SNL Digest: Dwayne Johnson (5/20/17)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Dwayne Johnson" Episode 1725 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Dwayne Johnson with musical guest Katy Perry in Studio 8H on May 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)

The Rock more than earns his Five-Timers Club robe in the SNL Season Finale.

It’s season finale time everywhere on TV, but mostly on SNL.  I’ve got to hand it to the writers this season – they continually found new ways to joke about the terrible political situation we’ve found ourselves in after November and somehow haven’t fully burnt out.  Hopefully a summer off gives them a chance to recharge and come back with the same bite they started showing again this year.

The Rock is a great choice for finale host – with his 5th time hosting the show, he can be trusted to go for anything the writers have in mind and perform it well.  This episode is also a goodbye for both Bobby Moynihan (who’s leaving for a sitcom on CBS) AND Vanessa Bayer (who’s been stealing the scene in supporting film roles for a few summers now).  That leaves a few holes in the cast for next fall, but I think all of this year’s supporting players might get another chance to stick around – of the three, I’d say Mikey Day potentially even deserves immediate promotion to main cast.  Here’s how the final SNL of the season went down.

What You Missed

Cold Open

As soon as I saw hands on the keyboard, I figured they were doing some kind of callback to the “Hallelujah” opening earlier in the season. This was a okay way to tie in everything they’ve done in cold opens this season, but I would’ve loved something about everyone on the plane to the Middle East.  I did love Scarlett Johansson showing up as Ivanka, though.


Wow, they scraped off Alec’s orange makeup quick.  The Rock is in the 5-timers club!  His leaning into the The Rock for president bit is great (although his running mate should totally be Al Franken)

Cartier Fidget Spinner

This is a great showcase of Vanessa as a Terrible Girl At A Party

WWE Promos

Bobby’s Trashyard Mutt switching effortlessly from in-character to out-of-character moments is wonderful here.  The Rock as his opponent who knows too much is perfect.

New Money Crew

There are too many features on this track.


The way this sketch turns midway through is hilarious.

Jurassic Park Ride

GEMMA! I love this terrible British girl, as well as the weird technical setup for this sketch


They packed in the sketches tonight!  This was perfect (“When I wear grey sweatpants, people cross the street”)

Weekend Update

  • I’m going to miss Michael Che’s jokes about the president this summer
  • God, that montage of people lost this year set to “Bad Day” was perfect
  • Dawn Lazarus!
  • Drunk Uncle

RKO Movie Set

Watching Dwayne and Vanessa just barely keeping it together on a fart joke sketch made it even more delicious.

International Mad Scientists

The Rock as this mild-mannered yet completely completely terrible inventor, and the weird twist at the end was definitely a way to end this sketch.

Bar Sketch

This was good character work.


This felt…abruptly cut off?  Dwayne’s work as the just-creepy-enough teacher running this thing was spot-on.

What You Didn’t Miss

  • With this many sketches, something was bound to not quite work for me.  Wingman was that sketch.  It’s some okay character work, but I would’ve loved a properly weird 10-to-1 sketch

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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: