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S46.E03: Issa Rae / Justin Bieber

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Issa Rae is hosting, and Justin Bieber is the musical guest for this show airing on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

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Chance the Rapper will be performing with Bieber this week (I wouldn't be shocked if he pops up in a sketch too).

Promo:

 

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I thought I would never say this ever, but I really like Bieber's new song (with Chance the Rapper). Was wondering if Chance would make an appearance. I wish he was hosting again.

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Ugh.  Chance really worked my nerves when he was encouraging folks to vote for Kanye on Twitter not too long ago. 

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Again the Cold Open starts relatively strong, but it just falls apart into a hot mess.

Carrey's Biden still isn't gelling for me. 

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Alright! This cold open is already sharper and funnier than the last two. 

Issa Rae is looking glowy and fabulous! Loving her monologue.  

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11 minutes ago, vb68 said:

Carrey's Biden still isn't gelling for me. 

I agree.

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As an English Canadian born and raised in Montreal, I don't know if I should be confused, bemused, insulted, all 3 or none of the above at Bonjour/Hi! which OF COURSE the Quebec government wanted to ban at one point. https://globalnews.ca/news/5990990/quebec-bonjour-hi-simon-jolin-barrette/

I do give props to them with using French Canadian slang but a Peugeot? Damn, we're not that nuts. 

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Looks to me like they don't have a host or musical guest for next week. They always announce it at the beginning of the second commercial break.

I liked Drake Watch. Issa was funny doing that.

Edited by vb68
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13 minutes ago, mtlchick said:

As an English Canadian born and raised in Montreal, I don't know if I should be confused, bemused, insulted, all 3 or none of the above at Bonjour/Hi! which OF COURSE the Quebec government wanted to ban at one point. https://globalnews.ca/news/5990990/quebec-bonjour-hi-simon-jolin-barrette/

I do give props to them with 

14 minutes ago, mtlchick said:

As an English Canadian born and raised in Montreal, I don't know if I should be confused, bemused, insulted, all 3 or none of the above at Bonjour/Hi! which OF COURSE the Quebec government wanted to ban at one point. https://globalnews.ca/news/5990990/quebec-bonjour-hi-simon-jolin-barrette/

I do give props to them with using French Canadian slang but a Peugeot? Damn, we're not that nuts. 

 

Bowen's accent and Issa's Drake Watch charmed me thoroughly but I was disappointed in the nothingness of Mikey's character. 

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This episode is going horribly and that 80's Cocaine Girlfriend has been the lowest point of it for me so far.

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I had really been looking forward to this episode, but unfortunately it mostly missed the mark for me. Issa is lovely and so talented. She did what she could, but didn't get that much to do. And the writing really wasn't there.

The best for me was Update. Che's really bringing it. And I'm Eric always works. Chloe's Tiffany sounded so much like Melanie Hutsell from way back when doing Jan Brady and Tori Spelling. That's not bad.

I loved the theme to "Aidy in America" more than I really should.

Speaking of Aidy, new girl Lauren Holt seems a little too  uncomfortably on the nose as her replacement in the cast.

They have have also obviously guaranteed  Jim Carrey and Maya  spots in these episodes and will shoehorn them in no matter what. 

Edited by vb68
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Cold Open: "NBC laid a thirst trap for President Trump." Well, that's all I think we'll get of SNL justifying why NBC hosted Trump's thing in the first place. As much I love Jim Carrey...he just can't stop being Jim Carrey. Much like the real thing, the dueling town halls were a blessing in disguise. They were both one-sided conversations. Everyone talking AT the president, or someone talking AT the audience. I loved that they actually went to Jim Carrey as Mister Rogers and Bob Ross, while Trump's in Wrestlemania. Maya's fourth wall break was weird and unnecessary. 

Monologue: Wow, she was supposed to host in March! But she's here now, and I liked her monologue. It's been a while since a non-standup did a genuine monologue WITHOUT a cast member helping them out.

Bonjour Hi: And now for French-Canadian jokes. Bowen's attempt at a French accent and Drake Watch were highlights for me. This was a dud. Apparently all the Canadians on Reddit loved it.

5 Hour Empathy: Of course Beck drags his feet to drink it. Loved that. Kenan being the VO was the best touch. "Are too many NFL players kneeling again?" killed me.

Date: Did I seriously just hear "titty meat" on this show? Yep, I realized they're getting their money's worth after Bowen showed up and said it. Weird, short sketch. The pan out at the end with them breaking down the sketch was nice to see, but it was a weird choice. It's like they just decided to say "nope" after Punkie's bit fell flat.

WU: Trump's totally gonna flee to Russia the first chance he gets, right? Just don't threaten us with a good time. Like I said last week, why need Alec Baldwin as Trump when he just says weird crap on his own? But seeing the return of Don Jr. AND I'M ERIC after forever was really welcomed. I visibly shuddered at Eric drinking the hand sanitizer. And somehow Tiffany/Not Ivanka was even dumber. 

"NBC: We have a type!" Well, DAMN. Yeah, Cosby, Trump, and the other guy.

Loved the Aidy remote, and Che just calling out the audience after every joke. "Was that voice blackface?" killed me. Way to make me think Stefon was coming back. Instead we got Heidi as weird Cocaine 80s Wife. Which was so freaking weird but I couldn't stop laughing.

Your Voice Chicago: This was awkward. Well...congrats for Diamond & Silk finally getting spoofed? I'll take any excuse to hear Maya sing.

Earlier This Week: Kyle sketch! This started weak, but like any good Kyle bit, it just got more awkward and funnier as it went on. Loved "Mr. The Rapper!" 

Justin Bieber has always been "meh" to me, but I appreciated that performance that started backstage.

Jack Flatts: Appreciated the left turn of this ad into a QAnon/kidnap the governor crazy person video. But this had like zero energy to it.

eBay: Yeah...quarantine buyer's remorse is a total thing. I WISH PreBay was a thing. I've said "why did I buy this" quite a few times this month.

Boy, this was a dud. There were good parts, but like lots of SNL episodes, it lost steam after Update. Tune in next time for...? Did anyone see if anyone got announced for next time? 

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The only sketch that worked for me was the last one. "Guitars hurt." 

Other than that, well, I never thought I'd say this, but the best part was Justin Bieber.

What an unfunny mess.

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Jim Carrey is too...Jim Carrey. Woody Harrelson comes a lot closer to Biden. 

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2 minutes ago, vb68 said:

Speaking of Aidy, new girl Lauren Holt seems a little too  uncomfortably obvious as her replacement in the cast.

You weren't kidding. I honestly forgot that Aidy was remote this week and thought that was her in the Jack Flatt's sketch without a second thought.

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1 hour ago, vb68 said:

Looks to me like they don't have a host or musical guest for next week.

probably a re-run next week.

This was ok. None of the shows this season have been stinkers but none have particularly stood out either.

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I generally know about the guys saying they were going to kidnap the governor, but why in this sketch did they always say it like they were afraid to say it out loud, or like they didn't want to be too forceful about it? I can't remember if the real guys actually made a video or just posted it, but if there was a video, was it at all similar to this sketch?

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7 minutes ago, MrWhyt said:

probably a re-run next week.

Which is weird because if it WAS a re-run, they would've mentioned it.

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Well, that was... there.  WU (other than 80s cocaine girl) was on fire.  Parts of the cold open were fine.  5 Hour Empathy and Pre-Bay were amusing.  Otherwise, I'd like to forget most of it.  Which is too bad because Issa is so good. 

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10 minutes ago, Galileo908 said:

Which is weird because if it WAS a re-run, they would've mentioned it.

They are suppose to be doing five shows in a row.  So I'm guessing Jim Carrey and/or Maya as host(s) next week.  

They should had announced something.

22 minutes ago, Galileo908 said:

"NBC: We have a type!" Well, DAMN

Thanks. For some reason that got muffled for me. I actually thought he cursed.

I just feel so bad for Issa.

Edited by vb68
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I love Issa but she didn't really have much to do in this episode.  I think they need to all go back home because they were doing some creative things towards the end.

I liked the cold open with them flipping back and forth between the two town halls.  It gave them a good out to do a joke or two and when they weren't sure how to transition, they could just swap to the other town hall. 

WU had some good jokes. 

And I loved the eBay skit.  Oh how many things we were going to do.

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I think Jim is doing fine as Joe, even though the teeth and sunglasses are doing the heavy lifting. That said, SNL really needs to not make political figures freelance positions on a long-term basis. Hell, if Biden were to win and the male hosts play him in the opening sketch, I'd be for that.

You know, for the past four years, I've used the metaphor of Donald Trump getting slammed with a steel chair, mostly because that was a pleasing mental image for me. Seeing it realized here? It was good. Not that I wanted Kate to send Alec to the hospital in the name of comedy. I did like the cheap-looking Continental United States not wanting a second term. Cut to Alec: "You'll never take me alive!!!" So funny. Too close to actual reality, but so funny.

34 minutes ago, Galileo908 said:

5 Hour Empathy: Of course Beck drags his feet to drink it. Loved that. Kenan being the VO was the best touch. "Are too many NFL players kneeling again?" killed me.

"You didn't open the bottle."

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I never remember that Alec Baldwin is now Justin Bieber's uncle by marriage. I wonder if they have any kind of real relationship. Was Alec in the goodnights? Was Pete in the goodnights?

I think Chloe Fineman is one of the best impersonators they've ever had, but what has happened to Melissa? Did she have anything tonight besides one line in the cold open?

I actually did enjoy both of Justin's songs tonight, and I like Chance the Rapper, so for me this was a good week for the musical guest(s).

With the pandemic it makes sense to have an extra team this season, but once some of the vets come back, this 20-person cast will be even more untenable. 

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Just going to post my thoughts before seeing what others thought. Personally, I thought this was one of the worst episodes I’ve ever seen. I kept falling asleep because it was so boring. The host seemed nice but the writing was awful. Even the Trump kids couldn’t save it. There were only a few thing I found mildly amusing:

1) The e-bay skit

2) Calling out weird nodding woman in the background of Trump’s town hall (I had thought that I was the only one who was weirdly obsessed with her)

3) Bieber’s hat in the second song, especially when he was in front of the mirror (or was I the only one who found it bizarrely phallic?).

Anyway, overall a total waste of time. I really hope it gets better.

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5 hour empathy was great. 

I almost didn't watch because I'm in a shitty cranky mood, but I actually enjoyed tho episode and laughed at least once in every sketch. 

I can't stand Carrey's Biden or the writing they're doing for Biden right now. I don't think it tracks at all, it's like they can't find a hook so they're making shit up. I find Maya's Kamala hit or miss, about 50-50 on when I like it vs when I think it's awful. 

I love Issa Rae. 

WU FTW. I don't know why I'm using textspeak.

Pre-bay was funny. I was glad they added the part about work and kids at the end.

The thing I liked about the dinner date was that at the end he also had an ex he was embarrassed about. Maybe I'm just inclined to think dating is hell, but I liked that even though he was kind of acting like he thought she was trash bu he was too polite to ditch her, it turns out he was actually the one fronting more.

Is looking for Drake a thing?

I saw some of the kidnappers videos and at least the ones I saw didn't show the guys being at all shy about their plans. I wonder if SNL was portraying them that way as part of making them seem like petulant little boys? I don't know.

Diamond and Silk shade is its own cottage industry at this point, but okay. Someone needs to explain that QUALITY representation matters.

Issa and Kyle dancing together was not something I saw coming.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MrWhyt said:

probably a re-run next week.

This was ok. None of the shows this season have been stinkers but none have particularly stood out either.

 

          They Were Going To Have FIVE NEW Episodes IN A ROW !

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1 hour ago, peeayebee said:

I generally know about the guys saying they were going to kidnap the governor, but why in this sketch did they always say it like they were afraid to say it out loud, or like they didn't want to be too forceful about it? I can't remember if the real guys actually made a video or just posted it, but if there was a video, was it at all similar to this sketch?

I think the joke was that IRL the kidnappers got thwarted because they blabbed about it on social media? So this was how it should've been (ha ha)?
I kept falling asleep at the breaks, so...

 

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Another English Canadian born and raised in Montreal weighing in on Bonjour-Hi.  It was mildly amusing.  The French language arm of the CBC is called Radio Canada though.  Bowen’s Québécois accent was decent, but Kate sounded more Parisian to me.  The reference to the Jacques Cartier Bridge was pretty authentic.

Add me to the list of those who prefer Jason  Sudekis as Joe Biden.

Edited by 3 is enough
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I was sure the 80s Cocaine Lady was going to end up being the much mentioned "sister"  of the Boxing Wife. 

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There's really no reason to keep having Maya show up.  The last consistently newsworthy VP candidate was Palin - aside from the VP debate and some members of her team testing positive for Covid Harris has been even more invisible than Biden was in 08 (at least he said some stupid stuff). 

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Overall, I enjoyed this episode. They did a lot of things I want SNL to do right now - talk about current issues (in a way which for the most part didn't feel too tin-eared), try different forms of humor, and balance most of the cast (this week everyone but poor Melissa got a decent role, which isn't bad with 18 people in the building). It certainly wasn't perfect, or even close, but this is the type of SNL I can watch and mostly feel satisfied.

The weak spot for me continues to be the cold open. It doesn't need to be this long, and they still keep shoehorning Maya into sketches where Kamala wouldn't be. There's been some talk about how the audience didn't have the usual easy laugh responses - you could probably see it most with their responses to her jokes. This episode seems to have sparked a debate about the writing for Biden and Carrey not being suited for the part...I think Carrey has steadily improved, but the writing is still just all over the place and I don't enjoy watching him in the role. This was probably the best Baldwin has been in several years, but I don't need to see more of him in this role either. I just don't want to see any of this, nor do I need to see political events on a checklist. The best I can say is this sketch at least gave the cast more roles, leading to a few genuinely funny moments courtesy of Ego, Alex, etc. and it was better than the first two political cold opens this season.

Issa was not as used as some hosts in recent seasons, but she did fine with what she had. My favorite piece with her was probably the danceoff with Kyle - this was taken to a variety of unexpected places until we got the surprising and dark ending (and considering Andrew is basically taking over Kyle's role on the show if he stays [as I can't see Kyle being on much longer], it was fitting to see him telling Kyle to go). I also thought the voting sketch was fine, both as a social commentary piece and a way of referencing Issa's red carpet comment a few years ago about how she was voting for "everybody black." Punkie (who continues to stand out among the new cast) and Maya stole this as Diamond & Silk. The first date sketch was effective as a quiet sketch which probably ran a bit too long, but Issa and Chris Redd clicked, and Redd's performance shows how much he has steadily improved in sketches over the years. 

The militia sketch ran too long, but I was still glad to see it made the air - not only was it a rare live sketch in recent years that did not have the host, it was also surprising to see the show tackle this type of issue the way they did - not through Update, or a glib pre-tape, but with the type of disturbing, broken aggressive energy that male performers haven't given off that often since the Will Ferrell/Chris Kattan era. It was very good to see Andrew Dismukes finally get a big role, and he certainly showed he deserves more chances (I assume he wrote this with Beck and Kyle). Kenan's role was also much more disturbing than you tend to get on modern SNL.

Che and Jost did not have as strong of material as they do in most weeks (and I wasn't that thrilled with Che's Kanye stuff), but I did enjoy Che reacting to the weird crowd in this Update - many anchors would have been flustered, but he got the tone just right. And all the groaner jokes became amusing in of themselves after a while, for the groan factor. I was glad to see a return of the Trump brothers, as Alex Moffat is just so utterly perfect in this part (he gets better every time). I wasn't expected the addition of Tiffany, but Chloe was fun (she reminded me a lot of Melanie Hutsell, cast member of the early '90s), and seeing her interact with Alex as Eric and Chloe got to know each other made me smile. We need more of the older and newer cast getting bits like this. I also loved the brief "Where's Aidy?" piece they used to cover her absence, as it reminded me of the old satellite pieces they would do with Al Franken. And while Heidi has done this type of character on Update a few times now, seeing her go even more into dramatic acting (her biggest strength on the show) was a good thing for me. She played a lot of darker, frailer emotions and didn't just go for the laugh lines, even though there was comedy. 

The pre-tapes (which may have all been filmed a while back - I know the racism one was from Chris Rock's episode) all touched on aspects of current problems in a serious or semi-serious way; I think the ebay piece was defter while the racism pre-tape seemed to be more scathing. The performances from Beck and Heidi (both so good at dramatic work on the show) helped, along with Kenan's incredulous, goading pitchman. 

My least favorite of the live sketches was probably that Bonjour news, as that type of stuff has to be done just right, with people I love watching, to entertain me. I did like some parts (like Mikey licking the huge donut hole then regretting that he was on television, and Issa constantly mentioning Drake - and the first time Bowen snapped at Mikey), and it's nice to see Bowen branching out into different roles. That's about it...

So, anyway, overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by the last two episodes, minus the political material, and I hope that continues to be the case. The show is facing a big cast exodus and has to pivot into a new direction - I'm glad they seem to be taking those steps, even if it is still so gingerly. They have a great cast, if they just trust them, and trust the writers. 

32 minutes ago, cambridgeguy said:

There's really no reason to keep having Maya show up.  The last consistently newsworthy VP candidate was Palin - aside from the VP debate and some members of her team testing positive for Covid Harris has been even more invisible than Biden was in 08 (at least he said some stupid stuff). 

I would guess she and Jim are under contract for these first 5 shows so they would have to use her no matter what. 

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5 hours ago, vb68 said:

They have have also obviously guaranteed  Jim Carrey and Maya  spots in these episodes and will shoehorn them in no matter what. 

Agreed.  I watched the cold open last night (before being about 4th person in this thread to fall asleep during the show—is there a gas leak in this thread?), and I can’t remember anything about her appearance other than that it seemed unnecessary.

Jim Carrey seems to be burning through all the goodwill he generated in this thread the last time he hosted, but this impression is turning into a bit of a mess, so it’s understandable.  I thought Jason’s Biden was entertaining back in the day, but I don’t think the impression would be right for the moment in 2020 or capture who Biden is today, so I still feel Carrey retooling his impression would be the best way to go.  I did think Carrey dressing as Mr. Rogers and then Bob Ross was a good angle to run through soothing PBS standbys (because some prominent conservative tweeted that watching Biden’s town hall was like watching Mr. Rogers, and people were like, “That’s a bad thing?”), but it seemed to be missing something to take it to an actually funny level. 

I watched the rest of the show via YouTube clips this morning.  I liked “Bonjour Hi” and found Bowen very charming in it, except, as @SomeTameGazelle noted, Mikey’s character was unnecessary to the sketch.  It disappointed me that they went to that comedy well of “insert audience surrogate normal person into the midst of exaggerated characters to react to the wackiness”, just because they do that so often (and the reverse:  insert exaggerated person among normies).  It just isn’t always needed.

I actually liked this ep better than last week, but I strongly disliked almost everything about last week except for Pete, so take that for what it’s worth.  I still find the season to be underperforming as a whole when I compare it to how much they did with so little during the at-home episodes last year.

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8 hours ago, mtlchick said:

As an English Canadian born and raised in Montreal, I don't know if I should be confused, bemused, insulted, all 3 or none of the above at Bonjour/Hi! which OF COURSE the Quebec government wanted to ban at one point. https://globalnews.ca/news/5990990/quebec-bonjour-hi-simon-jolin-barrette/

I do give props to them with using French Canadian slang but a Peugeot? Damn, we're not that nuts. 

I wonder if the Quebec francophone media will cover this skit ? . I thought it was pretty funny.

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For a while last night, I had no idea what I was watching. Midway through Issa's monologue I gave up and googled her, as I had no idea who she was. Then the Bonjour skit seemed to be aimed at a tiny slice of the viewing audience. I didn't get the whole "titty meat" thing (I can do crude humor, but that was just kind of obnoxious). And then I realized I had been excited because when I heard "Justin Bieber" my mind replaced him with "Justin Timberlake," and I was hoping for one of those skits where Timberlake dresses as a cup of soup ... and then Bieber came out and I realized what I had done, and was sad.

The cold open seemed half baked. I did love the segue to Mr Rogers, and then Bob Ross. They basically capture how many people feel about Biden ... doesn't matter what he says or doesn't say, we need some normalcy and empathy. He can surround himself with good people.

WU seemed to set things right again. Until I had to google "Lexington Steele."I missed Eric. "I ... was muted." The KA Conway joke was great.And then I had no idea who the photo was for the ring-tailed lemur, so back to confusion. "Was that voice blackfaced?" Awesome. Shot statue 15 times? Awesome.

Then I gave up and went to bed.

 

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At least Bieber got rid of the pornstache. I think someone in his inner circle told him to get rid of. That thing was a mess. Some people work well with facial hair. He is one of the few that doesn't work well with him.

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The cold open was decent. A couple of jokes that landed with truth: “Crazy uncles, stand back and stand by.” Joe’s only scandal will be mistaking Angela Merkel’s caboose from behind as Jill’s. 
 

The rest of the show was fine. I don’t think any sketch completely whiffed and I was amused throughout. Weekend Update had me laughing out loud. 

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Okay, seriously, SNL you really need to stop portraying Biden as whatever the hell you are trying to portray him as. It's making NO sense and it's NOT funny. I've never found Jim Carey to be funny though, so that could be coloring my opinion of him. Ironically, I do think he's a fairly decent serious actor. Maya's Harris is slightly better, but like a lot of others I have to say just putting her in the sketch just to put her there makes no sense, and she's another one I've never been a huge fan of. A little Maya goes a long way. 

WU was made of win. Che was hilarious. Can we just get a full episode of WU the episode before AND after the election? I think we've earned it this year and deserve something special. The addition of NotVanka to Eric and Don Jr was a nice touch. 

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Whoever is green lighting these cold open scripts is sadly mistaken, they need to have an emergency meeting to round table what’s going wrong. They are BAD. 

I enjoyed the Canadian and date sketches, and Issa is really beautiful to look at. 
WU is really hitting the nail on the head. It’s fun to go back on Peacock and watcH WU where Seth doesn’t have anything urgent to make fun of.

Even my husband said “Bieber finally got rid of that gross mustache!”

 

Edited by cpcathy
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9 hours ago, possibilities said:

I can't stand Carrey's Biden or the writing they're doing for Biden right now. I don't think it tracks at all, it's like they can't find a hook so they're making shit up.

ITA. Carrey is giving him a hard, crazy edge which I just don't see in Biden.

Quote

The thing I liked about the dinner date was that at the end he also had an ex he was embarrassed about. 

I was getting bored with Issa's weird dates that kept showing up, so when Chris's weird one appeared, I liked that -- Not because the idea was hilarious, but because whoever played her was so funny. Who was that?

 

3 hours ago, Peace 47 said:

I thought Jason’s Biden was entertaining back in the day, but I don’t think the impression would be right for the moment in 2020 or capture who Biden is today

I think Jason is a good enuf performer that he could alter the impression to fit in today, although frankly I don't see anything wrong with how he did it then not being right now. 

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I liked “Bonjour Hi” and found Bowen very charming in it, except, as @SomeTameGazelle noted, Mikey’s character was unnecessary to the sketch.  It disappointed me that they went to that comedy well of “insert audience surrogate normal person into the midst of exaggerated characters to react to the wackiness”, just because they do that so often (and the reverse:  insert exaggerated person among normies).  It just isn’t always needed.

That's one of my pet peeves with SNL. I wish they'd just let the wacky characters speak for themselves. We don't need the Greek chorus.

 

2 hours ago, Ottis said:

I didn't get the whole "titty meat" thing (I can do crude humor, but that was just kind of obnoxious).

Yeah, that phrase repulsed me.

 

Quote

Until I had to google "Lexington Steele.

Thanks for reminding me. I meant to google that, too.... Oh kay. What was Che's joke again?

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4 hours ago, Pete Martell said:

but Chloe was fun (she reminded me a lot of Melanie Hutsell, cast member of the early '90s),

I said that too. Great Minds. If you just listened to her voice as Tiffany, it sounded just like Melanie.

I hope they continue "Aidy in America" just for the theme song. It's still stuck in my head this morning.  But if that one tiny bit is all I thinking about the morning after, it was indeed a very weak show.

I have a feeling they are having a very difficult time coordinating everybody and everything with the covid restrictions. Ironically, the @Home shows may have been easier with  the cast just submitting what they could film themselves.

Edited by vb68
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I apologize in advance for my SNL whine this morning: 

I live in a rural area where people associated with militias are gaining traction.   It's dangerous to think they are harmless.  Some day one of these groups will not be detected until after something horrible has happened.  SNL needs to be very careful when writing skits that feature these kinds of characters.  

 I know it was a silly, throw-away joke during Weekend Update, but I was disappointed that they trivialized the situation.    https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/15/us/pennsylvania-fetterman-woman-racial-slur/index.html

I wish they would make Biden's character as likable as the Trump kids.  

Edited by Phebemarie
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