Saturday Night Live: Timothée Chalamet / Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
December 13, 2020 11:35 AM - Season 46, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Timothée Chalamet's first time hosting.

  • Cold Open - COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Heidi Gardner
  • Monologue: Timothée Chalamet, Timothée Chalamet's Mom, Pete Davidson
  • A Rona Family Christmas: Beck Bennett, Cecily Strong, Lauren Holt, Timothée Chalamet, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes
  • Surprise Lexus: Heidi Gardner, Beck Bennett, Timothée Chalamet, Mikey Day
  • The Dionne Warwick Talk Show: Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, Timothée Chalamet, Andrew Dismukes, Melissa Villaseñor, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt
  • Tiny Horse: Beck Bennett, Heidi Gardner, Timothée Chalamet, Jimmy Fallon
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Ghosts
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Dr. Wayne Wenowdis: Kate McKinnon
    • Dolly Parton: Melissa Villaseñor
  • Holiday Baking Championship: Alex Moffatt, Lauren Holt, Beck Bennett, Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim, Timothée Chalamet, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney
  • XXL Rap Roundabout: Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, ?uestlove, Pete Davidson, Timothée Chalamet
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - I'll See You In My Dreams
  • Sportsmax: Alex Moffatt, Beck Bennett, Timothée Chalamet, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes
posted by rhizome (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this was a home run episode. Chalamet is a likable kid.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:00 PM on December 13, 2020

Tiny Horse was delightful!
posted by mochapickle at 12:01 PM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

That was a really good episode. Probably one of the best in a long time.

I think the only thing I'd ever seen Timothe Chalamet in was Little Women so I guess I assumed he was British or Irish or something, I had no idea he was from New York. I guess I just don't pay attention to that sort of thing. He was a decent host, though not a natural, and a few times his timing seemed to be off. It happens and I'm not gonna hold it against him. He did well and I bet he'll be a five timer in a few years.

Maybe they got the hint about Baldwin and Carrey? This was the second week in a row without them and... I just don't need to see either of them again. I'd be happy if Baldwin showed up occasionally but not Carrey.

I rolled my eyes when The Rona Family Chrismas started up but I laughed out loud a few times. It was a good mix of wordplay and just plain bizarre writing.

Is Pete from Staten Island? They hardly ever mention it.

Did Dionne Warwick do something on Twitter recently? That was well done, even if I didn't get some of the references.

Tiny Horse. That needs to be a thing. I loved it even if I don't know why I loved it.

XXL Rap Roundabout was beautiful. Pete and Timothe did a great job, even if they just shouted a few words.

WU was ok. I do like the "Kate, are you ok?" way they end the Wenowdis bit. Melissa's Dolly was so good I thought for a second they might have been dubbing it.

Sportsmax was pretty brutal, I wish they had played it earlier.

I'm an old guy and my enjoyment of musical guests seem to depend on whether or not someone on stage is playing a Telecaster or not and since Bruce is arguably the most famous Tele player out there I should really be a Springsteen fan but I've never really loved the sound of the E Street Band. I really admire Bruce as a songwriter and artist but I'm just not into that sound. Also I just can't look at Little Steven anymore without seeing Silvio Dante. I thought they did an excellent job of being Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

All in all a great episode that made me laugh quite a bit more than usual.
posted by bondcliff at 12:09 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I thought this was the best episode in a long while. No failures and a couple of really good ones.
posted by gaspode at 12:16 PM on December 13, 2020

Really enjoyed it, particularly because we just finished rewatching The Good Place where they bag on Timothée Chalamet A LOT so I enjoyed finding out who he was (I did see Little Women but hadn't made the connection).

I checked out Dionne Warwick's Twitter because of this episode and it's a delight.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:15 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

When watching, I thought Tiny Horse was gonna end somewhere dark (with the horse accidentally getting stepped on or something) so it was delightful that it stayed delightful. With that song and Bye Bye Lil Sebastian, there is a future album to be made of comedy songs about diminutive horses.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

Interestingly, I think that this episode kind of plays up where Timothee's strengths and weaknesses are in his career overall right now.

Those of you who only just know him from Little Women - he became a massive Enormous Next Big Thing when he starred in the film Call Me By Your Name, which was his first leading role and earned him his first Oscar nomination (and deservedly so) at the age of Twenty-Freakin'-Two. He was also in Ladybird that same year, and he's enormously attractive, so this was a lot of fan attention and an Oscar nom and it was a lot for him to take in. However - he was also from a show-biz family, and had gotten to be good friends with his CMBYN co-star Armie Hammer who apparently gave him a little bit of "hey, here's how to handle the whole Hollywood thing without losing your mind" advice. In all the interviews from that time - and there were a lot - you can tell he's this mix of excited as hell to be there but also freaked out like "oh my gosh what if I say something stupid and this all goes away".

(I'm getting to Timmy in SNL soon, I promise.)

Ever since then, he's seemed a little self-conscious about not wanting to do The Wrong Thing still. The few times he's made Unusual Choices, they've mostly been connected to fashion choices and he got all KINDS of flak (most famous is turning up to present an award at last year's Oscars in an outfit that made him look like an auto mechanic), and the reaction has probably scared him into getting a little protective of his privacy right now. He was in Little Women, he is going to be in Dune, he was in a movie with Steve Carell, he had the lead in The King opposite Robert Pattinson - and in the interviews for all of those films, he comes across as sort of....cautious. Not quite the same dazzled goof that he was before. He talks about the films mostly, instead of himself, and the things he says about the films sound sort of earnest and rehearsed. He's being a little guarded with himself right now; I think it's a protective thing, while he works on figuring out who he is (which makes sense, because being in your early 20s and trying to navigate that whole phase of figuring out who you are while the whole rest of the world is looking at you has got to be really unnerving).

And this all kind of shows up in how he did in each of the different segments. He seemed a little uncomfortable in the monologue, and really over-rehearsed; my hunch is that he's still at the point where talking about himself still makes him super-uncomfortable, even if it's something scripted. But when he was taking on another character, like he did in the sketches, he nailed it because he is ridiculously talented. But best of all was in all the sketches where they paired him up with Pete Davison, because he is still a kid on some level, and no doubt Pete Davison was cracking him up and it was giving him the chance to relax a little, and the whole thing worked better.

One of his upcoming films is a little goofier - he's part of the ensemble for the next Wes Anderson film, and hopefully that will loosen him up a little bit as well. You need to be a good actor for comedy, and he's definitely that; he may need a little loosening up as well too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:01 PM on December 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

Chalamet seems like a good egg.

Rona Family (ft. the Herpes) was fantastic.

Surprise Lexus - I think it has been a meme for a while, and the sketch picked it up?

Adored Villaseñor's Dolly Parton!
posted by porpoise at 3:22 PM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

This was a fantastic episode! Tiny Horse was delightful. I love when MV shows up on WU with a new impression. Rap Roundtable was my favorite sketch of the night. I hope Pete keeps doing whatever he's doing lately in his life, skkrrt skkrrt. Earlier this week, I had read some of Dionne Warwicks tweets to my husband, so I especially liked that sketch, too. This was the first thing I ever saw TC in, and I found him ridiculously charming, although I too was surprised to find out he's from NYC.
posted by Ruki at 4:04 PM on December 13, 2020

hope Pete keeps doing whatever he's doing lately in his life

I think it's probably staying out of trouble in his mom's basement and not doing drugs.

Surprise Lexus - I think it has been a meme for a while, and the sketch picked it up?

The Christmas ad where the guy presents two new GMC trucks to his wife is likely the one that triggered SNL's skit. That one's been a meme for a couple of years too but now the ad comes across as particularly obnoxious and ill-timed given how badly so many people are suffering economically because of the pandemic.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:19 PM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Don't forget about the triumphant return of Max Weinberg to Rockefeller Center
posted by ckape at 5:05 PM on December 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

Wow, what an improvement over last week! I liked bits of everything, but I just loved Melissa’s Dolly Parton.
posted by Monochrome at 5:14 PM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Did Dionne Warwick do something on Twitter recently? That was well done, even if I didn't get some of the references.

The first tweet, to Chance the Rapper was real, from last weekend. She also roasted another guy with a "the" in his Name, The Weeknd. It's not even spelled correctly.

How Dionne Warwick became the queen of Twitter (with a little help from Chance the Rapper)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:55 PM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

She also roasted The Ohio State University.

I love her.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

This was my favorite episode of the season so far. I adore Timothee Chalamet - such a talented, unassuming kid. Reminds me so much of my long-time music collaborator/surrogate little brother in affect and attitude and humility. If you haven't seen him in Beautiful Boy with Steve Carrell yet, go do so - that film shattered me. Chalamet gave a tremendous performance and he has great dad/son chemistry with Carrell.

Anyway, just so we're clear that I like the kid. I thought the monologue was cute, I love that he and Pete Davidson are clearly BFFs for life now (and they played well off of each other), and I think he did a fantastic acting job in all of the sketches he was in. Just a solid guy, with some comedy chops.

Highlights for me were the Rona Family, the Xmas Car commercial, and the XXL Rap Roundabout. Update was decent but a bit low-energy. I do not like Kate as Dr Wenowdis - this is the quintessential problem of SNL taking a one-note character and turning it into a recurring rehash of the same joke every time and it annoys me so. I did love Melissa as Dolly Parton, though. Melissa is so talented; I wish they could find more for her to do.

Oh also I LOVE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND I LOVE PATTI AND LITTLE STEVIE AND NILS AND GARRY AND ROY AND JAKE AND MIGHTY MAX AND I LOVE THE NEW RECORD so all in all as far as I am concerned this was a fantastic episode. Yay Timothee! Yay Bruuuuuuuuuuce!!!!

I've had too much caffeine today
posted by nayantara at 8:08 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

They rehashed another earlier sketch, this time with the holiday bake-off that was done with Eddie Murphy a year ago. However, they did it better this time.
Having the host impersonate another celebrity in the Dionne Warwick sketch, while Chloe Fineman impersonated him was genius.

Sportsmax was the Trump satire I’ve been waiting for for four years. In general it looked like they gave the new feature actors more parts this week too.
posted by cardboard at 8:28 PM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Y'all, if you haven't seen the two promos they did, they're here and the second one made me laugh so hard I had to explain myself to my roommate. And even more surprisingly, it was Bruce Springsteen who made me laugh. (Chalamet newbies - yes, the whole "call me by your name and I'll call you by mine" was a reference to that movie, it was part of the leads' love language thing).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:58 AM on December 14, 2020

100% agree with porpoise: Adored Villaseñor's Dolly Parton!
SNL should have her show up as Dolly every week in every sketch, it will only make the show that much better. Also, the show needs to put Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang in twice as many sketches as they are getting now because they are both exceptionally strong performers. Honestly they are 10x more talented than Pete Davidson and he's in everything it seems.
posted by pjsky at 10:46 AM on December 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Tiny Horse was cute an' all, but c'mon, let's not pretend Lil Sebastian never existed...
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:29 PM on December 14, 2020

Ugh, this is all over the place. Lil Sebastian is not in the SNL Extended Universe!
posted by rhizome at 4:59 PM on December 14, 2020

Although I think we can all agree that Lil Sebastian was anything but lil.
posted by mochapickle at 5:25 PM on December 14, 2020

This is actually at least the third time they’ve done basically the same baking competition sketch:
Timothée Chalamet
Eddie Murphy
Don Cheadle

The cake reveals follow the same pattern:
1. Premise established with crappy cake that falls short of grandiose plan
2. Semi-sentient abomination cake made by the week’s host
3. Nice cake by Heidi Gardner that the judges ignore.
4. Penis cake by Kyle Mooney.

They have running bits, but running sketches is a bit much with all the talent they have available.
posted by cardboard at 6:36 PM on December 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

posted by not_on_display at 8:59 PM on December 14, 2020

Oh by the way, when's the last time KENAN didn't show up on the show? Maybe he and Chris Redd are shooting their show now.

Maybe that and Aidy's absence is leaving the door open for everyone else, and they're killing it. The more Ego Nwodim, the better; Kate's not falling into lazy Church-Lady-every-week schtick; Pete is getting some choice roles.(Seriously, he and the kid who hosted played really well off each other.)

Also, each of the three players—Andrew, Lauren, and Punkie—got into three sketches, and were not just wallflowers for the most part. Chloe was only in two sketches, and she'd been all over the place lately. I am beginning to see why Lorne overloaded the cast this year.

Also, in a wierd twist, Bruce Springsteen looks a lot like my dad did about 15, 20 years ago. Bruce also looked like Joe Strummer might have aged. Other than that, Bruce is Bruce; he could sing the phone book and it would still sound like a cool Springsteen song.

This is the most solid and funny show this season, by a longshot. I think that says something about this cast.
posted by not_on_display at 11:02 PM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Having the host impersonate another celebrity in the Dionne Warwick sketch, while Chloe Fineman impersonated him was genius.

Flashback - one of the funniest SNL bits I've ever seen was a Weekend Update from 1993, where they had Mike Myers playing Mick Jagger - alongside the real Mick Jagger, who was playing Keith Richards.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:18 PM on December 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I like those backflips, like when the real HRC was the bartender to Kate McKinnon's HRC after the 2016 election. Or Nic Cage and Andy Samberg as Nic Cage... I think there are a few others, but that Myers-plays-Jagger, Jagger-plays-Richards thing was especially clever.
posted by not_on_display at 6:37 PM on December 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I too noticed Bruce's resemblance to Joe Strummer! There was a big ol' tribute/benefit in August, maybe he's sticking with a theme.
posted by rhizome at 11:58 PM on December 15, 2020

Did ... did Springsteen just plagiarise Steve Earle's "I Ain't Ever Satisfied"?
posted by essexjan at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2020

> ... did Springsteen just plagiarise Steve Earle's "I Ain't Ever Satisfied"?

Giants stand on the shoulders of other giants, so I wouldn't be surprised. The Steve Earle song already sounds like a Bruce song. This is much more common and acceptable in music—using a riff from one place to springboard into another territory.

Like if I were to start my book, "Call me Ishmael," and then continue with, "...One winter, I went on a contracted bear-hunting trip through the thick and endless Russian taiga with a rigidly-minded employer..." It'd sound familiar, but be a different story.

Here's a neat story of someone asking permission. Which is rare.
posted by not_on_display at 1:05 PM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this. I only knew about Chalamet because Fineman impersonated him last season sometime and he was really good, game for whatever and a good actor. Plus the him+Pete energy was SOLID and it's always good to see Pete doing well and enjoying the sketches that he is really good in.

I've been following one of the costume designers on Inastagram and it's been fun to get a bit of a back room view into how they do stuff like those 'Rona heads.

Maria as Dolly = treasure
Wayne Wenowdis, kinda sick of
Tiny Horse , basically didn't understand
Lexusad, RIGHT!!?? Those ads always made me bonkers, glad they got called out
Sportsmax, super fun and dumb, I loved it
Dionne Warwick, this was great if you knew what she'd been tweeting and I just loved this exchange with her and Ego later
Holiday Baking, I can watch this every time they do it

All in all my fave episode so far, not even sure why things seemed to click more, better writing and Chalamet was up for it to do a lot of weird stuff. Bruce was Bruce which was AOK, I'm really a Little Steven gal lately.
posted by jessamyn at 1:41 PM on December 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

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