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  • Season 44 kicks off with Adam Driver's second hosting gig:
    • Matt Damon makes a surprise appearance as Bret Kavanaugh, doing a spot-on impression of his absurdly emotional and belligerent performance at the hearing for the sexual abuse claims against him just two days earlier.
    • The monologue has Adam talking about how everyone talking about their summer seems to fall invariably into the same two subjects - everyone worked a little and traveled a little. Then Aidy, Beck and Kenan pop up to talk about those very things, causing Adam to tune out until his own rising temper starts to take over (and Kenan faces the possibility of Adam going Kylo Ren on him!)
      Beck: Also I got married during the summer! I'm a big boy now! You know what that's like?
      Adam: Yeah, I'm also married, and I'm a Marine.
      Beck: Yeah, ok, you win...
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    • In what looks to be a first for this show, they crossover with Fortnite by having Adam as a noob player who gets his whole squad killed, but special mention should be made of Mikey Day as Jonesy being badly controlled by aforesaid noob.
    • An awkward "Career Day" has been a recurring segment on SNL for many years, but few if any hosts have contributed as dedicated a performance to the bit as Adam Driver in full old-age makeup as a Daniel Plainview-style oil baron trying to teach elementary school students the importance of crushing their enemies. Nearly all of the cast members and extras corpse, but Driver never breaks.
      • The cherry on top is Melissa Villaseñor as one of Mordecai's classmates who loves every second of this.
        Classmate: I wanna be you when I grow up!
        Abraham H. Parnassus: AND SO YOU SHALL!
      • Pete Davidson, meanwhile, plays the baron's long-suffering son, Mordecai.
        Abraham H. Parnassus: Point to the weakest in your class, and we shall ruin their spirit as I ruined the spirit of H.R. Pickens so long ago.
        [Everyone — everyone —immediately points at Mordecai.]
        Mordecai: [annoyed, but not sounding too surprised] Word?
        Classmate: You are weak like H.R. Pickens!
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    • During a Neo-Confederate meeting, a member named Jim lays out his grand vision of a society where everyone is caucasian and lives an agricultural lifestyle. Another member, played by Adam, informs him the place he's describing already exists: Vermontnote .
      Jim: Alright, the place I’m envisioning is a paradise. With country stores!
      Adam: Yup.
      Jim: Covered bridges!
      Adam: Oh yeah.
      Jim: The kind of place where you can drive around in an old car and wave to folks on porches having breakfast.
      Adam: Yeah, I’m sorry I saw all that last week. In Vermont.
    • During Weekend Update, Michael Che weighs in on Bill Cosby going to prison:
      Michael: You know what really bothers me about the whole Cosby thing, if I can get serious? He made a show called The Cosby Show...and it was about a guy named Cliff Huxtable. That's not weird?
      Colin: [beat] ...A woman in Chicago was scammed out of more than $11,000 by a Bruce Springsteen impersonator she met online. Now, these scams can be tricky, but one way to tell the person you're talking to is not the real Bruce Springsteen is if he asks you for $11,000.
      Michael: I mean, Frasier is about Frasier. Roseanne is about Roseanne, Seinfeld is about Seinfeld...What if i told you Everybody Loves Raymond was about a guy named Cliff Huxtable? Am I the only one bothered by this?! Alright, fine, take the rapist's side.
  • The episode with first-timer Awkwafina:
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    • A new dating show called "So You Want to Date a Magician", featuring Pete Davidson as a Criss Angel-styled torture-fixated "magician", and Alex Moffat and Heidi Gardner as a brother-and-sister act, albeit one with way too much Incest Yay for comfort. In case you haven't noticed, he brought her with him to a dating game. It also leads to Leslie Jones' worst corpsing fit to date (and Awkwafina's first one of the week).
    • They bring back Kate Mckinnon as Debette Golddry, in a deliberate followup to the last Women's Round Table to commemorate the first anniversary of the #metoo movement.
      Debette: I also gave Orson Welles the idea of "Rosebud." Except I wasn't talking about no sled.
      Sandra Oh (Awkwafina): Okay.
      Debette: I was talking about my wethole.
      Sandra: Oookay.
      • And there's quite a Genius Bonus here, as Rosebud was rumored to actually be William Randolph Heart's nickname for his mistress' naughty bits, in an especially dirty Take That!.
  • The long-awaited return of Seth Meyers leads to Weekend Update taking full advantage with a brand new "Really?!?", covering the meeting of Donald Trump and Kanye West after the Cold Open already did it (with Alec Baldwin yet again). No surprise appearance from Amy Poehler this time, so it's done with Seth alongside Colin Jost and Michael Che for once:
    Seth: So Donald Trump met with Kanye West this week... Really?! Don't you have anything better to do with your time? And when I say that I'm not sure which of you I'm talking to! The only place these two people should meet is in group (therapy). [...]
    Colin: And really, you can tell a lot about them from how they prepared for this meeting. Kanye prepared by learning every fact of the world backwards; while Trump prepared by clearing his desk of any valuables.
    Michael: Yknow, I negotiated four N-words as part of my new contract - it's true - so all I gotta say is - how much does this nigga owe in taxes? (screen shows a scratch card with four black N's on it and one crossed out, while Seth and Colin both end up corpsing)
    Seth: Yknow, I was here for 12 years and Lorne never even gave me 1 N-word.
    Michael: Really?!
    Seth: Probably for the best...
    Colin: And really, Kanye, do you really think Trump is your friend now? After the meeting Trump called you 'a very different kind of guy.' That's not a compliment. That's what you say when you want to use a word you can't say anymore. Like "hey, that Forrest Gump is a different kind of guy." [...] And really, it's very simple. Kanye wants to be Trump's friend because Obama once called Kanye a jackass. And when the President of the United States called you a jackass you go "you know who I like? The next US president". So really, Obama is to blame for all this just as Seth is to blame for making fun of Trump so much he decided to run for president.
    Seth: Wait, really?!
    Michael: Ohh yeah.
  • The one with Jonah Hill for the fifth time:
    • The Cold Open covers the migrant caravan in south America with Kate Mckinnon as Laura Ingraham presenting footage from some unrelated source as "evidence". Two notable moments - depicting the "invasion" of the Mexico border with the well-known walls of Israel scene from World War Z, and attempting to smear Alec Baldwin for all his Trump portrayals with a sex scandal that's really just the Canteen Boy sketch. Yes, a Call-Back that spans decades!
    • It's the fifth time for Jonah so they bring back the Running Gag of the Five Timers Club, while nodding to the lesser-known running gag within a running gag when one of the regulars, Kenan, isn't deliberately turned into a servant like they usually do to non-five-timers:
      Jonah: Kenan! They let you in here sometimes?
      Kenan: Uhh yeah, this is my show, I let you in here sometimes! (audience cheers)
    • Jonah brings back his recurring character Adam Grossman, a six-year-old that inexplicably talks like an Alter Kocker insult comic, with Leslie Jones as his Badly Battered Babysitter, in a different way than usual when you factor in the insult comic thing. After joking about her coming from Jamaica, Adam breaks into a ridiculous rendition of I Shot The Sheriff that successfully breaks Leslie, and from there on it's all downhill...
    • Weekend Update does its own take on the caravan:
      Colin: President Trump has deployed troops to the border to fend off the Guatemalan caravan - meanwhile, a second caravan just pulled up to landscape Mar-a-Lago. [...] The White House is calling it Operation Faithful Patriot... fun fact, Faithful Patriot is what Mike Pence yells out during sex.
      • Other headlines include:
        Colin: In the ongoing feud between Music/50Cent and Ja Rule, 50 Cent bought 150 front row tickets to Ja Rule's concert so they would all be empty. (audience already laughing) Ironically, 150 Ja Rule concert tickets costs exactly 50 cents.
        Michael: Two male penguins in a same sex relationship have hatched their first egg together - or hear me out, male penguins look exactly like female penguins.
        Colin: A nun in Colombia who had lived in a convent for 8 years has left the clergy to become a porn star, destroying the otherwise spotless sexual reputation of the Catholic church.
        Michael: The man who invented the Metrocard died this week, while waiting for the L train.
      • Melissa Villasenor airs out a new character, Brittainy, or Every Teen Murder Suspect on Law & Order. What follows qualifies as her personal Awesome moment as well, as Colin trying to steer the topic back to young adult literature leads to Brittainy revealing the truth behind this Wild Teen Party bit by bit, when all of a sudden Michael Che turns bad cop (likely to make her Get On With It Already), and the whole bit ends with the Dick Wolf end credits overlay.
    • They do a fake commercial for a sleeping medication that contains quaaludes and "something Michael Jackson's doctor refers to as one-and-dones", which makes you pass out so fast you smash through whatever's in the room. And the only person who's going to need something like that? Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
  • The episode with Liev Schreiber kicks off by covering the firing of Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon again), as he receives presumably a better sendoff than the real one, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy), Mike Pence (Beck), Donald Jr and Eric Trump (Mikey and Alex), and Robert Mueller (Robert de Niro) all appearing.
    Junior: Dad wanted to let you know that there were no hard feelings; and to let you know how much he appreciates your service.
    Eric: And then he mimed rolling dice! (jerking motions)
    Junior: (stopping him) No he didn't. NO. Not helpful... What Eric meant to say is that you should have stopped the Mueller investigation a long time ago. I mean there's even a chance they could come after me and Eric!
    Eric: Yeah! Are we gonna get some penis?
    Junior: (beat as audience reacts) No bruv - I told you it's subpoenas. Not "some penis" That means you could go to jail.
    Eric: Where you COULD get some penis.
    Junior: (another beat) Okay. Yeah. That's weirdly right.
  • The episode with Steve Carell kicks off with a new The Ingraham Angle - in what looks to be a recurring thing, Laura Ingraham stops to thank the few remaining sponsors she still has:
    "Teeny Tiny Turkey - Have you alienated everyone in your life? Have a Thanksgiving for one with Teeny Tiny Turkey. We Swear It's Not A Pigeon."
    • The monologue is apparently interrupted by one audience member after another asking if Steve is planning on a revival of The Office (US), likely because they have Ellie Kemper and Ed Helms among them. Kenan has also been deliberately planted into the audience, whereupon Steve turns the question back on him by asking if he was up for a revival of Kenan & Kel. Turns out he was.
    • Steve plays Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talking about why Amazon's HQ was simultaneously moved to New York and the capital, both the stomping grounds of one Donald Trump - turns out Jeff is a Passive-Aggressive Kombat grandmaster, subtly rubbing all his success in Trump's face by setting up an office next to Mar-a-Lago, acquiring the Washington Post just to ramp up the anti-Trump headlines, and having a picture of Toad from Mario Kart in the new office. (This is the joke that flies over the audience's head for some reason.)
  • The one with first-timer Claire Foy:
    • The Cold Open touches on Donald Trump attending the G20 Summit in Argentina, and after the obligatory Argentina Is Nazi-Land joke there's two high points - firstly they cover the oddly-chummy greeting between Putin and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman with surprise guest Fred Armisen as MBS, with both men up to Secret Handshake level already while deliberately excluding Trump. Then there's Kate McKinnon as Rudy Giuliani, who Looks Like Orlok a bit more than usual, especially when he reveals bat wings and flies off into the night.
    • Weekend Update covers the G20 summit their own way:
      Colin: Protesters flew a Baby Trump balloon during the summit, the one from London that President Trump says made him "feel unwelcome". [...] Saying that a balloon is being mean to you is a clear sign of dementia. Worse still, he thought the Macy's Day parade was calling him a big orange pussy. (picture shows a balloon of Garfield)
    • The showstopper of the week would be their take on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, addressing the whole thing with all of Charlie's family sharing the same bed at all times. It's time to sleep, which means the elderly couples kiss each other goodnight, though in the case of the two played by Kyle Mooney and Aidy Bryant, it goes from kissing to full blown making out, and the mother (Kate McKinnon) has to pull Charlie (Claire Foy) to the other side of the room and do something else, essentially keeping the old couple just out of frame when they start physically rocking the bed, Kyle puts his foot in Pete Davidson's face (or it could be Aidy, but certainly there isn't anyone else in there... is there?) and the mother tries to distract Charlie with one of the musical numbers from the movie - which is slightly marred by the yelling from the bed and Kate corpsing.
    • Claire does an admirable Southern accent as a home shopping tv host, but the real focus is on Cecily Strong as the proud seller of millimeter-wide hand-carved knick-knacks that she just misplaced on the Uber on the way there, leading to her going into a GINORMOUS meltdown.
      "I had to BRAG that they were worth A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS - HUBRIS WHY?! GOD EAT MY ASS TO HELL!!!"
    • For a case study of Refuge in Audacity, Claire and Kate go Italian-American as the hosts of a talk show, Good Morning Goomah, catering exclusively to an audience of mistresses.
    • For the closing number, a spoof of "All I Want for Christmas is You", about the best Christmas present of all... the Mueller report.
      Kate: Unless there's no new information in it; then we'd rather it not come out at all.
      Cecily: Yeah, cos this is our last shred of hope, and I already drank all the wine.
    • A soldier in World War I is increasingly frustrated by the terse letters of his Cloudcuckoolander wife played by Foy, implying that she's having an affair and is on trial for some serious crime while refusing to give any details. She also inexplicably calls it World War I at the time, much to his confusion.
  • Another first-timer (and Ascended Fanboy to boot), Jason Momoa:
    • Christmas is around the corner, so they start off with a sketch about the Elf on the Shelf - Beck is Santa Claus receiving reports from some elves delivered straight from their shelves. Ignoring the incredulousness of Jason freaking Momoa in an elf leotard, there's just the incredulousness of Jason Momoa looking visibly distressed as the kid he's watching has reached a certain age, and all his interests center on one thing:
      Mikey: Every kid stops believing in us someday; but then someday they'll have kids of their own, and then the magic starts again!
      Jason: I don't think Marshall will have anything left in the bank by then...
      • As the finishing touch, the children's book depicting Jason as the elf even remembers his eyebrow scar.
    • Instead of a spoof of Aquaman, we have instead Jason as Khal Drogo once again, now "hosting" a talk show dedicated to everyone who died in that show. There's a deliberate Call-Back to the Elf on a Shelf sketch (one of the sponsors is "Khal on the Wall"), and Kate McKinnon as Joffrey, who's been deliberately set up to meet Olenna Tyrell (Aidy Bryant), leading to a Jerry Springer-esque slapfight between them.
      High Sparrow (Pete): Oh, the Dothraki heaven! So glad that I gave up sex for 50 years!
      Khal Drogo: I sex, when I want... with ever I want... many many partners.
      High Sparrow: And we ended up in the same heaven! Cool! Really makes you question religion!
    • Weekend Update has plenty to go through this week:
      Colin: This week Robert Mueller released the teaser trailer for Trump: Endgame. [...] Earlier today Trump called the Mueller report "collusion illusion", which also happens to be my favourite Guns N' Roses album, and yesterday Trump tweeted with no context or explanation "Totally clears the President. Thank you!" Sounds like somebody's been reading The Secret. I don't blame Trump for thinking his tweets have power, just this week his tweets tanked the entire stock market. (corpsing for a bit) But if every single person you hired gets indicted, ödds are you had something to do with it. If all of Santa's elves and Santa's reindeer were busted by the Feds, you would not expect Santa to announce "Totally clear for Christmas. Thank you!
      Michael: This week Trump also tried to call an end to the Mueller probe, which I gotta admit is worth a shot - I mean you don't want to go to prison and then find you you could have called it off the whole time. I think the scariest thing about seeing Trump being president is that he tries all the things I would try. Trump also tweeted that he is preparing a huge counter report to the Mueller report; well you better hurry up bud, cos you only got 1 hour a day on the prison computer!
      Colin: Trump also announced that the new Attorney General will be William Barr, who also served as AG from '91 to '93 - hmm, a reboot with someone named Barr who was big in the 90s, what can go wrong?
  • Matt Damon hosts the 2018 Christmas episode:
    • The Cold Open is It's a Wonderful Plot, which sounds like something they've done a few times, only now it's about Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin, natch) seeing what things are like if he was never elected President - Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) is doing roughly the same thing for companies like Facebook and Ashley Madison, Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) looks a lot healthier now since she's "no longer eaten from inside by my own lies", Melania (Cecily Strong) now speaks with zero accent as she's left Trump and married someone with better English, and Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) is now smart enough to solve a Rubik's cube. Surprise guest Ben Stiller appears as Michael Cohen, who's reverted to his pre-office-raided state, and Matt Damon even puts in an early appearance in an unexpected Role Reprise of his Brett Kavanaugh, who now has more time to drink with his Long List of oddly-named buddies. Trump is so overwhelmed he thinks that "it's like Robert Mueller never existed"... and then Robert Mueller shows up.
    • A dog show for middle-aged "daddies" ends with a Dark Horse Victory for Damon's announcer, with him happily prancing around fully committed to the bit, while Kate McKinnon as his partner casually reveals "I have no name."
    • A "drunk Santa" novelty ornament is consigned to the back of the tree, where he meets the other banished ornaments, including an airport purchase that says "Greeting (sic) from Cleveland note ," a Good Will Hunting ornament with "Happy Holidays from The Weinstein Company" on the back note , an old 2001 "Rudy Giuliani/'America's Mayor'" ornament note , a figure of Harry Potter on his broom that broke and now looks like he's masturbating note , a "macaroni turd" made in kindergarten note , and the former angel from the top of the tree who had half her head melted off.
    • While Weekend Update has plenty to tear into regarding the Trump presidency, it's a rare case when an unfortunate order of headlines ends up overshadowing the actual punchline:
      Colin: It was reported that the Boy Scouts Association is considering filing for bankruptcy in the face of declining membership. Apparently there's something wrong with their business model of paying adult strangers to take their kids deep into the woods. (audience laughs) The location of Sex Island - that was a terrible transition... (audience laughs harder) I didn't know those two were going to be back to back...
    • A Christmas party is derailed when two of the guests get into a heated argument over which period of Weezer was better, while the others are just confused at how anyone can care about the band this much.
  • The episode with Rachel Brosnahan:
    • They immediately tear into Donald Trump's refusing to end the government shutdown and turning down one deal after another that didn't include his border wall, by negotiating with him in a manner he does understand: the set of Deal or No Deal. Instead of the women with the briefcases it's an assortment of random people that are involved, like Nancy Pelosi (Kate Mckinnon) and Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat) - special mention should be made of Beck Bennet's striking Mitch McConnell likeness thanks to a prosthetic double chin, and Melissa Villasenor as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who immediately gets whooping cheers and applause even though it's not the real person! Eventually Trump picks the one guy who was out of frame at the beginning - Pete Davidson as one of the Clemson football players, with a White Castle delivery box. It opens to say "Hamberders".
      Steve Harvey (Kenan): Howie's out sick - yknow, he's a germophobe, but I was like "Oh cmon Howie! Shake ONE person's hand!" And he shook it - 2 hours later, ebola.
    • The first sketch is a news report on a earthquake that conveniently rattled the Social Security building and the legal change-of-name office - the real joke being that all the people that were rescued have one Unfortunate Name after another, and still valid due to the disaster.
      Rachel: Here is a list of the victims brought to St Joseph's Memorial Hospital - Lisa Simpson, Bill Kosbie, Mario Pardi, Ty Neadik, (Pete Davidson as a rescue worker in the back starts corpsing) and Morgan Mindie.
      Pete: Nanu Nanu!... Sorry.
    • Kenan is yet another gameshow host, this time for Millennial Millions, where two millennials (Rachel and Pete) have to compete in an admittedly one-sided game against the baby boomers out to claim their government benefits from themselves - all it takes is to endure their nagging for a set time limit. A lovely bit of Cringe Comedy we haven't had in a while.
      Kenan: Well maybe you can tweet about it, that'll solve everything! [...] I'm just playin'. I'm Gen-X; we just stand by and watch the world burn!
    • The obligatory spoof of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is about Midge "grooming" an apprentice of sorts, Leslie Jones as a Shrinking Violet cleaning lady who's put in front of the mike up on the Gaslight... and immediately turns into Leslie Jones in her usual standup routine, with the insult comic dialed Up to Eleven.
      Midge: What if she starts competing with me?
      (quick cut to Leslie in the middle of a Cluster Bleep-Bomb)
      Suzie (Aidy Bryant): Yeah, I don't think there's gonna be much overlap...
    • Weekend Update covers not just the shutdown but the lesser-known news of Buzzfeed trying to get involved:
      Colin: Buzzfeed released an article claiming that Robert Mueller had evidence of an impeachable crime, but the details were so sketchy that even Mueller's team was like "Fake news." [...] The crazy part is that the White House is celebrating the dispute of this one allegation when there's 100 other crimes still on the table. If you were tested for every STD and the doctor syas "well the good news is, you don't have chlamydia", you wouldn't be all "That's all I needed to hear, doc! No condoms for this guy!"
      Michael: (near corpsing) That's gonna be a meme...
      • Kate Mckinnon appears as senator Elizabeth Warren on her presidential bid:
        Warren: Am I likeable? Probably not, but neither is a prostate exam, and you need one or you'll die! This country has been long due for a finger up the caboose - you might even like it - so bend over America, and let momma Warren get to work! (audience cheers)
      • Other headlines include:
        Colin: Sunday night will bring a Super Blood Wolf Moon, which is a rare lunar eclipse, and not as I assumed, the name of the band that just performed tonight.
        Michael: Gillette released a new commercial addressing toxic masculinity, which I think is great; I mean Colin disagrees (inset shows really dorky photo of Colin), but I love when a company takes a firm social stance that literally nobody asked for. There was one time that Fleshlight tweeted "Never Forget" on 9/11 and I was like "never forget? Then when am I supposed to use this fleshlight?"
        (cut to Colin fighting corpsing for a beat) [...]
        Colin: Yesterday was Winnie the Pooh Day; this according to a man on the subway explaining why he was wearing a red shirt and no pants.
        Colin: A woman in Florida was arrested for stealing watches by hiding them in her vagina. Officers were suspicious when the woman took a licking and kept on ticking. (immediately looks regretful)
      • Finally, things hit closer to home as Pete Davidson makes another appearance, addressing his apparently suicidal post on social media... and then immediately switch topic to the hot new movie he just watched, The Mule, with a friend of the show and surprise guest John Mulaney. What follows is the showstopper of the week as both guys gush intermittently about the movie like it's the best thing ever:
        Pete: When we say he's a drug mule we mean he drives drugs across state lines. I was expecting to see Clint Eastwood shoving a condom up his ass, yknow like real drug dealers do...
        John: And what Pete did on our way to Denver.
        Pete: Yes. Because I forgot it was illegal.
        John: I'm just glad that you used a condom for once.
        Pete: Anyway, plowing through as they say, Clint Eastwood drives 100s of kilos of drugs across state lines...
        John: And that's not the weird part.
        Pete: The weird part is he's 90 and he's driving. [...] Why aren't you guys freaking out? He's old! There's a scene where he's driving with no hands, he's unwrapping an icecream sandwich and singing jazz and stuff...
        John: That's when we realised that this is a superhero movie for old people, where Clint Eastwood's superpower is that he's 90 and can drive unsupervised.
        Pete: And he's so good that the head of the drug cartel, played by Andy García [...] throws a big party for Clint Eastwood, for being our best driver ever...
        John: Fulfilling another elderly grandpa fantasy that a 90-year-old white man can do any job better than a Mexican, even when the job is Mexican drug trafficking.
    • Leslie plays Tabitha, practically a Captain Ersatz of Oprah, with a talkshow and a book out about how to control your husband, which for some reason looks and sounds more like how dog owners would break in a new dog. Until we get to what the husbands are like - generally avoiding eye contact and sulking in the corner just like dogs would (they don't even get lines!) Somehow this applies to whatever shenanigans actual men would get up to, like the huge mess after a football party, or having an affair in a different country AND raising a secret family.
  • James McAvoy has the dubious honor of hosting the first post-government-shutdown episode:
    • The Cold Open takes on right wing media again, with a new portrayal, Alex Moffat as Tucker Carlson, who talks to Jeannine Pirro (Cecily Strong) while faking interest with what he calls his "dog looking into a mirror" look. They tackle the arrest of Roger Stone as well, played by surprise guest Steve Martin!
      Jeannine: In the words of Marie Kondo, if it does not spark joy in you, throw it out; and you know what doesn't spark joy in me? Guatemala![...]
      Tucker: Thank you for your time, Mr Stone...
      Roger Stone: Pardon me?!
      Tucker: I said thank you f...
      Roger Stone: No, I was saying that to the President! PARDON ME!!
    • James gets the lead in a new bachelor show spoof:
      Cecily: I mostly do PR... Puerto Ricans...
      Aidy: Hi, it's me again, only more drunk...
      Kate: I got you this peach, because I'm from Georgia... and also this banana, because if this goes well then I'll (mimes gobbling on banana)
    • James gets to revert to his natural accent in a sketch about an American plane filled with Kylie Jenner's entourage that encounters problems over Scottish airspace - and the only person who can help them is James as the Scottish air traffic controller whose accent is somehow even more incomprehensible. To their credit, the audience laughs when the twist at the end is revealed - the plane ends up in Welsh airspace.
    • Weekend Update breaks new ground with the most egregious case of Spoofed with Their Own Words yet, tearing into Donald Trump's border wall negotiations by comparing his recent speeches with archive footage of all the claims he's had to throw out in more recent times.
      Colin: One of the factors behind Trump ending the shutdown was the buildup of ground delays at Laguardia airport. You know you've failed as a president when you've somehow made Laguardia worse.
      • They take an especially nasty dig at Roger Stone as well:
        Colin: Roger Stone, pictured here as an old lady being told there's no more room at Bingo, left the courthouse to face a crowd that was booing and chanting "lock HIM up".[...] Do you know how much people have to hate you to show up just to boo you on a work day?
        Michael: By the way I had to google Roger Stone, cos he looks like he pays black guys to bang his wife; and I found out in 1996 he had to resign from Bob Dole's presidential campaign because he was asking black guys to bang his wife! Not kidding! Look it up! It's fantastic!
    • Rather than promote Glass or even Dark Phoenix, they get really retro and have James reprise the role of Mr Tumnus, who's apparently had more visitors in recent years - specifically of the lonely and very thirsty female variety which Tumnus referred to as "lazy Hermione". The twist: he's already shacked up with Edmund.
    • A new recurring sketch is brought back when James and Heidi play a couple who'd just come back from New Orleans - and somehow been there long enough to absorb a ridiculous take on "Nawlins" culture. Heidi's story about coming across a topless woman "with one pointing west and one pointing straight up" is all it takes to break James for the first time this week.
  • From the Halsey episode:
    • The Cold Open has Kyle Mooney as Chuck Todd talking to his panelists about Jeff Bezos being blackmailed by the National Enquirer with his nudes... until the discussion gravitates towards what the actual pictures are going to turn out like. Cecily's character is the first to point out that a millionaire like Bezos is already Compensating for Something, but the show is stolen by Kate McKinnon as Wilbur Ross, and a first for Aidy Bryant as she plays the very bald Matt Whittaker, complete with scarily convincing shiny pate.
      "I was US Attorney General for 3 months, and soon I will go back to my old job of breaking up fights on The Jerry Springer Show."
      "I don't have a lot of sympathy for Jeff Bezos; every time I post a selfie on Instagram it gets flagged as a dick pic."
    • Halsey introduces herself to older fans not familiar with her as the music they're always asking their annoying emo kids to turn off.
    • In the wake of the issues with blackface among the Virginia government, Kenan is brought on as a racial sensitivity consultant whose promise to not get angry is severely tested as it turns out every single person in the government is completely clueless about the issue, ranging from thinking it was okay in the '80s to planning to do it again soon.
    • Halsey gets to revert to her native Joisey voice in a sketch about two parents guilt-tripping their son into visiting them. It's not the fact that the son is with two customers who somehow get emotionally invested in these goings-on, it's the fact that the parents suffered all the injuries they're guilting their son with for real.
    • After the state of the union address briefly led to the newly-elected congresswomen briefly stealing the show, SNL reimagines them into full-blown action heroes in a '70s-style trailer for the hot new super team, Women of Congress:
      Nancy Pelosi (Kate McKinnon): I'm so woke I can't even close my eyes. (memetic clapback pose)
      Alexandra Ocasio Cortez (Melissa Villasenor): You're trying to rip up my Green New Deal? Leave me alone. I will dog walk you.
    • Weekend Update takes on the blackface scandal by turning Ralph Northam into their personal whipping boy:
      Colin: Democrats have called for Ralph Northam to resign, but the second-in-line is involved with two sexual assault scandals, and the third-in-line also did blackface. At this point maybe Virginia should take a cue from the Oscars and go without a governor this year. Or they could take it full circle and make it Governor Kevin Hart.[...]
      Colin: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims he was blackmailed by the National Enquirer threatening to publish semi-nude photos of him, and if you're curious about what Jeff Bezos' penis looks like, here's a sneak preview. (pic shows Jeff Bezos photoshopped into The Blank) [...] I apologize for showing you this pic - even though I'm showing it to you again - this pic is so horrifying I'm surprised it isn't in Ralph Northam's yearbook.[...]
      Michael: Apple released a new set of emojis designed to represent people with disabilities, such as people in wheelchairs (inset shows a wheelchair emote), the hearing impaired (a person-tapping-his=ear emoji), or the Governor of Virginia. (pic shows a black moon face)
      Colin: Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino have all turned down offers to perform at the Grammy Awards, saying that the recording company has not done enough to diversify its membership. In fact, the Academy's blackest member is Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
    • Kenan plays a laid off dad who takes to doing amateur porn. His wife very quickly comes around when she finds out how much money he's making, and he's even gotten popular enough to be put on the website's homepage and have adoring fans coming up to him.
  • The Don Cheadle episode has plenty of meat to chew after Donald Trump's "national emergency" declaration, particularly the part where it degenerated into self-guided rambling:
    "So I'm going to sign these papers for emergency, and I'll immediately be sued, and the ruling will not go in my favor, and it'll end up in the Supreme Court, and then I'll call my buddy (Brett) Kavanaugh, and then I'll say "it's time to repay the Donnie", and he'll say "new phone who dis?"... and then the Mueller report will be released, accompanied by House of Cards, and then I'll just plead insanity, and then I'll do a few months in the Puzzle Factory... and then my personal hell of playing President will finally be over." (audience cheers and applauds)
    • Don gets a rare chance to show off his dance moves in the monologue:
      "I've been in showbusiness a long time, a lot of people know me and a lot of people sorta know me... I have what I call 'percussive recognition'. I get (nervous tones) Ohh, uh, you're uhh... (nervous finger snapping) you're umm... (nervous clapping) The longer it goes on, it turns into a Tito Puente thing, you're like (nervous finger snapping again) You're uhh... (finger snapping and clapping mutates into outright mambo dance moves) uhh... umm..."
    • The first sketch is about a high school "Homeroom TV" current affairs program, where Don plays the one teacher roped in to provide the latest water cooler talk, largely because he Cannot Keep a Secret, and Kyle is the reporter on "Cold Sore Watch", about the recent outbreak of cold sores that was oddly confined to just the kids on a certain ski trip which led to a Spin the Bottle game, which explains everything. The kicker is that Kyle deliberately edited the Powerpoint presentation to include his promposal, and immediately gets shafted live on homeroom tv, upon which the Powerpoint refuses to pause and goes on to a beautiful screen proudly declaring "She Said Yes!!"
    • They do what looks like a parody of The Great British Bakeoff (it's named Extreme Baking instead, and for some reason one judge has an English accent), where the bakers all have to make cartoon-themed cakes, but thanks to the time constraints they all turn out terrible. Except for Heidi's Spongebob cake, which is flawless, but the judges ignore it in favor of Kyle's still-recognisable Yoda cake, whose phallic-looking lightsaber turns out to be intended as a penis the whole time; and Don's Cookie Monster cake, which is such an abomination that it has already been possessed by a demonic soul (with Kenan providing the voice), and immediately starts pleading to be put out of its misery. And then the hidden pump starts up, causing it to spew even more blue icing all over the place. And all of that still doesn't explain why it's got "SEAN" written on it.
    • Weekend Update shows an increased reliance on the picture-in-picture function for some reason:
      Colin: NY City councilman and bounty hunter from the future Ruben Diaz Sr (inset shows Ruben in shades and a cowboy hat) was criticized for saying the NY City Council is controlled by the homosexual community, which is strange criticism coming from a guy who looks like all the Village People put together.
      Michael: The FBI is investigating whether singer-songwriter Ryan Adams committed a crime by engaging in sexually explicit communications with a 14 year old fan. Just another example of a white musician doing something a black musician did first. (inset shows R. Kelly)
      (camera cut to Colin while Michael is still corpsing and audience is still reacting)
      Colin: Well... The...
      Michael: I stand by it!
      Colin: The Democratic senators running for president in 2020 have not attacked each other yet because they consider themselves friends; but all that is about to change because one sassy little bitch didn't come here to make friends. (inset shows Bernie Sanders)
      Colin: Amazon cancelled plans to open a second headquarters in Queens, which means losing 25000 jobs. Even if you hate Amazon and all it stands for, 25000 is a lot of jobs. That's like all the jobs in Greece. And by the way there are a lot of worse companies to work for, for example the Trump organisation. They've only created 5 jobs and all of them are for highly unskilled labor. (inset shows Don Jr, Ivanka, Eric, Jared Kushner and Rudy Giuliani)
    • This year they do an Oscar-themed Celebrity Family Feud before the actual ceremony, so the nominees are divided into new faces vs veterans, even though Olivia Colman (Cecily), who's in the veterans' team, points out that nobody in the US is going to recognize her, even after two Golden Globe wins, all while clearly inebriated. Worth noting is that Mellissa Villasenor is back as Lady Gaga after that became immensely popular the week before.
      Lady Gaga: If 99 people are surveyed, you only need 1 person believing in you to win the game.
      Steve Harvey: Yeah, that's not how it works...
    • The showstopper of the week would be the fake commercial for bugspray that blasts the Ned's Roach-Away one out of the water for sheer Mood Whiplash - you have Don and Kyle barging into Mikey's dressed as roaches and behaving more like The Thing That Would Not Leave, but then goes into a melodramatic level when Don worms his way into the family, getting closer to the wife and kid, culminating in Mikey turning the bugspray being advertised on Don in a jealous rage. That's when you realize this is what you'd get if Lifetime made a bugspray commercial.
  • John Mulaney returns for his second ever hosting gig:
    • The Cold Open covers the Michael Cohen hearing, meaning that Ben Stiller is back in the role, but the real focus is on the few Republican representatives hoping to discredit him and his testimony before they can go to trial, including the real surprise guest, Bill Hader as Jim Jordan, who's "so angry I COULDN'T EVEN WEAR A JACKET TODAY!!", but is ultimately done in by his own Critical Research Failure.
      Jordan: "Mr Cohen has plead guilty to a SMORGASBOARD of fradulent activity..."
      Cohen: Yeah, and right after that it says "at the direction of President Trump."
      Jordan: It does?! (double checks) DAMMIT!!... Come back to me!
      Cummings: Oh I absolutely will, heh heh…
      • Kyle Mooney's take on the mush-mouthed Rep. Paul Gosar (and his 'Liar Liar Pants on Fire!' sign) is hilarious, too...
        Gosar: "If ya lie, pants are fire. If ya troof, pants are goof!"
        Cohen: "Do you need medical attention?"
    • John proves that standup experience can help carry a monologue without ever plugging Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (even after its Oscar win):
      My wife and I have a pet bulldog named Petunia... she loves to walk but she can't walk far, because she can't breathe well by design, so we push her around New York in a stroller. That's absolutely true. And this next story is absolutely true. My wife was pushing her dog Petunia in a stroller down 7th Avenue South a few months ago. My wife gets to 7th Avenue and Leroy Street. At 7th Avenue and Leroy Street, a car pulls up. Out of the car steps Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. My wife stares at Woody and Soon-Yi. Woody and Soon-Yi stare at a woman pushing a bulldog in a stroller. The four of them all stare at each other. And they all kind of nod, as if to say none of this is right, and then they went their separate ways.
    • Pete Davidson brings back his emotionally-detached jock character Chad, who's unknowingly the target of a Scream-style serial killer (John) out for revenge for Chad being a Jerk Jock to him years ago... but Chad really can't be arsed, even when a pizza guy just disemboweled by the killer appears at his door. In the end, the ridiculous mess left by Chad causes the killer to slip and fall on his own knife.
    • The real showstopper of the evening would be the Call-Back to the Diner Lobster sketch from the last time John was here, this time set in a bodega instead, where Pete innocently asking to use the bathroom escalates into a full blown stage musical - from the sordid state of the bodega bathroom heralded by Kenan singing as Willy Wonka while dressed as a cat, to the appearance of singing cockroaches, Oompa-Loompas, the toilet itself yelling "Feed me Seymour!", and finally culminating in the toilet lifting off into space!
    • Bill Hader makes an appearance as a sadistic game show host who forces contestants to reveal the people in their lives whose names they've never bothered to learn.
      "What do you want?"
      "In a word, CHAOS!"
    • Speaking of sadistic, they parody Dragon's Den with a panel of legal advisers instead, like Michael Avenatti (Pete), Jeannine Pirro (Cecily), Rudy Giuliani (Kate), Alan Dershowitz (John Mulaney), and Celino and Barnes (Alex & Kyle), who sing their own commercial jingle - after which the ruffling of feathers really starts when it's revealed that their prospective clients include Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner who'd just been caught for soliciting sex, and Jussie Smollett.
      Jeannine: Ohh my god! A gay black man lying about an attack?! I've written Fox News fanfiction about this! I'm going to have to recuse myself because I'm so turned on!!
      Celino & Barnes: (singing) Celino & Barnes, Injury Attorneys / And even we, won't touch this!
    • Weekend Update also looks at the Cohen hearing:
      Michael: Michael Cohen told Congress about all the dirty nasty freaky things that Donald Trump made him do - I dunno why I made that sound all sexual - but I'm tired of the whole Damsel in Distress routine (Southern Belle voice) "Ohh Donald Trump took advantage of me, I guess I'm a fool..." You just stole the US presidency, why are you acting like a bitch now?! Your voice wasn't trembling when you were threatening schoolteachers or shaking down porn stars - I wanna hear that guy talk to Congress! At least Donald Trump has the decency to slowly break down before he's handcuffed and dragged out of the White House LIKE A BOSS, I mean that's how I want to leave SNL.
      • There's a first for Weekend Update and SNL in general when they cover the news of a pig being spared slaughter because it could paint, and longtime partners in crime Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant appear as very Texan meat farmers who cite the spread of cute animal pictures as the reason for the decline in sales of fresh meat. Their solution - guilt-free meat, made by slaughtering animals that absolutely deserved it. Then comes the real highlight as a basket containing a roast chicken, some nuggets and a bunch of different raw meats is brought out as a prop. And then Kate and Aidy immediately regret the whole bit as the combined smell of all of that causes them to break almost immediately, and never lets up.
  • Two weeks after Don Cheadle talks about winning the MCU Avengers draw to host SNL (and one week after Spider-Ham!), we get Heimdall himself, Idris Elba:
    • The Cold Open goes for the jugular by spoofing the ridiculous R. Kelly interview, with Kenan as R Kelley (also known as "Individual who #1's") going even more unhinged than the actual one, like not realising that there's a TV camera manned by Beck in front of him while mistaking a potted plant for a camera... because he's not accustomed to filming with non-hidden cameras out in the open. At the very end he even starts declaring "LIVE FROM NEW YORK" at the potted plant.
      Why would I do this to myself again?! Just THINK for one minute! I gave you "Trapped in the Closet"! "Feelin' On You Booty"! "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number"! And so many other clues!!
    • After the monologue about Idris describing his first steps into showbusiness, the first sketch is appropriately a game show for upstart actors called "Can I Play That?" - the catch being that the producer is Twitter, so it's almost always "no". Until they get to the very iffy question of who could play the ghost of Michael Jackson. The correct answer? Rami Malek.
      Kenan: We'll be right back with out final round, "Can You Play James Bond?"
      Idris: (buzzing in) I know the answer to that one!
      Kenan: Do you though?
    • The only real MCU nod is a parody of The Incredible Hulk, except that with Angry Black Man being harder to sell nowadays, Idris plays an alternate version of Bruce Banner that when angered by the slightest thing turns into something far more damaging than a huge green (or even black) man... a white woman with a phone.
  • With first-time host Sandra Oh:
    • The Cold Open takes on the Mueller report, with Robert de Niro returning again as Mueller, Aidy as AG William Barr instead of Beck like the last time, and Alec Baldwin as Trump, showing how the Mueller report has been turned into a game of Telephone:
      Mueller: I am submitting these 380 pages...
      Barr: I am writing up almost 4 pages...
      Trump: I am reading 0 pages, but Sean Hannity read it first and he was so excited he texted me an eggplant.
    • Newcomer Ego Nwodim finally gets her chance to shine in a commercial for a credit card with a helpline that promises to connect you to a phone operator who's just like you in every way... because they're all Tethered.
    • They cover the Mueller report again from a more unique point of view, with Beck Bennet again as Putin, who's losing credibility among his own staff now that he's "exonerated" of any reponsibility for the crumble of the American government. Sandra plays the translator for Kim Jong Un, who came here just to laugh at him.
    • Weekend Update does something a little different by bringing in Jeannine Pirro (Cecily Strong) to address her racist comments about Ilhan Omar - apparently the Mueller report and its ambiguous stand on collusion proved empowering enough to all of the right wing that Jeannine was put back on her show, and Colin even brings up that Trump is considering closing off the Mexican border, which gives Jeannine such a massive orgasmic whoop that she flies out of her seat! Poor Colin manages to fight corpsing just long enough to carry on until he mentions Trump's idea to investigate the Democrats, whereupon Jeannine flips out of her seat so hard you can see both her shoes come off!
  • With another first-timer, Kit Harington:
    • The monologue doesn't shy away from the fact that they're pitching the final season of Game of Thrones, and the real surprise is the number of actors planted in the audience - Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) complaining that all her scenes involve conversing with "a tennis ball on a green pole"; John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) asking if they can still hang out even after the show has wrapped; and last but not least his real life wife Rose Leslie (Ygritte), who has just one important question:
      "What are we going to do for money now?"
    • Still on the subject of Game of Thrones, there's a digital short about a potential bunch of spinoffs ready to roll upon the series finale, in every genre imaginable, and one is a rom-com with Jon Snow (Kit) getting back together with Ygritte (not Rose but Heidi Gardner). Except, y'know, she was Killed Off for Real at some point, so... she's a wight now.
    • A cruise ship act billed as a Rat Pack tribute band turns out to be a Michael Jackson tribute band, which had to be hastily repackaged due to recent news headlines.
    • There's a new video game oddly reminiscent of Fortnite: Save the World, with a bunker populated by NPCs that end up hindering gameplay with their constant bitching about each other. And one zombie stops trying to eat you just to get nosy.
    • From Weekend Update:
      Michael: More women have stepped forward claiming that Joe Biden had touched them inappropriately. [...] Old people tend to have a problem with boundaries. There's this 75-year-old woman who lives in my building, and every now and then she grabs my arm and leans in and says something dirty, but I let her because... she's hot.
      Colin: A pro-Trump group has released an ad saying that Biden's behavior with women should get him instantly disqualified for candidacy for president. The group is called Independent Republicans Of New York, or IRONY.
      • Under the miscellaneous folder:
        Colin: Studies revealed that street marijuana contains a dangerous amount of fecal matter; which begs the question, what's a good amount?
        Colin: A group of people in England are planning a Star Wars-themed orgy, which is just a regular orgy where you find out the guy in the mask is your father.
    • A sketch about a hen party, with Cecily as the bride-to-be and most of the women as her gal pals is interrupted by a knock on the door, but Cecily had already specified "no strippers" - so they get around that by getting the groom himself (Kit) to be the stripper. Except that he's also in drag, and Melissa is the one girl most excited about it all, while Kate puts in a cameo as the groom's French burlesque trainer for this event. And if you thought they were done with the Game of Thrones references...
      Melissa: I'm gonna be thinking about that body for a long time!
      Kit: Thanks, sis!
  • The one with Emma Stone starts out with a look into a prison (on MSNBC, since "the Mueller report turned out to be a big fat zero"), with some normal inmates finding out they're in the same cell as Lori Loughlin (Kate), Michael Avenatti (Pete) and Julian Assange (surprise guest Michael Keaton):
    Julian: Here's how crazy I am - I'm wanted in the US and Sweden, I'm from Australia, I live in London in Ecuador, you try figuring that one out!... Yeah, you cheat your schools and you rob your companies, that's cute... I've attacked the US Army, bitches! I'm an actual James Bond supervillain, and 'm one step away from destroying the goddamn moon! So, you wanna get nuts? COME ON! Let's get nuts!
    • They take on The View with Aidy in the role of Meghan McCain, who declares herself "princess of Arizona", and immediately gets into an altercation with Joy Behar (Kate), while Ana Navarro (Melissa) starts capturing it all with her camera phone and Abby Huntsman (Cecily) breaks out the popcorn, until Whoopi Goldberg (Leslie) breaks it up by using a squirt bottle on them. Emma plays Jenny McCarthy, who's staging an anti-vax protest by bringing together upwards of a hundred people that haven't been vaccinated. All squeezed together in public. Whoopi is rightfully terrified. (Incidentally, this is one of those sketches that drew attention from the actual people!)
  • Adam Sandler making his hosting debut 24 years after leaving the show leads to a hilarious song during his monologue where he recalls that "I Was Fired".
    Sandler: I was fired, not rehired / Well it made me sad and blue / I told my boy Chris Farley I got fired and he said, (imitating Farley) "Sandman, they fired my ass too!"
    • Fellow cast-mate and long time friend Chris Rock then joins him on stage recalling how he was also fired, then Pete Davidson comes to do the same, only for Sandler to point out he hasn't been fired:
      Davidson: I wasn’t? How is that even possible?
      Sandler: I don't know but be patient, it's coming soon.
    • The return of Operaman, the highlight being a glorious Take That! on the Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron comedy Long Shot.
      Operaman: Pretty lady, goofy man-ah, Opera Man no understand-ah. Silly face but still he score-ah, where have I seen this before-ah? (the screen shows a collage of Sandler in his movies with numerous gorgeous female co-stars) Come on, man!
    • A commercial in which a father (Sandler) recommends to his son (Beck) the new male enhancement pill “Rectix”...which acts suspiciously like a butt plug. Then his mom (Aidy) reveals it was her idea for Dad to start using it. And the pill is dishwasher safe.
    • There's a new recurring sketch they once did with Jim Carrey, the "Sandler Family Reunion", where it's slowly revealed that Adam based all his movies on his own family members, which is basically an excuse for everyone in the cast to break out their best Adam Sandler impressions. Pete Davidson as Little Nicky may be the first time we even see him attempting impressions, and musical guest Shaun Mendes even joins in as the guy from Big Daddy!
  • The Mother's Day episode hosted by Emma Thompson:
    • The monologue has Emma translating "momspeak" for us with the help of two surprise guests, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler!
      Emma: Sometimes what your mother means is based on where she's from. For example, if your mother asks "what are you doing for Mothers' Day" and she's from Philadelphia, she means...
      Tina: (Philadelphia accent) You better come down to shore for Mothers' Day brunch, pom-pom's making mimosas!
      Emma: But mothers from Boston could mean...
      Amy: (Hollywood New England on) If your car is not parked in my yahd on Mother's Day, I'll have a freaking heart attack and you can go eat at Wahlberger's.
      Emma: British mothers are a particular breed of cryptic.
      Amy: When your British mother says...
      Emma: Splendid.
      Tina: What she means is...
      Emma: I'm sad, I'm happy, how are you, you embarass me, I'm crazy, you're drunk. (beat) Splendid is sort of our "Aloha".
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