Saturday Night Live: Oscar Isaac / Charli XCX
March 6, 2022 1:32 AM - Season 47, Episode 14 - Subscribe

First-time host!

  • Cold Open - Fox Ukraine Invasion Celebration: Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffatt, James Austin Johnson, Bowen Yang, Mikey Day, Cecily Strong
  • Monologue: Oscar Isaac
  • Paw Patrol Recall: Ego Nwodim, Oscar Isaac, Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong
  • Inventing Chloe: Chloe Fineman, Andrew Dismukes, Kyle Mooney, James Austin Johnson, Michael Che, Oscar Isaac, Kate McKinnon
  • HR Harassment Seminar: Oscar Isaac, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant, Andrew Dismukes, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang
  • Meatballs: Chris Redd, Sarah Sherman, Oscar Isaac, Aidy Bryant, Andrew Dismukes, Bowen Yang, Melissa Villaseñor, Kenan Thompson, Charli XCX
  • Charli XCX - Beg for You
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Don't Say Gay Law: Kate McKinnon
    • Weary Mom: Ego Nwodim
  • The Sexual Woman: Aidy Bryant, Oscar Isaac, Kyle Mooney, Bowen Yang
  • In Over Your Head: Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Oscar Isaac, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd
  • Charli XCX - Baby
  • Writing Class: James Austin Johnson, Aidy Bryant, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Melissa Villaseñor, Oscar Isaac
posted by rhizome (15 comments total)
Monologue was kind of fun.

James Austin Johnson's Trump is making me realize how bad Baldwin's Trump was. Baldwin was playing Goofy Baldwin and just saying Trump stuff. JAJ is channeling Trump. He's amazing. The Fox cold open was brutal but not brutal enough.

I only liked Inventing Chloe because I saw the trailer for whatever it was they were doing the parody of, otherwise I'd have no idea what it was about.

Meatballs was... bizarre. It started out creepy and then just got more and more out there until it had me laughing out loud.

I don't remember what it was but Che said a couple things in WU that annoyed me more than he usually does. Glad they brought Kate in.

I thought Charli XCX's second song was a banger.

Aidy continues to be a national treasure.

All is all a somewhat mediocre show. I laughed a few times but tuned out on a couple sketches.
posted by bondcliff at 7:21 AM on March 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thee Paw Patrol sketch was a perfect example of SNL doing something live that should not have been done live. The concept was a series of edited clips of "person on the street" interviews. Why do this live? The pacing was off because it's impossible to capture an edited feel with live actors and live camera cuts. I can't believe they led with that sketch.

My wild-ass guess is they have too many cooks in the kitchen in recent seasons. Over a dozen cast members? Who knows how many writers, plus Lorne Michaels?

I tuned out after Paw Patrol. The opening monolog was cute.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:30 AM on March 6, 2022

I thought this was an A+ episode. Best cold open in a long time. Oscar Isaac was amazing. Much of the cast had strong individual moments. The sketches were interesting, mostly, and kinda weird, which I like.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:38 PM on March 6, 2022

I thought that 'Inventing Chloe' was good - tight, didn't go over time, sly background, and gave Fineman an excuse to do a strong accent. I enjoyed 'Inventing Anna.'

Yang's Steven Seagal was cute, and brutal.

Great bit my McKinnon in WU.
posted by porpoise at 5:59 PM on March 6, 2022

The "Inventing Chloe" was the first time in a long time I was up on the pop culture Reference of the Now. It was fine, a little surface-y.

I liked the episode overall. He's the best host in quite awhile.

The sexual harassment skit, I felt like the fact that the characters in the examples were dressed exactly the same as them was supposed to carry out the hanky-panky connection, but it was too subtle and they didn't touch that part of the sketch basically until the end.

The Sexual Woman was funny as heck, I loved every aspect of it.

The writing class needed more work. There's a way to do that gradual Dreadful Reveal thing effectively, but that wasn't it.

He was still a great host, and I didn't know I had already seen more than a couple of his movies.
posted by rhizome at 6:03 PM on March 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Trump singing "My Funny Valentine" killed me ded. The commitment to the tuneless escalation was very funny.

The cold open was funny, and really sweet.

I loved the Meatballs skit. It was so weird! It just got weirder!

Paw Patrol Recall is basically a conversation I have with other parents all the time, so I LOLed.

My kids watched this week, Meatballs was their FAVORITE and it feels like it's one of those skits that the junior high students watching SNL right now will still be quoting from in 30 years, because it's just so memorably bizarre. They have obviously not seen "Inventing Anna," but they still "got" the skit, and laughed.

I am a long-time Charli XCX stan, from way back in the mixtape era of like 2011, so I was really disappointed when Omicron kiboshed her earlier appearance, and delighted she was on this week.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:24 PM on March 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

I came here just to say

posted by rogerroger at 9:45 PM on March 6, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oscar Isaac was amazing. Much of the cast had strong individual moments. The sketches were interesting, mostly, and kinda weird, which I like.

This was my feeling, except for the ten-to-one sketch which I agree with rhizome, was not handled right for that arc. I was pleasantly surprised that the first few sketches were as funny as they were and had little stinger joke bits at the very end. Isaac was really good, and very Up For It which I always appreciate. Better than Mullaney who is a bit samey and Forte who was mostly just in Forte-stuff. I also liked his monologue because I never tire of "this famous person when they were young" stuff. Charli XCX seemed like she did fine (I like her voice, she seemed AOK, I tend to enjoy more band-y types of music) but I LOVED seeing her in the weird Meatballs sketch which felt like a very Sarah Sherman sketch which I just loved. Seemed like we saw more of some cast members we don't see a lot of. Still waiting to see more of Aristotle (in the cold open but with no lines) and Punky (was she there?). And yes I agree that JAJ seems like he's really got the Trump impression down and I appreciate when they write that character to be less funny and more sucky which they did this week.
posted by jessamyn at 3:55 PM on March 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think pushing Trump to the sidelines of the cold open helped a lot, because it freed James Austin Johnson to really ramble instead of having to circle back around to the topic at hand like on his previous appearances.

Generally I thought it was pretty good. Oscar Isaac seemed pretty game, but nothing really struck me as standout.

Disappointed nobody has added The Avenger to Oscar Isaac's IMDB page yet.
posted by ckape at 9:26 PM on March 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed the weirdness of this episode and thought Oscar Isaac did a really good job.

I liked the music itself ok, but I'm getting more and more tired of the musical guests not actually singing. I feel the same way about all the late night musical guests lately. I appreciate that she's owning her sexuality and all. I really, really do. But, if you're just going to very obviously lip sync and wear next to nothing, I'm not going to be that impressed. I'm more impressed watching episodes of The Voice and American Idol auditions, and that's saying something.

I just remember when it was a big deal when that Simpson kid effed up her musical bit, and now no one even cares.

I grew up with musicians who performed live all the time, and I loved going to all kinds of live shows. Sometimes, the mistakes are part of the charm. If a person isn't even breathing properly and their throat doesn't move, then why even bother.
posted by lilywing13 at 3:50 AM on March 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

It was a good episode. Isaac seemed to blend with the cast pretty effortlessly. At times he was more a cast member than the host, which is a good thing. I will show my age and admit I had no idea who he was, though.

The cold open was good, if by-the-book. I often wish they’d carry the satire a bit further and depict the characters far more disrespectfully. I mean, other than verbal quips, none of the characters were depicted unflatteringly. They need to take cues from the best editorial cartooning and work on the visual aspects, too.

I mostly liked the weirdness. Meatballs went on a little too long (for me) but it was really good, left-field idea. Inventing Chloe was fun, as was Paw Patrol. Harassment Seminar felt like a good idea that kind of lost its way a bit, or there were two “HR skit” ideas trying to work together. It still mostly worked.

I basically like Charli XCX, but thought her first song was a big dud for me. I get really squicked-out by the current ultra-long fake nails fashion, and hers were so distracting I just couldn’t enjoy the music.

WU was good. Kate’s piece on the bullshit Don’t Say Gay bill was good. It was actually the first I’d heard of it. In hindsight, I wish she had been more venomous. Ego’s single mom was solid, though it did seem to play into some uncomfortable stereotyping.

As is usual anymore, I fell asleep after WU. I’ll have to watch the last bits in replay. But, overall, it was a good solid outing.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:32 AM on March 8, 2022

the meatball song is approaching "Space Pants" earworm levels over here

send help
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on March 8, 2022 [5 favorites]

I've heard a lot of people going on about how Johnson's Trump is so much better than Alec Baldwin's, and I sure don't see it. I think Johnson makes Trump kind of a rambling grandpa, ridiculous but non-threatening, while Baldwin's Trump had some real venom to it. His Trump was both a conman and an idiot, barely concealing his surprise that people are buying his crap. I think of that bit where Baldwin's Trump was telling his stupid lies at a rally, and at one point he said something like, "You know, I can't believe you people. It's like I keep serving up chili with fingers in it, and you just keep coming back for more. Well, goodnight... and keep eatin' that finger chili, folks!" Johnson's Trump never says anything that pointed. He just babbles about this and that for a while and I honestly find it kind of dull. He sounds more like Trump than Baldwin did, but I miss the loathing that Baldwin brought to the part.

(Note that I'm just talking about Baldwin's performance as Trump here and I'm not trying to stir up a debate about the recent shooting. I honestly don't know what the hell happened there but if he committed a crime he should do the time.)

The meatball thing was great, but it was great in a very non-SNL way. It's the first time I remember the show venturing into that super surreal, super dark Tim and Eric/Adult Swim kind of comedy, with body horror and singing meatball tumor puppets and stuff. Sarah Sherman's WU bits have left me cold but if she can come up with crazy sketches like this I'll be watching to see what she does next. Chloe Fineman's Inventing Chloe thing, by contrast, has me just about ready to give up on her. In too many of her sketches she plays ditzy bimbo types, and even when she ventures outside of that she does these disposable pop culture parody things. SNL just seems like a stop on her way to playing the cute but kooky lead in romantic comedies I ignore.

Isaac was fine. His goofy voices were kind of a lot, but I appreciated that he was clearly giving his all. Was he doing Tim Curry in the Sexual Woman thing?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:47 PM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think it's mostly that Johnson is a great sound-alike but does not get the character or mannerisms.
posted by Marticus at 3:55 PM on March 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

I agree that Johnson’s Trump is kinda, I don’t know, like-able, and that is not okay with me. I will never, never, never be cool with a Trump redemption project. And, in a small way, Johnson’s portrayal seems like one of the first little acts of that public project.

But, Baldwin’s Trump was pretty toothless. Baldwin just isn’t that talented a comedian. Yeah, he hated Trump, and it shows in his performance, but his Trump wasn’t revelatory or even meaningful. Phil Hartman’s Reagan was wild and unexpected and made me—little kid me—think.

So, I don’t know. Johnson is clearly having fun doing a stunt off of Trump, and that fun rubs off on me, I guess. Baldwin’s Trump was a chore to endure—just more Trump.

I have mixed feelings about the matter.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:13 PM on March 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: Fresh...   |  Critical Role: The Tunnels Bel... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments