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'SNL's' Fantastic Mother's Day Episode Featured a Blast from the Past and the Future

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 7, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 7, 2016 |

Brie Larson hosted the Mother’s Day episode, and she operated as one of the better kinds of SNL host: She was a constant but not dominant presence who made everyone else better. It was a great overall episode (save for that damn Kyle Mooney sketch), and with a lot of good Sunday-morning in bed clips for Mom’s to watch.

Cold Open — No. This is not a rerun. The Cold Open is a hugely surprising installment of “Church Chat” with Dana Carvey, who makes a cameo to discuss the Met Gala and then interview “Satan,” aka Ted Cruz, and the “Tangerine Tornado,” Donald Trump. Thirty years later, and Carvey hasn’t lost a step, not that anyone under the age of 30 remembers the Church Lady. Also, Dana Carvey is 60 (the same age as Darrell Hammond, who started on the show after him) and doesn’t look a damn bit different as the Church Lady than he did in 1987. (Score: 8/10)

Brie Larson — Not a “funny” opening, but a sweet one. Brie Larson, Kate McKinnon, and Pete Davidson brought their mothers up for Mother’s Day. Brie Larson could not be any more endearing. (Score: 5/10)

President Barbie Ad — Finally, a Barbie President! Oh what’s that? Girls don’t care about Barbie anymore, Damnit!. Not a particularly funny ad, but I like the sentiment, which is basically that: Mattel waited too damn long. (Score: 6.5/10)

Alien Abduction — This was a late sketch on SNL a couple of months ago, and it was funny, but it was largely funny because no one could keep a straight face whenever Kate McKinnon spoke (especially then host Ryan Gosling). This time, McKinnon continues to crush it, but no one loses it. It’s not quite the same, but the word “knockers” will never not be funny. (Score: 6/10)

Mom Haircut — A group of women at a baby shower all discuss the moment they decided to get the “cut,” a suburban mom bob. It’s a strangely funny Stepford sketch with five complete minutes of good material … about a haircut. Impressive. (Score: 7/10)

Weekend Update — Lots of impolitic jokes in tonight’s “Update.” Che and Jost spend a good deal of time on Hillary and Trump, because we never seem to grow tired of hearing people make fun of Trump. It never stops feeling validating. There’s also a joke about how Maine Asshole Governor Paul LePage named his dog “Veto,” but they don’t mention that LePage STOLE THAT DOG AND BROKE A WOMAN’S HEART.

Also, Sasheer Zamata — who really should be on the show more — got her own segment, commenting on Larry Wilmore’s White House Correspondence Speech. She’s delightful. (Score: 8/10)

Jon Snow Is DeadGame of Thrones is huge enough now that SNL is devoting an entire sketch to how long the series dragged out his “death.” It’s a spoiler for those who haven’t caught up, but also, it’s hilariously on point. Watch here. (Score: 9/10)

2018 Quiz Show — A quiz show set in 2018 asks “Who came in second to Donald Trump in 2016?” Nobody can answer it because nobody remembers him, including one of the contestants, his wife. Burn. SNL is railing hard on Ted Cruz tonight. (Score: 7/10)

Discreet Annihilation — No, Kyle Mooney. You cannot ruin tonight’s otherwise excellent episode. I refuse to allow it. (Score: 1000 God Damnits)

Dead Bopz — Contemporary hits performed by dead singers via hologram. Cute, especially Tupac singing “Shake It Off.” (Score: 5/10)

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.