Did the luck of the Irish rub off on Saturday Night Live?
Ireland native Saoirse Ronan made her hosting debut this weekend in one of the better episodes of the still-young season, where she was joined by her fellow Irishmen U2. The two-time Oscar nominee, who is currently promoting the acclaimed indie film Lady Bird, even joked that she was hosting the St. Patrick’s Day episode of SNL — albeit a few months early.
The show’s strongest Trump-centric cold open of the fall was followed by a cute, if ultimately forgettable monologue where Ronan sang about her complicated-to-pronounce first name. Among the subsequent highlights were Colin Jost’s (brief) Matt Lauer commentary during Weekend Update, and a sure-to-go-viral music video addressing a problem that makes all women’s lives a living hell.
Lo and behold, my picks for best and worst sketches…
BEST: WELCOME TO HELL
Every season, the women of SNL attempt to one-up the “(Do It On My) Twin Bed” music video — and usually fall short. This felt like the latest effort at recapturing that magic, and an especially timely effort at that. Ronan joined the entire female cast for a song about the predatory behavior women have, and continue to face in the wake of multiple high-profile sexual harassment scandals. Good on SNL for coming up with such an intelligent way to address the issue.
BEST: WEEKEND UPDATE ADDRESSING MATT LAUER SCANDAL
“I almost forgot about this week’s batch of predators,” Jost said, with a graphic of Lauer, Russell Simmons and Garrison Keillor above his shoulder. “It’s practically a whole segment of the news now. We just gotta announce the names every week like Powerball numbers.” What followed was an objectively perfect joke referencing Lauer’s contentious working relationship with a former Today show colleague.
BEST: BACHELOR AUCTION
Pete Davidson’s Chad is one of the only SNL characters to seamlessly transition between live and taped sketches. He’s a man of very few words with barely any discernible traits, which is probably what makes it possible. Watching all of these women lose their ish over him was truly bizarre, and thus hilarious. But best of all was Ronan’s delivery of the line, “I must have the doink doink,” which alone made me laugh harder than any other sketch in the episode. The John McEnroe cameo was also pretty great.
WORST: FLORIBAMA SHORE
New repertory player Luke Null — who in his previous six episodes was lucky if he made it on after Update — got plenty of screen time this week. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. He first popped up in a light-on-laughs parody of MTV’s latest Jersey Shore offshoot…
WORST: LATE FOR CLASS
Then, there was… whatever this was supposed to be. Not to pile on, but good lord! Rarely has a studio audience been less sure how to react than during Null’s performance as a loudmouthed high schooler attempting to make an impression on both his teacher and his fellow classmates. When the character eventually got around to apologizing, it almost felt like Null was saying sorry for the sketch itself.
What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via the following poll, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.