Margot Robbie Hosts SNL Premiere: Watch the Best and Worst Sketches

Hosting Saturday Night Live for the very first time is arguably one of the most daunting tasks in show business.

Thankfully for Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie, all eyes were on Alec Baldwin, as much of the conversation leading up to Season 42 premiere was focused on how he’d do as Donald Trump. Viewers would also be tuning in to see how the show looked without Taran Killam and Jay Pharaoh, and how newcomers Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor would do under the pressure of a live broadcast.

RELATED SNL Boss Lorne Michaels Breaks Silence on Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah Ousters: ‘They Served the Show Well’

While Robbie excelled when tasked with portraying Ivanka Trump, Keira Knightley and the world’s least sexy librarian, the Wolf of Wall Street standout was ultimately underutilized in the veteran sketch comedy series’ season opener.

Lo and behold, our picks for the best and worst sketches:

alec-baldwin-trump-cold-openBEST: PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Baldwin was terrific as Trump in SNL‘s sharpest cold open in years. In between referring to moderator Lester Holt as “jazz man” and “Coltrane,” the Donald took time to blame Hillary Clinton for his non-stop sniffling and an allegedly broken microphone. The sketch also had fun with Clinton’s recent pneumonia diagnosis, having Trump’s rival enter Stage Right whilst coughing up a lung and struggling to walk on her own. (Watch and discuss the sketch here.)

Leslie Jones paid the USA Network drama a visit to get to the bottom of who was behind the very real hacking of her personal website this summer. In an effort to find out who uploaded photos of “all my little nasties,” Jones brought hacktivist Elliot her PC (an ancient Gateway laptop running on Windows 95) only to discover that she was inadvertently responsible for the whole ordeal.

We could barely contain our laughter as a local news team tried to figure out why a Kennedy married an unremarkable man by the name of Matt Shatt. Though the couple was nearly swallowed up by a nearby sinkhole, Neil McNabb and his fellow reporters were more interested in learning how this seemingly perfect woman wound up with a Crocs-wearing puppeteer who’s possibly lacking male genitalia.

Despite David’s return as Bernie Sanders, and Villaseñor’s superb Sarah Silverman impression, this Trump vs. Clinton edition was downright lazy, relying on tired jokes about Bill Clinton’s history of infidelity and Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal. (And why oh why did Cecily Strong play Lin-Manuel Miranda?!)

Strong’s Cathy Anne made her debut in a godawful sketch back in 2014, and for some inexplicable reason turned up again nearly two years later. Tack on the underwhelming return of Kenan Thompson’s “Big Papi” and an unfunny rant about Colin Kaepernick, and you’ve got yourself one of the weakest Update segments in recent memory. (Watch Part 1 and Part 2 here.)

Have at it, folks: Did Margot Robbie do well as host? Did Alec Baldwin’s Trump live up to expectations? And did any of the newcomers make a lasting first impression? Grade the episode via our poll, then sound off below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. octopus says:

    If you guys thought the cold opening was the best in years, this show has truly succeeded in lowering the bar for TV comedy. Someone lose the defibrillator and do everyone a favor, since this show is beyond redemption

  2. luke says:

    Che failed miserably with that Colin Kaepernick protest segment. This guy needs to be replaced behind the update desk.

    • Patrick says:

      There was nothing funny about the Che/Kaepernik bit. Nor the Cecily Strong bit, which I basically fast forward through. Look, I understand why some athletes are protesting during the anthem. But I’m getting pretty darn mad about people talking down to me for being upset about what I consider to be disrespectful actions.

  3. DmCo says:

    I’ve said this before…get rid of Colin and Michael in what used to be a great part of SNL: Weekend Update. They are not funny producers, and this episode proved that.

  4. A. D. says:

    One of the best overall episodes they’ve had in awhile.

  5. Richard says:

    Sinkhole, Librarian and The Hunch Bunch skits were timeless and universal. They’ll still be funny 10 years from now. The political skits will be dated 6 months from now. I hate political skits because they are dated by the time they are a rerun for the first time.

    • Katrinka says:

      I don’t necessarily agree that the political skits will be dated in a few months. The day before the Clinton/Trump debate I saw an SNL sketch with Dana Carvey (George H. W. Bush) debating Jon Lovitz (Michael Dukakis) & it was still really funny – 28 years later.

  6. dan says:

    Nice to see Vanessa Bayer during the good-byes. I thought Cecily Strong’s Lin Manuel Miranda during Family Feud was terrible and her Cathy Anne was painful to watch. Kyle Mooney plays the same character in every sketch. Overall I thought it was a good season premiere. Not great, but better than usual.

  7. The Beach says:

    So how are you suppossed to rate a show which went from great (cold open, sinkhole, librarian) to ok (Mr Robot, Family Feud) to downright horrible (Weekend Update)? I guess a middling “C”. I really hate what they’ve done with Weekend Update which for years used to be my favorite part of the show.

  8. Dude says:

    Margot Robbie was really good, wish they’d used her better rather than just making sketches based around how pretty she is. I honestly thought Alec Baldwin was underwhelming.

  9. jank says:

    The Sinkhole, while somewhat funny, went on too long; Weekend Update was better than all of last season’s WU’s; Robbie was underused, she was better than I expected; Alec Baldwin was great! Mr. Robot was OK. The Weeknd was fantastic! Robbie’s monologue was the worst part of the show.

  10. iHeart says:

    I think the bigger question regarding the Family Feud sketch is, why oh why didn’t they wait a week to do this so that the real Lin-Manuel Miranda could do it

  11. Davidj says:

    Thought the open, sinkhole and librarian bits were absolutely hilarious, but the Mr Robot one felt like a missed opportunity (although I did like Jones putting Elliot in the center of the frame at the end, as a dig at the show’s off kilter directing style).

    Shame they didn’t use Robbie more though.

  12. Kevin K says:

    I give the Season 42 premiere of SNL a B. The presidential debate cold open is the best in the episode while Pete Davidson makes a great impression as Rami Malek’s character in Mr. Robot. Don’t know which featured player out of three will become a breakout star on SNL: Mikey Day, Alex Moffat or Melissa Villasenor.

  13. AngelWasHere says:

    The show was barely funny as usual. I did like the Librarian skit, but they seem to do better when it’s not live. The sinkhole skit was stupid and family feud was dissapointing. Why didn’t they use Alec’s Trump and Kate’s Clinton again?

  14. paula says:

    I enjoyed McKinnon’s homage to Willy Wonka with her entrance in the cold open — very funny! I thought she and Baldwin were great, though I give McKinnon the edge on the funniness. I enjoyed the rest of the episode too. There was nothing cringe-worthy; I even enjoyed weekend update.

  15. Sara says:

    Darrell Hammond is a genius impersonator. Alec (called his young daughter a pig) Baldwin did an obvious mean-spirited high school impersonation of Trump.SNL obviously is in the can for Hillary. Darrell made Trump too likeable for SNL and God Forbid they do any age makeup or weight padding on Kate. Wimps.

  16. Sarah says:

    “Matt Shatt is wearing crocs and socks” made me actually laugh out loud. It’s not even that funny, so I could tell you why!
    Cecile Strong’s Lin Manuel Miranda was so bizarrely out of place, it was clearly there to draw attention to him hosting next week. Which I am super excited for. Hopefully they break form and come up with something good…

  17. dman6015 says:

    Jost and Che need to be replaced, stat. They’re bad, they’ve always been bad, and there’s no hope for them getting better. They’re worse than the Colin Quinn years.

  18. Ryan says:

    Leslie Jones wins all the awards for her sense of humor in the face of something that would’ve broken far weaker individuals.
    I know some people really don’t like her, but I think she’s hysterical, and when she busted out the 95 gateway laptop I cackled.