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Highlights: Adam Driver and 'SNL' Get Political In a Pete Davidson Heavy Season Premiere

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 30, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 30, 2018 |


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Cold OpenSaturday Night Live kicked off the season by continuing in their tradition of using A-list cameos in their political cold opens, appropriately bringing in Matt Damon to play an irate, beer-guzzling, and occasionally weepy Brett Kavanaugh. The resemblance is uncanny. The cold open took aim at the Kavanaugh hearing, where Damon’s Kavanaugh shotgunned beers, threw tantrums, and cried while recalling his calendar.

“Let me tell you this. I’m going to start at an 11, and I’m going to take it to a 15 real quick,” Damon screamed. “Now I’m usually an optimist. I’m usually a keg is half full kind of guy … Guess what? I’m not backing down, you sons of bitches. I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘stop.’” (Watch Here) (Score: 9 out of 10)

Adam Driver Monologue — Not a great monologue to open the season, TBH, as Adam Driver tries to restrain his anger as the rest of the cast tells him about their summer. “I worked a little. Traveled a little. The Pete Davidson kicker is OK, but not worth the effort of the rest of the sketch. (Watch Here) (Score: 3.5 out of 10)

Fortnite Sketch — Three guys live chat while playing Fortnite, with Driver playing a lame Dad just learning to play the game because he wants to bond with his 11-year-old son (hey! I’ve had this same experience!) The humor — to the extent that it exists — is entirely in Mikey Day playing the clueless Fortnite character that Driver’s Dad is badly controlling. It’s smart of SNL to lampoon something as insanely popular as Fortnite right now, but it would also help if it were a funnier sketch. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Kyle Mooney Goes Full Pete Davidson — Jealous of all the attention Pete Davidson is getting now that he’s dating Ariana Grande, Kyle Mooney decides to copy Pete’s look and get himself a celebrity girlfriend (Wendy Williams). The episode is leaning hard into the Pete and Ariana thing, and despite the fact that this is obviously a Kyle Mooney sketch, it still mostly works. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Burger King Coffee — A couple (Adam Driver and Cecily Strong) go ballistic after they discover that the fancy coffee they think they are drinking is actually from Burger King. Not a great sketch, but Adam Driver and Cecily Strong transcend the material. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Rad Times at Frat U — Clearly inspired by Brett Kavanaugh, we see the consequences of an 80’s frat party to the attendees 30 years later. A dark, but great sketch. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Chost spends much of “Update” ripping Kavanaugh to shreds, and to their credit, they do it very well, and they make some very good points along the way (not all of which have already been made). There’s no false equivalency here, either: They go after Kavanaugh hard, and then McKinnon shows up as Ruth Bader and takes aim at both Kavanaugh and the GOP while doing a sexy dance to Cole Sprouse, like you do if you’re RBG. Pete Davidson also shows up to talk about his summer with Ariana Grande, and as running jokes go, this one is pretty great. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this was a terrific “Update.” (Score: 8.5 out of 10)

Career Day — Pete Davidson plays a high school student who brings his father in for career day, and his father (Adam Driver) is a ruthless oil baron seemingly in the model of Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Driver kills it, and Pete Davidson does a terrible job of not cracking up. This sketch is much better than it has any right to be. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Neo Confederate’s Meeting — A bunch of Nazis envision a utopian white society, and one of its members (Driver) insists that their white Utopia sounds just like … Vermont (thanks SNL for using Vermont instead of Maine!) (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.



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