Saturday Night Live: Aziz Ansari, Big Sean
January 22, 2017 1:18 AM - Season 42, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Host: Aziz Ansari, Musical Guest: Big Sean

  • A Paid Message From the Russian Federation - Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon
  • Opening Monologure - Aziz Ansari
  • Beat The Bookworm - Aziz Ansari, Mikey Day, Vanessa Bayer
  • Interrogation - Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Aziz Ansari, Vanessa Bayer, Kenan Thompson
  • The Lead - Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon
  • Broderick & Ganz Personal Injury Attorneys - Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Aziz Ansari, Sasheer Zamata, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson
  • Big Sean - Bounce Back
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Hidden Figures Movie Review - Leslie Jones
    • Friend Zone - Mikey Day, Cecily Strong

  • Dirty Talk - Aziz Ansari, Melissa Villaseñor

  • Five Stars - Aziz Ansari, Bobby Moynihan

  • Pizza Town - Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Kenan Thompson, Aziz Ansari, Bobby Moynihan, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant

  • Big Sean - Sunday Morning Jetpack

  • To Sir With Love - Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh gods, we're back to the days when SNL couldn't find a button for a joke. Beat the Bookworm and Pizza Town were both cute ideas performed extremely well, and then just sort of... ended.

Leslie Jones was on fire. Cecily Strong was... I'll say "not on fire".
posted by Etrigan at 4:36 AM on January 22, 2017

I wept twice during this episode. First during Ansari's monologue which was fantastic, and then again during Strong and Zamata's tribute to President Obama. Of course, I've seen that movie, which might signal it's an age thing. Actually, I cry at the drop of a hat these days so maybe it's specifically a my-age thing. I loved McKinnon's face in the window behind Putin, putting on the pink hat. I thought Ansari did a great job. Trying to find the right balance between funny and somber during this anxious time isn't easy, but I thought Ansari's approach was funny, thoughtful, and therapeutic.

I thought it was a very good show with maybe a couple of slow moments, and Ansari is a national treasure.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:18 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

The way they criticized Trump almost without ever mentioning him personally (but putting his minions, enablers, and critics in the spotlight) will stick in the man's craw, and they did it well.
posted by cardboard at 6:49 AM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I noticed that the combination of the minarets and window frame made horns behind Putin's head.

Pizza Town just felt like a pale imitation of Spacepants
posted by ckape at 9:38 AM on January 22, 2017

That was an excellent monologue.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:53 AM on January 22, 2017

Ansari is wonderful (great monologue, too!) and Villaseñor was on the verge of cracking up multiple times in their sketch.
posted by porpoise at 12:27 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Did the Beat the Bookworm sketch have any jokes in it?
posted by I-baLL at 1:07 PM on January 22, 2017

posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on January 22, 2017 [8 favorites]

Just the one joke about the elitist who lost because he was a know-it-all, but wasn't at all in touch with everyday peoples' concerns. I think it had aspirations to be the next Black Jeopardy but it didn't go over quite as well.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:16 PM on January 22, 2017

Wow, To Sir With Love was so sweet and played so straight. Damn.
posted by ftm at 4:05 PM on January 22, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed WU this time--especially Leslie Jones--and I'm still chair dancing to the Pizza Guy song.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:42 PM on January 22, 2017

I thought this was a pretty darn good episode and Aziz was right there into it. Much better than last week. Five Stars was pretty great, and I liked that it included, essentially, a commercial for Black Mirror. The personal-injury skit and Dirty Talk were pretty by-the-numbers, but I still laughed.

As far as Pizza Guy == Space Pants, this week I found a bit that I'd been looking for for a long time, and shows that whole thing goes back a long time. I might even peg it to Bill Murray's "Nick the Lounge Singer."
posted by rhizome at 5:02 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was a good night for Bobby Moynihan. I loved his "attorney" with no kidneys, the pizza chef drummer and the Uber driver.
posted by Gary at 6:10 PM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

It reminded me more of the animatronic singing and dancing thing they like to do. Like the one in the grave yard or the carnival ride that breaks down.
I wasn't really into this episode but the dirty talk sketch did make me laugh a lot.
posted by bleep at 7:05 PM on January 22, 2017

The dirty talk sketch made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Not the most original premise but it really felt like they were having fun with it, even if Aziz's cue card reading was a bit too obvious.

I've never been a huge fan of Ansari but he did a solid job as host.

A decent episode. Not the best this season, but certainly better than last week.

Leslie killed it during Weekend Update.
posted by bondcliff at 6:22 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Cecily Strong was... I'll say "not on fire".

She is usually my favorite and seemed to be having an off day for whatever reason.

I did not get the ending, so clearly this was a movie I had not seen.

Aziz's monologue killed, that was not an easy slot to fill and I was happy to see it. I agree that the Bookworm thing mostly was more of a game show along the lines of What's that Name, sort of displaying the total one-sidedness of nerd intelligence. I liked five stars for the ending and then the final ending. I felt like all the sketches had a lot more actual beginning-midde-end arcs and the ones that were long )bedroom sketch, bobby-no-kidneys) were actually milking funny jokes, not just flailing.

Watching Che do the "Mmm" Michelle Obama callbacks was great, though after watching his standup, I always rankle when he calls himself a feminist because his standup persona is a weird anti-birth-control guy which... maybe it's a bit and maybe it's not but he's not who I want to see talking about feminism. Leslie on Update was the best.
posted by jessamyn at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

To Sir, With Love

Movie Ending w/Song (and spoilers after the song) ; Covered by Glee
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

"Idk, I didn't think Beat the Bookworm had Black Jeopardy aspirations or anything. It just seemed like something borne of a quick "okay, so what would he be awful at?" I thought it was pretty funny."

I thought it would have been funny if Ansari hadn't been stepping all over Day's lines. He was throwing out the (wrong) answers so fast we the audience barely had time to process the question. There are times when doing that finish-the-sentence-wrongly trick is great for a laugh, but a rapid-fire series of them didn't work for me at all.

Villasenor's lines in the dirty talk skit just killed me, even if her delivery was a bit uneven.

And speaking of killed: man. I love Leslie Jones so so much. I wish she had a guest segment on Weekend Update every week. Normally I would worry I'd get tired of so much of a good thing, but no. I don't think I would.

Here's where I admit something kind of ... wrong to you all. Kellyanne Conway is in the news all the time now, as you know. Occasionally - okay, frequently - when I hear her name I have that split-second frisson and then I'm like, "What? Gross. Why did it just feel like I have a crush on Kellyanne Conway?" and I have literally gone and looked up images of her to make sure that I'm not attracted to her, which I am not.

but I 100% am crushing on Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway. She as that character is the total opposite of anyone I've ever been attracted to in the past but I can't help it. It's not a choice. It started with Kellyanne's Day Off and hasn't subsided. I think it's because there's an undercurrent of actual humanity in her character. Plus, you know, the fact that McKinnon is an attractive lady regardless. I'm sure that figures into the whole thing.
posted by komara at 9:43 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

"The dirty talk sketch made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Not the most original premise but it really felt like they were having fun with it, even if Aziz's cue card reading was a bit too obvious."

Come to think of it, that was my favorite sketch of the night. I wonder if it's on youtube?
posted by I-baLL at 10:43 AM on January 23, 2017

I thought the Dirty Talk sketch was so funny that I resolved to actually do that to someone the next time I'm in a like situation. But then I did once start singing Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Sacred" to a (Catholic) someone just after he'd, um, made God quite irate by wasting sacred matter, so maybe it's just that it's my kind of humour.
posted by orange swan at 11:16 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've never seen To Sir with Love, but I do recall when Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe performed the song at Bill Clinton's inaugural celebration in 1993. I presume this is why they chose the song Saturday night. It hurt to watch, frankly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:17 AM on January 23, 2017

After Mister Chipping but long before Mr. Holland, Mr. Keating, or White Bread, there was Sir.

Sidney Poitier plays an out-of-work engineer who takes a teaching job in London's East End, eventually teaching the working class roughians to get along, value learning, and behave like adults.

Here's the last scene in To Sir, With Love. The envelope he's ripping at the end was an offer to work as an engineer, but the gesture indicates that he's changed his mind and decided to continue teaching.

Here's hoping Strong and Zamata's plea is eventually just as successful.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:04 PM on January 23, 2017

I popped over to this thread with the intention of favoring the comments I expected to be here excoriating Che's segment on the Women's March and the Friendzone skit and it isn't here! So I guess I will make it instead!

Holy shit, we almost turned the fucking episode off and cringed the whole goddamn time. What a fucking train wreck of sexist bullshit that was. Really? You're going to start the long segment on the Women's March with a dick joke? And then play into the bullshit faux-feminist patriarchal bullshit about how "we don't need feminism because it's just about human rights, not women's rights" and completely ignore all the reasons why that is a bunch of horseshit? And then do a goddamn TERRIBLE deep dive into the "friend zone" bullshit that manages to both be unfunny AND confirming the worst parts about how all women are expected to be sexually available as their primary purpose?

Ugh. Just ugh.

Aziz was okay. Most of the sketches were weak. Weekend Update, save Leslie Jones (oh and nice job Che shitting on Leslie with a weak-ass "that was about hidden figures?" dig right after she finishes killing it) who was amazing. Pretty goddamn infuriating.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:59 PM on January 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

this week I found a bit that I'd been looking for for a long time
My Name is Needleman, I'm An Oral Surgeon! That song has been in my head for at least 35 years.

This episode, for me, was all about that bed sketch. Maria got to pull out her Owen Wilson and her Wanda Sykes, and get just as wierdly awkward as anyone in SNL sexy-sketch history. For that along (and because she reminds me of Nasim pedrad) I am pulling for her more than any cast member. More time for her please!

Except for Pete Davidson. WHERE WAS PETE! Oh, he had a line? He was the best thing on last week's show.
posted by not_on_display at 8:41 PM on January 23, 2017 [5 favorites]

Well I didn't talk about the friendzone sketch because I had the TV on mute for most of it.
posted by ckape at 8:47 PM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have to say I loved the "Interrogation" sketch because I completely agree with the "cops" in it and I have to try really, really hard not to be like them when people disagree with me about movies. Really. Like, I'm a saint. People don't even know. UGH!
posted by dnash at 8:47 AM on January 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Owen Wilson, ba-by
posted by I-baLL at 9:21 AM on January 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

There was mushroom for improvement.
posted by not_on_display at 9:27 PM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

I agree with the friendzone BS. I kept waiting for the twist at the end where the whole concept was undermined - nope.

Not mentioned yet here: the racial tension in the Interrogation sketch! Not only Ansari's line about a jazz movie with no black people, but also the fact that neither of the white cops had seen Moonlight, and both criminals were men of color being accused of insignificant crimes... I liked that there were two layers here. More subtle stuff, please, SNL. Less friendzone. Wells for Sensitive Boys forever!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 7:10 AM on January 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

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