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Highlights: Benedict Cumberbatch Hosts a Hit-and-Miss 'SNL' Mother's Day Episode

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 8, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 8, 2022 |


Cold Open — The Cold Open takes us all the way back to the 13th century and a terrible Benedict Cumberbatch wig to see the men upon whom Samuel Alito based his decision to overturn Roe. They’re not very bright! And they don’t listen to the 12-year-old woman who will actually birth the child or the 30-year-old “ogre” witch. It’s a well-intentioned skit — satirizing how old-fashioned the thinking of the Supreme Court is — but it’s still more depressing than either funny or particularly biting. Hey! But it’s timely and doesn’t involve a Trump impression, so bonus point! (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Benedict Cumberbatch Monologue — Cumberbatch delivers a nice self-deprecating monologue — he makes fun of his name, of his awful red-carpet smile, and even slips in a decent Will Smith joke, along with a Mother’s Day message for his own mother and wife (he has three kids? Already?) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Mother’s Day Gifts — Aidy Bryant’s Mom receives a number of custom wooden etches with increasingly personal sayings calling out her drinking, the amount of sex she has with her husband, and her various personal failings. Happy Mother’s Day! (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Blue Bunny Ice Cream — A group of people test new ice cream flavors, including two rancher types, and, for them, the ice cream conjures specific deep and painful memories that they describe in great detail. It’s basically the Power of Dog of SNL sketches. Take that for what you will. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Chain Gang — A prison chain gang in 1951 Georgia sings a song about their woes, except for the prisoner played by Cumberbatch, who sings about the special favors he receives for snitching to the warden (including sleeping with the warden’s wife). Pretty milquetoast. (Watch Here) (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

Just Like You — A mom lectures her daughter about her bad behavior, which is intercut with flashbacks to the mom’s own wild teenage and college years. This feels like a properly good Mother’s Day skit! This one is the Hazel skit of the night (Happy Mother’s Day!) (Score: 7 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Most of the political jokes are Roe-related, and they’re funny because they’re true. Also, horribly depressing because they’re true. Kate comes out as Amy Coney Barrett to discuss the ruling, and she doesn’t understand what women are so upset about because all they have to do is their 9 and stick the baby in a box and put it on a Ferris wheel and now there will be more babies for lesbians to adopt! There’s also a very proper Timothee Chalamet joke. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

Chuck E. Cheese — The entertainment at this Chuck E. Cheese is provided by some sort of New Wave outfit with a melancholy song about the depressing nature of Chuck E. Cheese. Fantastic concept, but not that great in execution, sadly. I think some of you may give it better marks because of the Bowen Yang of it all. (Watch Here) (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

The Fainting Couch — A woman in turn-of-the-century England (?) suffers fainting spells upon hearing that her brother is going off to war, only she never lands on the fainting couch and always manages to knock over the tray of drinks the butler brings. Cecily puts on a physical comedy tour de force in an otherwise mediocre sketch! (It occurs to me that “Turn of the Century” probably doesn’t refer to the same time period as it used to). (Score: 6 out of 10)

The Understudy — Chloe Fineman is the understudy for the rest of the SNL cast, which means impressions of all the (female) cast members (except Ego) and of Elizabeth Olsen (who makes a cameo). Fantastic. She really is a great impressionist. (Score: 8 out of 10)

The New Toilet — Only Benedict Cumberbatch could make taking a dump look cool! (Score: 7 out of 10)