Saturday Night Live, Sunday Night or Later: Episode 14

Saturday+Night+Live%2C+Sunday+Night+or+Later%3A+Episode+14

General Overview:
“My name is Oscar Isaac, but my full name is Oscar Isaac Hernandez Estrada. I said to Hollywood, ‘You can pick two of these names.’ Guess what they went with? The white ones. I’m half Guatemalan, half Cuban, or, as casting directors call that, ‘Ethnically ambiguous.’ According to them, I can play anything from a pharaoh to Timothée Chalamet’s daddy.”
—Oscar Isaac, 3/5/22

In his opening monologue, Oscar Isaac stressed that it is “important to encourage kids to be weirdos” (and he committed to it by licking a bloody sword). If this was the ultimate spiritual goal of this episode, then it is well on its way to meatball nirvana. More on that later.

The writers’ pitch list must have been the strangest it’s been all season if this is what they didn’t cut, but it’s hard to complain when every single sketch was completely original (as far as I’m aware). And impressively, from Paw Patrol mayor recall elections to Dua Lipa fanfiction, this episode’s wacky concepts nearly always landed their tricks.

Highlights:
This episode had the advantage of surprise. Since none of the sketches were repeats, I was in for every twist and turn along the way, like in “Workplace Harassment Seminar” when the big twist is revealed three-quarters of the way through the sketch.

“Weekend Update” has continued to get better as the world has continued to get worse in these past few weeks, so I guess for once we must all hope that “Weekend Update” starts to get worse again. In the meantime, though, we can appreciate Colin Jost’s and Michael Che’s top-notch attacks on everyone that deserves it (and some who don’t).

Lowlights:
Unfortunately, there weren’t any real stand-outs from the episode, as much as I would have liked there to be. The only sketch that I will likely remember in a week is the true winner of the “Encourage Kids to be Weirdos” award, but not for the right reasons: “Meatballs.”

“Meatballs:” the Sarah Sherman sketch about a contagious disease that spawns CGI meatballs all over your body. This was more terrifying than it sounds, devolving into a psychedelic a cappella number that doesn’t belong in any decade. I beseech you not to watch this nightmare fuel; watch Isaac’s wholesome, child friendly, meatball-less monologue instead.

Best Sketch:
“Aidy’s Dream.” As Kate McKinnon showed the world in “Themyscira,” when you write the sketches, you get to put whatever you want in them. And Aidy Bryant wanted Oscar Isaac to tell her how hot she is for five minutes in a stuffy British accent, so that’s what she got. Incredible. The only problem is that this sounds suspiciously like a send-off for her, and I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to give her up.

Best Joke:
“Many of the members of Congress attending the ‘State of the Union’ wore blue and yellow to show their support for Ukraine, while Kamala Harris wore all brown to do what she’s done for the last year: disappear into the background.”—Michael Che

Overall Score: 8/10
I certainly feel encouraged to be weird after this episode, and it’s a good thing I’m already vegetarian because I don’t think I could ever eat a meatball again.