SNL Digest: Matt Damon

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Matt Damon" Episode 1755 -- Pictured: (l-r) Aidy Bryant as Georgina Mont-Blanc, Melissa Villaseñor as a Daddy handler, host Matt Damon as Broadcast Daddy, Ego Nwodim as a Daddy handler, and Chris Redd as Wall Street Business Daddy during the "Westminster Daddy Show" sketch in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 15, 2018 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Matt Damon delivers a delightful holiday present: the best episode of the SNL season so far.

SNL’s having an awkward transitional season, and it’s dealing with the same issue it had since last winter: how do you make political humor when the president is a joke?  Part of what I haven’t liked about the show this season is its reliance on easy jokes and Alec Baldwin’s increasingly terrible Trump portrayal.  This Matt Damon episode felt like a much-needed course correction.  SNL found some heart and wasn’t afraid to go sweet at times, and it helped with the acidity it’s been delivering lately.  This was the strongest episode of the season thus far, and a much needed balm after last week’s less-than-stellar showing.

What You Missed

Cold Open: It’s a Wonderful Trump

This had some great moments (Hernia Trump, Sarah Sanders as PR flack for the Romaine Lettuce Association), but felt like it could have been more incisive given how quickly I could smell what this premise would be! (also: the insinuation that Mike Pence is a repressed homosexual is super gross and not okay!)  This had nice little drive-bys with all the usual cameos SNL has been doing as of late with political stuff (Ben Stiller! Matt Damon! Robert DeNiro!)

Monologue

Aw, this was sweet.  I like when SNL makes space for sweet.

Westminster Daddy Show

“Think George Clooney, but attainable”

This was incredible.  “I don’t have a name, goodnight!”

Best Christmas Ever

SNL has done this bit a few times, but it’s a very good bit with a lot of potential.

The Back of the Tree

Mikey Day made this one for me.  Cecily and Aidy had various Maria Bamford-esque notes to their performances I loved

Oscars Host Auditions

Aidy’s Hannah Gadsby! Aidy’s Roseanne Barr! Matt Damon’s impressions were shockingly good.  Kate’s quiet Kevin Hart dig was MASTERFUL.

Holidays at the Carnegie Lounge

This felt like a very specific character study, and I’m not sure it fully worked for me.  I liked Matt Damon’s pianist.

Weekend Update

  • Michael Che going off this edition was EVERYTHING
  • Where’s Wes? was a bit that was 85% setup, 15% joke, and I loved it.
  • Every Boxer’s Girlfriend!  I still don’t love this character! Even ft. Matt Damon!
  • I adore a good Times Square Elmo joke
  • FEMALE FROGS BE SHOPPING
  • The jokes Michael and Colin wrote for each other were very good.

New Neighbors

This went to an unexpected place, and I liked that a lot!

“Me, I’m ride or die.”
“…for Weezer?”

Bar Talk

Again, oddly sweet suits SNL well!

Happy Christmas Britain

This feels like an odd choice for an SNL sketch, but DANG the fivehead on Matt Damon’s David Cameron, Aidy’s brief appearance as Elton John, Mikey Day in Full Voltemort makeup, and all the feces.

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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 GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv