Typically, here’s where I would alert you to the 3 or 4 sketches worth watching from the previous night’s episode of SNL, but in the case of the Russell Crowe hosted episode, there are literally no sketches worth watching. After a string of strong episodes over the winter, SNL has faltered the last couple of weeks, and this episode is the worst of the year.
In fact, tonight’s episode answers the question: If an episode is truly terrible, can Lorne Michaels opt not to go ahead with it? The answer is clearly no, because if there was ever an episode that didn’t deserve to go to air, it’s this one.
Cold Open — Kate McKinnon trots out her Hillary impression to make fun of how out of touch Hillary is with New York City, while still trying to court the New York vote ahead of Tuesday’s primary. A fairly standard Hillary sketch, but McKinnon is always a delight. (Score: 5/10)
Russell Crowe Monologue — Crowe is here to promote Nice Guys in May, and I don’t care if tonight’s show is good or not, Nice Guys is the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer. Crowe uses the monologue to demonstrate his past comedic roles, like Gladiator and Beautiful Mind. He even makes fun of his singing in Les Mis. Not a great monologue, but Crowe manages to be almost halfway charming. (Score: 4/10)
Preparation H Commercial — The joke is not the product, it’s the … oh never mind. Just watch it, if you want to. Or not. It’s really not worth explaining. (Score: 3/10)
Politics Nation with Al Sharpton — Kenan Thompson brings out his Al Sharpton impression again, and he’s joined by … Al Sharpton, and the two run the remaining presidential candidates through the “Black Approval Scale.” It’s one of those sketches that feels like it was hastily thrown together when Al Sharpton called a few hours before the show and said he’d come by. (Score: 4/10)
Henry VIII 3D Hologram Tour — Crowe plays a King Henry VIII Hologram in a museum exhibit. The only “joke” in the sketch seems to be that Henry VIII asks all the women to “bear [him] a son” and fondles them with his hologram hands. Ooof. The rose is already off the bloom on this episode. (Score: 2/10)
Match Finders — If you watched the previous sketch, and wondered if the show could get any worse, the answer is: Yes, it can. (Score: 1/10)
Weekend Update — Colin Jost has a decent extended bit on Ted Cruz and New York values, but otherwise, not even “Update” can pull this episode out of the dregs. Kyle Mooney also resurrects Bruce Chandling and delivers maybe the worst “Update” segment of the year. (Score: 3/10)
100 Days in the Jungle — You know that episode of Survivor every year where the remaining players get to hang out with a loved one, which is usually a spouse or a parent, but there’s always that one guy who can’t get anyone to come out but an uncle or something? Yeah, that’s the joke here. One player’s “loved one” is his uncle’s friend, Terry. That’s the joke. There’s no reason to watch this sketch. (Score: 2/10, and the only reason it’s not a 1/10 is that it’s barely not as bad as “Match Finders.”
Pogie’s — Two teenagers (Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennet) are really seriously excited about getting minimum wage jobs at a pizza place. (Score: 3/10)
Ninja Sketch — Leslie Jones plays a ninja who can’t be seen in spite of the fact that she can obviously be seen. Again, that’s the joke. (Score: 2/10)
Oprah Sketch — A pre-taped Mike O’Brien sketch in which Mike O’Brien plays Oprah. The fact that Jason Sudeikis is in the sketch and that it’s the last of the night suggests to me that it was probably taped and cut from last week’s episode and thrown in here to kill some time. (Score: 4/10)