Hosting for the 9th time, Tom Hanks brought his A-Dad game and delivered the best episode of the season, so far. Here were the highlights.
Cold Open — An unusually long and great cold open that actually managed to reproduce much of the third debate while also creating a few original, funny moments. What I’m going to miss most about SNL after the election will not be the absence of Alec Baldwin’s Trump, but the giddy, cocky Hillary Clinton who knows she’s got it in the bag, which is better — in my estimation — than McKinnon’s desperate-to-be-President because it is owed to her Hillary Clinton. The old Clinton was funny. This Clinton is funny and satisfying. Watch here. (Score: 8 out of 10)
Tom Hanks Monologue — Tom Hanks — “America’s Dad” — gives America a father-son lecture. It’s cute. It’s strangely comforting. It works, in only the way it can work with Tom Hanks playing our collective Dad. (Score: 7 out of 10)
Black Jeopardy — Two black women — played by Sasheer and Leslie — play against a redneck Trump supporter (Hanks), and it turns out what Trump supporters — poor, white men — are basically saying about the country what black people have been saying for years. There’s common ground here, and once again, Tom Hanks brings America together. This is good. Sharp, funny, and honestly maybe the best political sketch of the year. We’re on a roll. (Score: 10 out of 10)
Block Party — A lame suburban family performs a Halloween-themed version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and it is goofy as hell. Tom Hanks’ Dad joke game is on point tonight. (Not available) (Score: 6 out of 10)
Broken — It’s a comedy from CBS designed to compete against the streaming networks for Emmy awards by featuring a bunch of white professors diagnosed with depression on the same day and sex between people over 50! This is actually exactly what CBS would create if they were trying to win awards again. (Score: 6 out of 10)
Haunted Halloween Elevator — I don’t know what the hell this is! It’s stupid, and every time Tom Hanks shows up as David Pumpkins it gets even dumber, but also funnier. God, I love Tom Hanks. Yayusss. Any questions?! (Score: 6.5 out of 10)
Weekend Update — Why is Michael Che suddenly not quite a Trump defender, but a “Well, he’s got a few good points” guy. F*ck Che. Meanwhile, Leslie Jones shoots back at Internet trolls. “You think some words on the Internet can hurt me?” Leslie Jones is as awesome as Michael Che sucks. Plus, the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation at a Party shows up to talk about the election … sort of. She’s great. In fact, Leslie Jones and Cecily Strong should be hosting “Weekend Update.” Score: Che and Jost: 3 out of 10. Jones and Strong: 8 out of 10.
Watch Che and Jost here.
Sully — Hanks reprises his role as Sully, who returns to commercial piloting only to discover that he’s been reduced to second in command, where he does a lot of backseat driving while reminding everyone that he’s Sully. It’s amusing only to the extent that Hanks is playing Sully. Watch here. (Score: 5 out of 10)
Girl’s Halloween Night — In a pre-taped segment, we see the before and after a drunken Halloween night. It’s just about right. Score: 7 out of 10)
American’s Funniest Pet Videos — Tom Hanks playing Ron Howard as the host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” It doesn’t really work except as a sketch where Hanks gently makes fun of Howard. Watch here. (Score: 3 out of 10)