Huge news: Tonight’s SNL didn’t start with a political sketch.
I mean, at this point it doesn’t even matter what the sketch was. Anything would’ve been better than more of Alec Baldwin’s miserable Trump, or Kate McKinnon turning a Trump cabinet member into an unrecognizable cartoon character, or whatever A-list actor or former cast member Lorne Michaels was able to get to the studio popping up in a surprise cameo as Bill Barr. SNL eschewed the most predictable path tonight, and that alone was a victory for us all.
Sure, the show did a game show sketch. Yeah, it was also a celebrity game show sketch, meaning it was another thinly veiled excuse for its cast members to do various impersonations. And even worse, it was one of those celebrity impersonation sketches where the show acts like the fictional characters from popular works of fiction are real people and not, y’know, actors doing a job. STILL THOUGH: no Baldwin Trump, no Danny DeVito showing up as Rep. Steve Cohen, and not even McKinnon playing Rod Rosenstein as some kind of human-chicken hybrid, or something. Again: anything else is a total win right here.
Yeah, the impersonations were largely bad. Sure, the jokes were terrible. Yes, even Kenan Thompson underdelivered with his usually reliable Steve Harvey. This was not in any conceivable way a good or funny sketch, but it was still so much better than 99% of what this show has started with since the 2016 election kicked into high gear.
See for yourself, though. Want to see Leslie Jones as a vulgar Groot? Or Kyle Mooney as that creepy kid from Game of Thrones? Want to see Alex Moffat play a version of Thor that hasn’t really existed in Marvel’s movies in a good four years or so? Of course you don’t, but go ahead and do it anyway, and feel good that this is not what it could have been.