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Deep SNL Thoughts: Quinta Brunson keeps show’s hot streak alive while Michelangelo’s David asks an important question
‘You ever been in a fight with your dong out?’ has now entered the ‘SNL’ lexicon.
Saturday Night Live continued its hot streak last night with Quinta Brunson’s episode. The Abbott Elementary creator and star effortlessly hosted the show.
It’s impressive how strong SNL has been since the end of 2022. The year wrapped up with Steve Martin/Martin Short and Austin Butler before jumping into 2023 with Aubrey Plaza, Michael B. Jordan, Pedro Pascal, Woody Harrelson, Travis Kelce and Jenna Ortega. There hasn’t been a bad episode in that entire bunch. With Molly Shannon hosting the next episode, I don’t see that streak ending soon.
There were two Weekend Update bits that I wanted to call out here. The first was Colin Jost’s joke that Donald Trump probably calls his lawyer (whose name is Joe Tacopina) “Joe Tapioca.” That’s how I pronounce his name every time I read it. I’m not sure what that says about me …
Michael Che used Update to prank Jost, telling the audience to not applaud for Jost’s jokes — a move that culminated with someone yelling, “you stink!”
Deep SNL Thoughts will be on break until Sunday, April 16.
James Austin Johnson is by far the best Trump SNL has ever had. No competition. It’s more than an impression. It’s more than mimicry. Johnson shares a ton in common with Anthony Atamanuik, whose Trump portrayal understood how to take elements of Trump and play them through various situations.
Alec Baldwin could have never done this version of Trump. It was too full of self-indulgent rage to make jokes about doing a “Jim from Office” or deadpanning that “we need to be executing our drug dealers. Thank you, Afroman.”
This cold open kept the trend of Kenan Thompson dropping in with a random impression at the top of the show alive.
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It’s always refreshing to see an SNL host do something for their monologue that isn’t a song, an audience question-and-answer segment or a studio tour. Brunson kicked off her episode by talking about how she compares to her Abbott Elementary character (“Damn, Ms. Teagues out here getting wasted at Universal Studios”) and with a passionate tribute to teachers.
She also took a shot at Friends for not having any Black characters while Abbott Elementary does. We should be thanking Abbott Elementary for not having any Ross characters too.
Michelangelo’s David Defends Art
I can’t not make the sketch that brought us the lines “you ever been in a fight with your dong out?” and “Did you know in the Italian version of SNL, you can show full penetration?” as the sketch of the week.
Michael Longfellow has quietly been building up quite the Weekend Update portfolio during his freshman SNL season, and his appearance as Michelangelo’s David is an immediate highlight in that portfolio.
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I’m honestly surprised that this sketch was the only spot where we got a mention of Gwyneth Paltrow’s skiing trial this week. It’s absolutely an amazing way to describe how white something can be, but I expected SNL to find a way to at least shoehorn the trial into the cold open.
Bridesmaid Cult Documentary
I’ve never been a bridesmaid, but I’ve seen enough bachelorette parties, bridal showers and weddings come together to understand how frighteningly true this sketch is. I think my bachelor party cost each person like two hundred bucks, but from what I’ve seen the average cost of a bachelorette party is like four thousand dollars.
I dunno, the fear that your significant other will “fall down the stairs and get hurt so bad that I have to give up my dreams and spend the rest of my life caring for you” seems like a legit fear to discuss during a couples game show.
Mikey Day and Brunson really had to pour themselves into this sketch. Nowhere to hide when there’s a camera directly in your face and you need to not only hit your lines but also nail an increasingly absurd lineup of hand motions.
Chloe Fineman’s character was the secret weapon in this sketch, coming to life in a way that her dad didn’t quite love …
Marcello Herández on Being a Short King
There’s no way we’ll ever know if Armie Hammer isn’t 7-foot-3. Who would risk getting close enough to measure his height? What if he’s hungry?
The final few sketches of this episode were definitely pulled from the “it’s getting late, let’s get weird” file. There are so many bizarre bits pulled together in this one. The time jumps. Bowen Yang’s hair. A mention of a Macklemore concert. The accents Yang’s Barry and Brunson’s doctor adopt at the end.
I love sketches like this. Keep being weird, SNL.
SNL has discovered that Sarah Sherman playing a man is pretty much a license to get away with anything. And it turns out that doing the same with Brunson is equally as liberating. Here’s to Fineman for allowing the Penis Brothers to get themselves fired over her.
Please Don’t Destroy: Street Eats
A Please Don’t Destroy sketch at the end of the episode? The trio’s run of having their sketches placed at the beginning of an episode might be over, but they did it in style. “Street Eats” broke from the group’s usual format of playing heightened versions of themselves, which not only worked for them but invoked the old Digital Shorts format in the best way.
“Old Digital Shorts”? Now I feel old.
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No guest stars this week.
Molly Shannon hosts SNL on April 8 with Jonas Brothers as the musical guest.
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