Saturday Night Live: Keegan Michael Key / Olivia Rodrigo
May 16, 2021 12:48 PM - Season 46, Episode 19 - Subscribe

First MadTV castmember to host SNL. Also, Kenan joined SNL the year Olivia Rodrigo was born.

  • Cold Open - No More Masks: Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Cecily Strong, Punkie Johnson, Lauren Holt, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant
  • Monologue: Keegan Michael Key, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson
  • Braxton High Prom Red Carpet: Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Keegan Michael Key, Kyle Mooney, Chloe Fineman, Andrew Dismukes, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson
  • ESPN - Last Dance Outtakes: Mikey Day, Keegan Michael Key, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Alex Moffatt, Kenan Thompson
  • Muppet Show: Kermit the Frog, Statler & Waldorf, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, Keegan Michael Key
  • Birthday Band: Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Alex Moffatt, Punkie Johnson, Chris Redd, Keegan Michael Key, Cecily Strong
  • Olivia Rodrigo - Drivers License
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Liz Cheney - Kate McKinnon
    • Great Grandmother - Andrew Dismukes
    • Bob Baffert - Beck Bennett
  • Gershwin Celebration: Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Keegan Michael Key
  • Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u
  • Graduation: Alex Moffatt, Chris Redd, Punkie Johnson, Kenan Thompson, Keegan Michael Key, Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Lauren Holt
posted by rhizome (18 comments total)
 
Big fan of Keegan-Michael Key. 'Key and Peele', if not under-rated, deserves more acclaim.

Glad that the CDC's ill-advised masks-no-longer-required getting mocked.
posted by porpoise at 2:33 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this is the first time they've had a performance of a song after they did a sketch about it
posted by ckape at 3:32 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


First MadTV castmember to host SNL.

I've wondered about why more MADtv alumni aren't better known. Aside from Key and Jordan Peele, who came onto the show late in its original run and were probably better known for their own show and subsequent work, its best known alumni are probably Phil LaMarr (Marvin in Pulp Fiction and a ton of cartoon VA work) and Alex Borstein (Family Guy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Maybe because the show had some particularly vicious celebrity impressions and that hurt the careers of the cast?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:21 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Key was a decent performer as always; the sketches were a bit tired though, the Kramer the Frog one was ok, but sort of petered out.
posted by Marticus at 6:54 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Aside from Key and Jordan Peele, who came onto the show late in its original run and were probably better known for their own show and subsequent work, its best known alumni are probably Phil LaMarr (Marvin in Pulp Fiction and a ton of cartoon VA work) and Alex Borstein (Family Guy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

Er, Orlando Jones seems to have done pretty good for himself too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 PM on May 16


I always think Ike Bairinholz has been doing pretty well too, but that may just be because I see him in a lot of things.

I thought this episode was solid. Didn't really know Olivia Rodrigo, but she was solid. Keegan Michael Key always brings it. There were a LOT of big ensemble pieces which I always like and three solid desk bits on Weekend Update. And for some reason Beck Bennett playing a guy named Bob Baffert was funny and then I looked the guy up and he kinda looked like him. Not a lot of weird Kyle which is what I prefer (I like Kyle but he'd being doing a lot of his "awkward dude" pieces lately which are not my fave), and no pre-filmed stuff except the ESPN thing. Audience seemed chipper which is always good.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 PM on May 16


I know that we are all completely over anything political but I was hopeful that we would get the Obama impersonation, maybe just a smidge. Enjoyed it anyway.
posted by pearlybob at 9:13 PM on May 16


Peele doesn't nearly look as similar as Key, but I think that Peele has Obama's cadence down cold.
posted by porpoise at 9:57 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a pretty solid episode! I laughed at pretty much everything, though the Jordan thing dragged a bit, and they could have rewritten the Statler & Waldorf beatdowns to be a smaller part of an otherwise good sketch. It seemed pretty special to have a Muppet sketch, I have to think it was because today is the anniversary of Jim Henson's death and he had roots on SNL

I laughed actual out-loud by myself for an extended moment at the Uncle Ben's name change: "I don't think the problem was that he's an uncle."

Second song was a real bridge across generations, I liked it a lot.
posted by rhizome at 10:40 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


MadTV alum Andy Daly is a comedy god in my eyes, and he’s doing pretty well. Review was genius.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:03 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Good episode. I liked the cold open a lot. During the monologue though when he said he was going to pull off all the SNL cliches I wish they had run with that a bit more than they did.

I didn't really know the host very well. I've seen him in a few things and some random sketches I've seen on YouTube over the years. He was in one of the Fargo seasons as well. I really liked his energy.

Solid weekend update.

Musical guest felt very much like Generic SNL Musical Guest. I thought the first song was boring but the second one was kind of cool, some upbeat pop rock. More of that please, The Kids need to know what a guitar sounds like. (I am an old man)
posted by bondcliff at 6:52 AM on May 17


Mask politics; high school graduation ridiculousness x 2; surreal comedy; muppets: as a Gen-X I felt professionally pandered to and I liked it.
posted by cardboard at 7:16 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


"Musical guest felt very much like Generic SNL Musical Guest. I thought the first song was boring"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that first song the same one they did that "Guys arguing over what the song means in the bar" sketch for earlier in the season?
posted by GamblingBlues at 11:40 AM on May 17


Oh yeah, it was, wasn't it?

I know it's mostly my age and taste in music (or lack of), but there seems to be certain artists that, as far as I know, only exist in the SNL universe. Like I don't know that I've ever seen Haim in any context outside of SNL.
posted by bondcliff at 1:48 PM on May 17


It's funny that people brought up MadTV because like 3 minutes into the Muppets sketch my impression was that I was watching a high-production-value MadTV sketch. It's a very different energy than a typical SNL sketch.

Also the Gershwin Celebration sketch had a lot of lazy "laugh now" moments in it. No need to cut to Keenan (with an "n") mugging for the camera or Mikey Day going "NO NO". Just let the main performers be idiots for 5 minutes. We get the joke.
posted by GuyZero at 3:43 PM on May 17


certain artists that, as far as I know, only exist in the SNL universe

Well it wouldn't be a Fanfare SNL thread if someone didn't profess ignorance of a famous musical act and then write it off as "I'm old", would it?

Haim has released three albums over the last decade. They are Grammy nominated in major categories. Before they went on their own successful tours, they opened for Kesha and Taylor Swift. If I turn on an alternative radio station for more than a few hours, I am virtually guaranteed to hear one of their many solid hits.

I did not have to look up these facts. I am fifty fucking four years old. I am from Kansas and live now in Maine, hardly hotbeds of edge culture. Really amazing new music continues to be made every day, and the artists on SNL are well past the fringes of what's well known. It's fine if you haven't heard of an artist, but the whole "SNL: where do they GET these bands???" week after week is so tired.
posted by donnagirl at 9:22 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


Oh, spare me your outrage. I can't remember the last time I listened to the radio. The last time I watched the Grammys Metallica lost out to Jethro Tull. I am aware that there is a shit ton of music that is enjoyed by millions. SNL is just about the only way I am exposed to any of it these days and I am grateful for it.

Famous doesn't mean what it used to mean. "Famous" used to mean everyone in the world knew about it. Now it means a group of people who enjoy that particular niche know about it. I think it's better this way, personally.
posted by bondcliff at 10:22 AM on May 19


Beck Bennett playing a guy named Bob Baffert was funny and then I looked the guy up and he kinda looked like him.

I watch the Triple Crown horse races every year, and the Bob Baffert bit was genius because he's exactly that sleazy! That joke probably had a very small audience, but I was so grateful for it.
posted by gladly at 8:56 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


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