It can be challenging for Saturday Night Live to keep the momentum going after an episode as strong as last week’s Adam Sandler-led affair — but damn if Emma Thompson didn’t try through sheer will to make it one to remember. Unfortunately, there was little the enthusiastic, first-time host could do to salvage the string of dire sketches that followed Weekend Update.
Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad. The one-two punch of “Royal Etiquette” and “The Perfect Mother” came after an enjoyable Mother’s Day-themed monologue featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. We were also treated to a wacky Food Network parody. But the episode also included several skits built on one-joke riffs. Take, for instance, the latest installment of “Cinema Classics,” or the five-to-1 stinker born from Game of Thrones‘ #CoffeeGate.
BEST: THE PERFECT MOTHER
There’s no such thing as the perfect mother — and that’s OK. That was the premise of this digital short, which was in fact the perfect follow-up to Amy Schumer’s “The Day You Were Born.”
Anyone who has ever seen Chopped can appreciate this heightened sendup, which spoofed the competitive nature of its skilled contestants (just ask Leslie Jones’ gun-wielding Georgina!) and the absurd ingredients (a five-pound horse penis?!) featured in every challenge.
BEST: ETIQUETTE LESSON
Thompson was resplendent as the etiquette coach with a royally short fuse. Little did Meghan Markle’s third cousin (played by Jones) expect to be physically accosted by her pitch-perfect instructor, who had a song prepared for each of her mini-lessons.
WORST: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
There was nothing particularly clever about this Disney spoof that introduced additional inanimate objects come to life, including the Beast and Mrs. Potts’ illegitimate child, and a previously unused Shake Weight.
WORST: BAD GIRL TALK SHOW
First-year repertory player Ego Nwodim hasn’t had too many showcases. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t very good. She served as the stand-in for every misbehaved teen ever featured on a trashy daytime talk show, while Thompson felt shoehorned in as an unlicensed (?) psychotherapist.
WORST: CONTINUITY ERRORS
Did Alex Moffat’s Matthew Crawley wear New Year’s 2017 glasses in a 2011 episode of Downton Abbey to up the meta ante? Or was it a careless mistake in this sketch inspired by Thrones‘ aforementioned coffee cup gaffe? It would have been funnier had the bit focused only on one gaffe, and had we not been told ahead of time that it was a play on the HBO drama’s accidental anachronism.
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Watch all of the highlights above, then grade Thompson’s hosting stint in our poll.