Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga
October 23, 2016 1:21 AM - Season 42, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Host: Tom Hanks, Musical Guest: Lady Gaga

  • 3rd Presidential Debate - Tom Hanks, Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin
  • Opening Monologue - Tom Hanks
  • Black Jeapordy - Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones, Tom Hanks
  • Planning Halloween Block Party - Tom Hanks, Kenan Thompson, Leslie Jones, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinon, Beck Bennet, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Broken - Tom Hanks, Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon
  • 100 Floors of Frights - Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennet, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Tom Hanks, Bobby Moynihan, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, Leslie Jones
  • Lady Gaga - A-Yo
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Cyber Security Commentary - Leslie Jones
    • Girl You Wish You Hadn's Started A Conversation With - Cecily Srong
  • Sully Sullenberg - Sasheer Zamata, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin

  • A Girls Halloween - Aidy Bryant, Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Bobby Moynihan, Pete Davidson

  • Lady Gaga - Million Reasons

  • America's Funniest Pets - Tom Hanks, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (47 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Strong episode! Black Jeopardy is the best skit in at least several seasons.
posted by rhizome at 3:44 AM on October 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't know why they went all in on David Pumpkins, but I'm glad they did.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:05 AM on October 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Black Jeopardy was the healing skit this nation needs.


David Pumpkins was amazing.

What a great episode.
posted by ian1977 at 7:13 AM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh and Leslie jones on weekend Update. She's incredible.
posted by ian1977 at 7:14 AM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Excuse you.......It's David S. Pumpkins! Cannot wait to count the David S. Pumpkins costumes next week. It's a great look. Just go to a thrift shop, buy a cheap black suit and tie, paint orange pumpkins all over everything. I love how Hanks is game for anything. That was so awesome. The Sully sketch was good too, and Black Jeopardy was an instant classic.

I can't stand "girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with". Like...I want to break things whenever it comes on.
posted by the webmistress at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2016


Other than Funniest Pets which I think was somehow missing an ending, I was surprised how tight a lot of this was. Like ... real starts, middles and ends to these sketches which were mostly funny. More of Villaseñor who actually opened her mouth for a change, and less of those new guys who I felt oversaturated with last week. Hanks is great and I swear they should just bring Baldwin on as a cast member, he is good and his throwaway line about "the Best Baldwin" was really funny. A lot more hits than misses, to me. I am super curious about what is going to happen with Lady Gaga's fan base at this point. Loved her songs but she's gone from being the "Hey it's ok we're all monsters" to "I am wearing the outfit and singing the songs of the people who have said some shitty things about you" and that just makes me curious.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 AM on October 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Black Jeopardy was the highlight -- perhaps the best SNL sketch in years -- and I wish Kenan Thompson got more chances to show off his chops like that instead of being at the edge of sketches, because the way he controlled the dynamic with Hank's Doug was spot on.

The cold open was probably the flattest of the three debate skits, perhaps because the third debate already felt like it had absorbed the essence of McKinnon and Baldwin, and the only way for SNL to go was even more meta. David Pumpkins was silly and fun in a shaggy-dog-story way. Sully was good. Weekend Update was... flat and awkward apart from Leslie Jones.

Other than Funniest Pets which I think was somehow missing an ending

Yeah. The last sketch often seems written in a semi-disposable way, and the quick goodnight suggested time was tight, so maybe it was shimmed or trimmed? It was more of a concept than a sketch: Hanks got to do Ron Howard, Strong and McKinnon got to reprise their 'Funniest Cats' characters from earlier in the year, and they didn't know how to end that sketch either.
posted by holgate at 9:22 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ok, this is the first time I really watched SNL ( I'm from the Netherlands ), but it's really obvious they are reading their lines from cue cards. Is this usually the case with SNL ?
posted by Pendragon at 9:34 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I laughed harder at Funniest Pets than at anything else, FWIW.

And, yeah, it's a live show with changes made up to the last minute; cue cards are part of the nature of the beast.
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:40 AM on October 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


So were they trolling the audience by not using the "I am the captain now" line?
posted by fuse theorem at 9:46 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought the Sully skit was awkward and unfunny... is there some context I've missed, like has he become notoriously fame-houndy or something?
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you missed the movie Sully, with Tom Hanks in the title role, which is still playing in theatres?
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:12 AM on October 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I missed the show last night, but I watched the cold open debate sketch over coffee this morning. I thought that it was funny but I didn't laugh as much as the other debate sketches. On reflection I just think that it must be difficult to be consistently more ridiculous than the debates. All of the good jokes were already made in the debate threads here. Clinton's Bingo was great, but I already downloaded bingo cards for each debate. The Best Baldwin!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2016


Ok, this is the first time I really watched SNL ( I'm from the Netherlands ), but it's really obvious they are reading their lines from cue cards.

You should look up Christopher Walken appearances if you want to see obvious.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I missed the show last night, but I watched the cold open debate sketch over coffee this morning. I thought that it was funny but I didn't laugh as much as the other debate sketches.

I was hoping for puppets.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 11:24 AM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I figured David S. Pumpkins would go like the Larry David as shooting range target sketch (or the less-similar menacing animatronics that Hanks has done before) did, but they made it its own thing, and it worked.

SNL has been leaning on "White people can't/won't talk about race" for a while, but they leaned more into it with Black Jeopardy. I'm not sure how well it would have worked with someone besides the World's Most Likable Man, though.
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Black Jeopardy was the highlight -- perhaps the best SNL sketch in years

Definitely up there (though IMO nothing tops Meet Your Second Wife).
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 11:36 AM on October 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


I laughed so hard at David S. Pumpkins I started crying. I think there is something wrong with me.

Black Jeopardy was excellent.
posted by minsies at 12:11 PM on October 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Meet Your Second Wife was great, but it was relatively one-dimensional. In Black Jeopardy we have: an all-black sketch entirely about black culture, a white hick who was not the punchline, and what I feel was an incredibly nuanced illustration of their shared politics that don't get play elsewhere, ever. It was also the first skit of the episode, which I think is really significant on the part of the work the actors and writers did, on the part of Hanks, and especially on the part of the show itself, on Lorne. SNL has long been a show by, for, and about white people. I saw it as a huge step, hopefully they take more of them.

I think the current cast is strong enough to do more along these lines, and I have to notice that Sasheer Zameta is visibly working more this season.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 PM on October 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


David S. Pumpkins was an instant weirdo classic, perhaps this season's Space Pants. It's my understanding that Hanks really digs in and guides the show when he's on, he stays up late co-writing sketches and stuff. The only time that felt like a defect was the Ron Howard thing, where it seemed like he was really forcing in this so-so impression. I've seen him do it on talk shows and stuff too, apparently he just loves goofing on Ron Howard!

The sketch about the suburban family Halloween show seemed much more like their traditional 10-minutes-to-closing weirdie fare, while the cat clip show with the recurring French ladies seemed more like a traditional crowd-pleaser from the front of the show. I wonder if they flipped the order for some reason. I would have lead with Black Jeopardy. That was topical, sharp and funny, while the suburban family thing was kind of cute but definitely won't be the subject of anybody's watercooler chat on Monday morning.

Leslie Jones sure got sweaty in a hurry during her WU segment. (I was thinking at the beginning that her face looked really gray, so maybe they powdered her down a lot expecting that she was gonna sweat like crazy.) I've never noticed her sweat like that before, so (forgive me for projecting) maybe she was more nervous than she seemed, poor thing. If I was in her situation, I'd be sweating too! She's never been my favorite SNL performer, mostly because she's still so stiff and fumbly in live sketches that watching her just makes me nervous she'll screw up again, but nobody should have to suffer through the troll bullshit she suffered and I thought she addressed it well here.

I knew Lady Gaga had stopped wearing meat dresses and stuff, but I didn't know her music had gotten so... blah. That was like watching any generic pop star. Come on, girl, we wanna see you hatch out of a giant egg or something!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:58 PM on October 23, 2016


I just popped over here from the election thread, because I'm on Team Black Jeopardy Seems Kinda Racist. It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, but it does lean pretty hard on black stereotypes. It feels like a sketch from a less enlightened time (meaning, like, 15 years ago).

I mean, I get the subtext – white Trump voter isn't as different from black folks as he thinks – but what do all the stereotypes add? Are they being subverted or commented upon in a way that I'm not seeing? Because it just reads to me as "black people are like this, amirite", played for cheap laughs. The fact that it's a relatively affectionate treatment doesn't really make it better, IMHO.

Explain joke to me plz? Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying "omg if you laughed at this you're racist" – but this seems like "sassy gay hairdresser" levels of hackery. It certainly doesn't stand out to me as anything exceptional or revelatory – but maybe I'm just missing something.

I do appreciate that they (apparently?) got the real Jeopardy announcer to do the "This is Black Jeopardy!" intro.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:07 PM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The joke is that working class white people and black people have a lot in common. Or, more exactly, that the system / society keeps them separate and feeling that they're very different, when this isn't the case at all.

The skit was directly addressing race vs. class in a way which is never done on American television. Usually it's all black people do this and white people do that, and never the twain shall meet.

The use of black stereotypes made it all the more powerful and is very important for the skit. The audience, especially the white audience, is led in to think "this is a black thing only". Which makes the punchline, of the white guy doing the exact same things, hit that much harder.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:25 PM on October 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


So were they trolling the audience by not using the "I am the captain now" line?

No, they didn't use it for the Sully sketch because "I'm the captain now" is from a different movie.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 PM on October 23, 2016


If you look at the previous 'Black Jeopardy' sketches (which aren't as good) they all hinge on difference: Elizabeth Banks as someone who "dated a black guy once" and "doesn't see colour"; Louis C.K. as a professor of African-American studies at BYU; Drake as 'Jared', a black Canadian who doesn't have any of the cultural reference points.
posted by holgate at 7:37 PM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


My friends, I give you the soon-to-be-sold-out Pumpkins Tuxedo.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:50 PM on October 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The only parts of this show I didn't like were the Lady-Gaga-as-glamorous-popstar sketches. Were they supposed to be funny? Like, her riffing on all the things she fought against? I mean I understood the humor in Tim Robbins playing Bob Roberts, but these two sketches made no sense at all.
posted by not_on_display at 7:59 PM on October 23, 2016


the return of the thin white sock, thank you for introducing me to the "Meet Your Second Wife" skit! As a newly middle-aged academic, I have a list of, oh, around six male colleagues who might not find it "funny ha-ha" but probably can't avoid the "oh god how true" reaction.

I'll be over there re-watching the skit with several of my coworkers. We will be laughing, crying, and most importantly, judging.
posted by bibliowench at 9:32 PM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, does this count as that rarest of rare beasts, actual monologue for opening monologue? Yes, there was a gimmick, but it was just Tom Hanks talking without the cast breaking in or any singing.

I am still somewhat put-off by Black Jeopardy, but I'd say that was the sketch's best outing.

DAVID S. PUMPKINS
posted by ckape at 10:31 PM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought the monologue was great. And I just fucking LOVE Leslie Jones. She took something really terrible that happened to her and turned around and said SUCK IT TROLLS, ain't nobody gonna bring me down.

I love her.
posted by Brittanie at 3:00 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Very solid episode. Black Jeopardy the standout, of course, Leslie's WU rant was too funny.

I liked A Girls Halloween just because it remind me of so many nights that were going to be amazing but got ruined by someone drinking too much.

Maybe I missed something with Lady Gaga? Is there a story behind the songs she's doing? I always thought she was just sort of a Madonna type pop star but she seemed to be doing different stuff. I will say she did not pull off that guitar very well.

Did it seem like they were cutting down Clinton a bit more than they had been? Obviously they were brutal towards Trump, as they should be, but there were a bit more Clinton jabs than in the past debate sketches. I wonder if they were trying to even things out a bit after Trump called them on it. Not that they should care, but maybe they just wanted to shut him up.
posted by bondcliff at 7:14 AM on October 24, 2016


No, they didn't use it for the Sully sketch because "I'm the captain now" is from a different movie.

Right, but it's from a Tom Hanks movie, which would've made it an appropriately tongue-in-cheek reference.
posted by psoas at 9:11 AM on October 24, 2016


Right, but it's from a Tom Hanks movie, which would've made it an appropriately tongue-in-cheek reference.

Was he in that? When did he start costarring in former Minneapolitan Barkhad Abdi's films?

Minneapolis REPRESENT.
posted by maxsparber at 11:36 AM on October 24, 2016


The David Pumpkins song is stuck in my head send help
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:21 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


The David Pumpkins song is stuck in my head send help

Any questions?
posted by Servo5678 at 12:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


🎶 💀 🎃 💀 🎶

yesssss callipygos yesssss

When did he start costarring in former Minneapolitan Barkhad Abdi's films?

Doug Benson, is that you?
posted by psoas at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


The David Pumpkins song is stuck in my head send help

Ay papi!
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:32 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


And the Pumpkins Tuxedo is, as predicted, sold out. But you can still get the Pumpkins Suit (cheaper and cooler anyhow).
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:35 PM on October 24, 2016



No, they didn't use it for the Sully sketch because "I'm the captain now" is from a different movie.


Not sure if serious. That would've been the joke, as it were...
posted by fuse theorem at 3:39 PM on October 25, 2016


David S. Pumpkins is ripping the Los Angeles comedy community apart.

One of the better sketch teams from the new hotness theater is literally feuding over whether it's genius or stupid.

Another friend of mine is like "OMG LETS NOT TALK ABOUT IT" even as an idle reference in passing.
posted by Sara C. at 9:25 PM on October 25, 2016


I've never noticed her sweat like that before, so (forgive me for projecting) maybe she was more nervous than she seemed, poor thing.

I just recently watched her standup special on Netflix (it's good, you should watch it if you like Jones' Weekend Update bits) and she made some self-effacing jokes about how much she sweats.

Maybe she was sweatier than usual from a quick change or running around backstage? She is acting a lot more this season than she ever used to.
posted by Sara C. at 9:36 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just watched the David Pumpkins sketch again. The ending is priceless.
posted by not_on_display at 8:59 PM on October 28, 2016


I've seen it at least 10 times now.

Any questions?

(No, really, I can probably answer any questions that anybody has about this sketch. Possibly including questions from the actors themselves. I could school Lorne Michaels on this thing, at this point.)
posted by Sara C. at 12:36 AM on October 29, 2016


I had my first David S. Pumpkins sighting in the wild last night at Voodoo Fest.
posted by komara at 6:59 AM on October 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


oh my god

tom hanks you are the best
posted by komara at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tom Hanks has a weird and hilarious obsession with photographing lost gloves and shoes.
posted by Etrigan at 12:08 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bit weird and sad to see this one repeated 6 months later after all that's happened, but this is an SNL show for the ages.
posted by Flashman at 10:02 PM on April 22, 2017


Get Ready for a David S. Pumpkins Animated Special - Also featuring Peter Dinklage, which I hope means a Space Pants cameo.
posted by Gary at 11:17 PM on September 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


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