‘SNL’ host Josh Brolin takes the cold plunge while Scarlett Johansson spoofs Katie Britt

Brolin delivers a stellar show while ‘SNL’ turns to a celebrity cameo for its State of the Union response.

‘SNL’ host Josh Brolin takes the cold plunge while Scarlett Johansson spoofs Katie Britt
Sarah Sherman, Andrew Dismukes, Josh Brolin, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker during Saturday Night Live. / NBC

Josh Brolin can host Saturday Night Live anytime he wants.

Seriously. It’s ridiculous that it’s been twelve years since he last hosted. He nails his sketches, he gives the show his all, and he’s not afraid to take off his clothes. Several times. It’s also nice to have an episode of SNL where the host isn’t someone controversial or someone who the Internet is going to be bizarrely weird about.

Pop culture writer Alisha Grauso succinctly summed up Brolin’s eagerness to give SNL his all:

This was Brolin’s third time hosting SNL. Let’s make him a member of the Five-Timers Club. (Also, the man has fantastic hair.)

This episode also lit up social media thanks to the cold open featuring Scarlett Johansson as Katie Britt, sending up the senator’s response to the State of the Union. Johansson nailed the portrayal, but I wish we had seen a cast member like Chloe Fineman or Sarah Sherman in the role.

While the episode kicked off with a Weekend Update connection (Johansson, of course, is married to Update co-anchor Colin Jost), Update itself was brisk. According to Saturday Night Network, this was the first time since Feb. 26, 2022, that Update featured no guests.

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SNL announced that Ramy Youssef will host its March 30 episode. With that being Easter weekend, there won’t be a Deep SNL Thoughts to cover the episode. Taking a few weekends off only to come back on a holiday weekend is a weird move.

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State of the Union

Wow, it’s so great seeing Punkie Johnson playing Kamala Harris, I thought to myself as the cold open began. SNL is finally past its obsession with stunt casting.

On a purely performance level, it’s hard to complain about Johansson as Britt. Great work. Great writing. But I worry, especially going into a presidential election, that celebrity cameos are like Pringles to Lorne Michaels. Once he pops, can he stop? It’s also always unfortunate to see a cool moment like this go to someone who isn’t in the cast.

  • Snore more years: Is it too late to ditch Mikey Day as Joe Biden? It isn’t working. It never worked.


It’s been twelve years since Josh Brolin last hosted SNL, and he wasted no time making it clear to anyone watching that it had been twelve years too long.

Brolin clearly loves hosting SNL. He threw himself into every sketch, kicking off his time hosting the show by stripping down to his boxer briefs and socks and hopping into an ice bath. (This wasn’t the last time Brolin would take his clothes off this episode.)