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Last Night's 'Saturday Night Live' Was OK, But Saoirse Ronan Was Transcendent

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | December 3, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | December 3, 2017 |

Cold Open — Alec Baldwin is back to play Trump in a holiday version of The Christmas Carol. Mikey Day plays Mike Flynn, “The Ghost of Witness Flipped.” He introduces three ghosts from his past who continue to haunt him: Billy Bush (who is looking good relatively speaking in the NBC News division), Vladmir Putin (who fears that Trump is going to ruin all the time and money Russia has put into him) and Hillary Clinton. “You have given me the greatest Christmas of all! Sexual gratification in the form of your slow demise!”

It’s an OK Cold Open, but Baldwin isn’t the Trump we need anymore. Trump has taken a particularly unhinged and nasty turn, and Baldwin doesn’t really capture the pure evil that is our current President. I’m not sure, really, that anyone could. Maybe a bewigged Bryan Cranston. (Watch here) (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Saoirse Ronan Monologue — Saoirse, who is Irish, has a thick Irish accent, and a very unpronounceable Irish name, and that’s the topic of the entire monologue. There’s even a song about it. Not great material, but Saoirse is fantastically full of enthusiasm. She’s terrific and I love her, and the monologue is the first of many times in which she transcends the material tonight. (Score: 6 out of 10)

MTV’s Floribama Shore — An MTV reality show filmed during the middle of Hurricane Irma. There’s a fun surprise ending, and Saoirse’s trashy Southern accent is memorable, but the rest of the sketch is not. (Watch here) (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

Action News 9 — A reporter interviews two people who escaped a gas explosion in an American Girl store, one of whom is a single, grown man who collects American Girl dolls. The entire joke is that a grown man buys dolls, and he should be embarrassed by it. It’s not a great skit, but it’s more sustainable than you might think.(Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Welcome to Hell — The female cast performs an entertaining, incisive number about how it’s been shitty for women long before the recent outing of a number of sexual predators. (Score: 8.5 out of 10)

K-Mart Return Desk — People who return stuff to K-Mart are terrible. And also dumb. But mostly terrible. The end. This is funnier than it has any right to be. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Kyle Mooney Short — It’s a fairly successful distillation of a lot of tropes from bad 80’s movies, and it’s marginally better than most Kyle Mooney shorts, but it’s still a Kyle Mooney short (with a cameo from Greta Gerwig). That said, it’s better than the new U2 song that follows. (Watch here) (Score: 3.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — This week is almost entirely Trump and/or sexually harassment related, and it’s consistently funny and occasionally hysterical, although Che seems to be a bit off this week in his delivery (Kate McKinnon’s Theresa May more than makes up for it). (Score: 8 out of 10)

Bachelor Auction — A group of very wealthy women go apeshit for an incredibly underwhelming bachelor (Pete Davidson) at an auction. Well, that was a skit. That’s probably the best endorsement I can give. (Watch here) (Score: 2 out of 10)

Classroom — This is a Luke Null sketch. Luke Null is a new cast member. We haven’t seen much of him this year. This skit is probably why. (Watch here) (Score: 2 out of 10)

Aer Lingus — Why would they save this skit until last? Set on a plane as its taxiing on the runway, everyone on the skit speaks with a splendid Irish accent, and they all say wonderfully Irish things, and I adore everything about it. (Score: 7 out of 10)

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.