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A Spooky Edition Of ‘Reviewed from My Couch, It’s Saturday Night!’

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Each week, Nick Phillips (@Nicckulus) will be reviewing the latest episode of Saturday Night Live! You may recognize the last name… Nick is our very own podcast co-host’s cousin! Check back each week for the latest.

Season 48, Episode 4 – October 29, 2022: Jack Harlow

It’s the Halloween episode! And what an episode it was. SNL generally delivers on their holiday episodes and this entry proved the rule. With recurring sketches, celebrity cameos, and other spooky thrills, SNL absolutely brought it this Halloween with the best episode of their 48th season to date.  

Cold Open (Wait, has the show started!?)

With our cold open we have Heidi Gardner playing it straight as the host of PBS News Hour while she interviews this year’s crop or underqualified republican political contenders. I’m all for dunking on these goons, even if it is low-hanging fruit. However, aside from Cecily Strong as Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, these impressions didn’t leave much of an impression. I love Kenan hamming it up, but his broad portrayal of Hershel Walker isn’t exactly inspired (then again Mr. Walker is already a joke, so there’s not a ton of work to be done). Meanwhile, Mikey Day’s take on Dr. Oz was easily the weakest of the three. I did love that Heidi was given the honor of a solo delivery of the iconic “Live from New York” intro. Overall a middling entry into the cold open annals. Grade: C

And Your Host…Jack Harlow 

Jack Harlow, who I’m only familiar with based on my wife’s obsession with Lil Nas X’s Montero, was a beast in tonight’s episode. I can’t help but draw comparisons to another double threat host, but I got Justin Timberlake flashbacks watching a host/musical guest come in and absolutely dominate across the board in a holiday episode. Harlow’s monologue was self-deprecating in a way that let us know he was game from the jump. Throughout the episode, Harlow found ways to shine, whether through broad accents like in the Halloween Wedding sketch or through more nuanced silliness like in the Pixar Pitch AA Meeting, or the way he sold his character immediately getting on board with the David Pumpkins concept. Grade: A+ 

Musical Guest…Jack Harlow

Now listen, I’m not particularly young or hip. I’ve never listened to Jack Harlow. I suspect his music isn’t necessarily for me. That said, I tried to go into his musical spots with an open mind, but it just didn’t connect. His sketch work beat out his musical performances by a country mile.  Grade: B-

It’s Weekend Update with Colin Jost & Michael Che

Here’s the thing: I LOVE Bobby Moynihan. I LOVE Drunk Uncle. I LOVE the cheap thrill of a fan-favorite recurring character coming back from the dead. And it all worked for me in this week’s Weekend Update. Was it pandering? Was it lazy? I don’t know and I don’t care. I ate it up with a spoon. I was delighted. I still am. 

Jost and Che were on point as usual getting more time to deliver jokes on the headlines of the week with only one guest spot to account for. The headlines offered fertile ground to harvest jokes and most landed. Che delivered two groaners that made the audience squirm (which is, you know, his thing): first with Catholic priests being surprised you could make kids sign NDAs and second the Bus Hijacker who immediately crashed.

Best update joke of the night: Despite strong jokes from our anchors, Drunk Uncle “accidentally” calling Colin, “Seth” was not just the biggest laugh of update, but maybe the biggest laugh of the entire episode. Weekend Update Grade: A+

Sketchy Thoughts

There were some heavy hitters in this episode. I’ll give sketch of the night to the prerecorded 2020 Part 2: 2024 (coming in 2023) which perfectly captured the state of the Democratic party’s uninspired stable of candidates. I felt legitimate chills as Hilary Clinton’s name was pitched as a viable candidate, and moreover, the scariest part is she might be. Terrifying stuff from our Halloween episode. 

Pixar Pitch AA Meeting was maybe the second strongest sketch of the night, with the hilarious line “I drank recently” slipped in by Harlow amidst everyone’s excited collaboration. A perfect Tom Hanks cameo put this over the top as one for the highlight reels. 

Speaking of Hanks, his instantly iconic David S. Pumpkins character made a welcome return, which was foreshadowed by his and Moynihan’s earlier appearances.

There were plenty of other great sketches in this one. Halloween Wedding with Andrew Dismukes playing a best man dressed as Joker whose wacky pronunciation of “Joker” served as a solid rake joke. The inclusion of Survivor’s Jeff Probst was a bizarre, but fun twist. I also have to shout out the brutally honest Sketchers corporate message and the Post-Halloween Red Carpet carousel sketch which each provided an opportunity for nearly the full ensemble to get involved. As always, there were a couple sketches that didn’t quite land (I’m looking at you, The View) but overall, this was a heck of a Halloween romp. Overall Episode Grade: A+

Episode MVP: While the MVP could easily be Harlow here, I’m not going to award these to the hosts by virtue of each episode being built around them. So, I’ll give it to Andrew Dismukes this week. He’s becoming a centerpiece of this cast and I’m glad to see him carve out a niche while competing with Mikey Day for roles in which the two could be interchangeable. 

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