Saturday Night Live: Willem Dafoe / Katy Perry
January 30, 2022 5:19 PM - Season 47, Episode 12 - Subscribe

From Appleton, Wisconsin!

  • Cold Open - Biden's Ukraine Briefing: James Austin Johnson, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Aristotle Athari, Andrew Dismukes, Kyle Mooney, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman
  • Monologue: Willem Dafoe, Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day
  • HOA Meeting: Alex Moffatt, Chloe Fineman, Punkie Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Mikey Day, Bowen Yang, Willem Dafoe, Melissa Villaseñor, Aristotle Athari, Pete Davidson, James Austin Johnson, Kyle Mooney, Andrew Dismukes, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon
  • Now I'm Up: Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Willem Dafoe, Heidi Gardner
  • Badminster Dog Show: Willem Dafoe, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Punkie Johnson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Chris Redd
  • Can't Get Hard: Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Willem Dafoe, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Katy Perry - Never Really Over
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Trend Forecasters: Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang
    • Emily in Paris: Peyton Manning
  • Beauty and the Beast: Pete Davidson, Chloe Fineman, Willem Dafoe, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson, Punkie Johnson, Kyle Mooney
  • Connor: Writers, Colin Jost
  • Katy Perry - When I'm Gone
  • Good Morning Columbus: Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, Willem Dafoe, Heidi Gardner, Andrew Dismukes
  • Office Meeting: Kyle Mooney, Andrew Dismukes, Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson, Melissa Villaseñor, Willem Dafoe
posted by rhizome (17 comments total)
After what I thought was a dreadful cold open and a not-great monologue this turned out to be an excellent episode.

HOA Meeting seemed a little off in places but it was nice to see an ensemble piece that wasn't a game show.

Now I'm Up was basically written about my sleep habits.

Badminster Dog Show made me laugh several times. I was glad they didn't just rely on the "animals do random things some times" thing that they usually do on those types of sketches. I don't even remember some of the dog behaviors they mentioned but they were all funny.

I would love to know why they went with Natick, Massachusetts' hometown hero Doug Flutie for the Can't Get Hard sketch. Seemed kind of random unless he's been doing something I hadn't heard about recently, which is entirely possible. Dude can't usually sneeze without it being in our newspaper.

I am not a huge fan of Katy Perry's music but I absolutely love Katy Perry. Everything she does is so perfectly over the top with a huge element of silliness that I can't help but think she's wonderful. Those dancing mushrooms!

Really loved Peyton Manning's bit on WU and Aidy and Bowen were amazing.

Conner was good. I'm glad those guys aren't just another Lonely Island, as much as I loved LI. Just a great premise and they really did it perfectly.

I can't really recall anything particularly outstanding or terrible that Dafoe did so I guess he was an ok, if unmemorable, host.
posted by bondcliff at 6:31 PM on January 30, 2022

I thought Dafoe was great. Game for silliness and comfortable with live theater (obv.). I think SNL in toto just let him down. I know the storm screwed things up, but it felt like they were operating on a short week or something. Felt thrown together.

Can’t Get Hard was based on the real commercials for a real brand. Some fool thought it made perfect sense to label an OTC prick-stiffener “Nugenix.” You know, eugenics, but for your dick. Hunh?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:52 PM on January 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I would love to know why they went with Natick, Massachusetts' hometown hero Doug Flutie for the Can't Get Hard sketch.

That Nugenix spot was basically a real Nugenix commercial. Doug Flutie is in them with Frank Thomas.

Was it a weirdly horny show? I felt like so many of the sketches had weird sex themes.

How is Peyton Manning that good at comedy?
posted by gladly at 7:53 PM on January 30, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oh wow, Dafoe in 'HOA Meeting' got one of my business partners in California (a transplant from NY, about the same age) to a fricken T (albeit with a less strong accent).

(but caveat, I'm a massive Dafoe fan - and I love him throughout this episode - and so much goddamn energy - ok, looked it up, he's only 66. Thought he was 70++)

Redd is talented, and I've got to (finally) give him his props. As pjsky mentioned a couple of episodes ago, I agree, Redd ought to have job security on SNL if he wants.

Wasn't expecting to like 'Can't Get Hard' but Dafoe and the sound effects sold it.

Yeah, not a huge fan of her music, but those Amanita muscaria costumes rocked.

"Also, am I wrong? I thought Ivanka was the sister of failure." lol

Sick burn by Che, "... but I hope it's not because he wants to sniff a new type of hair..."

WU was absolutely killing all segment, despite/ because of its cattiness.

Another big wig episode for Yang; he and Bryant have great timing with each other, and seemingly amazing chemistry. I want to see much more of then together!

Peyton Manning looked liked he had a ton of (and receptive of) coaching (and he's a friggin physically HUGE person) and was comfortable enough with himself to hit those comedy notes.

(Is that a meta-meta joke? Was Manning historically coachable when he was playing?)

Davidson feels like he's in a good place and comfortable with it. Go Pete! Hope things keep working out.

I used to hate the "writers" skits, but this one was surprisingly ok despite my normally hating on "kid actors."

Hope that Nwodim gets to do more than just straight liner, Gardner seems like she's getting a bit more range to explore.

One of my favourite eps in a long time. The last one I kept a copy was s44e17 with Kit Harrington but this beats it handily.

'Office Meeting' feels like something from my time in college in the last half of the 90s (drum circles, impromptu musical sessions). Is this like an 80's throwback done in the 90s - but modulo 20 years?
posted by porpoise at 9:49 PM on January 30, 2022

Very put off by the Connor sketch. Those writers have zero on-screen presence and even less chops as comic performers. It’s the kind of nerdy white college kid humor that probably cracked ‘em all up in the Harvard dorms or whatever, but as professional comic entertainment being aired on national TV, it was an embarrassment. Leave performing to the actual performers, SNL—that’s what you pay them for.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:33 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

I don't know if it's as famous as I thought, but Peyton Manning was the main character in a classic digital short. I think he might just have natural talent.

I talked to a Wisconsin friend today and she had barely heard of Krambo's, mentioned in Dafoe's Wisconsin line in the monologue. Turns out it was a chain that got bought by Kroger in 1955 and had more or less disappeared over the next 10 years. Deep cut!

I thought the bad dog show could have been punched up a bit. It's a great premise comparable to the "Best Daddy" contest in the Matt Damon lockdown episode (Christmas 2 years ago I guess!). Besides that, "Now I'm Up" and the Office sketch were my favorites. Weekend Update consistently strong these days after at least a couple years of spottiness. New President?
posted by rhizome at 2:33 AM on January 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

How is Peyton Manning that good at comedy?

Playing for Indianapolis requires a solid sense of humor.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:08 AM on January 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ahhh, thanks for the clarification about Flutie. brb, texting "LARGE" to 369369.
posted by bondcliff at 6:37 AM on January 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Not sure I get the weird snobbery and gatekeeping over the Connor bit.

Professional comic entertainment sounds like something you buy by the drum.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:49 AM on January 31, 2022

For some reason seeing Dafoe play a hapless doofus just cracks my ass up, he's so committed.

Peyton and Eli are both incredible SNL guests. Eli's "text message history" sketch is one of my all time favorites.
posted by ftm at 7:55 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

"Now I'm Up" was the best bit of the night, which is often true of their musical videos.

Felt like the first few sketches - the cold open, the condo meeting, and the dog show were all of a piece. Each cast member got some little bit to do, with a frame of some kind around it. The cold open was the worst of the three, but none of them were really great. Kenan and Kate were awesome in the condo meeting sketch, though. And the adorable little beagle in the dog show was adorable - they're all good dogs, Bront!
posted by briank at 8:07 AM on January 31, 2022

Not sure I get the weird snobbery and gatekeeping over the Connor bit.

Aside from a visceral dislike for their performances—which I’ll admit is subjective—my main objection is to them getting 5 minutes of screen time which could otherwise be given to cast members, who are actually talented and fun to watch on screen. Especially on a show that already struggles—for some reason—to give more than a handful of its 20+ cast members any significant screen time.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:57 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

Especially on a show that already struggles—for some reason—to give more than a handful of its 20+ cast members any significant screen time.

I think the show simply has too many cast members at this point. The opening credits go on and on with all these faces and names. Then we get to see (maybe) all of two lines in an hour and a half show from some of them. The show just seems so scattershot these days.

I'm not a hater, I found some of the bits to be good. Some of it just feels under-rehearsed. The Trend Forecasters bit on WU had good bones and some laugh-out-loud lines. But the timing felt off a few times. And "laughing during your own sketch" isn't very funny to me—except in rare cases. It seemed sloppy in this instance. Again, I liked the bit, but it wasn't as strong as it could have been.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:56 AM on January 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm still thinking the expanded cast is just Lorne Michaels hedging his bets. This season, he very nearly lost Kate, Aidy, Cicely, and possibly Kenan and Pete, and that would create an absolute vacuum that I'm not sure the show could easily recover from.

And in previous years, cast members weren't allowed to go and pursue other projects during active tapings, so having more people means they have more coverage if/when someone steps out to go work on an independent thing, like Kate did for most of the first half of the season for the Carole Baskin thing this year, and like Cicely is doing right now with Signs of Intelligent Life.

Did Aristotle just completely vaporize? We haven't seen him in weeks.
posted by mochapickle at 8:09 AM on February 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought this show had a few moments but was overall kind of meh. Dafoe seemed to be doing a fair amount of reading cue cards.
Manning was pretty solid, and if you like him you should check out the Roast of Rob Lowe that he was on. He brought some good material, and overall I recall that one as being more entertaining than most. There was one solid burn on him that he took with good humor, too.
posted by Horselover Fat at 2:42 PM on February 1, 2022

I thought the bad dog show could have been punched up a bit.

Agreed, I loved the first little dog and that stupid list they made for it and was hoping for similar with the rest of them. I always like shows that have a lot of ensemble pieces and a host who is game for things and this one was good for that. Willem Dafoe has always been a fave actor of mine and though he didn't have a lot of pieces to work with, I thought he did a good job.

Did Aristotle just completely vaporize? We haven't seen him in weeks.

He was the mustachioed guy in the HOA meeting! And... something in the cold open. But I agree, I'd like to see more of him.

Especially on a show that already struggles—for some reason—to give more than a handful of its 20+ cast members any significant screen time.

I tend to like those pieces but they all have really similar arcs. Guys hanging out, weird thing happens, weird thing escalates, outfreakage, amusing surrealist wrap-up. If given the choice, I'd see more things done with the actual cast.

Trend Forecasters for me was an immediate classic, Good Morning Columbus was a bit we've seen before but I lol'ed. And I usually like Katy Perry but these two numbers just felt like they were big stadium pieces that didn't quite scale to the smaller room that is SNL. Maybe I just don't like the wacky wall animation. Did enjoy the costumes.

Eli's "text message history" sketch is one of my all time favorites.


Only thing that didn't work for me at all was the Office Meeting which, for a ten-to-one sketch was fine but I didn't like it much.

Cut for time: Nice Jail.
posted by jessamyn at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2022

Jesus, Dafoe was a good sport. From spanking himself to doing goofy dances to creepily proclaiming about how he personally, Willem Dafoe, had problems getting hard. As an actor he always commits 150%, and it was fun to see him bring that energy to sketch comedy.

Although he was perfectly cast as the "pain in the ass", Lou Reed-esque aging hipster at the HOA meeting, the role was such an annoying millennial spleen-vent. "Like, OK, grandpa, we're tired of hearing how you used to hang around at CBGBs and Iggy Pop would puke on your face!" Dude, that old guy is so much more interesting than you will ever be. He packed more living into 1977 than you will in your entire life. (Hell, he probably has stories about doing coke with Belushi and Aykroyd.)

They sure are trying to make Please Don't Destroy (or whatever they're called) into a thing. They've gotten multiple sketches on the air, and every single one has struck me as... okay? Like, B- at best. If SNL is desperate for the next Lonely Island, I don't think these guys are it. They make me miss the stuff Kyle Mooney and Beck Beckett were doing. I bet Mooney misses it too.

Katy Perry's music usually doesn't do much for me, but I can respect her goofy-sexy visual sense. Those mushroom penis dancers sure were something.

Melissa Villaseñor barely showed up and when she did she flubbed her lines. She arrived on this show with all the potential in the world but she never really blossomed and I doubt she'll be sticking around much longer.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2022

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