Once again, the former SNL scribe ditched the usual monologue to tell a round of jokes from his stand-up routine. What followed was a series of memorable sketches, including a follow-up to the beloved “Diner Lobster” and one of the better game-show satires as of late. The latter was elevated by fellow series alum Bill Hader, who appeared in not one, but two skits during the first half-hour.
BEST: MICHAEL COHEN HEARING COLD OPEN
SNL wisely decided to limit focus on various members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and instead go all in on Bill Hader’s “Angry” Jim Jordan, giving us one of the best cold opens of the season. (Watch it here.)
BEST: WHAT’S THAT NAME?
Hader presided over this hilarious game-show sketch, in which contestants were offered $5 for every D-list celebrity whose name they guessed right, and upwards of $250,000 (!) for the names of people they’ve actually encountered, including a spouse’s bridesmaid and a close friend’s significant other.
BEST: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
Kate McKinnon delivered a sidesplitting performance as Lauren Bacall in this “uncut version” of a classic film scene, in which she tried and repeatedly failed to seduce Mulaney’s Humphrey Bogart with an improper whistle.
HONORABLE MENTION: BODEGA BATHROOM
This sequel to “Diner Lobster” featured an equally elaborate set design, but, comedically speaking, was nowhere near as strong as the original. “Diner Lobster” worked in part because the audience didn’t know what to expect. Here, the element of surprise was gone. It also would have been funnier if they focused on just one well-known musical, rather than parodying nearly a half dozen.
HONORABLE MENTION: LEGAL SHARK TANK
Cecily Strong’s impersonation of Jeanine Pirro is the gift that keeps on giving. Her reaction to embattled Empire star Jussie Smollett’s legal turmoil (“Wow! A gay black man lying about an attack! I wrote Fox News fan fiction about this, but I never thought it would come true.”) was pure gold.
WORST: CHAD HORROR MOVIE
There’s only so much you can do with Pete Davidson’s one and only recurring character before it stops being funny, especially when it’s a man of so few words like Chad. The dimwit’s reaction (or lack thereof) to Mulaney’s Scream-like killer was predictable, which took all the fun out of an otherwise clever slasher spoof.
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Watch all of the highlights above, then grade Mulaney’s return in our poll.