I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. Michael B. Jordan, hosting for his first time, was up for whatever the show threw at him, whether it was making animal sounds, capitalizing on how in shape he is or soup and spaghetti. (Yes, this episode involved both soup and spaghetti.)
More importantly, this week’s episode got the entire SNL cast involved. Every castmember except Molly Kearney appeared in at least one sketch this week. (I forgot to look for them during goodbyes.) Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Andrew Dismukes were huge participants this week, with the group leading multiple sketches.
Classified Press Conference Cold Open
The episode kicked off with Day portraying Merrick Garland. Day played the attorney general as an intense yet diminutive man, daring former presidents and vice presidents who still had classified documents to “eff around and find out.”
Thompson, Ego Nwodim and Bowen Yang each played a different FBI agent tasked with looking for documents at various politicians’ homes. Bowen’s character had a great time at Barack Obama’s home, getting to see the 175 letters Lin-Manuel Miranda has sent to the former president.
I could’ve sworn that Kate McKinnon portrayed Garland in the past, but this appears to be the first time SNL has spoofed him.
Jordan is in great shape, and he and SNL didn’t want any of us to miss that. During his monologue, Chloe Fineman, Gardner, Nwodim and even Punkie Johnson tried to woo the host.
The Creed III star rolled out a clip from his time on All My Children, which took me back to when I first saw Jordan while he was on NBC’s Parenthood. (I never watched Friday Night Lives, so I don’t have that touch point for him.)
Jake from State Farm
What if Jake from State Farm took the insurance company’s promise to be here for you 24/7 a bit too seriously? Day found out the hard way that the spokesman will take this pledge as far as he can.
Go out for pizza with your family? Take your kids to church? Sleep with your wife?
All in a day’s work for Jake from State Farm.
I need to know who was in the LiMu Emu costume at the of this sketch.
Roller Coaster Accident
Good for Sarah Sherman getting one of her body humor sketches on the air in the post-monologue spot. Sherman and Jordan played two members of a morning news team who were stuck on a roller coaster long enough to permanently contort their faces, blow back their hair — and even get a bird stuck in their side.
Did you all catch Thompson beginning to crack up as Sherman poured soup and spaghetti into Jordan’s mouth?
Southwest Airlines Announcement
We knew that Southwest Airlines was using old technology, but Thinkpad laptops from 2002? Rough times over at the airline, but it’s good to hear they’re updating to 2008 Dells. Not sure about sorting bags by color, though …
How cool must it be to be Marcello Hernandez in this sketch? You’re an SNL rookie and you’re performing with Thompson, the longest tenured member of SNL’s cast, as your scene partner.
This sketch did remind me a bit of the “Liam Neesons” recurring sketch from Key & Peele.
Video Game Session
Adding “auditory recency bias” next to “voice immodulation” in my list of SNL medical terms.
Michael Che’s Doorman Carl on the New York Rental Market
Carl the doorman would not cut Michael Che slack for his habit of wearing jeans under the Weekend Update desk, huh?
“Making the big bucks in a half suit and jeans,” the character remarked at one point. “Using that desk to hide your dirty jeans.”
Angel on the Return of Wendy’s Vanilla Frosty
Angel is a very solid Update character. Gardner always commits to this bit, no matter how many times she has to threaten to take her kids to her sister’s. She’s also dead right that a vanilla Frosty has no business being on the menu alongside the classic Frosty.
Jordan even got some Creed III promotion into this sketch, appearing as the title character — who it turns out is actually the father of one of Angel’s kids.
“Tommy never asked when one his kids was black?”
Male Confidence Seminar
Dismukes was all over the place in this episode. Here we saw him playing an alpha male leading a male confidence seminar. Too bad he wasn’t helpful to the water delivery guy played by Jordan. Also too bad that he has a “Jimmy Neutron head” and looks like “Jimmy Neutron if he did street magic.”
Party in Palm Springs
Once again, SNL wasn’t going to waste the fact that Jordan is in insane shape, casting him as a stripper who brings his pregnant wife along for a job. In fairness, she just needed to charge her phone.
The quip that Gardner’s character has been pregnant for “just a little over a year” was a great touch.
King Brothers Toyota
When they put a Chik-fil-A down the street from our house, I fully expected it was going to wreak havoc on traffic flow. They wisely built a turn lane just for the restaurant, but things could’ve gone very poorly.
Not as poorly as things are going for King Brothers Toyota, though. That new Raising Cane’s has not only kept customers from making it to their location, it’s forced the brothers to be unable to leave work. Curse you, councilman Hugo Gallegos!
Dismukes again! By the end of the show, he had become Jordan’s best friend, only to be chased away by Bowen and Sherman after watching the host fall. And fall again. And fall again. And again. And again …
“You don’t want me to see you fall down, quit falling down where I work,” is great advice.
This was a total throwback to the Digital Short era. “You can’t get mad at me for something I don’t know” is also a very Tim Robinson/I Think You Should Leave line.
No guest stars this week.
Pedro Pascal hosts SNL on Feb. 4 with Coldplay the musical guest.