Published Dec 09, 2018Jason Momoa was an eager host whose nipples were often exposed, and Mumford & Sons plodded along as aimless musical guests. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week.
The cold open
Alex Moffatt's wondrously dim Eric Trump is upset because his dad and brother Donald Jr. seem bound to be indicted because of the Mueller investigation. Jr., played by Mikey Day, tries to soothe his brother, but when he has to leave the room to take a call from his lawyer, Eric ends up in a conversation with Robert De Niro's Robert Mueller. Bobby D had some trouble reading his lines off of a cue card, but this also felt half-written and stunty from the get-go, with no real destination.
Jason Momoa presented himself as a cocky bro with nervous comic timing in his odd monologue. Momoa boasted about his marriage to Lisa Bonet and promoted his role in Aquaman, which led to a strange, unfunny musical bit featuring Leslie Jones, Chris Redd and Kenan Thompson trying to sell Momoa on a new Aquaman theme song. Clearly a lifelong fan of the show, Momoa was stoked to be on stage and at times, the moment seemed to overwhelm him.
The Elf on the Shelf
Momoa was great as an elf begging Santa to assign him a new kid to watch, because the one he got just turned 13 and will not stop masturbating. In a slight nod to the subtle genius of Seinfeld's "The Contest" episode, Momoa was given some funny lines, complaining about the act while never actually explicitly stating what it was.
GE Big Boy Appliances
This fake ad played at gender role reversal with a line of men's appliances. But it was really just a chance to exploit Momoa's considerable physicality as a muscle man with a prop bit about absurdly ginormous washing machines and vacuum cleaners.
Khal Drogo's Ghost Dojo
A tiny gift for Game of Thrones fans, Kenan Thompson hosted this talk show celebrating some of the most infamous, dead characters on the show. Momoa reprised his infamous Khal Drogo character, and various cast members turned up as key players in GoT's rogue's gallery. Sidenote: Based on his mangling, there's a slight chance Momoa improvised a line about being an insensitive Oscar host at Kevin Hart's expense.
Using the show Empire as its aesthetic inspiration, this funny, short remote imagined whether the Mueller probe into Russian collusion would have lasted nearly as long were the Trumps a black family in America. According to this, it would certainly not.
Mumford & Sons
It looks to be both boring and sad to be a member of Mumford & Sons these days. Whereas they were once leaders of the contrived, folk-y clap-and-'hey' movement that emerged earlier this decade, now they're all sombre and shit, crafting ever-building songs that never really resolve and are forgettable at best. That said, it was memorable that lead singer, Marcus Mumford, had a capo attached so high on his guitar, he barely had any frets to play on. The band also seems to have added five more white guys to their roster, so congrats are in order to mama Mumford for making more sons.
Michael Che and Colin Jost had a field day with Trump melting down over the Mueller probe, and delivered one of a million "Individual 1" jokes that have been told of late. Che fake-praised Trump for doing everything he can to halt the Mueller report and came up with a good COPS joke too. Carrie Krum is a new invention for Aidy Bryant. Krum is a seventh grade travel expert who hasn't been anywhere outside of a few American cities, but has the giddy silliness of a juvenile, which was somewhat amusing. Update ended somewhat oddly, as Che was called upon to be a desk correspondent during his own segment and used the time to pay tribute to bidets. Some good bidet jokes here.
A Christmas Carol
Whenever SNL has a conventionally, physically attractive host on, they do their best to play with/exploit their sexuality with some random, skin-showing sketch. Invariably, these are women, but occasionally, when it's like an athlete or wrestler or some other fit dude, they'll get the dude to strip down. Having Momoa gyrate half-naked as an "extra" ghost from Dicken's A Christmas Carol may have taken the aforementioned practice to new lows, as there was no discernible point to this Xmas riff, other than to have a hunk-y bro play gay against type. For his part, Momoa was clearly just stoked to be hosting the show and ran with everything he was asked to do, so good for him.
Day of the Dorks
This was another random thing, satirizing '80s nerd movies. Some jocks in a frat are mad at some nerds for some nerd reasons, and the jocks are plotting to get back at the nerds. As the ostensible focal point of this bit, Momoa played a muscle-y Neanderthal who hates nerds with a "Hulk smash" intensity. And that. Was the joke.
Gemma Sleigh Ride
One of Cecily Strong's most curious characters is a British nympho named Gemma who is occasionally paired with male hosts who always run into Gene, a character played by Kenan Thompson, who can never remember the man who so fondly remembers him. Momoa played Gemma's man here, and can barely keep his paws off of her, as she speaks of strange things, like having recently acquired a new part of her anatomy and, as always, sings an absurd original song. Strong's Gemma is still a humorous oddity.
In this weird remote, Beck Bennett plays a nervous boyfriend named Michael about to meet his lady's parents for the first time. When they show up, he is nowhere to be seen, but teases them with a little voice, urging them to find him because he's hiding. Momoa plays the patriarch who goes to great, violent lengths to locate Michael, which made this creepy piece all the more unsettling before things got quite greasy.
Rudolph's Big Night
This may wind up in SNL Christmas specials to come, because it was a good idea that was executed fairly well. Pete Davidson plays a put-upon Rudolph, teased mercilessly by his fellow reindeer, until Santa comes by to declare that the only one who can get him through the foggy night, is Rudolph with his red nose. After Momoa's Santa leaves the room, a darkness falls upon Rudolph, who becomes a vicious, vengeful, two-faced bully. Comet is eventually shot by Santa in this Tarantino take on a classic Christmas story.