Published Nov 03, 2019Aloof yet assured, Kristen Stewart was a game and adept host, while Coldplay were derivative and not good. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week.
Saturday. Kristen Stewart. Coldplay. Be there. pic.twitter.com/jEgxbjSX6A— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) October 31, 2019
The cold open
Kate McKinnon's Elizabeth Warren seems to have fully graduated from time-killing "Weekend Update" guest to actually being the focus of a whole-ass cold open. Sending up an Iowa rally speech, McKinnon delivered a slew of political jokes, fielding questions from concerned voters, including some about her electability. But by and large, aside from the Warren impression, the jokes here relied on dry, policy-oriented fodder and most died on the vine.
Kristen Stewart flipped the script on the audience Q&A monologue by asking instead of fielding questions. Her awkward "real-ness" made this compelling, because it all felt shaky, but some of the audience members were clearly obscure comedians, which gave this otherwise slight thing, a nice tension/release dynamic.
America at War!
Beck Bennett played a promotions man from the U.S. Army who visits an American factory during WWII, looking for a new spokeswoman for the iconic "We Can Do It" motivational poster so that more women enlist. He encountered two appealing young women (one of whom, Chloe Fineman, played the poster's eventual model, "Rosie the Riveter") but ends up entangled with three rougher women played by McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Stewart. The trio undercut their boss, played by Mikey Day, for not serving in the war and made a lot of crass jokes about Hitler, all of which was random, but somewhat amusing.
𝗪𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁! 🇺🇸 #SNL pic.twitter.com/baZhH00qlS— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) November 3, 2019
Duolingo for talking to children
A funny remote about how difficult it can be for some young adults to have any kind of conversation with their friend's kids. Stewart played the Duolingo user who makes great progress and is finally able to find the right words (i.e. "nice backpack") to say to young children without weirding them out. This was funny and well done.
Farrow & Ball Paint
A deranged sketch about a brother, Beck Bennett, and his girlfriend, Stewart, visiting his sister, Aidy Bryant, who is oddly obsessed with the world's most expensive house paint. Initially settling on pronouncing the 'u' in 'colour' for its primary joke, this turned more intense, as we learned about Bryant's irrational decision-making and lack of tact. With solid performances by all, this built upon a one-note idea into something more funny and interesting.
Kate McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway introduced a press conference for Conan, the army canine who assisted in the recent mission to terminate leaders of ISIS. Cecily Strong played the military solider involved in caring for the dog and translating its thoughts into English. She barely maintained her composure throughout this inherently silly thing, where reporters asked a dog rather serious questions.
A music video remote, this made fun of mall-punk, as twenty-somethings negotiate the space between youthful rebellion and practical adulting. Kyle Mooney and Bennett likely proposed this and they, respectively, played a put-upon, well-pierced office worker and a nice-guy suit. Stewart, Mikey Day and Pete Davidson played Mooney's cohorts, who get together to sing an anti-boss punk song before eventually succumbing to their financial fates and "selling out," which made for conflicted, funny lyrics.
☀️ @coldplay 🌙☀️
Orphans on #SNL! pic.twitter.com/lev18Jhf80— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) November 3, 2019
Somehow upping their pandering, U2-lite presence in music, Coldplay did use the SNL studio in a kind of interesting way, but it wasn't worth the cringe-worthy "up with people" production for their song, "Orphans." Incorporating the backstage and singing/playing in the audience, the boundary-busting aspect of Coldplay's performance was instantly neutralized when the "audience" turned out to be professional dancers. The song itself was absolute tripe and ripped off the "woo woo" pre-chorus of U2's "Bad," but with a Sesame Street vibe.
The band returned to play "Everyday Life," which maintained a U2 tone while also incorporating more direct, humanistic R.E.M. sentiments (and actual lyrics) into a tepidly earnest ballad. Other than filling some kind of void for anthemic, arena-rock bands in a pop culture landscape that currently rejects such things, Coldplay and their new songs don't seem all that necessary or interesting right now.
☀️ pic.twitter.com/1xMLGiwDUP— Coldplay🌙☀️ (@coldplay) November 3, 2019
Colin Jost and Michael Che started in on Trump leaving NYC for Florida, highlighting all of the ways in which people hate him and he in turn, seems to loathe them. Other than some jokes about the impeachment probe, the anchors bounced around the news cycle, delving into the California wildfires, Jeffrey Epstein's prison murder, and a funny, extended bit by Che in which he expounded upon all the crass ways he could've told a joke about a 67-year-old woman giving birth in China. Melissa Villaseñor introduced us to Riley Jenson, a 5-year-old genius who is ushered out on stage by her mom, played by Heidi Gardner. When Riley's spacecraft report goes a bit awry, her overbearing mother tore into her, which further heightened Villaseñor's amusing performance. Update ended with McKinnon and Bryant reprising their guest roles as sisters who co-own Smokery Farms, and valiantly and grossly try to convince an increasingly vegan world to keep eating their questionable farm meat. When they broke out the seafood basket, you could almost smell the stench, based on the discomfort that Che and Jost were clearly conveying onscreen and, as they always do, McKinnon and Bryant find collaborating together to be pretty heavenly.
Hungry Jury Duty
Almost the entire cast participated in this sequestered jury sketch that descended into ridiculousness. Deadlocked on a racially charged case, jury members begin complaining about being hungry and then their stomachs start gurgling so loudly and consistently, they produce a rhythm that inspires a sing-along. This was just silly but fun, especially for the brief moments that Bowen Yang played the "bailiff-t.'
Baltimore Club on a Tuesday
Stewart played a young pansexual who approaches an older couple, played by Ego Nwodim and Kenan Thompson, hoping for throupling. They naively denied her advances but, as it turns out by the end of this decent sketch, they had their own kinks.
Stewart and Bennett play an older couple on a stargazing hike who undercut their tour guide, played by Day, by sexualizing the constellations in the sky. With hints of an overtly horny couple often played by Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch, Bennett and Stewart conjured all the discomfort they could muster, which led to a relatively coherent five-to-oner.
‼️‼️ NOVEMBER SHOWS ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/swdp0j4bhq— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) October 24, 2019