Saturday Night Live: Maya Rudolph / Jack Harlow
March 28, 2021 1:25 AM - Season 46, Episode 15 - Subscribe

First non-political cold open in a long time!

  • Cold Open - Snatch, Vaxed, or Waxed: Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Monologue: Maya Rudolph, Punkie Johnson, Lauren Holt, Andrew Dismukes
  • Hot Ones: Mikey Day, Maya Rudolph, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt
  • Boomers Vax: Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Andrew Dismukes, Kate McKinnon, Melissa Villaseñor, Mikey Day, Ego Nwodim
  • Unity Seder: Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, Kenan Thompson, Alex Moffatt, Cecily Strong
  • NFTs Rap: Kyle Mooney, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Jack Harlow
  • Jack Harlow - Tyler Herro/WHATS POPPIN
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Sidney Powell: Cecily Strong
    • Asian Cast Member: Bowen Yang
  • Broadway Choreography: Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Beck Bennett, Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd
  • Barfly Awards: Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Maya Rudolph, Alex Moffatt, Chris Redd, Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson, Andrew Dismukes
  • Jack Harlow - Same Guy
  • The Maya-ing: Andrew Dismukes, Maya Rudolph, Alex Moffatt, Tina Fey, Kenan Thompson, Rachel Dratch
posted by rhizome (28 comments total)
This one honestly was a bit of a slog for me. The opening sketch felt like it should have been further back in the line-up (instead of the frankly tedious "Barfly"), and that threw off the timing for me entirely. Was there originally something else planned for the open?
posted by Mogur at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was kind of put-off by the open. It seemed to tread uncomfortably close to stereotyping for cheap laughs. Ditto with Boomers Vax (ageism galore). Unity Seder was just plain boring and I checked-out early.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:53 AM on March 28, 2021

I chugged caffeine to stay up for that (well, the half I watched). Was especially looking forward to a VP skit (which I think was intended to be the cold), but it turned out to be dreadful.

What really bugged me is that the IRL 2nd couple has a cool (and yes, kind of sexy) relationship. But Martin Short's weird gropiness made it gross.

Not to mention the rest of it was so weak. Aidy's Ted Cruz is simply that it's a woman in drag. It felt like the writers Googled things Friday night. Harris has a hippie stepdaughter, Biden's dog misbehaved.

And the vaxx vid - Is it just Boomer me, or did it feel like they resent older people getting the vaccine first? So, like a stereotyping Twitter user, they painted us all like hypocritical rich magas?
(For one thing, all I could think is most of those performers have way more money than me!)
posted by NorthernLite at 10:10 AM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Worth it for Beyonce eating hot wings.
posted by bondcliff at 10:21 AM on March 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Weekend Update was solid.
posted by porpoise at 11:48 AM on March 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

I liked the Maya-ing too.
posted by ishmael at 12:05 PM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Agreed on the Martin Short's take on the 2nd husband. Cheap jokes that don't actually speak to their dynamic. Same with Aidy/Ted Cruz.
posted by ishmael at 12:07 PM on March 28, 2021

To add to my first comment: to be fair, Che's (now that WV has abolished the death penalty) "I've got some white women to whistle at" got a legitimate damn from me. As porpoise says, WU was solid.
posted by Mogur at 12:10 PM on March 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

Weekend Update was solid.

WU has become the part of the show that I actively look forward to, if I can make it through what is often the long slog that comes before it. Sure, WU is often awful, too, but I also think it's become the most dependable part of the show.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:15 PM on March 28, 2021

I enjoyed 'The Maya-ing' also, but it felt a little weird, like "she's never getting invited back again" kind of vibe which is completely crazy town.
posted by porpoise at 12:55 PM on March 28, 2021

WU is often awful, too, but I also think it's become the most dependable part of the show.

It always has been. I remember that as teenagers back in the 90s, my sister and I would watch SNL together, or, more accurately, we would watch it together until Weekend Update was over, because at that point my sister would hand me the remote and head off to bed, and I would watch the rest of the show alone. She considered Weekend Update to be the best part of the show and the rest of it to be not worth staying up for.

I believe WU works more reliably than the rest of the show because it's mostly one-liners, and one-liners are an easier form of comedy than sketches. One-liners are either funny or not funny, while sketches can take a lot of working and reworking to get them to the point that they're funny, and sometimes they never get there in the time allowed for production, or simply don't work at all, but by that time you're stuck with them because there's no time to work up another one.
posted by orange swan at 1:03 PM on March 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Barfly Awards was the only sketch that worked for me.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:23 PM on March 28, 2021

I was uncomfortable with the VP sketch. They seemed to be showing Doug hugging/groping the VP in a sexual way which... have they done this with other Presidents/VPs on SNL? I don't remember this before but I haven't watched SNL consistently over the various presidents. And even if they did with male Presidents/VPs, women are perceived differently in power and this seemed... unfair to portray her as they did, knowing this fact.
posted by rogerroger at 5:46 PM on March 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Weren't the last two cold opens non-political? Depends on how political you think a Fauci-hosted "omg coronavirus" skit is compared to this spring breaky one.

I really don't get on with Martin Short, ever since his Arrested Development episode where he was somehow three more levels over the top than the cast of Arrested Development. Every time I see him in a cameo it pulls me straight out of my body and into outer space. So the Seder skit was not so good for me.

This episode was pretty weak but it's hard to live up to the Nick Jonas episode. Mirror Workout - Murder Show - Cinderella - Boner Song is one of the longest runs of good skits I've seen in a SNL episode.
posted by tjgrathwell at 5:58 PM on March 28, 2021

Snatched was rushed and underwritten and I felt like I was not hip enough to get it, like they were doing some current slang but it was a blur. Seder was just a mess.

The ones I liked were NFT, most of the Boomer vid., and Hot Ones. The Broadway Choreography thing was a different kind of mess but I like it when they do those two-headed sketches. The Maya-ing seemed like mostly an inside-baseball joke, and even with a time machine I don't see her successfully sitting in with Aykroyd and the NRFPTPs. Tina Fey took me a sec to recognize, I thought she was Chloe at first.
posted by rhizome at 5:58 PM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Barfly Awards had potential but it kind of just petered out. It should have been a showcase for Cecily Strong because she knocks that type of character out of the park. But it almost felt they were rationing her out to make it more of an ensemble piece. Oh well. Still love Maya but overall this episode was a bit of a yawn.
posted by Atom Eyes at 6:46 PM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah I feel like Weekend Update is on an upward trajectory--I thought it was really funny this week, Che had some good lines, and Bowen did a good job with a tricky bit--and the show itself is more on a downward trajectory--there were a few sketches I didn't like at all. I like Maya Rudolph but don't love all of her characters always, and felt they overused her last season before they got the extra cast members, so maybe this was a kind of sendoff in a way. Concurring with what a lot of people have already said

- that VP segment was awful, Short seemed gropey af, and I was a little concerned and am not sure I felt less that way when she was like "I love Martin a lot" at the end, but maybe it was just me. Agree with rogerroger, it just seemed odd. I do like Alex-as-Biden however.
- I do not love the "all the characters are drunk" bits where that's the joke. May just be me. I like Cecily when she does that character but a whole roomful of awful drunks just felt likebeing in a roomful of awful drunks.
- Boomer vid felt to me more like what people (around here maybe?) seem to be saying about the people getting vaccinated ahead of them, enough so it's been a thing here. I tend to like the song bits.
- Same with NFTs, stupid but fun, always like to see Pete and heck Janet Yellen? Funny.
- Broadway Choreography and The Maya-ening just felt like it harkened back to more of Maya's background which was AOK fine, just not my thing.

Music seemed fine, could have done without seeing Adam Levine. Not enough Ego. Was hilarious to see Melissa as Li'l Pump.
posted by jessamyn at 8:15 PM on March 28, 2021

Was it Boomers that had Edith Puthie? I'll be happy if that character gets a movie.
posted by rhizome at 1:31 AM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

My guess is that the Unity Special thing was supposed to be the cold open, but it just wasn't coming together so they bumped it to later in the show. I also suspect Short's weird gropiness with Rudolph was probably some inside-joke-y thing between them. I think he was trying to make her break and he probably wasn't actually creeping on her, but it did not play well.

I'm not even a Boomer and the Boomer rap thing pissed me off. Lazy, ageist dipshittery.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:30 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Mogur: (now that WV has abolished the death penalty)

West Virginia abolished capital punishment in 1965. Surely you mean Virginia, where it happened last week.
posted by emelenjr at 4:24 AM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was surprised Weekend Update didn't have anything about the boat
posted by ckape at 5:59 AM on March 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I think he was trying to make her break

She did break, right at the end of the skit, but it was subtle.

I thought WU and the NFT skit were the best parts.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:59 AM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Next you'll try to convince me that there are two Dakotas. I wasn't born yesterday, emelenjr.
posted by Mogur at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

I thought this one consisted mostly of concepts that didn't work and jokes that didn't land. There were a few good moments. I thought Marjorie Taylor Greene climbing in through the window at the Harris Seder was pretty funny, referencing both the Capitol riot and the fact that she wasn't invited/wouldn't have been allowed to come in through the door. I also enjoyed "The Maya-ing", which was offbeat in a sweet, whimsical way.

It feels like SNL needs to find its stride again after the change in presidents/tone. During the Trump administration the jokes practically wrote themselves, but now they'll have to dig a little deeper to write effective satire. They've done really poorly with their Harris and Biden material so far, though at least Alex Moffat is a way better Biden than Jim Carrey was.
posted by orange swan at 5:18 PM on March 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, for some reason, this episode mostly rubbed me the wrong way—not that it was controversial, just that it was so lackluster. I know, the crowd is thin. But there were a lot of silent pauses in some meeeeeediocre sketches. Nothing was outright the worst, but this show never got it. Well, first week back from vacation, give'em a break, they have a few more episodes to go now. But this show: MEH.

• The monologue.
• Bitcoin. I worried that Pete had already tapped the Eminem vein once, and this was overkill—BUT the song didn't follow the content or the structure of the first, had pauses for comedy, and I LEARNED THINGS! Pete flipped the Eminem trope into his own by being the doof that he naturally is. That's a talent. And Janet Yellen, in an SNL sketch? Also Jack Harlow's best moment on the show.

Good Enough/Mixed Bag:
• Boomers Vax: on target for a specific segment of Boomers: those who made money and ruined the environment and then left the next generation to clean up. The rest of that whole mess of generational conflict definitely isn't a mine with lodes full of comedy; especially since most people aren't doing nearly as well off as the people in this video. What made it good enough was that the tune was catchy, and I love seeing even fake senior citizens performing contemporary music. Always have.
• Weekend update: The Jokes were solid. The desk pieces did not connect. I mean, I totally agree with what Bowen was saying, and I applaud him for using the platform he has to bring more light to this issue. Just wasn't funny, is all. Maybe if framed a different way, the same message could have been delivered with as much anger but also the funny. I liked it as a speech. Not a desk piece. I expect desk pieces to be more Cecily tries to light her cigarette but can't stop yakking long enough, and less Station Manager Dan Ackroyd.
• Choregraphy: All I can remember from this sketch (it's not online) was, "Wow, this is odd. huh. that's silly." Like an Ernie Kovacs sketch: not funny, but staged and executed in a stilted, interesting, but flawed way. I cannot for the life of me remember the content of the sketch except it was the old cliche of "Diva Dance Instructor Puts Newbs Thru The Press Until They GET IT". I get it. I get it. whats the rest of it

• Cold opening: Miami Beach. Yeah it wasn't political, but it also was just stupid low-hanging fruit. Yes, we're in a pandemic. Yes, college Spreng Breakers are stooopid. Yes, put them together and they're still stooopid. Only on MTV with a loose cannon host! There's the bit.
• Unity Seder: An excuse to showcase Martin Short improvising groping a very surprised, but professional, fellow veteran improv sketch comic (Maya). The rest I forget. I thought the end was shocking and wierd, but then I calmed down a bit.
• Hot Ones. This was an episode where early on, I was like WHOA old guy here gets this reference! The absurdity of the real show itself, the funny sauce names, and Mikey Day's portrayal of the host, are great. I saw Pete Davidson and Tommy Chong on it. The host and guest together eat these stoopid high-scoville-rating hot sauce wings in successive hotness; and the host never breaks shitty-interviewer character, lobbing meatballs that overwhelm the overheated celeb, usually used to such fodder. Mikey Day nailed that. Beyonce getting booked on the show was a great concept, too. Maya gawd love'er shouldn't have played Bey as JERRY LEWIS'ED by the sauce. Anything but Maya playing Bey playing JER RY LEW WIS oy these wings woof woof where the milk SHUT THIS PRODUCTION DOWN. It would have been funnier if she was wolfing them proper and teaching the host a lesson. (As Tommy Chong did.) The sketch lacked an ending or an arc. Bonus footage: The Indiana Historical Society's Version, called Hot Pepper History, in which a historian has to tell an interesting historically significant story after having consumed nature's equivalent of bear spray. GO HOOSIERS AAAHH FUCK GET THE OATMILK
• Oh shit, the Barfly Awards: This could have been an awards show about ANY OTHER KIND OF HUMAN. But let's punch down at people with addiction problems. Yeah, that's the chip on my shoulder, my problem to handle, but this is two shows in a row where "addiction to and abuse of alcohol is funny" is a sketch infrastructure. TRY HARDER PEOPLE.

Wow, did I just write all that? Anyway, show was a solid "C-minus". It must be near bedtime because I'm all Blabbity Jones here. Gonna watch an old NewsRadio and hit the hay.
posted by not_on_display at 11:34 PM on March 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

I watched last week’s rerun episode tonight and I was stunned to realize that Brooks Whelan’s too-short run was seven years ago! I just wanted to get this comment in not_on_display’s recent activity because, obviously, this made me think of him. It delights me to be in the MeFi Brooks Whelan Appreciation Society with you!
posted by Ruki at 12:15 AM on April 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Maya-ning was cute but I wish they'd saved the premise for when Kenan finally leaves. The "you've always been here" thing would be a better fit, and the final shot of him with the original cast would have been both funnier and more affecting. I almost wonder if the idea was originally pitched for Kenan but he vetoed it because even now, when he's got his own sitcom airing every week, he's still not quite ready to say he's done with SNL.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:20 PM on April 4, 2021

> It delights me to be in the MeFi Brooks Whelan Appreciation Society with you!

If Brooks's post-SNL schtick consists entirely of how he found about about getting fired from SNL and his reaction to it, it would have been enough. That he does other standup is bonus. I think Lorne missed out on a dark horse. The raccoon-caught-in-the-HVAC sketch and the Twelve-years-a-Slave-casting sketches were two of the best that season. Long live Brooks. And those tattoos he got in the 90's when RHCP were the best rock band ever.
posted by not_on_display at 12:42 AM on April 5, 2021

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