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.
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:
BEST: 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.)
BEST: MR. ROBOT
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.
BEST: LIVE REPORT
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.
HONORABLE MENTION: FAMILY FEUD
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?!)
WORST: WEEKEND UPDATE
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.