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Donald Glover Sheds Some Mystique as Host of 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 6, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 6, 2018 |


Cold Open — Tonight’s cold open is like one joke, split among a half-dozen cameos. Ben Stiller returns as Michael Cohen, who confusedly calls around to various Trump surrogates in an attempt to get their Stormy Daniels story straight. Alec Baldwin returns as Donald Trump; Martin Short plays Dr. Harold Bornstein (whose “raaAAAAAPe” is the funniest part of the skit); Kate McKinnon plays an unrecognizable Rudy Giuliani; ScarJo and Fallon appear as Ivanka and Jared, and Stormy Daniels shows up. She’s played by Stormy Daniels.

There’s a lot of cameos in the skit, which doesn’t leave that much room for jokes. The comedy comes mostly in the form of, “Hey! It’s that guy playing that guy.” Also, Stormy is very bad at playing even herself, but it’s kind of fun to see her here. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 5)

Donald Glover — It’s weird to have Donald Glover as host, because I almost feel like he’s too good to host Saturday Night Live, and also because I worry he might lose some of his mystique by hosting, but he’s great in the cold open. Funny, charming as hell, and a mixture of suave and goofy, as he ruminates on his failed SNL audition. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Jurassic Park — Glover plays a defense attorney for Jurassic World after a man sues the park because all of his friends are eaten to death. It’s a lot funnier than it has any right to be, mostly thanks to Glover’s performance. (Watch here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Friendos — In a parody of Migos, three rappers rap through their feelings during a therapy session after a new Lamborghini creates conflict between them. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Raz P Berry — I have no idea how to describe this sketch, except as, like, El Debarge crossed with Shaft. It’s about a boyfriend who spots his girlfriend stepping out on him, and he confronts her to tell her about peeing in his own hair, shoving her jewelry up his ass, and nearly cutting off his own penis. There’s a LOT going on here. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

A Quiet Place — Characters in the A Quiet Place universe try to remain quiet while discussing Kanye’s support of Donald Trump. It doesn’t go well. This is best sketch of the night. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Dirty Talk — Glover and Melissa Villasenor try to engage in dirty talk, but Villasenor hits all the wrong notes. Cosby impressions are never good for sexy times, nor is talking about murdering your mother, bringing up your partner’s dead father, or mentioning the Elephant Man. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Decent “Update.” Lots of great Trump material; Pete Davidson gives Jost and Che shit because they’re hosting the Emmys; Che perfectly passes on the Kanye joke; and Leslie Jones does a bit on Facebook dating that is the low point of “Update” (along with the unnecessary gay joke designed to remind everyone that Colin Jost is dating ScarJo). (Score: 7 out of 10)

Lando Calrissian — Glover as Lando hosts a Summit for All the Black Humans in the Galaxy. Turnout is low — as it turns out, the lack of black people in space is not limited to Star Wars. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Barbie Marketing — Asked to caption Barbie photos, a focus group offers some bizarre — and in the case of Glover, very dark — suggestions. A poor sketch. Glover is fallible! (Watch here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Telemarketing — You know what this sketch reminds me of? The forthcoming Lakeith Stanfield/Tessa Thompson movie, Sorry to Bother You. Weird. Super weird. (Watch here) (Score: 2 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.