Saturday Night Live, Sunday Night or Later: Episode 6

Saturday+Night+Live%2C+Sunday+Night+or+Later%3A+Episode+6

General Overview:
“Growing up, I was a military brat. My father was in the Air Force, my mother was a pastor and I moved around a lot. I like to say I was born in California, raised in Texas, educated in North Carolina, roughed up in New York City and then re-educated in New Haven, Connecticut. Which I guess is my roundabout way of saying ‘Yeah, I went to Yale.’”
—Jonathan Majors, 11/13/21

Majors seemed incredibly happy to be on stage last night, and so did the rest of the cast. The energy they put into every scene was so much fun to watch, but unfortunately the content of the show did not live up to the effort the actors put into it.

Highlights:
Please Don’t Destroy sketches have had a pretty consistent level of quality so far, and this episode’s “Three Sad Virgins” was even better than average. It’s always fun to see the musical guest get involved in the show, and Taylor Swift’s addition to the song at the end was an incredible closer to an already-great short. I’m glad that the Please Don’t Destroy people don’t take themselves too seriously because getting Taylor Swift to roast them on national television was a bold move that paid off.

Speaking of which, I don’t usually talk about musical guests in this column because I am uncultured and have no taste in music, but even I was able to appreciate that Taylor Swift’s 10-minute performance of “All Too Well” was undoubtedly the highlight of the episode. With clips from her new short film playing behind falling leaves and snow, it was an emotional and powerful ballad that left a lasting impression on me for the rest of the night.

Lowlights:

I think the sketch that was most emblematic of this episode’s flaws was “Strange Kid Tales.” The basic concept was that kids have paranormal stories and the hosts of the show are easily spooked; both Majors and Kenan Thompson went all out, vigorously shaking their heads and jumping over couches, but the sketch was just not funny. No matter how much you shine lead, it will not turn into gold.

There were several other examples like this, including “Pet Store Ad” and “Broadway Benefit,” but even in these sketches, I never felt like I actively wanted to turn it off. As anyone who’s seen someone’s first attempt at stand-up comedy would know, bad comedy can be painful. In that sense, I’m glad this episode was only mediocre comedy.

Best Sketch:

“March of the Suitors.” Apart from “Weekend Update” and the cold open, this was the only time in the show where the comedy was on par with the energy of the actors; Ego Nwodim’s character showing up and scolding Majors’ “Dave” was probably the funniest thing all night, on par only with Punkie Johnson’s “Lady Tawnee” closing off the same sketch.

Best Joke:
“I think the lesson we learned this week is ‘Never break up with Taylor Swift or she will sing about you for ten minutes on national television.’ At the very least return the scarf.” —Colin Jost

Overall Score: 5/10
Without the actors really giving it their all, this episode’s score could have easily been far worse. To be honest, though, the fact that this is one of the low points of the season so far that means the they’re doing really well.