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Harry Styles Hosts 'SNL' And Delivers a Real Dog of an Episode

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 17, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 17, 2019 |


Cold Open — The cold open takes up the impeaching hearings, and in order to give them some “pizazz,” the hearings are presented in Days of our Lives style with Jon Hamm as Bill Taylor and a lot of soap-opera tropes. Point taken. But the skit is not particularly funny, save for Pete Davidson’s brief appearance as Michael Avenatti/Avocado. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Harry Styles Monologue — Styles — the lead singer of the now-defunct One Direction — is neither a good actor nor a good comedian, and yet, I find myself rooting for him strangely. It’s not a good monologue — save for the cocaine joke and the apparent shade at Zayn Malik — but I wanted it to be, and credit for that goes to Styles, who was likable enough in his monologue that I didn’t want to dislike how bad it was! (Score: 4 out of 10)

Lunch Run — Intern Rob (Harry Styles) offers to go to Popeye’s chicken on Fredrick Douglas Boulevard, and the black office employees express concern about a white guy going into Popeye’s and ordering up all the chicken sandwiches himself. “There’s not many things in the country where our people get first dibs,” Kenan tells him. “But the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich is one of them.” I really wish it were a funnier skit, because we don’t get that many SNL skits from the Black POV. Alas, it is not, and the White Get Out title card doesn’t help. (Watch Here) (Score: 3.5 out of 10)

Joan — Aidy, playing a single-lady spinster type, sings a song about being in love with Doug, her dog. The dog is spiritually Harry Styles. It feels like the best and worst of SNL, like the pure distilliation of a Kyle Mooney skit performed perfectly by Aidy Bryant. I’m so confused. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Childbirth class — Heidi Gardner and Harry Styles play an Iceland couple in a childbirth class who are obnoxiously overly enjoying their pregnancy experience to the dismay of the other couples, who are experiencing miserable pregnancies. Woof. Hard woof. I love Heidi Gardner’s go-for-broke enthusiasm, but it doesn’t save the skit, which might have been better if it’d been more about Ego and Melissa’s reaction to Heidi’s character rather than the character herself (I don’t know, though. Maybe you’ll like it Mat?) (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

JetBlue Pilots — Harry Styles and Mikey Day play two Jetblue pilots who are so desperate to get laid they get into a convo about sleeping with Daphne from Scooby Doo but fail to realize the intercom is still on. In trying to dig themselves out of a hole with the passengers, the pilots subsequently repeatedly stick their foot in their mouth, digging themselves deeper and deeper. There is generally nothing funny about this skit. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

That’s the Game — Chris Redd plays a drug dealer who is very, very bad at his job. It runs a little long, but it’s the best skit of the night, for whatever that is worth. Both Redd and Kenan are very good in it. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Sometimes, when I’m watching SNL, how I feel about the episode can often vary slightly depending upon my mood. Look: It’s 11:30 - 1 a.m. at night. Sometimes, I have to end Saturday night plans early to watch SNL, or I watch it after writing about The Walking Dead for several hours. It’s late, and I’m tired, so I worry that I’m not in the mood to recognize a good skit. I don’t think that’s what’s going on tonight. The episode has been crap, and I know that because I laughed at “Update” several times — the Che bit about Jost being a white supremacist is very funny — which means it’s not just a bad mood. The episode is bad. “Update,” at least, is OK! Kate McKinnon shows up as Jeff Sessions, and Kyle Mooney plays some President of a milk company who comes on to promote cow’s milk (watch here). (Score: 7 out of 10)

Sara Lee — Styles plays the social media guy for Sara Lee who confuses the company Instagram account with his personal Instagram account, so it looks like Sara Lee wants a Jonas brother to “destroy him.” There’s a lot of jokes in this vein, some of which are more successful than others but ultimately, it falls kind of flat. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Baby Faye and the News Guys — Cecily Strong plays some sort of vaudevillian singer who is really awful at her job and too out of shape to pull it off, and I kind of nodded off and lost the thread on this skit. It goes on forever, and while Aidy comes out and tries to save it, it’s not enough. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out 10, I think?)

Funeral DJs — During a funeral for an 89-year-old woman, two “funeral DJs” appear to pump up the audience and play EDM music. It’s an atrociously bad skit, both unfunny and obvious (and honestly, EDM music at 1 a.m.?) It is rough stuff; in fact, the entire night has way more bad than good. (Watch Here) (Score: 2 out of 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.

Header Image Source: NBC