seemed to be based on him being a guy who is uncomfortable talking shit about women, and... What? Has he recently had some feminist epiphany I missed?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:36 AM on April 30, 2020

I don't think writing from his experiences as a black man about a certain type of white woman makes Che a full-stop misogynist. And I think that defeated look was genuine, because talking shit about women as a whole is very different than talking shit about racist white women and would, actually, undo everything he did.
posted by Ruki at 11:07 AM on April 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think Che has made it abundantly clear he doesn't like feminists. (A quick Googling will find you dozens of quotes to that effect.) Most of his ire is directed at white millennial feminists, the women he dismisses as "Beckies" and "Megans," but they're by no means his only target. I think he gets a real charge out of pissing off feminists in general.

Now, I've had my issues with some white millennial feminists too. People who've scrapped with me in other threads would probably be very surprised to see me repeatedly calling out Che. But him joking about how the first person on Mars should be a woman, so she can clean the place up for the men? That just sounds like a boilerplate Che joke to me. If you can't picture him saying something like that normally, we clearly have very different takes on the guy.

And this discussion has probably gone about as far as it needs to go. As I said, I've made my dislike for Che pretty clear. I only brought him up this time because his supposed horror about saying something misogynist seemed so weird to me. It was like Pete Davidson getting squirmy about telling pot jokes.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:18 PM on April 30, 2020

You know... they are holding a contest to see who can write the most offensive joke to put on Michael Che's cue card.

Just throwin' that out there.
posted by not_on_display at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2020

Well... yeah, I got that. My point was that he already makes plenty of jokes like that, when nobody's forcing him to.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:00 PM on April 30, 2020

I guess my point is that lately, especially in the weeks leading up to the big shutdown. Che was showing signs of improvement. By no means does that forgive some of the shit that he definitely wrote, but I think, just as Pete Davidson can learn from his mistakes, so can Michael Che. And he seemed genuinely shamed that, as part of his job, he was required to read a really bad joke that he could himself had told less than a year ago. At least that's how I read his off the cuff remark that "this is undoing all my hard work" (paraphrasing) — that he really has been trying to be a little less of a dick. But he's also a comedian and doesn't give a fuck if anyone thinks he's a dick. And in that way, the same way that he has in the past been an asshole who's been shitty to women, he's trying to curb that instinct he knows is wrong, and instead speak actual truth to power.

Given it's rare he can go two weeks without a facepalmingly bad joke. But they're jokes, and the transgressive nature of jokes makes them hot potatoes.

Anyway, I don't think Che is ruining the show; there's plenty of awesome stuff to balance out any rotten stuff (by Che or anyone else) that slips under the radar. You know Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong are on the show, right? And Ego Nwodim and Chloe Fineman are totally owning this new platform. And Pete, well, he's gonna go out there and say something dumb cause he can't disappoint his fans. And did you see that thing where Heidi Gardner was plugging Louis CK's latest special? OH BOY
posted by not_on_display at 12:01 AM on May 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

That's sweet, and LOOK HOW IDENTICAL THEY ARE. But shouldn't it be cases of, like, Stroh's or something?
posted by rhizome at 3:07 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

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