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Bill Hader Delivers A Great Episode of 'Saturday Night Live' In Spite of the Goddamn 'Californians'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 18, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 18, 2018 |


Cold Open — The show kicks off with Anderson Cooper, and they bring out the big guns for it. Host Bill Hader plays Anthony Scaramucci, Kate McKinnon returns as Jeff Sessions (“Trump made me do it!”), Fred Armisen comes back again as Michael Wolff, and John Goodman steals the sketch as recently fired Rex Tillerson. An OK sketch buoyed by some fun, familiar faces. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Bill Hader Monologue — A short monologue, by design: Hader makes a couple of jokes about working on SNL, then says he can make the monologue as short as he wants and cut straight into the next sketch, which he does after a live quick change (which is fun to see). (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10 (Bonus point for brevity)

The Californians — You know that thing where, if you watch something horrible enough times, it starts to get funny? Yeah, “The Californians” is not there, yet. I appreciate that it’s a beloved sketch (why? I have no idea), and it’s great to see Hader (and Armisen) again, but “The Californians” still blows. I still think this sketch is a practical joke on the audience. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Kiss Me I’m Irish — It’s an Irish dating show, where the bachelor learns that two of the contestants are his cousins, which increases his interest, much to the disgust of the American contestant. I didn’t know that Ireland was known for its inbreeding! It’s not known for inbreeding, you say? Well, it is now! (Watch Now) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Horace — A group of women get together to play cards, and one of the women (Cecily Strong) brings her husband, who is a senior citizen in a wheelchair (Hader). When his Cialis kicks in, she puts on a courtesy blanket so he can impregnate her without interrupting the card game. It’s a six sketch, but Hader can’t contain his laughter (as usual!), which bumps it to a (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

Jurassic Park Screen Test — This is one of those sketches where the entire cast gets a chance to do their impressions, here in the context of auditioning for the original Jurassic Park movie. A few good ones (mostly from Hader and McKinnon) and a few not so good ones. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Che (Moonlight) and Jost (La La Land) are all over the place this week; they can barely keep it together at their own jokes, but when Stefon comes out, the whole desk basically loses it for five minutes. It’s fantastic. Kate McKinnon (as Betsy DeVos) and Pete Davidson (as “crazy”) are also on fire during an “Update” where personality transcends the material. (Score: 8.5 out of 10)

Sacred Rock — Hader plays a loony character who describes an alien encounter in which aliens try to impregnate him through the back door. Meh. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

CBC — The #MeToo movement hits Canada, where the Canadian Harvey Weinstein has to resign after complimenting his assistant’s sweater. Swing and miss. (Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

The Undercover Office Potty — A toilet that looks like a lamp, so you don’t have to walk all the way down to the end of the hall to use the bathroom. It’s funnier than it has any right to be. This is the Mat Sketch of the Week! (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

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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.