The Curb Your Enthusiasm star wasted no time bringing his brand of cringe comedy to Studio 8H. His opening monologue not only touched upon the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but what he called an alarming pattern among other serial sexual harassers who have since been exposed — many of whom, he said, happen to be Jewish. What followed was David contemplating his role as a “good Jewish representative,” before ultimately striking a nerve with his joke about there being “no good opening lines in a concentration camp” during World War II.
Before long, David reprised his role as Sen. Bernie Sanders, and found himself appearing in many sketches alongside musical guest Miley Cyrus. Keep scrolling for all the highlights…
BEST: CELEBRITY PRICE IS RIGHT
David’s Bernie Sanders turning up in a game-show parody was, dare I say, inspired. Best of all was when he put down the Drew Carey-hosted program, referring to it as a “travesty” and “consumerism disguised as entertainment,” only to stick around in hopes of winning a new dinette set. Kate McKinnon’s Tilda Swinton and Cecily Strong’s Sofia Vergara were also delightful, as was Baldwin’s Tony Bennett waxing poetic about Imodium AD. Cyrus didn’t do much for me here, and neither did the cameo by her real-life fiancé Liam Hemsworth.
BEST: THE BABY STEP
Larry David reacting to things Larry David doesn’t like is always going to be a winning formula. Hence the success of this pre-taped sketch, which found David refusing to partake in a rap video featuring Cyrus and various repertory players dressed up as babies. Funniest of all was when David walked on to set and asked 15-year SNL vet Kenan Thompson just how long he’d need to be part of the cast before saying “no” every once in a while.
BEST: HEIDI GARDNER on WEEKEND UPDATE
Assuming Gardner has a long, successful run as a Not Ready for Primetime Player, viewers will look back at this as her breakout moment. She was spot-on as Angel, aka “every boxer’s girlfriend from every boxing movie ever.” She took a broad caricature and played into all of the tropes perfectly, whether she was freaking out about Tommy’s fight, or constantly threatening to pack her things and take kids Mikey, Nicky and Peppers to her sister’s.
HONORABLE MENTION: CAREER RETROSPECTIVE
A night meant to honor the legendary adman behind “Got Milk?” and McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign became one he’d much rather forget, as his highlight reel exposed a series of offensive ads from years’ past that relied on some seriously un-PC slang. It was a nice change of pace watching David’s character wince at the footage, seeing as how it’s usually the characters he plays that trigger a similar reaction from his audience.
WORST: PRESS CONFERENCE
Bless her heart, but Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders just doesn’t work as a character. Like, not even a little bit. This pre-taped short, which occasionally broke into the White House press secretary’s own version of Demi Lovato’s “Confident,” felt entirely uninspired and was completely void of laughs.
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.