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Highlights From 'SNL' Hosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Who Is Too Good for This World

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 9, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 9, 2016 |

Cold Open — Kicking the episode off by covering Tuesday’s VP Debate feels so weirdly .. dated. Like, so much has happened since last Tuesday. The VP Debate feels like a relic of the past … Oh, never mind. THERE IT IS. The VP debate is interrupted so that Donald Trump (Baldwin) can “apologize” for the Billy Bush tape. “Women, if you give me a chance, I promise I can do a whole lot more than just ‘grab it.’”

Honestly, it’s really tough to follow the real news these days, and SNL kind of blows it until McKinnon rolls in and steals the sketch. )Score — Sketch: 7 out of 10; Baldwin’s Gross Trump Mouthwork: 10 out of 10)

Watch the cold open here.

Lin-Manuel MirandaSNL does not deserve this man. This is outstanding. It may be one of the best monologues ever, and only suffers because it will be dated in five years when half of these cast members are forgotten and Donald Trump is a footnote. (Score: 10 out of 10)

Camp Fire Songs — This is one of those rare bizarro Kyle Mooney (presumably) sketches that kind of works, because it’s so awesomely stupid. Just completely, insanely stupid. Also, Kenny Loggins songs being yelled off key are funny. Watch here. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Crucible Cast Party — I love the all-female song numbers on SNL, and this one was OK — lots of theater jokes — but it doesn’t really take off until Lin-Manuel Miranda takes over, and only then by the glory of the man’s energy. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Dale Sweet — Lame, well-meaning sub who tries to reach the kids through hip hop is a horrible sketch idea, except when the lame, well-meaning sub is Lin-Manuel Miranda. Unfortunately, there was never a turn, and the sketch fell on its ass. Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)

A Day Off with Kellyanne Conway — Poor Kellyanne Conway. She spends her entire day off appearing every 10 minutes on Jake Tapper defending Trump’s latest idiocy. Also, cancel SNL and next week and replace it with Saturday Night with Kate McKinnon and Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Weekend Update — I do not like Colin Jost and Michael Che. That said, Che and Jost spend the first five minutes riffing on the Trump tape, and even though most of it was iterations of jokes I’d seen 100 times on Twitter all day, I’ll concede they were funny, which is to say: When the punchlines are dropped into their laps, Che and Jost can deliver. Fine, they can hit a softball! Midway through, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey show up as “suburban female” voters from Philadelphia, and they are terrific (or rather, Fey is terrific and Fallon flubs every other line and lets Fey make fun of him for having Trump on The Tonight Show, which is a win for Fallon, I guess). (Score: 7 out of 10)

Wells Fargo Wagon — A topical musical number about what’s going on with Wells Fargo right now is intermittently amusing, mostly for Miranda. Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Diego Calls His Mom — This one was so good it got its own separate write up here. (Score: 10 out of 10)

Stranger Things Season 2 — Leslie Jones and Keenan Thompson play the parents of Lucas, who rail against their son for hanging out with these crazy white kids. This sketch is gold! KATE MCKINNON IS ELEVEN! (Score: 11 out of 10)

A Degree of Valor — Pete Davidson plays a dying soldier in the war whose dying words are to make a fellow soldier promise to go back to his home and steal his butt plug before his wife sees it. Eh. Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)