Saturday Night Live: Dwayne Johnson, Katy Perry
May 20, 2017 10:52 PM - Season 42, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Host: Dwayne Johnson, Musical Guest: Katy Perry

  • Donald Trump Hallelujah - Alex Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant, Scarlett Johanson, Cecily Strong
  • Opening Monologue - Dwayne Johnson
  • Cartier Fidget Spinner - Beck Bennett, Vanessa Bayer
  • Wrestlemania Promo - Dwayne Johnson, Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett
  • New Money Crew - Kennan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day Melissa Villaseñor, Dwayne Johnson, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Katy Perry, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Tom Hanks, Vanessa Bayer
  • Scorpio - Cecily Strong, Dwayne Johnson, Aidy Bryant, Sasheer Zamata
  • Jurassic River Rapids - Vanessa Bayer, Kennan Thompson, Dwayne Johnson, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day
  • Xentrex - Dwayne Johnson, Bobby Moynihan, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney
  • Katy Perry - Swish Swish
  • Weekend Update - Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Dawn Lazarus - Vanessa Bayer
    • Drunk Uncle - Bobby Moynihan

  • RKO Studios 1948 - Beck Bennett, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Bayer, Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan

  • Mad Scientists Society - Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney, Sasheer Zamata, Dwayne Johnson, Beck Bennett

  • Katy Perry - Bon Appetit

  • Devon's Tavern - Beck Bennett, Dwayne Johnson, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata

  • Senior Awards Night - Dwayne Johnson, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones

Last show for Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan.
posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wait, what? Vanessa and Bobby are leaving? I guess that's why they were so prominently featured. That makes me sad.

The cold open was brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I've watched it four times tonight. That was such a great choice.

Loved the monologue. Mostly for T.Hanks being in on the joke.

Fidget spinner was spot on. Wrestlemania was meh. New Money Crew, though, I loved the David S. Pumpkins payoff, although the underlying premise was solid.

I kinda loved the Scorpio skit, because sewing isn't easy, and it's lowkey bothered me that these superhero dudes can just whip up a superhero costume like it ain't no thing.

And then I kinda tuned out.
posted by Ruki at 11:45 PM on May 20, 2017

can somebody link an animated gif of the dancing backpack kid? thanks in advance
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 AM on May 21, 2017

Apparently that kid is someone you need an Instagram to know about.

I feel so old.
posted by Gary at 12:52 AM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Long story short *I* conked out like an Olde earlier in the evening & only saw last half live, then caught up with 1st part. Don't know if that affected my impression/ opinion, but I thought the cold open was kind of depressing.

I'm glad they gave Vanessa & Bobby a lot of the spotlight. But the rumors of Sasheer and the head writers also leaving, and Kate maybe having one more year there, make me wonder if we're back to Lorne's default comfort zone, a straight white bros show. Maybe not as blech as Spade/ Sandler era, but with less of the wonderfully female & gay  flavor it's enjoyed recently.
posted by NorthernLite at 1:01 AM on May 21, 2017

The WrestleMania sketch was a play on Kayfabe.

I thought it was a pretty good episode, and they didn't even have to put The Rock in a dress!
posted by rhizome at 2:06 AM on May 21, 2017

I get that it's months until the next episode, but the only thing that ages worse than SNL recurring bits is Trump Is Surely Through This Time.
posted by ckape at 2:29 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was so happy to David S. Pumpkins back for a reprise, but was disappointed that the skeletons were not part of it.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:37 AM on May 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

At the end of this season I would like to once again thank DizzyOnBugSpray for his consistently detailed and timely SNL FanFare posts.
posted by komara at 7:56 AM on May 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

make me wonder if we're back to Lorne's default comfort zone, a straight white bros show.

I wonder that as well. The last few episodes have had a lot more "punching down" humor than I am used to (Vanessa in River Rapids was basically the same joke as Melissa and PIE and it could have been much more/better) and some stuff that just has gratuitous meanness/spite in it more than usual (Kyle getting attacked in Xentrex which took it out of the funny spot for me). I can't tell if this is just me tuning in to something that is really there or just a little SNL fatigue but I feel like even though I like Day/Moffat a lot, they are more in that vein and we're not seeing as much from Zamata, Vilaseñor and McKinnon.

That said, I appreciated the reach in Mad Scientists Society even though it was clearly a sketch that only sort of worked for the audience and the ending was weirdly hilarious. Happy to see Vanessa do the weatherlady one more time, she'll be terribly missed. RKO Studios seemed more like a 12:55 sketch.

Thanks for backpack kid link. I enjoyed Perry's first song a lot.
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like to think the River Rapids sketch was mostly an excuse to dump a bunch of water on Vanessa on live TV for her last show.
posted by rhizome at 9:59 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I thought that this was a pretty great episode for a finale.

Damn, Johnson is entertaining; great monologue with Baldwin and Hanks (and pretty cool that they slipped in Johanson in the opener). The Xentrex skit was spot on, I actually lol-ed at the Wrestlemania skit. That's amazing control in the Mad Scientist skit! ... and he really rocked the wigs.

Really appreciated Baldwin for being a good sport.

Sad to hear that Bayer is leaving, I've always enjoyed her performances - she's a real chameleon in this one and looked like she had an absolute blast in the RKO skit. I normally despise the "forced suffering" skits (like the pie one last ep) but the Jurassic skit worked for me.

Jost has really stepped up his straight face, cracking up just enough to sell the absurd.
posted by porpoise at 10:15 AM on May 21, 2017

Backpack kid! I loved that Katy Perry song, it was like a flashback to 1992 when Madonna tried to do the same thing – only Madonna was trying to be srs bzns, and Kate Perry had Backpack kid and this is definitely in my top 5 musical moments on the show this year. (Her second song, meh, even with Migos just showing up.)

A David Pumpkins callback, no-music 5-timers monologue was great, and I would definitely vote Johnson Hanks 2020 (though if 2020 were the Real Decade of Al Franken I would have a tough time at the polls).

But yeah all in all this was a great show, and the best season finale that yave had in years. (Look up the past four years' finales on Wikipedia.)

Forecaster the weather happy! Hep! I will miss Vanessa so much. I hope to see her pop up everywhere. Same with Bobby. As much as I hated Riblet, I would have liked to have seen him actually take Che's job away from him just for that episode.

And The Rock may be one of the most consistently solid five-timer hosts since Alec and Tom and Timberlake and Walken.

As for the writers leaving, I think Lorne has finally learned a little bit this year, what with the ratings revival, and I hope he continues along the path of "more women, more gay friendly, and more well-crafted and paced skits with endings". And more Pete and Melissa V!
posted by not_on_display at 11:38 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Confirmed: Sasheer Zamata is out.
posted by komara at 5:13 PM on May 21, 2017

That sucks, but as much as I vote "yes" on SNL in general I'm almost 100% positive that Sasheer was too good for the show and that's why she never got on stage.
posted by rhizome at 6:28 PM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't know how I feel about the second "Hallelujah." On the one hand, I don't like it as a followup to the what I considered to be the most oddly touching SNL bit ever, to poison it with Trump. On the other hand...well, funny.

I'm assuming this is probably because Alec Baldwin wants out of the Trump job and now they're actually going to have to hire someone to do it regularly, though.

So, that flag pin, huh?

David S. Pimpkins, bwah. That whole sketch, really.

As someone who's sewn for years, it would be a bitch and a half to produce a superhero costume, especially overnight.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:21 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Okay, I do like the bling fidget spinner, even though it's also kind of awful too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 PM on May 21, 2017

Oh yeah, World's Best Invention: I kinda liked that one because it leads you to debate: if you were really evil, would you be in favor of child molestation?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:41 PM on May 21, 2017

I haaaaated the cold open. They took one of the most heartbreaking and sincere moments in recent SNL history and then ruined it, for laffs. But did you notice Trump was wearing a Russian flag pin?

It seemed like between River Rapids and RKO that Bayer was going balls to the wall with the embarrassing skits for her last show. I love that she broke in the RKO skit. Same with Sasheer, whom I love, performing at her peak. Moynihan... meh.

The Rock is great, so charming and likeable. He looks so weird in wigs. I loved him in almost everything but I found the Mad Scientist skit to be suuuuuuuuper cringe-worthy, because I just can't find shit like child molestation funny in any context. David S. Pumpkins has grow on me since the original skit, but you're right, the skeletons should have been included on that track. Which would have given Moynihan one more skit.

Also in Katy Perry's first number: Drag Race alum Vivacious Mothuh.
posted by Brittanie at 9:38 PM on May 21, 2017

FWIW, Baldwin's Trump has been wearing the Russian flag pin all season. They just don't usually go close enough on him with the camera for it to be easily noticed.
posted by briank at 5:34 AM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

This was a solid episode. Every sketch was somewhere from good to great. Mad Scientists Society was probably my favorite. Dwayne Johnson is very good at this and deserves to be in the 5-timers club. I'm pretty out of touch with music so I usually don't think much good or bad about the musical guests but I really liked Katy Perry. Vanessa Bayer has been my favorite cast member - tied with Cecily Strong - for the last several years so I'm sorry to see her go. Sasheer Zamata would have been right up there with them if they'd given her more to do. She's amazing when they put her in a sketch and it's too bad she's out instead of getting more time next year.

The only part that fell flat for me was the cold open. I don't get it. It felt like they did it just to have Baldwin/Trump on the episode which they really don't need to do. The political stuff has been great this year but they could go an episode without if there really isn't anything to say. It was just not anything to me except 'here are all of the characters in the Trump circle.' I noticed several weeks ago that he was wearing a Russia pin and I really liked that they never mentioned it or made it right in your face. It was just there. That was the right way to play that.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:23 AM on May 22, 2017

I just realized that Bayer's departure means no more annual Totino's pizza rolls Super Bowl ad. Who will feed her hungry guys?
posted by Servo5678 at 7:35 AM on May 22, 2017 [12 favorites]

Now that I'm at a keyboard and have more time to type: I really do want to mourn Zamata's departure but I can't because I have no affinity for her because they never gave her a damn thing to do. I'm assuming she had some shining talent that prompted her hire (more than, you know, just being a black woman at a time in which they were looking to increase the diversity of the cast) but I never got a sense of what it was. This last season she seemed stuck mostly in roles as the side character to reacts blandly to whatever's going on.

I wish her all the success in the future, and hopefully she'll land somewhere that she can shine.
posted by komara at 8:05 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

They had to do the Trump Hallelujah send off in case he's no longer in office by the beginning of next season.

ALSO: BACKPACK KID. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I've watched that like 25 times already.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:19 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I haaaaated the cold open. They took one of the most heartbreaking and sincere moments in recent SNL history and then ruined it, for laffs.

I accepted it as gleeful schadenfreude. Comedy is escapism. Comedy is a coping mechanism. And also, for me, it served the same purpose as the original. "I'm not giving up, and neither should you." Just because everything is going to shit for this administration right now (yay!) doesn't mean we should stop fighting. I thought it worked on multiple levels, but to each their own.
posted by Ruki at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2017

I hope Bayer has bigger and better things lined-up. She's far too flexible and strong a talent to just cut loose.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did not know what a fidget spinner was until I watched this episode.

People! today I am the proud owner of a glow-in-the-dark fidget spinner.
posted by not_on_display at 9:45 PM on May 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

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