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November 15, 2015

Elizabeth Banks saves us from Trump-related PTSD with a great episode of SNL.

After last week’s ratings hit/comedy miss with Donald Trump, this week Elizabeth Banks reminded us what this show is like when the host is not only game, but a comedy pro in her own right. The best thing about Banks is how she’s Hollywood-gorgeous but also looks totally unhinged when she smiles. Banks sang and “directed” her very funny monologue, complete with star wipes and a well-utilized green screen — but was she really did was more than just deliver a good monologue. She offered shelter, a warm blanket, and mirth by the fireplace for all of us who walked for miles through the empty, lifeless tundra of no laughs where Trump left us last week.

I am hot with rage

The best sketch of the night was definitely “The Adventures of Young Ben Carson,” a beautiful Jay Pharaoh jab at one of our weirder Republican presidential candidates. Pharaoh amps up all of Carson’s conflicting mannerisms: he’s whiny, yet dull; he says he’s “full of rage” but his eyes look closed and his face is vacant of expression. Pharaoh peppers the bit with lines like, “But, evolution isn’t real, or we’d have the fossils to prove it, and those fossils don’t exist,” as “Source: Dr. Ben Carson, 2011” flashes at the bottom of the screen.

Just a second while it loads … Charles Shaughnessy!

The girl group music videos are reliably one of the strongest elements on the show right now, but “First Got Horny 2 U” was precisely what I never knew I always wanted out of them. Um, also? Not trying to make anybody feel bad or jealous or anything, but Elizabeth Banks and I entered the world of sexuality through the same door. I too first got horny to Mr. Sheffield on the Nanny!!!

I Do Not Get Women!

Judging by the audience laughter, I may be alone in this, but I thought the return of Kyle Mooney’s “Weekend Update” character, the lame veteran New York comic Bruce Chandling, was so weird and great. Mooney gave a committed performance, his timing was perfect, and he had the confidence to let it get awkward and dark even though it’s definitely preferable to try for constant laughs during a live taping.

Okay, it’s cool, you can just take the next left

Mike O’Brien seems to do no wrong with his short clips, and he continues that no-wrongdoing streak with “Uber for Jen!” We’ve all been in an Uber ride where the driver takes the long route, but I bet you didn’t make a new best friend in your Uber driver! Or find yourself delivering your Uber driver’s wife’s baby.