Saturday Night Live: John Mulaney / The Strokes
November 1, 2020 11:48 AM - Season 46, Episode 5 - Subscribe

"New York" episode.

  • Cold Open - Joe Biden: Jim Carrey, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Maya Rudolph, Beck Bennett
  • Monologue: John Mulaney
  • Cinema Classics - The Birds: Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, John Mulaney, Beck Bennett
  • Strollin: Heidi Gardner, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, John Mulaney, Punkie Johnson, Ego Nwodim, Lauren Holt
  • Sleepy Hollow: John Mulaney, Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day
  • I Love New York: Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Kate McKinnon
  • The Strokes - The Adults Are Talking
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Baby Yoda: Kyle Mooney?
  • Broadway New York: Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, John Mulaney, Bowen Yang, Alex Moffatt, Lauren Holt, Melissa Villaseñor, Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Maya Rudolph, Chloe Fineman, Mikey Day
  • The Strokes - Bad Decisions
  • Meme Boss: Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, John Mulaney, Chloe Fineman
posted by rhizome (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Finally, a good cold open. A little bit scattered but I thought Carrey wasn't too over-the-top with this one. Maybe the problem has been Baldwin all along, I dunno.

Mulaney always brings it. You can tell when a host is involved with the writing because the sketches are mostly better than usually.

I don't know musicals enough to know all the shows Broadway New York was parodying but I still enjoyed it a lot. Miya has some pipes on her, just like her mom.

Strollin was such an amazing mix of funny and horrifying at the same time. Yes, they were jokes but they really weren't. Way too real.

The whole show felt a little less both sides than usually. Maybe they figured this was their last chance before the election.

WU seemed like it was cut short but the jokes were mostly good. I found Baby Yoda kind of disturbing but I also laughed once or twice.

It still feels like they're playing with a limited cast. I know a couple of them are off doing other things but it felt (to me) like the same four people were in all the sketches.

The Strokes sure are a mediocre rock band, aren't they? I think the singer needs to sing fewer words and give the music time to breath. I liked the second performance better than the first but they just seemed like a bar band version of Coldplay or something. They just felt very bland to me.
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

I wanted to scream at Mulaney with his bullshit, both-siderism crap in the monologue. Fuck that guy.
posted by octothorpe at 12:28 PM on November 1, 2020 [20 favorites]

Yea, same here Octothorpe. "Rest assured, no matter what happens nothing much will change" has completely soured me on Mulaney.
posted by Frayed Knot at 1:00 PM on November 1, 2020 [9 favorites]

Plus added dashes of ageism, misogyny and ableism! WTF John? Where'd the guy who did "a horse is loose in the hospital" go?
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 1:02 PM on November 1, 2020 [13 favorites]

I missed the beginning and tuned in around Sleepy Hollow, which was pretty filthy. Baby Yoda wasn’t all the funny until he came for Groot, and then it got me. Broadway NY should have been fun, but compared to the older ones, it was a pale imitation.
posted by gladly at 1:13 PM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Davidson's filling out a little and his colour is better. Unless it's just makeup.

I dug the 'Sleepy Hollow' skit rather a lot.

Bit meh about everything else except maybe McKinnon as the NYC eccentric.
posted by porpoise at 1:19 PM on November 1, 2020

Did I just watch an NYC tourism ad?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:24 PM on November 1, 2020

Yeah, the whole episode was an homage to NYC.

It seemed like there were fewer sketches than usual? I noticed at least a few "double commercial breaks," and I was surprised that it was 12:40 after WU.

Meme Boss was a sleepwalking sketch, but all said I thought it was all pretty not-bad. Cinema Classics was the weakest sketch, and it was good to see more Melissa.

Oh, and Chloe Fineman was GREAT in the Broadway sketch. She might be the strongest talent on the show at the moment. I think she and Beck could be a great pairing if the writers would ever run deeper sketches.
posted by rhizome at 1:44 PM on November 1, 2020

Agreed. Chloe Fineman is so good!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:53 PM on November 1, 2020

The highlight for me was Strollin' - funny, dark premise, and I also love that for the first time in my memory of SNL there are four strong black cast members to execute a sketch like this. Ego Nwodim is really coming into her own as a performer on this show and Punkie Johnson is a great new addition this year. Chris Redd has been solid since he joined a couple years back. And Kenan Thompson, of course, is a goddamn national treasure.

Parts of Mulaney's monologue really made me laugh but I was really disappointed in his "on Tuesday pick your favorite senior citizen and the world won't change much anyway" bit. What the fuck, dude? Also, as a New Yorker, not a fan of the borderline racist dunking on Cuomo.

At least Weekend Update got some good jabs in - they have been really strong in their Trump material this season so far, and Jost's speech about how he doesn't think he can handle four more years of Trump is the closest the show has ever come to a full-on presidential endorsement. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive SNL for allowing Trump to host when he was still considered a joke of a candidate because I think they contributed to elevating his platform - albeit inadvertently, but still. I have been increasingly getting the sense that they regret that choice now. I certainly hope so.

That was the weakest Mulaney musical sketch he's ever done. Nothing will ever top Diner Lobster for me.

Haven't thought about the Strokes in years. Last night reminded me why. Utterly unforgettable.

Really starting to get irritated at their one-note portrayal of Kamala Harris as "cool sassy black mom." And everytime they show her correcting Biden's pronunciation of her name, I get resentful that they are completely erasing her half-Indian identity. Kamala is an Indian name. I feel like they've decided that Harris presents more obviously as black and so are leaning hard into the Clair Huxtable Lite stuff which is lazy AF. I admit I may be extra sensitive to this being Indian-American.

This is the only time I've truly enjoyed Carrey's Biden so far.
posted by nayantara at 3:04 PM on November 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Nthing the Chloe Fineman kudos, she is so versatile and seems to be even more confident this season.

The Headless Horseman skit - holy rape jokes, Batman. The end seemed to be making light of the men forcing the head to perform oral sex against its will. The literal punchline was the head not wanting to have sex and yelling in protestation. Gross. I don't remember SNL making light of rape in other episodes. I'd warn people who don't enjoy skits about rape to skip that scene.
posted by rogerroger at 3:05 PM on November 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I am pretty sure The Strokes fed their existing discography into a machine learning algorithm to write their new material. (The second song was just I Melt With You, right?)
posted by joannemerriam at 4:34 PM on November 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

posted by Marticus at 6:53 PM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Cold Open was the best it's been in awhile. Carrey toned down his impression of Biden, and it helped a lot.

Did anyone else get the feeling John Mulaney is really angry at his grandmother for voting for Trump and was being nasty towards her because of it?

I haven't ever seen The Birds and now am thinking I might.

Michael Che to Colin Jost: You just married Scarlett Johansson, and I just bought an electric bike, so we're doing equally as well.
posted by orange swan at 8:05 PM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Did anyone else get the feeling John Mulaney is really angry at his grandmother for voting for Trump and was being nasty towards her because of it?

There is no RMV in Marblehead! Yeah I think Mullaney is maybe a good writer but he seems to always find a way to work the word "bitch" into every sketch. I noticed it with his special (and the extended joke is his wife saying "Don't call me that" and then he does) and now I can't not watch for it. Between the one in the monologue and one of the early sketches and then the creepy ending to the Headless Horseman bit (otherwise just raunchy and kind of funny) and the creepy ending to the Meme Boss joke (otherwise kinda funny? At least not terrible.) I feel like maybe I don't like him? Which I feel a little bad about because I thought some of his earlier material was actually if not progressive at least aware of sexist dynamics and etc. But yeah his monologue was just super not-great and I was kind of primed to maybe be liking this show after a cold open that wasn't a debate, didn't have someone being Trump-racist (mostly) and had Carrey's Biden dialled way down.

And yes nayantara, I get so aggravated about how Kamala is portrayed. She's got an interesting background, her name is not complicated (and also, Biden doesn't screw it up, ever) and I don't know why Maya seems to be playing her like that. Makes me miss Nasim (not Indian but I think did a decent job portraying a wider range of Asian and South Asian characters) who I felt would have given her more depth.

I appreciated the NY shout outs (even gave Kate's "weird old person" bit a pass) but it did seem like there were fewer sketches but I guess only one less than last week? I don't know, didn't work for me so much, and yeah Strollin' was simultaneously so great but also just chilling esp when the guy with the gun showed up in it. Very curious what next week's show with Chapelle is going to be like.
posted by jessamyn at 8:44 PM on November 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

(So we know Julian Casablancas didn’t get to Brooklyn in time to catch the David Bowie exhibit)
posted by thecaddy at 9:01 PM on November 1, 2020

The first Strokes song was so lame that at first I thought they were doing a take on I Wish It Was Christmas Today.
posted by ftm at 6:39 AM on November 2, 2020

This was definitely the least terrible of the four shows so far this season, but nowhere near up to the previous Mulaney hosting gigs. I don't think they'll live up to "Diner Lobster" ever again, and should probably let go of trying to make a musical be a thing every time he hosts. Seems like maybe they've taken in some of the negative feedback about Carrey's Biden impression, but it's still terrible, and I don't think it's necessary to have a non-cast memeber celebrity be the "on-call" presidential impression. I mean, they had Fred Armisen do Obama for a long time, and it was okay. Less stunty and it let them focus on the humor of the sketch rather than the over-the-top impression.
posted by briank at 7:40 AM on November 2, 2020

I don't think it's necessary to have a non-cast memeber celebrity be the "on-call" presidential impression. I mean, they had Fred Armisen do Obama for a long time, and it was okay.

briank I was with you on the first half of this sentence (not necessary to have a non-cast member celebrity be on call to play the president) but I 100% do not agree with you about Armisen as Obama because that shit was straight-up blackface and Not Okay and indicative of how extremely awful SNL was about cast diversity at the time. It made me incredibly angry. I was SO RELIEVED when Jay Pharoah joined the cast and took that over. He also understood Obama's speaking patterns and cadences in a way that Armisen didn't.

(I also just don't care for Fred Armisen #sorrynotsorry everything I hear about him makes me think he's the epitome of a missing stair. But that's not really relevant here.)

I am not sure why someone like Alex Moffat couldn't develop a Biden impression and keep it in the cast. Honestly, I blame the celebrity stunt-casting of politicians on the whole Tina Fey-as-Palin thing; it's like Lorne saw how big of a response that got and was like "this should now be our approach FOREVER" when in reality the primary reason Fey worked in that role is because she and Palin have an uncanny physical resemblance that they played up.

I am glad they didn't ask Darrell Hammond back to play Trump because his Trump impression was more about his tackiness and had no real grasp of how absolutely fucking ugly and frightening he is, but I do feel bad for Alec Baldwin being inadvertently saddled with playing the guy for four years; what was supposed to be a three-episode guest starring role has turned into this fucking albatross. He doesn't even stick around for the good nights anymore; if he's in the cold open he shows up for dress, stays to do the cold open live, and then I'm pretty sure he takes off the wig, puts on his damn coat, and goes home. Can't really blame him.
posted by nayantara at 8:38 AM on November 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

Nasim (not Indian but I think did a decent job portraying a wider range of Asian and South Asian characters) who I felt would have given her more depth.

jessamyn, I totally agree that Nasim would have been able to execute Harris with more depth. Though I do admit that I expected more from Maya Rudolph here; she is a bit of a chameleon and I think would be more than capable of shading Harris' specific type of bi-racial. But I really do think this is a failure on the writers' part. To be honest, I doubt a single person in the writers' room right now would particularly understand the nuances of being the daughter of an Indian mother. Makes me with they had, like, called in Hasan Minhaj as a consultant.
posted by nayantara at 8:50 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, not a fan of Armisen. He's just simply not funny to me, no matter what he does.

Of Obama impressions, I'm most impressed with Jordan Peele ('Key & Peele') - he nails the cadence even if he doesn't resemble Obama much (although Peele is a chameleon).

Biden is a little difficult because he's bland, but not outstandingly bland.
posted by porpoise at 9:18 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

i really liked the strokes
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:28 AM on November 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I thought the second, generically-Strokesy but enjoyable song redeemed the first dirge, but it sure sounded like Casablancas had accidentally grabbed the 'locked in the trunk of a car' mic instead of the 'lou reed 1967' one.
posted by Flashman at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2020

I wanted to scream at Mulaney with his bullshit, both-siderism crap in the monologue. Fuck that guy.

Yep. His comments disgusted a lot of us. I am so tied of men who have nothing to lose telling us there is no difference in either side (that is not me although I certainly share her sentiments 100%).
posted by the webmistress at 11:08 AM on November 2, 2020 [13 favorites]

Fair enough, I'll retract Armisen as Obama and replace it with Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford. Armisen was just the first one I could think of as "doesn't resemble or impersonate the president at all". Chase wasn't even trying to do an impression, just a character, so the joke was "dude is clumsy and clueless", not "Wow, what a great Gerald Ford impersonation". Seems like it would be easy to do Joe Biden the same way.
posted by briank at 11:56 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I watched the show after reading some of the comments here and I went into it primed to be disappointed by Mulaney (a comedian I like a lot.) I think his monologue fell a little flat but I don't think it was actually meant to be both-sides-y. Like, he is clearly anti-Trump and he had the pointed line in there about trying to fight the new Nazis despite the "greatest generation" fucking things up by voting for the guy they see between commemorative coin commercials. It was "us vs. Nazis," and that's pretty clear. But he's never been a very political comedian and the cynic in me thinks that's why Lorne booked him for the show a few days before the election. They didn't want somebody who'd been seen as "too liberal," and while Mulaney is a rock solid lefty politics have never been a big part of his act.

I think that "nothing will change" stuff was a kind of clumsy attempt to say that no matter what happens, life in America will go on. The example he used, of some poor girl getting bullied at a slumber party, was not a happy picture at all. It was a scene of everyday, humdrum sadness. I think he was trying to say that even if it feels like we're on the brink of the apocalypse, the world will keep turning and ordinary life will go on. It was a tricky point and I think he fumbled it, as evidenced by how many people thought he was saying it doesn't matter who you vote for. I think it matters to him very much that people do not vote for Trump, but he doesn't think he's the guy to do political satire so he was trying to cheer us up in his snarky, John Mulaney way. It was... not great. (And yeah, I definitely got the feeling his grandmother is voting for Trump. If Mulaney had just come out and said that I think the whole bit would have had more focus, but he probably only wanted to get so hateful with his grandma.)

I think Jost and Che were OK in WU but Che's comment about feeling like a musician on the Titanic was kind of a depressing commentary on how he sees the gig. It actually made me feel a little sorry for him. I've commented in these threads many times that I don't think he's the right guy to be heading the SNL writer's room at this moment, and it almost sounds like he agrees with me.

As much as we all loved Diner Lobster, the Broadway numbers are feeling tired. I kind of wish they'd let Melissa be Lady Liberty. She's a great singer, she needs the work, and Maya isn't a cast member anymore.

I'll admit the Sleepy Hollow thing made me laugh, but it sure was rape-y. Like, they were straight up head-raping the headless horseman at the end. I was kind of amazed that made it on the air. It was like something from the Sandler era, but... more?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:27 PM on November 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

> but I do feel bad for Alec Baldwin being inadvertently saddled with playing the guy for four years; what was supposed to be a three-episode guest starring role has turned into this fucking albatross.
My gut feeling is Baldwin only still does it out of sheer spite toward Trump.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:54 PM on November 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

That’s a sensitive reading of Mulaney’s monologue, Ursula. I agree.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:06 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

briank I agree with you there - that's why I am puzzled that Alex Moffat (who seems like the logical choice in the cast, based on his height if nothing else) couldn't come up with something serviceable in the vein of "folksy aviator sunglasses-wearing uncle who sometimes gets cranky and accuses people of malarkey" and call it a day. Phil Hartman as Clinton comes to mind here as well - he had a solid impression, not necessarily one of his most accurate, but it was serviceable and allowed them to build sketches around Clinton that could be very funny (remember the sketch where he's jogging with the Secret Service and takes a detour into a McDonald's to chat with folks and ends up eating everyone's food?).

Literally none of the stunt-cast celebrity political impersonations has worked as well as Fey-as-Palin and again that was almost entirely because they looked so much alike it was being commented on in the press before SNL ever did a sketch featuring Palin. Lorne keeps trying to recapture that and nothing has ever landed that well.

I can easily imagine Baldwin continuing to persevere as Trump in a #staypetty maneuver. We know Trump hates Baldwin almost as much as he hates Baldwin's take on him.
posted by nayantara at 2:35 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

We did learn that my son's school is named after Mulaney's great-grandfather. We'd start a letter writing campaign to get John in to talk about stranger danger, but by the time the pandemic lifts, my son will be in middle school.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:42 PM on November 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I was generally satisfied with this show, minus a lot of the headscratchers that Mulaney threw in (e.g. I don't think he hates women, I think they were just lousy jokes and Mulaney is phoning it in). I liked the broadway sketch for Chloe alone and I think she is the rising star.

[Oh yeah, I forgot to tell Jessamyn that I had a dream Cecily was leaving the show. I had no idea IRL that she is currently starring in a Lorne Michaels Apple+ TV show, unfortunately with Fred Armisen also a cast member. Shit. But as far as I can tell IRL she is still on the show. Right? I miss her and Aidy, and I hope there are HUGE roles for them when they do pop back out of their own series.]

The strokes are better heard on a car radio than watched or listened to for any individual song. It's like listening to Slayer's entire discography: essentially each song is its own song if you care hard enough, but all the songs sound alike, so if you like their sound (I do in both cases), great. If not, they sound like they're creative blockheads.

And yes, best Jim Carrey's done on Biden so far, but I'd still rather have someone else play him. I could name forty others. Including Leslie Jones.
posted by not_on_display at 9:07 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think part of why the cold open worked was that they weren't trying to string together a bunch of unconnected moments from a debate (or the dueling town halls) like they did for the other cold opens this season.

The monologue struck me poorly, but I figure that he was afraid about looking like he cared, and as someone about the same age as him, I know that looking like you care is the least cool thing ever.
posted by ckape at 6:02 PM on November 3, 2020

My gut feeling is Baldwin only still does it out of sheer spite toward Trump.

Which is a perfectly valid motivation. One of the things I like about Baldwin playing Trump is that I feel like he forces the writers to go harder on the guy. He's not going to play Trump as sympathetic or sensible, ever. A lot of the both sides-y stuff happens in the sketches Baldwin's not in, or at worst it happens around Baldwin's Trump, but his Trump is always a goofy monster.

There are a number of reasons why Carrey's not clicking as Biden. Biden isn't as cartoonishly absurd as Trump, for one thing, and doesn't lend himself to Carrey's over-the-top antics. But I also think that Carrey probably doesn't have Baldwin's boundless, bullying arrogance, that smartest-guy-in-the-room, alpha male thing that Baldwin exudes, so when the writers hand Carrey a weak script he thinks it's his job to make it work. His ego may lead him to think he can save it, but he's never struck me as a demanding, door-slamming diva. Baldwin does. It's easy to picture Baldwin just handing a script back with a glower and saying, "This thing's got no balls. Try again, boys." Then the writers grouse and tear out the hair and go write something nastier about Trump, while Carrey is left flailing with the C- script he signed off on.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:00 PM on November 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

I watched parts of the Election special the other night and they had Carrey, Harrelson, and Sudeikis Bidens and really, none of them hit the present-day guy. Sudeikis gets Obama-era, Onion Trans Am, gregarious bro Biden, but that man is history. Woody gets the Ultimate Compromiser thing that comes with 50 years in politics, but none of the personality. I'm not sure what Carrey is honing in on, and it kind of bums me out to think that he's just wasting his time, miscast.

And yeah, there's a (shh) writer problem.
posted by rhizome at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ursula, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Baldwin actually helps write those scripts. Hosts with comedy writing experience (Rock, Chapelle, Mulaney), and hosts who have hosted multiple times (Martin, Goodman, Hanks, Baldwin) often end up working closely with the writers. Baldwin is a de facto cast member at this point; I'm sure he helps craft a lot of the cold opens.

Carrey is new to the environment, doesn't have as strong a personality as Baldwin, and his only real SNL experience aside from three hosting stints spread out across two decades is failing his audition in 1980 to get into the cast. He's coming into the situation with an entirely different mindset than Baldwin (and maybe even a small, long-held desire to prove himself to Lorne) and is probably feeling too timid to rock the boat on the way the writers are writing Biden.
posted by nayantara at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2020

I think Biden would be hard to do, period. He is not THAT distinctive of a personality in the first place, and writing him is going to be difficult and imitating him is going to be difficult. I kinda feel like the guy who wrote those Biden/Obama mystery books is as close as anyone has gotten--the guy's quirks are mostly quiet-ish and that's not great TV. It'd be hard no matter who you get.

Casting Carrey is a mismatch in energies. Carrey is a wall-bouncer and Biden so isn't. That's primarily what's wrong here. I don't know why the hell anyone thought "Hey, let's go with Jim Carrey." Not to rag on him, it's just not a good match. But on the other hand, who would be a good match? I literally can't think of anyone*, so you might as well go with celebrity casting for the hype, I guess.

* for those of you thinking, "Hey, other people have played Biden on SNL before," I literally can't remember who or what they did.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

But on the other hand, who would be a good match?

An excellent question, and I move that we consider noncomics - jennfullmoon is right, the quiet and folksy Biden is hard to parody, so why not just play it relatively straight? I nominate Tom Hanks - look at his Sully, his Mr Rogers, and maybe that Greyhound captain whose name I can't remember.
posted by Mogur at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

his only real SNL experience aside from three hosting stints spread out across two decades is failing his audition in 1980 to get into the cast.

To be fair, he does have sketch experience from his 5 seasons on In Living Color, though I'm not sure of his improv chops fitting with live TV.
posted by rhizome at 2:05 PM on November 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

For Biden, I don't think you were gonna do better than Sudeikis. The impression wasn't spot-on but he was on to something. He played Biden as kind of a charming gaffe machine with a twinkle in his eye, not dumb but just kind of out of step with some modern attitudes and always trying to catch up. "Oh, so we can't call girl reporters 'sweetie' anymore? Good to know!" That's not all Biden is, but it's there.

But Sudeikis either wouldn't commit to a long-running SNL gig or Lorne Michaels wanted a bigger name, so they went with Carrey. I hope it doesn't last. I like Carrey and it's no fun to see him badly miscast and struggling every week. Assuming Biden wins (oh please oh please) I'd be surprised if Carrey has the gig for 4 years. Baldwin has that white-hot hatred of Trump to keep him showing up, but Biden is proving to be kind of a thankless gig for Carrey. If they're going to give the part to anybody in the current cast, I'd be interested to see what Kyle Mooney might do with it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Kyle would be an interesting choice. I like him a lot and he doesn't get as much air time as other performers so it would be nice to give him an opportunity for more exposure. I also think Biden would be something Alex could do, as I said before. But bottom line: since it's looking increasingly like Biden will take office in January (fingers crossed), I really would like to see this impersonation brought "in house" instead of having to slog through four years of Carrey's take on him.

I don't know how to feel about Maya Rudolph being a somewhat permanent fixture on SNL if all goes well. She's funny, and maybe with time the writers will give Harris some more nuance (can we get an Indian-American writer on staff, PLEASE, to give them some perspective). But already they have been shoehorning her into regular sketches in roles that could easily be played by actual cast members, and that's a problem. I can't remember who said it above, but Lady Liberty in the musical sketch could easily have been done by Melissa (who is legitimately a good singer, and a stronger singer than Maya is), and it seems wasteful to relegate current performers to the sideline in order to highlight an (admittedly well-loved) former cast member. That said, I don't think any of the current cast members would be an appropriate choice to take over Harris for a multitude of reasons (please no Fred Armisen-esque blackface, please no assuming that any black woman can be substituted ad hoc for a black-presenting character as I think that would be offensive to Punkie and Ego... and Harris).

I really don't know. I just wish Lorne wasn't so dead-set on stunt-casting political characters with celebrities.
posted by nayantara at 8:31 AM on November 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am very much looking forward to Dave Chappelle tomorrow.
posted by nayantara at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just wish Lorne wasn't so dead-set on stunt-casting political characters with celebrities.

I would guess it's a ratings boost.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2020

Fuck. Four more years of Carrey.
posted by bondcliff at 10:58 AM on November 7, 2020

If that's the worst we can expect, I'm OK with it.
posted by rhizome at 12:09 PM on November 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I just wish Lorne wasn't so dead-set on stunt-casting political characters with celebrities.

If I had to guess, I'd say Lorne is a people-pleaser and not a boat-rocker. Like, he's absolutely set for life and has been for a long time, but his friends and social standing (and acquiring them) are most important to him...maybe all of it goes under a "reputation" umbrella, but I think it all plays out as always acting within a political center.
posted by rhizome at 12:12 PM on November 7, 2020

SNL should hire Sarah Cooper to play Kamala Harris going forward.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:46 AM on November 8, 2020

Why the fuck didn't SNL go with Steve Martin for Joe Biden? He can do dry and funny at the same time. Carrey can't really ever ever ever be dry.

And SNL should hire Leslie Jones back, but I think she got a better gig hosting Supermarket Sweep. No shit—I saw it yesterday and she was rockin it
posted by not_on_display at 11:16 PM on November 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

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