Saturday Night Live, Sunday Night or Later: Episode 15


General Overview:
“I currently have a new movie out called ‘The Batman;’ in the movie, I play Catwoman—sorry, The Catwoman. To prepare for the role, I saw the movie musical ‘Cats’ every day for a year, which I actually heard was the same way Joaquin Phoenix prepared to play The Joker.”
—Zoë Kravitz, 3/12/22

This episode had me worried at the beginning, with a cringey TikTok-based cold open, but as it progressed, I grew more and more impressed with the actors’ performances: even when the writing and tech wasn’t up to par, the actors made this episode memorable by really giving it their all.

This episode wasn’t always funny, but the way its quality was distributed (I will spare you from cottage cheese metaphors this time, dear reader) made it a series of highlights. But because I can’t just talk about each one for a whole page and I am unable to compromise, here are all of my shoutouts boiled down into one run-on sentence/paragraph of individual actor highlights:

Bowen Yang with a plunger on his chest in “White House TikTok Meeting Cold Open;” Zoë Kravitz selling the hell-raiser out of her monologue in “Maid of Honor” after her actual monologue got cat-burgled; Kenan Thompson live-impersonating the pausing, playing and fast-forwarding of a video tape in “Old Home Movies;” Alex Moffat selling every facial expression as film critic Terry Fink on “Weekend Update;” Bowen Yang again, single-handedly saving “Don’t Stop Believin’” from the mediocrity it deserved as the last sketch of the night.

And that’s not even with the sketches that were just good in and of their own right: “Please Don’t Destroy – We Got Her a Cat,” for example, is my favorite of all of the group’s shorts so far, and it barely warrants three lines of this article. There really is just so much to talk about.

Rounding out this episode’s catalog is the brilliant “Amazon Go,” which lays bare one effect of racism on the minds of Black people by showing Black customers’ distrust of the newfangled Amazon Go stores, fearing that they will be accused of shoplifting. I love sketches like these because they are a reminder that SNL can deliver some very high-quality satire when they put their minds to it.

The actors saved all sketches from “Eughhh”-ville, but without them selling it as much as they did, nearly half of the sketches would have been duds. The writing on this episode was just kind of okay, and I disliked that “Porch Scene” was nearly a line-for-line copy of the sketch “Study Buddies” from last season, but those are just nitpicks even by my standards. I really can’t find anything major wrong with this episode; even the boring parts never sunk below a 6 or 7 out of 10.

Best Sketch:
“Word Crunch.” This is how to do a stupid sketch. The main joke was dynamic, consistent, aware of its own idiocy and, most importantly, funny. It’s certainly not one of the greatest sketches of all time, but I was laughing the (w)hole way through.

Best Joke:
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, seen here waving COVID into the club, attacked Disney for opposing the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, calling the company a ‘woke corporation.’ Disney denied the claims of ‘wokeness’ with roughly 90 years of cartoons.”—Colin Jost

Overall Score: 9/10
I’m probably giving this episode too much credit, but despite a rocky start, the actors pulled it together. If this episode’s writing had been just a little better, it might have been the first 10/10 of the season.