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In the Final Episode Before the Election, 'SNL' Blows It

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | November 6, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | November 6, 2016 |

Cold OpenSNL’s last cold open before the election, like much of the election coverage at this point, is a rehash of the last couple of weeks: Putin, FBI, emails, KKK, media, etc. Nothing new is breaking through. The sketch also doesn’t really go anywhere until Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon break character and run around Times Square to hug people in an effort to offset the amount of toxicity in our country right now. It’s not a particularly funny cold open, but it is well-intentioned and appreciated. Watch here. (Score: 6/10)

Benedict Cumberbatch Monologue — Cumberbatch takes the opportunity to brag about himself through a Barry White-inspired song that involves a lot of Leslie Jones doing to Cumberbatch what she does to Colin Jost every week. It’s OK. Cumberbatch is likable, but the monologue is forgettable. Watch here. (Score: 4.5/10)

Koohl Toilet — Kohl introduces a toilet that you can look cool sitting on with an ad inspired by Apple’s 1984 ad. Funny concept, OK execution, but I have to concede that Cumberbatch does, indeed, look cool sitting on that toilet. (Score: 5/10)

Why Is Benedict Cumberbatch Hot? — Beck Bennet (as himself) hosts a game show played by Vanessa Bayer and Aidy Bryant (as themselves) and Cumberbatch, where they try and explain why he’s hot. Amusing, but mostly because Cumberbatch has such a good sense of humor about himself (and in retrospect, it’s probably the best sketch of the night, which doesn’t say much for the episode). (Score: 6.5/10)

Office Hours — A professor (Cumberbatch) makes a pass at a student (Pete Davidson) during office hours, and then goes on at eloquent length about how he is living a lie while “Chad” mostly nods and says, “OK.” This sketch is not doing much for me, and by that, I mean: It’s bad. Watch here. (Score: 3/10)

Weekend at Bernie’s Bachelorette Party — A group of women hold a surprise bachelorette party for a Grandmother, who dies but no one notices that she’s dead. A couple of strippers come and and give the dead grandma a lap dance … and then a few players from the Cubs give her a lap dance … and she’s still dead. Yeah. Not great, although it might have been had Aidy Bryant broken character a few times while the men were dancing on her face. Basically, this is ‘SNL’s’ last chance to make up for the fact that they let Donald Trump host and they are doing shitty Weekend at Bernie’s sketches. I’ll post it for the Cubs’ cameos, though. (Score: 3/10)

Weekend Update — Che and Jost managed to speak at length about the election and say absolutely nothing insightful and very little that was funny. Again, “Weekend Update” completely wastes its last opportunity on this election. However, Dana Carvey does show up as Church Lady in an effort to save it, and God Bless Carvey, it even the Church Lady felt a little dated (but likable, as always). One man, however, did manage to salvage “Update”: Bill Murray. (Score: 3/10 for “Weekend Update,” but 10/10 for the Bill Murray cameo)

Here’s Che and Jost. Here’s Carvey and Murray.

Gemma — Cecily Strong’s British accent sketch. Skip it, unless you’re really into Strong’s British accent. Watch here. (Score: 3/10)

Criminal Mastermind — Cumberbatch plays a villain who asks people riddles they have to answer or they will be killed. The riddles, however, are lame and easy to answer. That’s the joke. The whole joke. Watch here. (Score: 1 out of 10)

Final Sketch — To be honest, I checked out. It was still on TV, but I stopped paying attention. Watch here. (Score: ? out of 10)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.