The actress proved herself a fine host, though she was never given the flashy showcase that she deserved. She was even relegated to a supporting role in a sketch that spoofed her critically acclaimed Amazon comedy.
An underwhelming song-and-dance monologue was followed by a run of mostly mediocre skits, though there were a few highlights. What follows are my picks for the best and worst sketches.
BEST: THE RAUNCHIEST MISS RITA
This Mrs. Maisel spoof sets up a spinoff starring Leslie Jones as an incredibly crass comedian, and features Kyle Mooney as “an even more exasperated Tony Shalhoub.” The parody works on two levels: It’s aesthetically pleasing for fans of Mrs. Maisel, and the shock of Rita May Johnson working blue is funny enough on its own for those who haven’t seen Amazon’s Emmy-winning comedy.
BEST: LEAVE ME ALURN
Brosnahan and Kate McKinnon star in this clever commercial parody that introduces the perfect conversation prophylactic for women: A portable urn to ward off men and their unwanted approaches. It’s perhaps my favorite commercial parody since last season’s “Nike Women’s Ad.”
BEST: PETE DAVIDSON & JOHN MULANEY REVIEW THE MULE
Davidson and Mulaney seem genuinely delighted to discuss the “greatest, weirdest, most bananas movie ever made about a 90-year-old drug mule.” Funniest of all is when a baffled Mulaney points out that Clint Eastwood directed himself in not one, but two threesome scenes. (Seriously, what is this movie?!) Davidson also alludes to his suicide scare while he mocks Mulaney for living a sober, domesticated life.
HONORABLE MENTION: EARTHQUAKE NEWS REPORT
This amusing breaking-news sketch relies on a series of increasingly juvenile double entendres. Brosnahan’s triage coordinator lists the victims of a building collapse who were in the process of having their names legally changed when the disaster struck, including Todd Kobell, Bill Kosbie, Ivan Jerganov and Holden Tudyks.
WORST: MILLENNIAL MILLIONS
This game show — in which millennial contestants (Brosnahan and Davidson) compete against baby boomers to win prizes like social security and health insurance — is nothing more than a series of tired jokes about the generational wealth gap.
As if Michael Che’s unnecessarily dismissive commentary during Weekend Update wasn’t bad enough, this ill-conceived commercial parody goes and mocks Gillette for its TV spot tackling toxic masculinity. It’s a tone-deaf response that gives voice to those who have accused Gillette’s parent company Procter & Gamble of “virtue signaling” — or, even sillier, being “anti-men.”
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Watch all of the highlights above, then grade Brosnahan’s hosting debut in our poll.