‘SNL’ host Sydney Sweeney hits on Air Bud, becomes Hooter’s Harry Potter

The ‘Anyone But You’ star delivered a harmless episode of ‘SNL’ while Ego Nwodim had a big night.

‘SNL’ host Sydney Sweeney hits on Air Bud, becomes Hooter’s Harry Potter
Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman and Sydney Sweeney during Saturday Night Live. / NBC

Sometimes an episode of Saturday Night Live is just an episode of Saturday Night Live. They’re not all hall-of-fame episodes like when Adam Driver hosted at the end of last year. They’re not all steeped in controversy like when Shane Gillis hosted last week. Many episodes of SNL come and go, hopefully earning a few laughs in the process.

Sydney Sweeney’s episode last night was that kind of episode.

As hosts go, she did a good job. She never seemed lost or rattled by the task of a live show (even if that meant keeping a straight face opposite of a dog eating a sandwich) and never appeared to be glued to the cue cards. (I’m not asking hosts to memorize their lines like Driver, but we saw last week that the cue cards can be challenging.)

SNL has the tendency to easily resort to “let’s focus on how hot the host is” mode when a host is, well, hot. They did it a few years ago with Jennifer Lopez and a bit more recently with Ana de Armas. (Mikey Day’s Matt Schatt character exists solely to be featured in episodes when a woman known for her attractiveness is hosting.) The show even turned its gaze on a man earlier this season when Sweeney’s Euphoria costar, Jacob Elordi, hosted. That was an especially horny episode, while I’d say the sketches about Sweeney being hot this weekend were more sophomoric. I mean, there was a Hooters sketch. That’s real 1990s low-hanging fruit.

This was also a big episode for Ego Nwodim. On top of being in almost every sketch, she anchored “Big Bench” and turned in a star performance as a pregnant stingray opposite Michael Che during Weekend Update.

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Inside Politics

SNL has been struggling with political stuff for a few seasons now. The Trump era political sketches were bad because they were just a stream of cameos. (Mikey Day and Alex Moffat’s Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were the rare exceptions.) But now the show doesn’t seem to know what to do when they aren’t lucky enough to have James Austin Johnson on stage as Donald Trump.

This cold open was a parade of new portrayals: Heidi Gardner as Dana Bash, Michael Longfellow as Gavin Newsom, Nwodim as Karine Jean-Pierre, Marcello Hernandez as Alejandro Mayorkas. The “hey, it’s a bunch of random impressions” format is more fun when the impressions are of actual celebrities.

The show definitely has no idea what to do with Joe Biden at this point. When Day’s portrayal of the president isn’t MIA, it’s stuck making fun of Biden’s age. And like Jim Carrey’s bizarro portrayal of Biden a few years ago, it’s not even connected to reality. (Biden showed just a few days ago that he can operate a smartphone.)

  • “Next time, young blood”: Like adopting Dark Brandon, I need Biden to make this one of his catchphrases.
  • California dreamin’: I’m willing to break my “SNL roles belong to SNL cast members” rule to get Josh Meyers, brother of Seth Meyers, to reprise his portrayal of Gavin Newsom.


SNL and Sydney Sweeney wasted no time leaning into Sweeney’s attractiveness.

In addition to telling the audience that she was known for acting roles where she “screams, cries and has sex,” Sweeney unveiled the PowerPoint presentation that she made to convince her parents to let her become an actor. Her backup plan if things like finding an agent and getting her SAG card didn’t work? “Show boobs.”