Think of how much the world has changed since NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” aired back in December.
Trump ramped up his conspiracy theories and incited a riot on the Capitol that claimed the lives of five people.
A new president was sworn into office.
Even with new vaccines, the pandemic rages on.
Little investors took on Wall Street, and Wall Street freaked, demanding that the rules must be changed.
(“Won’t somebody think about the people who own boats?” said one wit on Twitter.)
With so much material to work with, the first new “Saturday Night Live” of the new year turned out to be a mash of discordant jokes, few of them funny.
Guest host John Krasinski was pelted with “Office” questions in his opening monologue.
It always amazes me that a show with openly gay cast members still treats same-sex affection as a big joke. We saw it with Krasinski kissing Pete Davidson, a stand-in for Jenna Fischer’s Pam. (Should Fischer be worried about any potential reboot/revival/reunion? Discuss.) We saw it in the “Supermarket Sweep” spoof with Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant as “gal-pals” who were devoted to each other.
Michael Che, always the worst cast member of SNL, struggled to get through a single joke without breaking on “Weekend Update.”
You could forgive it if any of his material was funny. How much does he drink before each show? Of course Che would make a joke about Biden lifting the ban on transgender people in the military.
Other skits included a couples night ruined by the FBI arresting them one by one for the attack on the Capitol, a “Blue Georgia” skit that dragged so bad, you could hear the floor being scuffed, and “Now That’s What I Call Theme Songs Sung by the Stars.”
The twins from hell skit starring McKinnon and Mikey Day was an easy hit for SNL, one of the few skits with fun pacing and dialogue.
The best skit of the night was the cold open, in which McKinnon hosted “What Still Works,” and greeted Cecily Strong as QAnon nutjob Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kenan Thompson as O.J. Simpson, and Krasinski as Tom Brady, among others. Watch for yourself:
Next week, “Schitt’s Creek’s” Dan Levy hosts. Here’s hoping the show can get over playing gay for laughs, at least for one night.