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The Least Famous Host of the 'Saturday Night Live' Season Turns In the Best 'SNL' Episode

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 15, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 15, 2018 |


Cold Open — This week’s cold open takes place in the Department of Justice, where Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions meets with Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, played by … Ben Stiller, who is great. “Look: We got a real problem here. Do you have any idea how much evidence I have in my office? I have a whole hard drive that’s just labeled, ‘Yikes!’” Stiller’s Cohen is perfectly crooked, dumb, and a Trump kiss ass.

And then twist, Robert Mueller appears, and he’s being played by Robert fucking DeNiro. That’s gotta kill Trump sitting at home. He’s played by Baldwin, and Mueller is being played by DeNiro, who — by the way — gives Cohen a lie detector test. “How’d you like that pee pee tape?” The code names Mueller has for the Trump inner circle are goddamn amazing, too. Best cold open in a long time. It manages to be both funny and sharp. (Watch Here) (Score 8 out of 10)

John Mulaney — Not that well known outside of comedy or SNL circles (except for those who watched his quickly canceled sitcom), Mulaney does a stand-up set for his monologue, and he is great. Think Colin Jost without the smarm, or woke Seinfeld crossed with a Rat Pack choir boy. He’s funny because he’s square, is what I’m saying, and this may be the first ever bit on CAPTCHA tests. It’s brilliant. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Drag Brunch — At a restaurant, Mulaney plays a sassy drag-queen waitress who insults everyone playfully, but gets dark and intensely personal when it comes to Gary. (Watch here) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

FYI: The next new episode, May 5th, is hosted by Donald Glover with musical guest, Childish Gambino.

School Protest — Mulaney plays a high school student who organizes a walk-out protest, but runs into a complication when he can’t get rid of his boner (. It’s a one-joke sketch, but it’s exceptionally well developed for a one-joke sketch, and it is the night’s Mat Special. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Wild Wild Country — A commercial for that Netflix cult documentary about controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh features an additional character played by Keenan Thompson, who is into the cult for all that ass. “10,000 white women showed up to town without bras overnight.” I had no idea the doc was popular enough to earn an SNL parody, although if it was not, it is now. I haven’t seen it, but now I kind of want to. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Lobster Les Mis — Pete Davidson goes to a diner and orders the lobster. At a diner. Lobster. Who orders lobster at a diner? This is like Mulaney took a stand-up bit turned into a Les Mis musical sketch. “Do you hear the lobster scream!” It’s dumb, but also really smart. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — “The FBI raided Michael Cohen this week … authorities first became suspicious of Cohen when they found out he was the personal attorney for Donald Trump.” Did John Mulaney help write “Weekend Update,” too? Often after really busy political weeks like this one, it’s too much and Che and Jost short circuit. But they’re fantastic here. Kate McKinnon also shows up as Laura Ingraham and talks about “her right to defend the First Amendment, which is my right to bully people without being bullied in return.” McKinnon skewers Ingraham, and Kenan returns as LaBar Ball. The energy of tonight’s episode is just straight up off-the-charts. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Hollywood Update — Inspired by the popularity of the Roseanne and Will & Grace reboots, they bring back 1987’s Switcheroo, in which a father and son switch bodies and they focus “exclusively on the sexual ramifications of the son having to sleep with his mom.” Again, a one-joke sketch, but it’s a very layered joke. Mulaney is so good. (Watch Here) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Horn Removal — A guy goes into a doctor’s office to get his horns removed, but his girlfriend is not supportive. It shouldn’t work but Mulaney — and the open wounds in the guy’s calves — sell it. It’s not a great sketch, but it’s better than it should be. (Watch Here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Real Intros of Reality Hills — Three minutes of taglines. Not bad. Not great. (Watch Here) (5 out of 10)

I gotta toss this out, too, TBT pic from Mulaney’s writing staff days.

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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.