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!)
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.
- 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.
This went to an unexpected place, and I liked that a lot!
“Me, I’m ride or die.”
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.