Saturday Night Live: Jimmy Fallon, Harry Styles
April 15, 2017 10:27 PM - Season 42, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Host: Jimmy Fallon, Musical Guest: Harry Styles

  • First 100 Days - Alec Baldwin, Beck Bennett, Jimmy Fallon
  • Opening Monologue - Jimmy Fallon
  • Family Feud - Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata, Harry Styles, Jimmy Fallon, Kate McKinnon, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson
  • Legally Blonde Opening Night - Aidy Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Melissa Villaseñor, Kyle Mooney
  • Take Me Back - Beck Bennett, Cecily Strong, Jimmy Fallon, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day
  • The White House Easter Bunny - Melissa McCarthy
  • Harry Styles - Sign of the Times
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Bar Mitvzah Boy Jacob - Vanessa Bayer
    • Bruce Chandling - Kyle Mooney

  • Union Army Camp - Jimmy Fallon, Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, Beck Bennett, Harry Styles, Bobby Moynihan

  • Turtle Shirt - Jimmy Fallon, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Sasheer Zamata

  • Harvard Campus Tour - Alex Moffat, Jimmy Fallon, Rachel Dratch, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

  • Harry Styles - ?

  • Basketball Players - Alex Moffat, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, Jimmy Fallon, Mikey Day

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (28 comments total)
WTF was that monologue?
posted by Ruki at 10:52 PM on April 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some funny stuff in the first half, but somehow felt a bit "guy-heavy," even if that list doesnt seem like it on the surface.

Wonder if WGA will strike, and make this the default season finale.
posted by NorthernLite at 11:12 PM on April 15, 2017

Take Me Back was great. It didn't overstay it's welcome and the United Airlines twist got me. Continuity to Beck's character last week a nice touch.

Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and Bruce Chandling both peaked a long time ago. Unless you have something planned with celebrity cameos there's no reason to bring them back again.

There must be quite a few former theatre kids on staff right now. Between Legally Blonde, Crucible Cast Party and the many high school theatre production sketches it's the one thing that really stands out for this SNL cast.
posted by Gary at 11:51 PM on April 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm kind of tired of Alec Baldwin as Trump, but I hope tonight's WH sketch showing Kushner as the real president infuriates Trump the way the Bannon version did. Or at least confuses him so he doesn't know where to turn.

I'm not sure Spicy is really sustainable but I thought tonight's, with a specific theme, worked out really well. It was brutal, but I hope the words "concentration clubs" haunts Spicer late at night when he can't sleep, for the rest of his life. I couldn't be sure, but it looked like that Passover dolls were characters from Veggie Tales, the Christian children's program. I hope so.

As always, needs more Bobby Moynihan.

"You don't know what cake I've seen"
posted by Room 641-A at 12:41 AM on April 16, 2017

They got Nile Rogers for the Bowie cover so that was something.
posted by girlhacker at 1:09 AM on April 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and Bruce Chandling both peaked a long time ago.

Especially in combination. There's no need to have two guests on WU whose gimmick is that their acts are crap.
posted by Etrigan at 5:07 AM on April 16, 2017

Husband and I finally got around to watching Ghostbusters right before SNL came on, and Melissa McCarthy has a couple of line readings in the film that are 100% Spicey, which made me glad to see him show up later.

I'm less sick of her Spicer than I am of Baldwin's Trump, but I do hope that Kushner dig has the same effect as the Bannon one supposedly did.
posted by gaspode at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have not been a fan of having Jimmy Fallon stop by the show unannounced, and my opinion hasn't changed just because this time it was announced.
posted by ckape at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

Way too much Fallon hogging the screen but he generally irritates me so your mileage may vary. Without Fey or Timberlake to bounce off of his mugging and breaking is just tiresome.

I'm kinda over Baldwin's Trump but if it still gets under SCROTUS' skin keep 'em coming.
posted by Ber at 10:17 AM on April 16, 2017

I normally try not to be negative on SNL threads, because it's a variety show that's been on the air for over 40 seasons, but this is definitely the weakest episode this season.

Not a fan of Fallon by any means but that smarmy doofus Kushner bit was spot on.

Poking fun at Pence in the cold open was ok, but I think chasing after Donnie with an unsigned EO was worth lampooning more.

Family Feud was ok, Strong (that was Cecily, right, Villaseñor did Gwen Stephani?) as Liza Minnelli was good (I'm currently re-binging on Arrested Development) and McKinnon as Stewart as well (especially since Stewart hosted a few episodes back).
posted by porpoise at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2017

Oh, and I think it was probably Leslie Jones who was in the bigger Grim Reaper costume - does anyone know who plays Bannon/Reaper and if its the same person every time? Mooney?
posted by porpoise at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2017 says it's Mikey Day.
posted by Etrigan at 11:48 AM on April 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I normally try not to be negative on SNL threads, because it's a variety show that's been on the air for over 40 seasons, but this is definitely the weakest episode this season.

Dude who wrote a review for uproxx based on being at the dress put it 3rd or 4th best this season. Above epis like Scarjo. Of course anything would be more fun if you see it in person.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2017

This episode was mostly really dull and a chore to watch. I had very few moments of enjoyment out of it. It's always good to see Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy do their Trump and Bannon acts, the "Take Me Back" sketch was kind of tedious but had such a good payoff that it felt worth it, and the Basketball Players sketch was kind of amusing. Otherwise... meh.

Does anyone really enjoy listening to Jimmy Fallon sing? Because I feel like I'd be quite happy to never hear him sing again.
posted by orange swan at 8:51 PM on April 16, 2017

Celebrity Family Feud was interminable and pointless, I couldn't even finish it.

This was the first time I'd heard anything by Harry Styles (he's the guy from One Direction, yeah?) and I don't care for his music but he does have a surprisingly lovely voice.

I love all the theater kid sketches this season. They are all so perfect at capturing that dorky/sweet subculture.

"You don't know what cake I've seen"

That made me actually LOL. So did the United punchline. Jimmy Kimmel certainly did not!
posted by lunasol at 8:59 PM on April 16, 2017

Thank you for the Nile Rodgers mention because I'd never heard of him, and so I learned that the distinctive-looking fellow with the guitar: was the actual producer of "Let's Dance" (which remains David Bowie's biggest selling album) as well as a guitarist on the original recording; was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7; and was playing this song live on SNL one day after the anniversary of the album's release in 1983. All of which gave me reason to go watch the monologue again with that context, and people, this performance is an electrifying three minutes of live television. Say what you will of Jimmy Fallon's politics or his singing (which I think is more than passable-- at times he's singing while jogging, cut him some slack, for pete's sake), he sells this big time. This really is a party, and one you wish you could be at. Nile Rodgers at 1:18 is freaking pumped, Harry Styles drops in at 1:48 and it's like the Beatles showed up, Bobby Moynihan and Kate McKinnon at 2:15 are floating on air and we feel like we are, too, and then the drop at 2:38. Those dancers! That band! Good stuff. Give Fallon credit for having the guts to dream up something like this and make it happen.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 9:54 AM on April 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Fallon was doing a weirdly precise vocal imitation of Bowie's album recording of that song.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:52 AM on April 17, 2017

Now I'm confused enough that I can't tell if that's a joke. Was Fallon lip syncing? I really couldn't decide. If so, best lip syncing ever. (No surprise, as he has lip sync battles on his show.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:35 AM on April 17, 2017

Back when Glee was early-years really hot, Fallon did an elaborate musical bit at the Emmys with a bunch of people. It started out a taped segment with some of the Gleee cast, added more actors along the way, and ended up live onstage. That was one of the best examples of doing something like this outside of SNL.

I luv that song (and the original vid), and I luv when SNL goes backstage. But I wanted it to be more about the cast, not having them lost amongst a bunch of dancers (no offense to those skilled people).

I'm not a Fallon fan, but he's been part of some good stuff in previous host gigs. ("Twin Bed.")

Eh anyway, I'll take what I can of the cast members I really like.

2 wishes for upcoming SNL: I hope the WU summer gig isnt just those two hosts. I'd rather have a special that was the women's music vids, etc.

And I hope the two current head writers (Schneider/Kelly) arent so distracted by outside projects, cos I like a lot of what's been done under/by them this past year.
posted by NorthernLite at 11:58 AM on April 17, 2017

Was Fallon lip syncing?

His voice noticeably drops out a few times when he pulls the microphone away from his mouth, so I doubt it. It did sound like there may have been backing vocals, though.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 12:00 PM on April 17, 2017

Fallon was doing a weirdly precise vocal imitation of Bowie's album recording of that song.

Now I'm confused enough that I can't tell if that's a joke.

Not a joke, but I see how it could be read that way. I just honestly thought it weirdly precise. It was more of an impersonation (like an Elvis impersonator) than a cover, or even a Karaoke.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:12 PM on April 17, 2017

Not a joke, but I see how it could be read that way.

And I didn't mean it snarkily, I hope that was clear! But yeah, it was so really spot on, which is why I wondered. Then again, I forgot that his musical impressions can be really good, like Neil Young.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:01 PM on April 17, 2017

Was Fallon lip syncing?

I doubt it. Fallon is a surprisingly good singer. Or, at least, a surprisingly good imitator of singers. Check his take as Jim Morrison singing the theme from Reading Rainbow, for instance. It's playlist worthy.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:22 PM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the only thing I wanted to see was Fallon doing the Barry Gibb Talk Show. I didn't get that. At least he didn't corpse. As far as his impact on the show, doing his best Bowie (yeah that's Fallon) was a boring pointless wankfest. (And the "sing a musical while walking through the hallways" thing has got to stop entirely.) And the only reason for Family Feud was so that he could switch costumes wicked fast and not be funny as either version of John Travolta? Really, look at this ensemble: "Liza Minnelli (Strong), Diana Ross (Zamata), Mick Jagger (Styles) and John Travolta (Fallon) take on Kristen Stewart (McKinnon), Gwen Stefani (Villaseñor), David Blaine (Davidson) and John Travolta (Fallon)." Now tell me why the two shittiest impersonations were both Jimmy Fallon's? When they had everyone else on that list OWNING their characters, never mind that the premise of the skit (1977 v 2017) was fucking HILARIOUS right down to the different Family-name-backdrops of each era. Sasheer Zamata's best impersonation during her three years on the show occurred during this sketch – but aside from being the straight-man in the Turtle-Shirt ad, that was it for her. And Leslie Jones got one line and made it through a bit clumsily but without fucking up. THANK YOU LESLIE. I AM ROOTING FOR YOU. But she's funnier when they play her angry side up more. And yes, she should be Trump. Imagine Trump going all Leslie Jones.

The rest of the episode was adequate, despite Fallon's presence. It wasn't a bad show, it just was lackluster. Bonus points for Dratch being there for the HAHVAHD sketch – even if Fallon's Boston accent is weak, Dratch makes up for it. (No joke: I live next to Boston and I saw the license plate "SULLLY" just two days ago. Dratch captures that essence. Shout out to the Burlington Mall!) Seriously – Rachel Dratch should host!

Or they should go WITHOUT A HOST for one week. They used to do that sometimes!

The news is losing its edge again; it just doesn't have that pop it had near the beginning of 2017. Che and Jost are staying on track, but their best moments are when they go off-script. I used to love Jacob & Mooney's schmuck comedian and Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy, but their time is up. Che and Jacob don't have the same chemistry as Myers and Jacob had, or even better yet Cecily & Jacob. That led to some funny awkward moments. I was so happy to not see Fallon on WU, that was good enough for me.

Kenan can react to anything, and holds the show together at a level very few achieved, like Phil Hartman or Will Ferrell. Kenan is a rock.

But yeah, Fallon may be a nice guy, and does great musical impressions. But he's rarely holy-shit funny. He's the eternal wiseass-dumbass teenager. Maybe he's a good talk-show host, but I have no want to watch the show – even the Roots can't draw me into it. Fallon was an adequate-at-best WU anchor. A doofus that just looks so cute on camera, a personality trait he parlayed into the Tonight Show Host's seat. Fame's fickle.

This season has had great promise, and has mostly delivered B+ and higher shows – but this was a B- at best. Nothing memorable. Nothing really offensive or stupid or provocative. Nobody reading cue cards to make it winceable. Just a bland show with some laughs and no bite. The best part was, again, Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer imitation. Hope the final three shows this season are better than this.
posted by not_on_display at 1:59 AM on April 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do we have another general SNL discussion area? At any rate, in the absence of a new episode this week (and possibility of no more epis this year), I present an entry in the SNL subgenre of dark film parodies starring Beck & Kate. (From the Emily Blunt-hosted show of earlier this season.)

I don't know what I luv more - the actors' commitment to this or the almost-audible "WTF" from the studio audience. (And have they done any others besides this and "Fatal Attraction"?)
posted by NorthernLite at 7:24 PM on April 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

As far as his impact on the show, doing his best Bowie (yeah that's Fallon) was a boring pointless wankfest.

Yes, this! It was so stupidly self-indulgent. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.
posted by Ruki at 1:22 AM on April 26, 2017

I didn'y know anything about Harry Styles other than boy band but JESUS F*CKING CHRIST I got goosebumps with Sign of the Times. He is a seriously talented man and was also funny as hell with the Jagger impression.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:43 AM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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