SNL Digest: Tracy Morgan/Demi Lovato (10/17/15)

Demi Lovato, Tracy Morgan, and Kenan Thompson (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)
Demi Lovato, Tracy Morgan, and Kenan Thompson (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Tracy Morgan makes a triumphant return home to the Saturday Night Live stage after a terrifying accident last year.

SNL tends to get a little sentimental when any of its former castmates return home, but for Tracy Morgan, I think that’s more than fair.  If you had told me last year that in a little over a year after he had been in an accident with a semi truck that seemingly ended his comedy career, Tracy Morgan would be in a state where he could host the show, I wouldn’t have believed you, much less believed that he could do a competent job.  And while it seemed like Tracy was a little slower than before, his comic timing was still on point and showed why he was a cast member in the first place.

What You Missed:

Cold Open: Demographic Debate

For the first debate sketch of the next two year, it was a nice touch to bring some star power and have Alec Baldwin and Larry David show up as Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders.  I’d really like to see who from the SNL will play Bernie in future sketches, and more of a comedic point of view than “Bernie is a crotchety old man”, but they got enough of the nuances correct here


30 Rock Reunion!  The fake Smash and Animal Practice pop-ins were a perfect touch.

Extended Family Feud

  1. Let’s talk about how great it is that SNL has the cast to actually do this sketch now.  They didn’t 2 years ago.
  2. Leslie Jones is an MVP in this sketch.

Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet

There’s something vintage SNL about a sketch that opens with its own theme song.  The camel not behaving was kind of great, as was Aidy as the camel expert.


Purveyors of quality products.  Beck Bennett and Leslie do some great work here.

Weekend Update

  • “We can’t find our nation’s leader the same way Nick Cannon finds ventriloquists.”
  • Seriously, Michael Che/Colin Jost have been nailing their banter on the issues this season
  • Tina Fey!  Talking about Playboy!  This is not at all something I knew I wanted, but it was the best.
  • Kenan’s Willie is not my favorite, but this was a good one, especially when Tracy’s Woodrow showed up.

The Loveliest Kingdom

This was quick, and Tracy provided just the right amount of exuberance to make the non sequiturs and the somewhat dark ending to this work.

The Standoff

I figured the premise of this bit about 30 seconds in, but it was still well-executed.

Yo! Where Jackie Chan At Right Now?

This was another sketch that felt like a throwback to older SNL days.  Sasheer did an awesome job of playing Lynne Thigpen.

“We checked with Asia, he’s not there”

Astronaut Jones

I totally expected an Astronaut Jones appearance, but not an Astronaut Jones/The Martian mashup.  It’s about as substantial as your standard Astronaut Jones, which is to say not very.

What You Can Skip:

  • Demi Lovato is the latest in a line of former Disney stars to be going through their “I’m an adult now” phase at the moment.  Her performances were good, but nothing essential.
  • I liked the ad for Mitchell’s products, but apparently neither Yahoo or Hulu has the clip.

Oh sweet lord, Donald Trump is hosting on 11/7, with Sia as musical guest.  See you then.

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: