Saturday Night Live failed to deliver the one thing everyone wanted from Timothée Chalamet‘s hosting debut: A sketch opposite master impersonator Chloe Fineman.
Fineman made her mark last spring when she first impersonated the 24-year-old actor in a MasterClass parody, so it stood to reason that the two would “meet” last night. They could have done something that resembled Mick Jagger’s discussion with his mirror image, or Jerry Seinfeld’s debate with “Jerry Seinfeld,” but nope! (The fact that Fineman revived her impression in a sketch that also featured Chalamet, but not at the same time, was just cruel.)
Instead, Chalamet palled around with Pete Davidson (who first appeared in the opening monologue to share what he loves most about Christmas in New York City) and Beck Bennett (who played his father not once, not twice, but three times). He also appeared opposite a tiny stop-motion horse in a truly bizarre digital short.
The second-to-last show of 2020 also featured Kate McKinnon as Drs. Fauci and Wenowdis, and a pair of crowd-pleasing performances by musical guest Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
What sketches stood out this week? And what missed the mark? Grade Chalamet’s episode, then scroll down for all the highlights and lowlights.
BEST SKETCH: December to Remember Car Commercial
This commercial parody — in which Beck Bennett’s unemployed family man surprised his wife with a costly Lexus for Christmas — was not only the best sketch of the night, but one of my favorite sketches of the season (so far). The true MVP here was Heidi Gardner as Bennett’s better (and significantly smarter) half, who earned the biggest laughs by playing the drama of the situation entirely straight.
HONORABLE MENTION: Coronavirus Holiday
Who would’ve thought some of SNL‘s most damning political commentary of the fall would come after the election, in the form of a holiday sketch about feuding coronavirus particles?
“President Trump is the only one looking out for us,” Bennett’s particle told his pro-Cuomo son. “We wouldn’t be here without Trump!” Added Cecily Strong, “Trump introduced us to everyone he knows, even after he was infected. Now that’s a class act.”
In addition to Chalamet, who played Bennett’s Purell-guzzling son, Andrew Dismukes finally got airtime as the COVID particle that infected Tom Hanks. (“Wow, that was basically the Super Bowl of infections,” Bennett declared.)
BEST OF WEEKEND UPDATE: Dolly Parton
Melissa Villaseñor’s Parton impression was so good, I thought was she was lip-syncing. And Colin Jost seemed genuinely thrown when Villaseñor suggested that she was the one who tried to run over Parton’s 9-year-old costar, which was great.
WORST SKETCH: Dionne Warwick Talk Show
This Ego Nwodim showcase was a giant disappointment. It should have been funny — Villaseñor’s Billie Eilish and Pete Davidson’s Machine Gun Kelly had potential — but no one impression was given any time to breathe. The biggest crime of all was not having Chalamet appear opposite Fineman — either as himself or as Harry Styles. Either way, it would’ve been delightful.
MUSICAL GUEST: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Springsteen’s fourth turn as musical guest featured two mid-tempo tracks — “Ghosts” (embedded above) and “I’ll See You In My Dreams” (watch here) — off his 20th studio album, “Letters to You,” released earlier this fall.