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'SNL' Highlights: Mulaney Completes His Musical Trilogy, Plus Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Redd and a Lot of Coronavirus Jokes

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 1, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 1, 2020 |


Cold Open — The skit begins as a pretty bad one featuring Pence (Beck Bennet) and Ben Carson’s (Kenan) bumbling attempts to handle the Coronavirus, but it improves dramatically when Bloomberg (Armisen) shows up, and then Elizabeth Warren (Kate) shows up as Bloomberg’s nightmare stalker (seriously, even if Warren ultimately has no chance, she has to stay in the race just to terrorize Bloomberg). Larry’s David’s Bernie comes out kvetching about what a hand-cougher Buttigieg is, and John Mulaney plays the role of Joe Biden this week. I wasn’t keen on his impression at first, but ultimately he delivers. All in all, a pretty good opener that begins a theme tonight of skits starting out small and growing exponentially. (Score: 7 out of 10)

John Mulaney Monologue — Mulaney gives a great monologue, which is all stand-up material about boomer dads, the founding fathers, the Bill of Rights, and an amazing story about an experience he had with a Make-a-Wish kid. I wish all the monologues could be this good. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

The Sound of Music — Rolf and Liesl from Sound of Music sing a lovely little ditty about how Rolf is 40-something-year-old Nazi who lives with his mother and Liesl is a teenager. It’s funny and smart, but not that funny and smart. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Uncle Ron — Mulaney plays an angry uncle upset because his nephew (Pete Davidson) meme’d him, and those memes went viral. My 12-year-old kid will love this one. And so will Mat. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence! (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Kyle Mooney Sketch — Man, I don’t know why they gotta waste 4 and a half minutes on a Mulaney episode for a Kyle Moony sketch. So, Mooney — who is tired of always playing a dork/nerd/dweeb — decides to beef up with the help of Justin Theroux so that he can be in a strip-club sketch. Look, it’s not the worst Kyle Mooney sketch, but it’s still a Kyle Mooney sketch. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Say, Those Two Don’t Seem to Like Each Other — A recurring sketch (I think from the last time Mulaney was on?) about two sisters trying to sabotage one another before meeting the Admiral, who will choose one to marry. The Admiral, however, is only interested in their little brother, a sailor recently promoted to “pass-around bottom.” It’s marginally funny, but even still, Mulaney is one of the few guys who can get away with this many gay jokes in a skit. I don’t really understand why Mulaney can get away with it, but he can. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Most of tonight’s “Update” is Coronavirus related. In fact, Che just gives up, takes off his tie, and stops hiding his drinking problem. It’s modestly amusing. Easily the best part of “Update,” however, is Chris Redd complaining about what a terrible Black History Month it has been. (Score: 5.5 out of 10 for Che/Jost, 8 out of 10 for Redd)

Airport Sushi — Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for. I knew exactly what was coming when Pete Davidson orders sushi from a La Guardia airport convenience store. “Phantom of LaGuardia” completes the Mulaney trilogy (along with “Bodega Bathroom” and “Diner Lobster.”) This one features a very special guest in Jake Gyllenhaal as pajama guy going through security, and David Byrne doing “On a Plane to Nowhere!” It’s why you stayed up to watch Mulaney’s SNL and it was worth every second. You can go to sleep now. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Forgotten Figures of Black History — This skit takes us all the way back to 1947 and spotlights Terrence Washington, the first Black man to boo Jackie Robinson. It’s fine. (Watch Here) (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

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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