Saturday Night Live, Sunday Night or Later: Episode 8


General Overview:
“My name is Billie Eilish, and if you don’t know me from my music, you may know me from my hair or my clothes. That is why I decided to dress as Mrs. Claus going to the club! But actually no, I’m only wearing this because after the show I have to go get married in an anime.”
—Billie Eilish, 12/11/21

This episode was a wild ride. It had what was probably the worst sketch out of the entire season but also had me nearly falling off the couch with laughter several times.

It bucked the trend of an average SNL episode: Normally episodes taper off in quality as the night goes on, but tonight’s strongest sketches were the last ones of the night. Eilish noted in her monologue that acting isn’t one of her strong suits, and at the beginning, with her stumbling over her lines I was a bit worried that she would only be good in shorts. But by the end of the night, Eilish was punching lines with the rest of the cast and helped deliver what was probably my favorite sketch of the entire season so far.

Kate McKinnon is back! The show has done fine without her, but I’m so glad to have her wacky, non-stop humor back on the show again. The sketches she was in were unquestionably the strongest of the night.

Eilish did better with pre-recorded shorts than live sketches (with one notable exception). Both
“TikTok” and “Lonely Christmas” were some of the highlights in an episode already packed with some very strong sketches.

Well I didn’t think anything would surpass (or really subpass) episode 2’s lows, but life finds a way. “Hip-Hop Nativity” was just one cringey action after another as people badly do “Hip-Hop” moves for no reason other than for nonexistent comedic effect. It was hard to watch and honestly more than a little disrespectful.

Also, lots of sketches started out really slowly and took quite a while to pick up speed. Thankfully, though, it was almost always worth watching them to the end as the hilarity grew exponentially. If you’ll forgive my second math reference in one paragraph, this episode was a fractal where each sketch reflected the same overall trend as the episode as a whole: a rough start that picked up speed quickly and ultimately ended with me wanting more.

Best Sketch:
“Hotel Ad.” This is the notable exception from before. Eilish’s deadpan, monotone delivery really fit this sketch, and Kate McKinnon’s fanatical (and almost fruitful) attempts to break Eilish with gremlin-adjacent facial expressions and personal space invasions probably made me laugh harder than any other sketch in this entire season so far. There is almost nothing funnier than watching an actor struggling to deliver their own joke because they are trying to hold back tears of laughter themselves.

Best Joke:
“First they said the shutdowns were until they found a vaccine. Then they found a vaccine and said it worked. Then they said everyone should get it. Then people got it and it saved their lives. If that’s not communism then honey I might not know what communism is.” —Cecily Strong

Overall Score: 7/10
What a redemption arc. This episode probably had my favorite and least-favorite sketch of the entire season in it, but no matter how far down the lows were it ended at the top of the season and I have to give it credit for that.