Tracy Morgan is back! Larry David played Bernie Sanders! 30 Rock returned for a minute! These things alone probably made last night’s Saturday Night Live one for the history
books Hulu clips, but this episode was a great time all around — the best of the season so far.
Before we get into it, did anybody else manically prowl Google for the ’00 sketch of Woodrow the homeless man with Britney Spears after SNL posted a clip of it on Instagram? Well, let me tell you, they keep that one locked up in a faraway dungeon of the internet: some random kid’s Photobucket account. You’re welcome. Onto the sketches that aren’t fifteen years old!
“God it must be fun to scream and cuss in public!“
The Democratic Debate cold open ran pretty long, but there were so many quotable jokes, and LARRY-AS-BERNIE, GUYS! A friend just showed me that “Bern Your Enthusiasm” mashup, which made David’s cameo feel extra-special, like it was an inside joke just for me — and then it immediately trended on Twitter. But I wasn’t upset, because it felt like I had an inside joke with America. Of course, David was an impeccable Sanders, and I’m sure last night everyone’s parents were guffawing heartily at their TV sets and this morning all the millennials are guffawing heartily at their laptop screens. Kate McKinnon as Clinton was “flawed, yet perfect.” JK she was just perfect. The best joke that was perhaps overshadowed by Larry-as-Bernie came after he yelled that he’s tired of hearing about Clinton’s damn emails, and she said (smiling hard, natch): “God it must be fun to scream and cuss in public! I have to do all of mine into tiny little jars.” Because women aren’t treated like equals yet, get it? Also, Alec Baldwin was great as that kooky candidate Jim Webb who said that Affirmative Action is racist against white people, LOL.
“I’m black and better than ever.”
Tracy’s monologue was truly heartwarming even though that’s the word every article will probably use to describe it (what other word is there?!?!?!). Then Tina Fey, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski, Alec Baldwin showed up in a “2012” clip from 30 Rock wherein Morgan utters the most beautiful words of the night for anyone who misses the series: “Jacky D.”
“That ain’t the heart, player.”
Next was one of the best Family Feud sketches in recent SNL history, hosted by a palpably excited Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey. The premise was that Morgan’s character just divorced Leslie Jones’s character and remarried a white lady, and now the two families are playing Feud and actually feuding! Jay Pharaoh and Sasheer Zamata shone as the children caught in the middle — Pharoah as a clarinet player with daddy issues and Zamata as a stripper with daddy issues.
Out of all Morgan’s recurring characters that were reprised last night, the tense, lip-glossed Brian Fellow was the most welcome. Morgan makes the sketch’s silly conceit —that he’s the host of an animal show, but is suspicious of all the animals he invites on —work as well as ever. Also, Aidy Bryant brings out a live camel who walks in front of the camera a bunch of times and of course that’s funny.
“I guess I did it all myself, like a complete badass.”
There’s a quick commercial for “Mitchell’s Fake Cocaine,” for hiding bowel movements at parties, that really kicks off when Beck Bennett’s unruffled bro character is called out for the poop smell he left behind.
“No, it’s just a euphemism, Karen.”
Later, Taran Killam, Sasheer Zamata, and Morgan shine in “The Standoff”—a filmed bit where Killam confronts Morgan for making inappropriate comments about his girlfriend, Zamata, and then they “tango.” Nope, not a euphemism! The sketch starts out theatrically tense, and then Morgan erupts — because he actually wants to dance. But nobody takes him seriously — not them, not his father, and not anyone at the bar where he leans against the jukebox every night, hoping someone will ask him to tango. But they have to lead!