Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Zach Vasquez

Saturday Night Live: Amy Schumer delivers the season’s strongest episode yet

Amy Schumer on Saturday Night Live.
Amy Schumer on Saturday Night Live. Photograph: YouTube

Saturday Night Live opens with a message from Joe Biden (James Austin Johnson), who sums up his party’s future in the face of Tuesday’s midterms with a “big yikes!” He lays the blame on Democrats’ lack of stars (“too many Raphael Warnocks, not enough Herschel Walkers”) and attempts to fix things by introducing future celebrity nominees: kooky Marianne Williamson (Chloe Fineman), Mayor of Flavortown Guy Fieri (Molly Kearney), “terrifying” Tekashi 69 (Marcello Hernandez), porn star Stormy Daniels (Cecily Strong), feisty Azealia Banks (Ego Nwodim) and, finally, Tracy Morgan (Kenan Thompson).

A half-assed set-up featuring half-assed impressions – the only one that lands is Keenan’s Morgan – it’s over almost as soon as it gets started.

Amy Schumer takes on hosting duties. She’s excited to be the last host before the “midterm abortions – I mean elections!” She delivers a new standup set about having sex after giving birth (“His foot got caught in my intestines, I can’t wait to get raw-dogged from behind!”), she and her husband’s love life (“That’s your family … I can’t go down on you, you’re my emergency contact”), and her husband’s autism diagnosis (“It used to be called Asperger’s, but then they found out Dr Asperger had Nazi ties, Kanye”). After two weeks of non-comedic actors hosting, it’s good to have an actual pro at the helm.

It’s the first sketch: Schumer, Nwodim and Heidi Gardner play a trio of friends meeting up for lunch. Schumer has been craving the restaurant’s matzo ball soup, but Gardner’s stream of dire personal news – a bitter divorce and custody battle, job troubles, and a spiraling alcohol/Adderall addiction – torturously prolongs her meal, although she ultimately does scarf it down. It’s enjoyable watching Schumer attempt to worm her way out of the conversation, but a series of musical interludes from Thompson fall flat.

A clever commercial then presents Covid-19 as a stress reliever for overtaxed moms and workers.

Then we get a tepid, annoying courtroom sketch in which three jurors (Schumer, Bowen Yang and Sarah Sherman) run amok in the jury box, loudly interrupting the prosecution’s presentation, posing for the court sketch artist and messing with evidence. Their misbehavior does ultimately clear the defendant.

After the show catches us up with the recent drama surrounding Elon Musk’s purchasing of Twitter, the platform’s first content moderation council (hosted by “the only two Twitter employees that haven’t been laid off”) sees banned users make the case that their reinstatement. This group includes loud antivaxxers who “showed hole”, psychotic gamers, a flirty bot in the flesh and, of course, Donald “John” Trump. The former president rambles about Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Chevy Chase, Truth Social (“It’s very great and many ways terrible, it’s very bad”), and “covfefe”. Austin’s Trump continues to entertain, but SNL really needs to go harder at Musk’s pathetic public flailing.

A trailer for Netflix’s new suspense drama The Looker finds a family being stalked in their new home by an anonymous voyeur. More upsetting than the creepy situation is what’s revealed about the mom’s private life: eating a whole second dinner every night, masturbating to The Property Brothers and debilitating toilet problems. It’s all enjoyably raunchy, especially the last shot of Schumer going cross-eyed while pleasuring herself to her favorite reality show.

On Weekend Update, Colin Jost brings on Tammy the Trucker Who Promises She’s Here to Talk About Gas Prices and Definitely Not Abortions (played by Strong). As she did last year, Strong uses a broad and silly character to passionately make a stand against anti-abortion policies in the face of Tuesday’s impending elections: “You shouldn’t have to pull the convoy across state lines to find a doctor who can provide healthcare for your anatomy without having to call their lawyer first – beep beep!”

At pre-game tailgate party for the New York Jets, a group of suburban friends drop their friendly facade and become violently unhinged the second they see anyone wearing Buffalo Bills gear. Schumer and Strong have a real good time obscenely haranguing and eventually assaulting a pregnant woman, a group of school kids and a man in a wheelchair.

Things hit the skids in the next sketch. A news report about a block fire introduces Schumer and Strong as redneck cousins fighting over a third cousin (Yang). Completely insufferable and gruelingly long, with a palpable sense of east coast smarminess, this might be the worst sketch of the season.

During a game of Uno with friends, Schumer’s toxic jerk boyfriend (Andrew Dismukes) reveals that he’s been going to “big penis therapy”, which is just regular therapy cleverly marketed to insecure D-bags. It’s a decent enough idea, but it never earns more than a chuckle.

The episode concludes with a commercial for Big Dumb Hat, in which three ladies with “perfect makeup and straight hair” extoll the virtues of their favorite headwear. It’s a good send up of the type of basic white women who love Starbucks oat milk, watch Yellowstone, “post pictures of [their] wedding every single day” and name their kids “Poet, Story, Lyric, Fire and Arcade”. It’s punctuated by the funny sight gag of Schumer’s hat growing increasingly bigger.

Despite a couple stinkers throughout, this was the most roundly solid episode of the season thus far, thanks to Schumer’s hosting. That said, it was surprisingly toothless in the politics department, save for Strong’s Update segment. On the one hand, that was a smart choice, as neither the show nor Schumer are adept at political comedy, but it nevertheless feels like a cop-out.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.