Saturday Night Live: Kieran Culkin / Ed Sheeran
November 7, 2021 1:19 AM - Season 47, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Dionne Warwick and Tracy Morgan appear in cameo roles.

  • Cold Open - Judge Jeannine Pirro: Cecily Strong, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffatt, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson
  • Monologue: Kieran Culkin
  • Cancelling Cable: Kieran Culkin, Mikey Day, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Andrew Dismukes, Melissa VillaseƱor, Sarah Sherman, Bowen Yang
  • The Heist: Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Mikey Day, Kieran Culkin, Heidi Gardner
  • Dionne Warwick Talk Show: Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, Chloe Fineman, Andrew Dismukes, Kieran Culkin, Ed Sheeran, Pete Davidson, Dionne Warwick
  • Work Bathroom: Bowen Yang, Chris Redd, Kieran Culkin, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffatt, Tracy Morgan
  • The Jockey: Mikey Day, James Austin Johnson, Chris Redd, Kyle Mooney, Kieran Culkin, Bowen Yang
  • Ed Sheeran - Shivers
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Ice Cube leaves "Oh Hell No": Kenan Thompson
    • Goober the Clown on abortion: Cecily Strong
  • Wake Up Rhode Island: Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes, Kieran Culkin
  • Ed Sheeran - Overpass Graffiti
  • John and Angie Forever: Writers
posted by rhizome (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this was a really good episode. Probably the best so far this season.

I'm happy to see Cecily do Jeannine Pirro any time. Was that James Austin Johnson doing Trump? I think he has a pretty good impression of him, certainly better than Baldwin. I don't need to see Trump show up very often but I'm glad they have someone who can do him. It did sort of take a weird shift from Pirro to too much Trump but overall it was ok.

Cancelling Cable just got more and more bizarre the longer it went. When it began I thought it was just another boring sketch but it got really good.

The Heist was perfect.

Dionne Warwick Talk Show did the thing where the real celebrity shows up and I am always down for that. I loved the very end when they embraced. What an honor for Ego Nwodim to be able to be in that situation.

Work Bathroom was another one that just got better the longer it went.

Loved Goober the Clown on WU.

So that's Ed Sheeran, huh? I'm old, so I generally enjoy when there's someone playing a guitar with a real band behind them. I guess there's nothing wrong with him, he's perfectly harmless yet so, so bland. Reminded me an off-brand Sting or something. I do enjoy when the musical guest shows up in a skit.

I think John and Angie Forever was the only real miss of the night. Seemed sort of mean and/or I just didn't get it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:22 AM on November 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Just watched the show this morning. Had such a building sensation of dread as the cold open went on and on - I've been able to avoid the sound of that man's voice since the election, and having to listen to that impersonation made me think about the inevitability of the increase of sound bytes/media attention/people addressing him as 'Mr. President' in interviews as we near the next elections. Here in NJ, with Murphy having won over the Republican candidate by such a slim margin, I don't think any Virginia-results sketch could have made me laugh, really.

Did someone screw up the ending of the 'Work Bathroom' sketch? Not like there haven't been a ton of SNL bits that just kind of trail off at the end or have an anti-climactic button, but, that one seemed especially off-kilter, as if the cast was waiting for a cue line from Tracy Morgan that didn't happen so they just rushed to the ending, or there was a misdirection on a camera change, or something?
posted by oh yeah! at 8:55 AM on November 7, 2021

Why is "Mamma Mia Cubed" so funny, I have no idea, but I laughed
posted by eustatic at 10:39 AM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

I thought this was a good episode.

James Austin Johnson has about the only Trump that I enjoy, though I think the show undercuts it. First off to be relevant on the show he has to talk about actual political subjects instead of Weird Al, Pokemon, or Scooby-Doo. Then, by putting the sidebar up it makes the rambling directed instead of just drifting around rudderless.

I wonder how much Spectrum paid SNL for that placement.

Happy that he got lifted in the goodbyes.
posted by ckape at 12:00 PM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ego's Dionne Warwick is always such a pleasure, but I especially loved DW appearing in real life and being too fabulous for words. Their scene together was one of my favorite moments on TV this whole year.

Wake Up Rhode Island was super funny and everyone was so game, even poor Punkie, and Kieran's turkey gifs were random and hilarious. Cecily's Goober The Clown was so very good and I love her, go Cecily! After folks noting during the KKW episode Kyle's tendency to do unusual voices instead of letting the natural humor carry him, it just jumps out at me. The Brandon thing would have been much funnier if he'd just played it straight.

Johnson's 45 impression is amazing but it's... weirdly toothless? It totally misses the grotesque mean, petty, opportunistic, casually offensive, mentally absent kind of nihilism that Baldwin was able to bring out, and instead turns him into a sort of amusingly addled pop culture addict. Remember that djt's pop culture knowledge stops at 40 years ago. This is the man who awkwardly shuffles to songs by the Village People, and listens to the soundtrack from Cats when he needs soothing. He for sure isn't cool enough to watch Dune, either version, much less have any kind of original thought about them. So while I've loved Johnson's impression on twitter, and the voice is jawdroppingly correct, he's missing both the heart and heartlessness of what makes 45, 45. As much as I love Cecily's increasingly unhinged Pirro and will take pretty much any excuse to feature it, I don't ever want to see 45 again here or anywhere else.
posted by mochapickle at 2:49 PM on November 7, 2021 [7 favorites]

James Austin Johnson gets Dump's voice really really well. Physically, Austin Johnson is way too slim and not needy and self-congratulatory enough, but that voice and cadence. Wow.

Anthony Atamanuik's ('The President Show') is a really physical good caricture, but Atamanuik's voice is way too high.

But like the real thing it went on for too long, but given how well the impression was, not surprised that they gave him the time. Technically brilliant, but sterile.

Who's Kieran Culkin? Never heard of him before today. Maybe I should watch 'Succession' - and... he's Macaulay's kid brother?! Holy moly. Macaulay did pretty good in the latest first-half season of 'American Horror Story,' though. Kieran has pretty good stage presence.

'Cancelling Cable' kicked me right in all of my groins. Not cable, but cable internet. That's some dark f-ing humour.

I thought Moffatt brought down 'Work Bathroom,' and while I like Morgan, it detracted from the skit.

(nice callback to the Prince riff before the second Sheeran piece)
posted by porpoise at 4:32 PM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cecily Strong's Goober the Clown went from absurd to devastating if you began to believe -- as I did -- that she was actually telling the story of her own abortion. One of the most powerful things I've seen on SNL, maybe ever.
posted by How the runs scored at 5:00 PM on November 7, 2021 [16 favorites]

Goober was amazing, dark and hilarious. "Clown abortion" just gets funnier the more she says it. She is also clearly pissed off.
posted by emjaybee at 8:36 AM on November 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Definitely my favorite episode this season. i agree with others that JAJ's Tr*mp has the right look/sound but really misses some of the venal and stupid-doesn't-care self-absorbed aspects that DT had (and Baldwin was good at). I appreciate that the new guy is getting screen time being really good at something but that seemed to miss a little mostly in the writing I think. Watching Moffat make all the faces as he went on and on was gold though.

Culkin was good and game and I felt he worked in everything which was nice. Surprised to not see a Mac cameo and really adorbs seeing that old footage. One of the things I like about this show in general is that it has a memory of itself in a neat way.

Cancelling cable rang so true and was a fun ensemble piece. The Heist was a bit predictable but also very funny. Warwick cameo was SO SWEET, I had seen her interacting with Nwodim on Twitter when Ego first did that character, i loved that whole bit and was good to see Chloe who hasn't been on screen that much. Work Bathroom was ridiculous and I agree I think Tracey Morgan got everyone's timing off and I'd like to know what happened. Jockey was goofy 90s. Wake up Rhode Island appeals to me as someone who often sees the dorky RI weather forecasters try shit like this (and also those bonkers storms, I could see my dad's house on their map).

I like Sheeran just fine and thought he did fine. Was fun to see him in the Warwick sketch, Appreciated that he fist bumped his band instead of just standing on the front of the state being like "Yeah I am amazing, thank you"

And yeah Goober the Clown, super powerful. Too bad Colin's mic got wet. Cecily is such a treasure and she did a great job making that sketch both funny and powerful. And Che didn't ruin WU with his lazy digs. The only thing that didn't totally work for me was John and Angie Forever. While I love those guys' timing and it was great to see Sherman run in at the end, the "dogging on your ex" trope is a little too tropey and real-feeling to make good comedy, imo.
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 AM on November 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Dionne Warwick and Dionne Warwick just made my week!
posted by travertina at 9:35 AM on November 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought Ed Sheeran just got Covid and was still in the 10 days? Why was he there in person?

The clown abortion thing, wow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:53 PM on November 8, 2021

I wondered that, too. But he had just finished his 10-day quarantine earlier in the week.
posted by mochapickle at 5:05 PM on November 8, 2021

Yeah he tested positive on October 24th.
posted by jessamyn at 5:06 PM on November 8, 2021

Too bad Colin's mic got wet.

Ah, that's what happened.
posted by porpoise at 6:29 PM on November 8, 2021

Who's Kieran Culkin? Never heard of him before today.

Excuse you, he was a fantastic Wallace in Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe.
posted by praemunire at 10:22 PM on November 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yeah, this is the top of the five episodes to come along so far, and given that it's been an overcrowded cast, it's still been a great season. Andrew Dismukes is getting a chance to show what range he covers well, the new impressions guy is ... good but not super-great. At first I thought he could be the new Darrell Hammond, but lately, not so much. I liked his version of Trump over Baldwin's but there's still something missing, the bluster, the frightening aspect that makes a fascist a fascist and an impression of a fascist work well. Baldwin had that in his first couple at-bats.

Really, when Kate McKinnon comes back, I'll be psyched to see where they fit her into this crowd. The ensemble pieces are off the chain. I'd like to see more of all the cast members, but I'll have to settle on a little bit of each one, which is okay.

But this was already a Cecily Episode even before she just NAILED it on update. I have never been so proud of a desk piece in my entire life. That's one for the ages. I didn't even care what Jost had to say or that his mic was wet. Cecily created a unique, classic piece that will stand out for decades. I loved how baffled the audience was: SNL comedy rarely gets into all those things at once: the emotional toggle-switch, the political statement, the call to action. This was kinda like, Cecily's greatest moment. I think I remember Cecily herself coming close to this level a few years ago, but damn, that was the most powerful, cutting, jarring, tragic and HILARIOUS desk piece I've seen in decades. I'm glad to have peeked at the media today and seen that others thought so, too.

The rest of the show: Mostly solid A-game material. I'm very impressed. And I already like the show.
posted by not_on_display at 12:15 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Excuse you, he was a fantastic Wallace in Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe.

Oh thank you, I KNEW I recognized him from something. I went to watch Succession and lasted all of about four minutes.
posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have no strong opinions on the episode but I was pleased to learn recently that Bonnie Bedelia (who many of us know from Die Hard or Heart Like a Wheel) was born Bonnie Bedelia Culkin. She is Aunt Bonnie to those Culkins.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:15 AM on November 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

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