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Highlights: The Best Actor of His Generation May Also Be One of His Gen's Best 'SNL' Hosts

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 26, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 26, 2020 |


Cold Open — Here’s one hell of a cold open, which not only features Kate McKinnon as Satan, but Jon Lovitz returns to play Alan Dershowitz, perfectly I might add (ironic since I am pretty sure that Lovitz is pro-Trump). We get to see who frequents the pits of hell (Mark Zuckerberg, the Baby Shark guy, Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials), Adam Driver shows up as Jeffrey Epstein and says he’s just “hanging around” in hell (ooooooooof), and the skit may have also put the nail in the coffin of Susan Collins’ reelection chances. Well done, SNL! (Score: 7 out of 10)

The Monologue — Adam Driver — known for the intensity of his acting — takes a few minutes to “chill,” during the monologue, but even his chill is fairly intense. Last month, I watched over three nights in a row, Marriage Story, The Report, and Rise of the Skywalker, and came out thinking Driver is basically the best actor of his generation. I think he’s amazing. This monologue is OK. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Sleepover — Adam Driver plays a “hot” Dad who has to confront a room of teenage girls after someone flushes a “sanitary napkin” in the toilet and causes thousands of dollars in damage trying to cover it up. The skit hits upon that very real experience of accidentally doing something you shouldn’t while sleeping over at a friend’s house, and Kate McKinnon — as the obvious culprit — steals the skit. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Undercover Boss, Part 2 — The only fault I find with the sequel to Adam Driver’s Undercover Boss as Kylo Ren is that it’s too short! It’s not even four minutes. Kylo Ren on Undercover Boss should have its own hour-long episode. (Score: 8 out of 10, Boomer)

Del Taco Commercial — This feels very much like a Kyle Mooney joint. As the director of a Del Taco commercial (and with Adam Driver as producer), they try to get Mooney’s character to say, “Aw man, I’m out of cash” without sounding like a pervert. It’s funnier than it sounds, but not that much funnier. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Science Room — This is where Adam Driver’s intensity really pays off. He plays a Mr. Wizard type personality, only his kids are morons and he’s short-tempered. It’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy with Marriage Story intensity. (Score 8 out of 10)

Take It Slow — Driver, Kenan, and Redd perform a hip-hop song about taking it slow, but Halsey, et. al, are annoyed at just how slow they take it. Driver steals this one, again, with the deep voice. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — The impeachment coverage is pretty good, although Che’s dictator joke is spot-f**king-on, and otherwise makes up for that Mr. Peanut pun. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Seventh-grade travel expert (Aidy Bryant) is not worth checking out (it’s here), but Melissa Villaseñor on the Oscar Snubs absolutely is. ♪ White Male Rage ♪

Medieval Times — Adam Driver plays one of those Medieval Times characters, and he not only takes his job way too seriously, but he’s also racist. It’s a one-joke skit, but Driver makes a lot of hay out of that one joke. You’ll dig this one, Mat. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Cheer — The spoof of Netflix’s Cheer is likewise only one joke, but that joke is not so great. I think this entire skit was written just so that Halsey could show off that she can do that thing with her leg. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Marrying Ketchup — This skit is not that funny, but it’s kind of genius, and I think Driver should submit it for his Emmy nomination for drama. (Score: 7 out of 10)

I like Halsey. The cowboy-lingerie and the choreography of the performance here is well worth watching (her second song is pretty good, too, although there is a severe shortage of cowboy lingerie).

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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