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Kumail Nanjiani Gives Great Host on Kate McKinnon's 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 15, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 15, 2017 |

Cold Open — Alec Baldwin returns to play Trump at a Trucker Rally, and he spends the entire cold open largely making fun of how dumb Trump is. Donald Trump, himself, however, is probably too dumb to realize he’s being made fun of. “I took an IQ Test, and let me assure you that it came back positive … I’m the only guy who knows what IQ means. Inqredible!” (Score: 6 out of 10)

Kumail! Monologue — I love this so much. A Pakistani guy who plays a supporting role in a niche HBO comedy and wrote and directed a romantic comedy that made $30 million three months ago is doing stand-up on SNL and talking about Twitter mentions and racism, and he is killing it! This is the way SNL should be every week. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Bank Breakers — It’s a game show where $50,000 is on the line, and Kumail is feeling great about winning until he finds out his opponent is a sympathetic veteran trying to pay for a surgery to fix her daughter’s hearing loss … and now he’s not so stoked about winning. Watch here. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Pennywise — In a pre-taped segment, Anderson Cooper loses something in a storm drain, reaches for it, and discovers Kellyanne “Pennywise” Conway. Kate McKinnon is perfect. This is why McKinnon wins Emmys (also, McKinnon is in tonight’s show more than Kumail, I think). This here is the sketch of the night. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Halloween Party — The joke is a fairly subtle take on the way employees behave when their bosses call in from corporate headquarters — sort of casual office-speak, even when the boss is calling to tell everyone that they may have hepatitis. The joke might actually be too subtle to work. Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Actress Roundtable — Debette Goldry is back, and now she, Viola Davis, and Marion Cotillard are chatting about Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment in Hollywood. I love Debette Goldry, but this didn’t work as well as it usually does. It’s not good when the rape joke is the only funny joke in a sketch (although, it’s a really good joke) Watch here. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Another really great “Weekend Update,” as Che and Jost take on Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. Cecily Strong also shows up as Ivana Trump in an “OK” segment, although it looks like she’s having a great time. It almost pains me to say it, but Che and Jost have become very capable, sometimes almost great “Update” hosts. Did, like, both of them have daughters over the summer?

Hotel Check-In — Kumail plays a desk clerk at a hotel who repeatedly offers amenities to an exasperated customer rescued from North Korea who just wants to check in to his damn hotel. It’s a decent filler sketch. Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Nursing Home — The joke here is that a 91-year-old woman played by Kate McKinnon still loves to have sex. With everyone. In the nursing home. It’s a below average sketch buoyed by McKinnon’s facial expressions. Watch here. (Score 5 out of 10)

Customer Service — Kumail plays a customer service rep who develops a relationship with Melania Trump, who calls him repeatedly because she’s lonely. It’s a well done, kind of sad and touching sketch. (Score: 7 out of 10)

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