Saturday Night Live: Regina King / Nathaniel Rateliff
February 14, 2021 4:15 PM - Season 46, Episode 12 - Subscribe

First-time host.

  • Cold Open - Tucker Carlson: Alex Moffatt, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Pete Davidson, Beck Bennett
  • Monologue: Regina King, Kenan Thompson
  • What's Your Type: Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, Regina King, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffatt, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson
  • Pelotaunt: Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Melissa Villaseñor, Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Lauren Holt
  • Gorilla Glue Lawyers: Kenan Thompson, Regina King, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Punkie Johnson
  • Birthday Gifts: Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner, Regina King, Cecily Strong, Chloe Fineman
  • The Negotiator: Mikey Day, Regina King, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Beck Bennett
  • Nathaniel Rateliff - A Little Honey
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Stephanie Green: Kate McKinnon
    • Mackenzie Taylor-Joy: Lauren Holt
    • Drunk Tom Brady: Beck Bennett
  • Fliona: Bowen Yang, Kyle Mooney, Regina King, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Andrew Dismukes
  • The Elbow Monologues: Melissa Villaseñor, Mikey Day, Regina King, Kate McKinnon, Andrew Dismukes, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner
  • Nathaniel Rateliff - Redemption
Cut for time: Kyle and Friends
posted by rhizome (13 comments total)
I thought this was a really strong episode. Update ran a little too long, but Regina King was a great host, super enthusiastic, ready to throw herself fully into the sketches, and looked like she was having a blast. Really the platonic ideal of an SNL host. My favorite was Fliona, but really we were laughing consistently throughout. Bowen is a really strong presence and I love seeing more of him
Dismukes did a good job with his small roles as well. Just a lot of fun all around.
posted by nayantara at 5:51 PM on February 14, 2021 [5 favorites]

In contrast, for me, this was probably the worst episode in years. It's possible that the episode was completely curdled for me by having 'What's Your Type' as the first skit. Unfunny and not clever unless there was some seriously deep meta on King infamously being 180 on being thirsty for irredeemable and non-introspective losers that I'm not aware of.

Regina King has style for days, though.

Yang and Gardner were pleasing in 'Pelotaunt' but were firmly within their limited comfort space. Similar with everyone except Bryant (who was probably blind-reading at least some of the stupid whatsits) in 'Birthday Gifts.'

'Gorilla Glue Lawyers' as a skit was predictable, and the entire irl situation was stupid - especially the mocker/ serial-attention-getter gluing a red cup to themselves. The skit didn't mock the stupidity of the whole thing nearly enough. The original GG hairspray lady was in her forties. This is dumber - and surprisingly even less "funny" - than even the "jokes" in the 90's about someone grabbing hair gel instead of sexual lubricant in the heat of the moment in the dark/ unfamiliar for anal intercourse.

Davidson and Bryant were ok as weed gummies, though. But as an edibles-joke, it was super lame overall.

I sympathize with Day's character, surrendering to this episode to end, like from his being exasperated with King's character's non-competence in that skit.
posted by porpoise at 10:07 PM on February 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

"Hey Barkeep:
I Wanna Die Tonight"

had me openly weeping with laughter. I actively need that sign in my house.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:28 PM on February 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

Is Nathaniel Rateliff becoming a known performer? Happy to hear he’s made it to SNL but an unexpected choice!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:44 PM on February 14, 2021

Yeah, we fast-forwarded through much of this episode. Not good.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:34 AM on February 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I did like Kate's bit as the child-eating witch, but this was a mostly meh show.
posted by briank at 7:21 AM on February 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is Nathaniel Rateliff becoming a known performer? Happy to hear he’s made it to SNL but an unexpected choice!

I watched the episode in real time, without my usual commercials buffer. After the second song, I was left thinking “How do I know that song? I only know that one song from years ago.” Then a commercial for the movie Palmer aired, and the song was featured prominently in both the ad and the movie (which I have seen). Then it made sense that he was on the show because I felt the same way you did.

I have no desire for a Peloton, but I am the target audience for a Pelotaunt.
posted by Ruki at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

It's always a disappointment when the host's talents far exceed the material they've been given. Regina King was stellar, the writing was not.
posted by pjsky at 9:35 AM on February 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm entering the demographic where I am occasionally asking jessamyn, "Is this sketch/character based on something real that just happened?" This show was about 60% that. Luckily the characters they molded out of the real-life people were just funny enough to pass as comedic characters on their own so that I could go mostly context-free. But lots of these sketches did immediately strike me as, "Wait, this isn't just mildly silly, this actually happened," and jessamyn would confirm, yep, and give me a couple more details, or I'd connect it with some headline I'd read...

Regina King was a phenomenal host, agreed—the platonic ideal is not an overstatement. The only time she even looked like she was reciting from cue cards was the Fliona skit, which I thought at first was going to be a slog, but as it went on and the pace accelerated, the timing kept up, and it was more about the silly quickly-recited lists of things they didn't have or couldn't do. The writers probably changed the lists 100 times and you'd have had to read it from a cue card or youd be immediately lost. And because they kept edging up the pace and timing and silliness, it made me forget that they were reading all of this, line by line. That was a hard sketch to execute, but they did it.

The rest of the show was straight up mediocre silliness—not a waste of my time, but not the funniest shit. The one sketch I did have a problem with was the "kitschy homemaker signs about alcoholism" sketch.

Oh, and I am glad to have seen (a) more of Dismukes, and (b) ANYTHING by Lauren. I was glad they gave her that desk piece. At first I was saying, "Why didn't they give this to Aidy?", but I slowly turned to, "Ah, NOW I see the differences in how they would have chosen to play this character." Until now, I thought Lauren was little more than a placeholder for Aidy; now I can see a little more of the spin she can give things, and I hope they give her more roles.

The Weekend Update was good, I think some of the jokes were too edgy for most people to feel comfortable laughing at, but they were good jokes for the most part.

Also, Nathaniel Rateliff reminded me of guys I'd see at work or wherever, just some dude, except he was playing yacht rock. Is yacht rock making some sort of comeback?

But yeah, forgettable episode other than Regina King and Bowen with a Moustache and 70s Afro Wig.
posted by not_on_display at 5:52 PM on February 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

Also, Nathaniel Rateliff reminded me of guys I'd see at work or wherever, just some dude, except he was playing yacht rock. Is yacht rock making some sort of comeback?

Thank you! I went to bed before his second performance but the whole time during his first I was thinking "I guess this is mildly pleasant, mostly harmless music but what the hell genre is this?"

I thought it was a pretty good show for the most part but I was kind of loopy from a vaccine fever.
posted by bondcliff at 8:39 PM on February 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well I liked it quite a bit and rate it above average for the season! Kenan's hype-man in the monologue was a beautiful thing executed...imperfectly, "What's My Type" might be pushing my "ha ha we're so lame!" buttons, but the topic is RIPE, and I'm glad to see it spotlighted. Mikey's increasing "fake voice" finger-quotes thing (which has to have some kind of therapeutic term associated) was so good.

But Pelotaunt, Fliona, The Negotiator, and The Elbow Monologues were standouts no matter how easy they were to write. King's skills may have outstripped the show, but I think she did fine and wasn't checked-out or anything like other mismatch hosts have been. Melissa Villaseñor's Marge Simpson, come on.
posted by rhizome at 3:35 PM on February 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Pelotaunt is something I've watched several times. It resonates so deeply and is such a great showcase for each of the cast members particular gifts that I can't get enough of it. Which is really rare for me and SNL in this era.

And the Birthday Gifts made me laugh until I cried. The logical conclusion of "wine mom"-style home decor truly is "Hey Barkeep: I Wanna Die Tonight," and that's a huge problem! It's ripe for mockery because it's so insidiously about laughing off real struggles that people are having, especially over the past year, and I thought they did a great job writing it this way, with the gradual reveal of ever-more-concerning quips.
posted by knotty knots at 11:07 AM on February 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

I think one of my favorite things about this episode is how many real ensemble pieces there were (kinda same as the week before). This may be because the cast is HUGE but I think it gives them a lot of options for casting so you can get people who fit the roles better. And I've been happy to see Aidy and Cecily back around tho it did mean a few one-liners for some of the newer cast members. Gorilla Glue was the only bit that kinda didn't grab me, but I missed some of the actual news story so there may have been jokes I didn't get.

Regina King was great, up for it, had great timing and had a huge amount of range which isn't always something you see with people whose core thing isn't comedy. I also really liked Nathaniel Rateliff's thing but maybe that's because it felt nostagia-familiar, but he clearly had a great voice and a great band and it was a little less frenetic than Bridgers.
posted by jessamyn at 8:36 PM on February 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

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