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The Spectacular, Teeth Rattling Foo Fighters' Christmas Medley Salvages an Otherwise Miserable 'SNL'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | December 17, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | December 17, 2017 |

Last night’s show was terrible. In fact, I’d actually recommend that you all check in on “Update,” and then skip straight to the bottom and watch The Foo.

Cold Open — Hey look! Alec Baldwin is back to play Trump, who — along with Cecily’s Melania — mutters a lot of inane drivel, which is only slightly more exaggerated than the real thing! This recurring character is played out, but the skit is briefly enlivened by the presence of Leslie Jones, playing Omarosa, trying to break into the White House; ScarJo making a cameo appearance as Ivanka; and Eric and Don Jr., who remain the only Trump-world characters who still have some comedic life left in them. I think it’s time to retire Baldwin’s Trump and bring in, I dunno, an anthropomorphic smashed pumpkin speaking into a funhouse mirror. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Kevin Hart Monologue — Kevin Hart does a bit about having a third baby, and about his frustration with young women making older men have babies. He also talks about the difficulties that women face raising babies, and how moms aren’t “fun,” but being the “fun” Dad is also challenging in and of itself (it’s a dumb gendered joke, but he’s not wrong about how hard it is to be the “fun” parent, which is why there are no “fun” parents in my household, just “exhausted” ones). While Kevin does talk about his new baby, and his young wife, he never once mentions the elephant in the room: That he cheated on his pregnant wife. I mean, that’s totally fine. Kevin Hart doesn’t owe us that, but man, if you’re going to talk about the baby you recently had with your young wife, the cheating part is the only thing that anyone is going to be thinking about the whole time. (Watch here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Pandora Charm Commercial — There are some sly jokes here, but not enough to elevate it beyond a fairly benign premise: That men suck at buying Xmas presents. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Doug’s Phone Call — Kevin Hart plays Doug, who gets called out by his co-workers for making up emergency phone calls so he can escape to the bathroom. After being called out, Doug refuses to go to the bathroom, and spends the rest of the meeting suffering through gastrointestinal pain. It’s a terrible, sophomoric sketch — literally an extended poop joke — but hell if it isn’t the best skit of the night. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Captain Shadow — Captain Shadow and his sidekick Cardinal are superheroes who are pulled over by the cops for speeding. There’s decent potential here for smart driving-while-black social commentary, but the writers mostly fritter it away. Bring back the poop joke. (Watch here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Inside the NBA — Charles Barkley and Kevin Hart’s Shaq talk about the Alabama Senate election, but the skit mostly entails Shaq saying incoherent, nonsensical things, which I guess is something that Shaquille O’Neal does as an NBA analyst. Doesn’t do much for me. (Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Either I’m just in a sour mood, or Che and Jost called it in this week ahead of the winter vacation. That said, The Guy Who Bought A Boat was unusually funny this week. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Nativity Play — There’s a llama in the Nativity Play, and the kids are scared of the animal but impressed by its giant penis. That’s pretty much it. Alexa: Make SNL funnier tonight. (Watch here) (Score: 2 out of 10)

Christmas Party — Spectacularly unfunny controlling wife sketch. Apparently ALL the writers phoned it in this week. God, there’s still 17 minutes left. Can they just let Foo Fighters do a three-song set now? (Watch here) (Score: 1 out of 10. YES, I SAID 1 OUT OF 10.)

Active Jack — Active Jackson is like a black Mr. Rogers who dances. PBS takes a look back at his popular dance song from 40 years ago and then they bring them back to duplicate it, but now they’re really old. It’s not the worst sketch of the night, but that’s only because it’s hard to be as bad as the last two sketches were. 10 minutes left. (Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Foo Fighters — I was close to turning the TV off and going to bed five minutes ago, but they decided to close the show with a fantastic Foo Fighters’ Christmas medley that just blew the goddamn doors off the dump. And as tired as I was 5 minutes ago, I’m too pumped to fall asleep now. The Foo Fighters salvaged the entire otherwise terrible episode.

Here’s the Foo’s first number, too:

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.