Saturday Night Live: Natasha Lyonne / Japanese Breakfast
May 22, 2022 1:22 AM - Season 47, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Season finale.

  • Cold Open - UFO Abduction: Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Natasha Lyonne
  • Monologue: Natasha Lyonne, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph
  • I'm Stupid and I Vote: James Austin Johnson, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong, Natasha Lyonne
  • 50s Baseball Announcers: Mikey Day, Natasha Lyonne, James Austin Johnson
  • Summer Gig: Kenan Thompson, Natasha Lyonne, Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong, Bowen Yang, Chloe Fineman
  • After High School: Kenan Thompson, Andrew Dismukes, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Kate McKinnon, Melissa Villaseñor, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Natasha Lyonne, James Austin Johnson, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant, Punkie Johnson, Aristotle Athari, Cecily Strong, Sarah Sherman, Alex Moffatt
  • Japanese Breakfast - Be Sweet
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Guy Who Just Bought a Boat: Alex Moffatt
    • Trend Forecasters: Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang
    • Pete Davidson
  • 9:15 to 5:15: Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Natasha Lyonne, Fred Armisen, Kyle Mooney
  • Japanese Breakfast - Paprika
  • Grey Adult Pigtails: Melissa Villaseñor, Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Heidi Gardner, Natasha Lyonne, Kyle Mooney, Michelle Zauner
posted by rhizome (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Last show of the season, and farewells from departing cast members. Kate’s was pretty poignant, and she seemed genuinely touched at the end of the cold open. Both Aidy and Pete said their goodbyes during WU, and they were equally touching. Bowen appeared to slip an unexpected bit into the WU skit that took Aidy by surprise. It was very sweet. I can’t recall ever seeing cast farewells like these. It’s pretty cool.

Speaking of the cold open, Kate went all-out with her character, especially turning it onto Lyonne, who seemed to be working really hard at times not to lose it. It was hilarious. And, it was really nice not to have a political/current-event-focused cold open for once.

The skits were just kinda okay. I’m Stupid and I Vote was too obvious, went on too long and lost the funny pretty quickly. Same for After High School. Just too long. That one felt a bit overly mean to the women, too.

50s Baseball Announcers was a weird one. It felt like a skit that would have played better 20 years ago, but meth gags aren’t all that funny anymore. But the WTF-Was-That? award goes to Summer Gig. I’m not sure even the players knew wtf was it was supposed to be. It almost felt improved to a point. And not well.

Very stoked to see Japanese Breakfast! Been a fan for years. I really wish SNL would book more smaller alt acts like this. Girl in Red? Snail Mail? Fazerdaze?

Other than Kate, Pete, and Aidy, who else (if anyone) is leaving the cast? Aidy seemed to imply Che was leaving, but hasn’t he already said he wasn’t?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 AM on May 22, 2022

Kate had a good run. I look forward to seeing what she does next and fully expect her to reach Tina Fey / Amy Poehler levels of success. I'm ok with her leaving though as I think she's run her course. She hasn't done anything really new in the past couple of seasons.

Aidy, on the other hand, I will miss terribly. She's always been such a treasure and can really play so many roles. She kind of reminds me of Keenan in that sense as she's a good utility player. She's been one of my favorite cast members for as long as she's been on the show. I hope she goes on to do many great things.

I have a funny feeling we're all going to mostly forget about Pete in the next couple of years. I liked him on the show and I think he's a funny guy but I'm so tired of PETE DAVIDSON being all over the place. I never quite understood the obsession with him. I wish him well.

The show itself was fine. The cold open was funny and a touching goodbye for Kate.

I absolutely hated After High School. I think that was one of the worst things I've ever seen on the show. So mean and depressing and WAY too long. I get what they were going for but I just did not like it.

I'm Stupid and I Vote was funny but I wish they had not mentioned guns, especially so soon after Buffalo. I just wish we could all stop using guns as entertainment, to be honest.

I started late so I fast forwarded through Japanese Breakfast. I was happy to see her show up during Grey Adult Pigtails though. Always great when the musical guests are game for a skit. I enjoyed that sketch because I know a lot of those folks.

9:15 to 5:15 seemed to just be "let's see if we can make Natasha break." I enjoyed the 1980s movie premise and laughed a few times but it was a very weird sketch.

I thought I read somewhere that Kyle was leaving so if that's true it's kind of weird that everyone else got a send off but him.
posted by bondcliff at 9:46 AM on May 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Damn, what a way to start a season finale.

The cold 'Alien Abduction' was an instant classic, a captstone to the entire skit.

Then Natasha Lyonne's heartfelt monologue ('But... I'm a Cheerleader' is indeed wonderful). And her jumpsuit!
posted by porpoise at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2022

Cut for Time: Forgot About Lorne

I was just thinking that they hadn't had Lorne on screen for a while, and I don't think that counts.
posted by ckape at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought I read somewhere that Kyle was leaving so if that's true it's kind of weird that everyone else got a send off but him.

I read Gray Adult Pigtails as his sendoff: weird sketch about an overly specific thing that everyone pretends is much more universally A Thing, Kyle doesn’t need to be in it at all, and everyone pretends he’s much better at everything than we have any reason to believe.
posted by Etrigan at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yeah, Kyle had his moment, especially when he and Beck were doing more stuff together. His crowning achievement for SNL was the series of films where he and Leslie Jones were partners—but also it was in all those dumb youtube-inspired sketches from early on. But yeah, he lost me when the characters became less sympathetic and more cringey and embarrassing. I thought this was actually his best sketch in years, so I was glad to see him go out on that.

> ...weird sketch about an overly specific thing that everyone pretends is much more universally A Thing

[checking profile] YEP not from new england. But it does reach and try to push the upper limit of that juicy 18-49 target demo. So I thank the nice young folks at Saturday Night Live for writing a joke for us. Thank you, joke writers, for your tireless efforts and long nights. If you like maple candy, we can send some.

Anyway, this was a solid B+ of a show. I thought the sendoff desk piece for Aidy was sweet, and Pete, well, I think his sendoff was weeks and weeks ago, and this was the newer Pete making some cheeky comments and saying bye. Kate's "going to live with the aliens" ending was an instant classic. The sketch was kinda getting old, but still nice to walk that lady up the ramp and into space beyond.

Japanese Breakfast was kinda sweet and filling but ultimately empty calories.

Natasha Lyonne's best sketch of the night: her monologue—MARRED at the end by Fred Armisen (enough already, let him and Kyle make a show together and they can both have fun somewhere not near me) and SAVED by Maya Rudolph who is a national treasure. Please stop the Fred Armisen cameos. Like, when Gilbert Gottfriend was young, as he got older, he got funnier. The reverse is happening with Fred Armisen.

Best Sketch: Stupid Voters. Maybe the whole joke is played out, but still, that was a funny way of couching the joke. "Especially in my county."

Worst sketch: either the 9-5:15 or the HS where-are-they-now sketch. They both were solid ideas, but the 9-5 sketch tried to do too many absurd things at once (and ARMISEN ggrrrr)... and the HS sketch was all about either what a hot mess Lyonne's character was, or "this guy hung himself or whatever; that lady was murdered; this girl was never seen again"... the best joke in that by far was the Jan 6 joke. They definitely aimed that sketch at the wrong target. The 9-to-5 meets Weekend at Bernies sketch should not have aired over Pete's final film, and I haven't even watched it.

SEEYA NEXT FALL! Until then, I hope they bring Kids in the Hall back on the air.
posted by not_on_display at 11:18 PM on May 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I’m adding three of my favorite cast members (and Kyle) leaving SNL to the list of very bad news in the world and my own life in the last few weeks. No, my brain is not OK. What is Thursday?
posted by bendy at 1:37 AM on May 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Until then, I hope they bring Kids in the Hall back on the air.

(Honestly can't tell if this is sarcasm or if you don't know the new season was released two weeks ago on Amazon.)
posted by Gary at 1:56 AM on May 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

AAaa I did not, thanks! (I don't own a TV). Woo hoo KITH! Another Lorne creation! Seeya all!

Also the Pete video was way better than the bottom two sketches in my roster.
posted by not_on_display at 10:23 AM on May 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought Natasha Lyonne was great but this episode didn't have much for me. I did like Grey Adult Pigtails and the cut Pete Davidson video. After High School was ok and I know there are many instances of the same thing, but the voiceover seemed extremely close to the end of Band of Brothers to me and I wonder if that's what they were going for. If so, they nailed it. If not, I still enjoyed that part.

I was surprised to see Lyonne in the cold open. That's pretty rare for non-former-cast hosts.

Fred Armisen creeps me out every time I see him. I'm not really sure why but I don't like it and I wish they'd stop having him back. He was funny to me 3 or 4 times while he was in the cast and zero in his guest spots since.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:34 PM on May 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

Thank you! Someone else who's creeped out by Armisen.
posted by porpoise at 6:27 PM on May 23, 2022 [3 favorites]

I enjoyed Portlandia, but the guy always has some kind of scrunched up fish face/bug eyes thing going on, and apparently he's awful IRL, especially to be in a relationship with.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:40 PM on May 23, 2022 [4 favorites]

Came here to ask: What did Pete Davidson's sock joke mean? "Lorne accidentally gifted me a sock, so I'm free." I feel like this is an allusion to some Rumpelstiltskin-like magical imprisonment deal, but I have no idea what it is.
posted by skoosh at 7:40 PM on May 23, 2022

It's a Harry Potter reference ("Master gave Dobby a sock!") - giving clothing to a house elf freeing them from servitude.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:48 PM on May 23, 2022 [6 favorites]

Count me as someone who dislikes Fred Armisen and dislikes how he skews the vibe of things he guests in. I’m always put in the mind of ex-wife Wlizabeth Moss’s comment about him, words to the effect of “The best impression he does is of a normal person.”

Loved Natasha Lyonne in this—you could tell that she was up for anything and the writers knew it.
posted by ejs at 7:57 PM on May 23, 2022 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I’m not an Armisen fan, either, and was put off by yet another appearance on SNL. Though, I suppose, in this instance, it could be explained by he and Lyonne being a couple until very recently. But, the guy definitely creeps me out, too, and just isn’t very funny. His style seems to be “deliver a not-obviously-funny line as deadpan as possible”.

What I don’t get is why Maya Rudolph is so often at his side, as in this episode. She’s genuinely funny, and doesn’t need Fred tagging along.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:22 AM on May 24, 2022 [4 favorites]

"¡Ay dios mio!"
That was the only funny character Fred ever had, the latino drummer. WAY early on.

I don't know how I got through watching Portlandia, but I stopped somewhere in the middle of the series. Even Carrie Brownstein couldn't reverse Fred's polarity. She was great in it; he was still annoying and creepy. Yeah: say the unfunniest thing deadpan. Well, whatever it is he has, he's clearly respected as a professional by people I respect, but jury is out on him as a person whom I will never know or meet or converse with in all likelihood. THAT IS MY JUDGEMENT ON FRED ARMISEN! NEXT!
posted by not_on_display at 10:42 AM on May 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

"¡Ay dios mio!"
That was the only funny character Fred ever had, the latino drummer. WAY early on.

Funnily enough, Armisen was already well known for Ferocito from his hijinks at SXSW starting in the 90s.
posted by rhizome at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

And they ran Ferocito into ground... quickly.
posted by mmascolino at 9:09 PM on May 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh... that article puts things into perspective, at least as to why his peer group is who it is. UCB used to do a lot of guerilla street improv. But I'm not even clicking on Fred Armisen's SXSW or other stuff.

My god, Fred Armisen and SXSW? urrrff i don't even want to think

i would rather watch people fail at geography on the leno show

i'd rather watch that guy who screams while he interviews people and then tells them to fuck off. he's sometimes funny!
posted by not_on_display at 9:10 PM on May 24, 2022

Wow Armisen was always the cool guy I never quite got. SXSW! Austin! Janeane Garofalo! Early 90s MTV! He was either dead on funny in Portlandia or awkwardly doing his skit with his platonic girlfriend, the perpetually 29 year old looking Carrie Brownstein. For some reason he's a lot funnier when he's in drag as Queen Elizabeth or the bookstore owner. Also I can't tell if he's playing a character on Seth Meyers' show or that's just who he is, going by everyone's take it might be a bit of both.

Natasha Lyonne seems like she was dropped out of a time-machine from 1979 New York. If she were to lock a door of a bar and tell a bunch of bikers trying to break. up a bar, "nowsya can't leave" I would not be surprised.
posted by geoff. at 2:38 AM on May 25, 2022 [3 favorites]

Jesus. Take the Fred Armisen hate train elsewhere.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:55 AM on May 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I never understood the Armisen hate. I think he had a bunch of great characters on SNL and Portlandia was one of the funniest sketch shows of all time. He's not my favorite SNL alum but he's ok. I kind of enjoy how he shows up randomly on SNL and other shows.

I hear a lot of vague "I heard he's creepy" talk and I have yet to really find out why. Near as I can find he's apparently used his fame to sleep with women which, sure, is kind of skeevy, but isn't that what every rock star ever has done since the beginning of time? If there's more than that I seem to have missed it.
posted by bondcliff at 6:56 AM on May 25, 2022

I think Fred is still in the "whisper" stage of future bad shit coming out and at some point some specific shit is likely to come out about him, but nothing has officially made Big News yet. Googling for "fred arnisen women" got me a few stray links in between pictures of him dressed as a lady. I got this one and this one and this one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:46 AM on May 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Armisen was perfectly cast as Stephen Toast's intensely weird roommate in Toast of Tinseltown.

The only Armisen bit of his I really loved was his "messing with the election map touchscreen" sketch, the video of which seems to have fallen off the internet.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:12 AM on May 25, 2022

OMG i would watch Toast of Tinseltown, even with Fred Armisen. Thankyouthankyouthankyou Matt Berry is the buffooniest and the perfect foil for anything Armisen does.

Oh, and just to be clear: I don't hate Fred Armisen—I don't know him at all. He has much pro respect and fan respect, and the personal stuff I have heard is a mixed bag. I just can't stand most of his schtick. But hate's a pretty strong word—it's more like "I'm annoyed by that one pantry moth always flittering across my screen". I try to wave it away but it eventually appears again elsewhere on the screen.

That said, I will definitely cue up Stephen Toast's restart... Just when I was excited to look forward to a KITH documentary and new series, this comes along! My summer was looking rough—but at least I'll have some ToastBerry Crunch.

(I just hope we didn't make Fred close his MetaFilter account! I just assume he'd be on MeFi if he weren't famous. Or maybe he actually is. WHO KNOWS.)
posted by not_on_display at 4:22 PM on May 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

I did like Documentary Now...
posted by not_on_display at 11:21 PM on May 28, 2022

Molly Kearney is SNL’s first non-binary cast member!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:25 AM on September 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: Death Spa...   |  Tomorrow: Tomorrow... Newer »

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