One way to think of an episode of SNL is like a recipe — mix together certain amounts of different ingredients, such as “host-specific references,” “cool wigs,” and “cameos from former SNL cast members,” plus stuff like “very hard work great job out there you guys” and there you have it!
For this J.K. Simmons–led episode, the monologue started things off with two of those ingredients — specifically the first and third one — which I’m not going to repeat, just look up there in the last paragraph. J.K. Simmons yells about drumming like in Whiplash, except this time he’s yelling at a series of SNL cast members, only to wind up coaching someone who is no longer SNL cast but used to be but also he’s talented at drumming.
After the monologue was a Super Bowl commercial parody, which was very good in spite of it not obeying this year’s rule that every Super Bowl commercial had to have some kind of hashtag about #yourdad.
This next sketch has Kate McKinnon saying “NooooooOoo" in a very funny way, which is enough reason to watch it at least three–four times. J.K. Simmons switches out all his cool wigs for a cool hat.
During “Weekend Update,” Cecily Strong’s One Dimensional Female Character From A Male Driven Comedy stopped by to talk about her predictions for the Super Bowl, and we got to find out the names of some of Colin Jost’s buddies in the nonexistent male-centric comedy Strong thinks he stars in.
A special treat in this episode was a short film from Mike O’Brien, starring O’Brien as the lead in a terribly whitewashed Jay Z biopic. Also, J.K. Simmons as Nas as well as a cameo from another SNL alum (Jason Sudekis)! If former cast-member cameos are the chocolate chips in the recipe for an SNL episode, this episode just got twice as many chocolate chips, if my math is correct, which I don’t know how to check if it is!