Saturday Night Live returned for its 43rd season last night bringing a clear sense of energy. Ryan Gosling who hosted while good in the show never quite seemed how he fit in sketches other than as a utility for others to shine. While not a bad thing (and certainly he could be worse) Gosling seemed to appear in sketches and just be there. Working his way through the cards as best he knew how. Jay-Z, The musical guest, gave two solid performances. While the music or the performance may not be memorable, him wearing Kapernick’s jersey on stage was a clear message that he stands with the football players who take a knee during the National Anthem protests.
Last night’s premiere didn’t noticeable have any of the premiere kinks that can be obvious in other ones in recent years. Material was fresh, cast members were on their game. Most importantly, the new cast members, Chris Redd, Luke Null. and Heidi Gardner (henceforth known as KC’s Own Heidi Gardner) were all given plenty of time on screen to bring their best to each sketch and introduce themselves to viewers new and old.
With all of that said, here are the best sketches of last night’s show.
Another Close Encounter
This sketch has been done what seems like a dozen times since it first came out in the December 2015 show. (Also starring Ryan Gosling!) And while I first looked at this sketch with some apprehension at the fact they were clearly copying the original without altering the scenario to help give some life, the sketch ended up taking on a life of its own yet again with the powerhouse performance skills of Kate McKinnon. On top of her character’s typical “Well that didn’t happen to me” responses and colorful descriptors for her underside, The solid thirty to forty-five seconds of her manhandling Ryan Gosling’s butt caused everyone except for Cecily Strong to break and solidified the evergreen status of the sketch and McKinnon’s place as the powerhouse of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live knows that it’s viewership leans left. That does not stop them from highlighting their viewership’s belief systems and making a joke highlighting its ludicrous nature. This segment highlighted the “woke” mindset of American youths and how everything has to conform to a standard of no standards. This was easily shown through a jeans ad that makes sure to go out of its way to be designed to make everyone happy and in doing so spoofing Woke Culture. It was one of the ballsier ads that SNL could have went with but it worked by straddling the fine line between funny and disrespectful.
The Chaos President
One of the clear things in this sketch is that Saturday Night Live’s best work is not Trump himself, but the people around Trump. This was a pretty standard headline rundown with the people of the cast as members of Trump’s staff and Alec Baldwin as Trump himself. Trump himself is pretty bland with no jokes to read because there is no way to make jokes of a person who is a joke of himself. This sketch rests on Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver the news and Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions to really deliver the comedy punches that make this sketch one of the best of the night.