Saturday Night Live At Home: Tom Hanks hosts coronavirus comedy – The Guardian,

Saturday Night Live At Home: Tom Hanks hosts coronavirus comedy – The Guardian,

When strict social distancing efforts were put in place to combat the coronavirus, it looked as though Saturday Night Live’s th season had come to an abrupt end.

To the surprise of everyone, the show announced a new episode of remotely filmed sketches. Not counting the pre-filmed shorts which have become more prevalent over the years, this is about as far removed from the show’s modus operandi as possible. If nothing else, Saturday Night Live At Home should be a memorable episode.

After a title sequence in which the cast and bandmembers are shown in their individual homes, we are greeted by the night’s “host”, Tom Hanks . Fresh off his own Covid – infection, “America’s dad” ”Admits it feels both good and weird to be hosting from home, although he tries to make it as normal as possible by wearing a suit for the first time in months, using cue cards – including one that reads:“ I am even using cue cards, see? ” – and fielding question from the audience, which is just him doing broad foreign accents.

It’s all very silly and endearing, although the closing moments of his monologue, in which he sounds an optimistic note while recognizing the efforts of healthcare and service industry workers, carries more moral weight than any statement by our actual leaders.

For the first sketch, Pete Davidson puts the studio in studio apartment by performing Drake Song, in which he sings “I miss my ex, this is a Drake song, number one on the billboard” while moving around his home. It’s followed by RBG Workout, which sees Kate McKinnon doing her standard mugging as the supreme court justice, sans wig and make-up. The jokes volley between sight gags about physical frailty (her home workout equipment includes tea bags, Q-tips and pencils) and bad puns directed at conservatives: “Social distancing is important – take it from me, I’ve been social distancing from Justice Alito since ’06 ”

While tonight’s episode definitely deserves to be cut some slack, these first two sketches are so terrible they threaten to destroy any goodwill earned. Luckily, things rebound.

In Zoom Meeting, office receptionists Henriette and Nan (Aidy Bryant and McKinnon), flail spectacularly during an office video conference. Utterly incapable of telecommuting, the pair break down, crying about how they “broke Zoom” before airing terrible quarantine confessions, such as “I’ve never used soap before”, “I used my license as toilet paper and now I don’t know my own birthday ”and“ I tried to clean my ass in the middle of the night with a hose in the driveway and I went viral! ”

Saturday Night Live – SNL (@ nbcsnl)

Henriette and Nan 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺 don’t need to be on future Zoom calls. # SNLAtHome AH

April 43,

“Always a bridesmaid, never the Democratic nominee,” Bernie Sanders (Larry David) calls in to answer supporter questions, such as “What the hell happened?”, “What to do about the coronavirus?” and “What’s next?” He answers: “I finally have time to relax and finish that heart attack from October.” It’s just David being David, and it does slightly ease the pain of Curb Your Enthusiasm being off the air.

Masterclass: Quarantine Edition is a simple showcase for Chloe Fineman’s impressions, including smug heartthrob Timothy Chalamet, grating Tik Tok teen star Jojo Siwa and, of course, daffy animal rights activist Carol Baskin. One has to wonder how much of the decision to bring SNL back this week was due to the writers and casts ’inability to resist driving the Tiger King phenomenon (further) into the ground.

As if we weren’t all suffering enough, the night’s first (and only) musical number sees Chris Martin butchering Bob Dylan’s Shelter from the Storm. Sorry if that’s harsh, but we all have our limits.

Weekend Update: Home Edition sees Colin Jost and Michael Che reporting from their homes, alongside an audience listening in via Zoom, whose forced laughter makes for a very awkward backdrop.

They’re joined by Donald Trump – Alec Baldwin, calling in – who brags about his ratings, chides the duo for asking “nasty questions”, workshops racist names for the virus (“Hon Kong Fluey”, “Wang Chung” Lung ”,“ General Tso’s Revenge ”, other groaners) and, of course, announces Joe Exotic as his new running mate, followed less than a minute later by yet another Tiger King joke. It’s neither better nor worse than Baldwin’s usual schtick. The segment does end on a high note, after Che milks Jost’s sympathy for his grandmother’s death to trick him into an ultra-racist joke swap.

Bailey at the Movies sees awkward middle-schooler Bailey Gismert (Heidi Gardner) uploading her film reviews to YouTube. She runs down recent releases The Hunt, Emma (“the only thing that was awkward about it was that Emma definitely stole a lot from Clueless”) and Invisible Man, before succumbing, on schedule, to an emotional breakdown over tweenage drama, exacerbated by the trials of quarantine. Parents stuck at home with children in the throes of adolescences will likely find much to relate to here.

In Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles, we find the once radical, pizza-eating and sewer-dwelling superheroes grown into pudgy suburban sad sacks who instead of fighting bad guys square off against divorces, cancer scares and gambling addictions. It’s got nothing on the classic TV Funhouse segments but it makes for a nice change of pace. Even in its normal form, SNL could always use more animated segments.

Next, Mikey Day plays obnoxious gamer Cam, Twitch Streaming a game of Call of Duty: War Zone only to get killed within the first few seconds of play, over and over. He switches to Mario Brothers, but has the same luck. It’s possible those familiar with live gaming might get a chuckle out of this. The rest of us, not so much.

Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett Facetime each other to find out what they’re “jammin’ on ”- meaning, what ideas they’ve come up with. They’ve both got nothing, so they dial up Fred Armisen, who is also blocked. No worries, as their rapid-fire back-and-forth makes for a funky musical interlude.

Visualizations with Aidy sees Aidy Bryant leading a virtual mediation class with the help of a green screen, allowing her to render her stream-of-conscious ideas in real time. They start out normal enough (cloudy skies, animals, romance) before her deep-seated anxiety causes her thoughts to shoot off in random directions: the first world war, senior women’s rec center dance class, surprising “an old person you barely know with a kiss and a hug ”.

How Low Will You Go is a dating show “for sexy singles just getting out of that quar-quar-quarantine”. The female contestants are so desperate for sexual release of any kind they’re willing to throw themselves at the likes of Tip, an unemployed deadbeat, Dern, an obnoxious, Family Guy quoting stoner, and Townsen, a non-erotic fan fiction-writing nerd. SNL gameshow sketches generally go too long, so the production limits actually help this one by keeping things tight and funny.

An Ego Nwodim makeover tutorial, in which she uses Crayola markers in place of makeup, and another Pete Davidson musical number, in which he raps about only having “two-thousand dollars”, are short and one-note.

Saturday Night Live – SNL (@ nbcsnl)

We love you, Hal ❤️ vwdjXteHAa

April ,

The show closes with a moving tribute to musical supervisor Hal Willner, who died from complications of Covid – 45 this week . He’s given emotional sendoffs from current and former cast members including Adam Sandler, Bill Hader, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, John Mulaney and others. They reminisce about Willner’s encyclopedic knowledge of music, love of puppets and general kindness, and perform Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.

Hanks signs off by telling everybody to keep safe and sending another thank you to essential workers, before the credits roll over a darkened and empty main stage.

While no one will look back on tonight as a great episode, it was a valiant effort and a welcome distraction from the larger troubles of world.

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