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'SNL' Highlights: Paul Rudd Delivers a Satisfying Season Ender

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 19, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 19, 2019 |


Cold Open — Remember when Alec Baldwin was on SNL basically every other week? It’s been nice that Baldwin has been used sparingly as Trump this year. On the other hand, he hasn’t been gone long enough for us to miss him. Is having the entire Trump Administration perform a spoof version of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” enough to make up for the presence of Baldwin’s Trump? No. But it helps. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Paul Rudd Monologue — Rudd does his monologue as a Best Man’s speech, and he accomplishes exactly what a Best Man speech should: It’s a little funny, a little bit from the heart, it’s short, and it stands out of the way for the main event. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Ms. Rafferty — There’s been some speculation that this may be the last show for Kate McKinnon, which may explain why they trotted out one of her most memorable characters, Mrs. Rafferty. However, Rafferty is best known for making her skit co-stars break (see Ryan Gosling), but Paul Rudd somehow keeps it together while McKinnon is sucking on his ear. McKinnon is great here, but like the wax in Rudd’s ear, the novelty has mostly been sucked out of this character. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Grace and Frankie — Pete Davidson starts to perform a rap about the biggest show on the planet, Game of Thrones, but when the guy who plays Grey Worm busts him for not watching the show, Pete Davidson (Paul Rudd, and DJ Khaled) perform a rap about their real favorite show, Grace and Frankie. It’s terrific (and Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin cameo). It’s the first time I have felt bad about ditching the show after season 1. (Score: 8 out of 10)

What’s Wrong with This Picture? — A Kenan hosted game show in which the contestants need only look at a picture and say what’s wrong with it. It’s a very easy game. The contestants are very, very bad at it. Kenan gets very, very frustrated. It’s very but not very, very funny. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — It’s a fantastic season-ender. We give Colin Jost a lot of shit, but I have to say: No one is better at taking shit than Colin Jost — it’s basically an artform for him, and he spends much of “Update” as the butt of everyone’s else’s jokes (including his own). Che and Jost, as they have the last couple of season finales, write each other jokes, which mostly means Che forcing Jost to make racist jokes. Cecily Strong comes out as Jeanine Pirro again (she’s so good), which mostly means throwing drinks at Jost; and Leslie Jones ends “Update” with a powerful, supportive segment on abortion, where even she makes Jost the butt of the joke. I don’t know if that makes Jost some sort of comedy cuck or something, but he genuinely does take a joke better than anyone. (Also, it makes me a bad person, but Cecily’s Pirro may be the dead sexiest thing on TV.) (Score: 9 out of 10)

Fancy Party — An older man at a flea market sings “Fancy Party,” a song about a ballerina whose life is basically turned upside down because she farts at a party. Yeah. It’s dumb, but it’s not without its charms. (You’ll like this one, Mat). (Watch Here) (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

The View — Paul Rudd comes on The View to play Mayor Pete, which is hilarious given the many Bobby Newport comparisons made about Pete. Mayor Pete — bless — gets dragged pretty hard, although in a way that doesn’t exactly lessen his appeal for those who still find him to be an attractive candidate. Also, Beck Bennett does a terrific impression of Mayor Pete’s husband, Chasten, and honestly — if anything else — Chasten Buttigieg is probably thrilled about being lampooned on SNL. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Kyle and Leslie — Kyle Mooney and Leslie Jones reminisce about how ridiculous those videos they made about being in love were last year and then … fall in love “for real.” Paul Rudd gets involved and it turns into a threesome. If this is Kyle’s last show — and I’m not saying it should be (*wink wink*) — I suppose they should throw him a bone. It’s not funny, but it’s not not funny, either. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Slumber Party — During a slumber party, a bunch of teenagers summon the 9th Demon of Hell with an Ouija board, and she just wants to fit in, you know? And then Paul Rudd’s Dad character rebukes the teenagers for bullying Satan’s daughter. It’s not good. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 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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