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'SNL' Doesn't Do Regina King Justice

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 14, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 14, 2021 |


Cold Open — If you want to relive the impeachment verdict with Alex Moffat’s Tucker Carlson, Aidy Bryant’s Ted Cruz, Kate McKinnon’s Lindsey Graham, Beck’s Mitch McConnell, and Pete and Mikey playing a couple of Trump attorneys, be my guest! It’s not particularly funny, but it will leave you feeling even sadder about America! Making fun of Tucker Carlson here couldn’t even lift my spirits over this outcome. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Regina King Monologue — Something that does lift my spirits is my all-time favorite actress, Regina King, although I have very mixed feelings about this. I’m stoked she’s on SNL and she should’ve been asked years ago. On the other hand, Regina — like Denzel (who has never hosted) — is too good for SNL, and I don’t like that talent as big as theirs gets dragged down to SNL’s level (and I love SNL). To wit: Here’s Regina delivering a monologue with Kenan as her hype man. And that right there was SNL’s first mistake:

Regina doesn’t need any hype, y’all. (Score: 5 out of 10)

What’s Your Type — It’s a dating show where Regina’s character says she’s looking for a guy who will worship her: “A sure thing, a man who will worship me. I cringe-y white dude in his early 40s.” Whoa! I feel seen! Oh wait: Having seen the three cringe-y white guys, I want to feel much less seen now. This whole sketch is cringe, and if that was what SNL was going for, well, mission accomplished! Watch here. (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

Pelotaunt — A Peleton for those who don’t respond to positivity! The instructors here provided tailor-made negative reinforcement and gaslighting. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Gorilla Glue — This is why I was worried about Regina hosting; she’s out here with Kenan in an ad for a law firm that represents clients who have used gorilla glue in their hair. I smiled when Kenan said, “We are not stupid people!” and when they said they were coming after “Big Gorilla,” but that’s about all I can say for it. (Watch here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Birthday Gifts — A bunch of suburban women get together to give their friend gifts, and they’re all signs with cute little sayings, only all the sayings refer to what a promiscuous, trashy drunk Aidy’s character is. “Can you drunk how tell I am?” This one is very dumb, but also sneaky funny, relative to the rest of the night’s sketches, anyway. (Score: 6 out of 10)

The Negotiator — A police negotiator tries to deal with a hostage situation after accidentally eating a lot of weed gummies, which give her lots of hallucinations of Marge Simpson, and Pete Davidson singing to her as a weed gummy. You have to be high for this one to be funny. (Watch Here) (3.5 out of 10)

Musical Guest — I like Nathaniel Rateliff — “S.O.B.” from a few years back is a real banger, and he reminds me a little of what the guy in The Committments might sound like in middle age. Watch here and here.

Weekend Update — Jost and Che are decent tonight. Jost has a nice take on the impeachment, and a good run of jokes at the expense of Ted Cruz’s hair, and Che has a good Aunt Jemima joke. Meanwhile, Lauren Holt — who I had completely forgotten existed on this show — is an author of romance self-help who has some great ideas for Valentine’s Day, except that she gets dumped during the segment and things go sideways. (Watch Here). McKinnon plays a witch who is very excited about QAnon because it gives her an inside lane into finding children to eat. I love her. Oh, and wait: Yep. Here’s the (f**king) Mat segment of the week: Beck Bennet playing a sloshed Tom Brady celebrating another Super Bowl victory. UGH. And I gotta listen to Mat go on about this for the rest of my life. HE’S NOT EVEN A PATRIOT ANYMORE. GOD. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

70s Green Room — Regina plays Fliona, a Diana Ross style musician, and Bowen Yang is her manager, and he couldn’t secure anything on her rider. I like this sketch. I love Regina’s dress. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Women’s Theater — A feminist group performs their beat poetry for a high school, but instead of making their material more age-appropriate, they just change the word “vagina” to “elbow.” I didn’t hate this one, either. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Kyle and Friends — It was a bad episode, but a really bad Kyle Mooney sketch puts it all in perspective. (And I didn’t use “sk*t” once in the whole post, Yocean). (Watch Here) (Score: 1.5 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.

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