First-time host Kristen Stewart has spent most of the past five years attempting to shed the public perception of a miserable movie star fueled by her almost weekly appearances on virtually every tabloid cover. After breaking free from the profitable, but terrible Twilight saga, Stewart has starred in a series of smaller, critically acclaimed films (Clouds of Sils Maria, Certain Women), and appears to be in a much happier place post-Robert Pattinson.
A visibly nervous Stewart may have reminded everyone that SNL is indeed live by dropping an f-bomb during her monologue, but she made up for it with a pretty great first appearance in a somewhat mediocre episode. She also had some help getting people to forget that f-bomb from a tour de force guest appearance by Melissa McCarthy and a dreadfully bad Weekend Update.
Cold Open: Trump Phone Calls
One week away from hosting for the 17th time, Alec Baldwin once again appeared as Donald Trump. This time, the president went through his rolodex of world leaders and botched every call from Australia to Zimbabwe. Once again, SNL portrayed Steve Bannon as the Grim Reaper, and bonus points to anyone who noticed Trump’s lapel pin.
Best Sketch: Sean Spicer Press Conference
McCarthy dropped by and delivered one of the greatest SNL performances EVER. Her execution as embattled White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was brilliant, and may even surpass Baldwin’s Trump as the best impression from the current administration.
Hopefully, SNL can persuade McCarthy to appear again as Spicer in the future because this sketch was absolutely perfect.
Second Best Sketch: Totino’s Pizza Rolls
For the third year in a row, Vanessa Bayer is preparing Totino’s pizza rolls for her “hungry guys. This time, however, a hungry girl (Stewart) distracts Bayer from her task leading to a spoof of not only Totino’s, but art house movies as well. The latest edition didn’t feature a twist like last season’s sketch, but you probably didn’t know that pizza rolls are a great aphrodisiac.
Weekend Update Moment: Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.
The past few episodes have been rough for Colin Jost and Michael Che with missed cues, flubbed lines, and more jokes bombing than normal. The occasional funny bits have been getting lost amongst the mess that is Update right now.
While I’ve been a supporter of Jost and Che for some time, the format as it is currently featured on Update isn’t working. With fewer than 10 episodes left this season, Jost and Che need to right this ship or Update may have new anchors next season.
Drinking Is Bad Sketch: UConn Dry Friday
Everyone has drinking stories, and occasionally someone has a story that seems so far fetched that it probably didn’t happen, but maybe it did. At the University of Connecticut that person is Courtney (Stewart) who has to attend dry Friday meetings for cutting down trees on the quad, but that’s probably the least interesting drunk story she tells the group.
** Writer Katie Rich’s name did not appear in the credits which means her suspension for tweeting about Barron Trump is still ongoing, or Rich has moved on from SNL.
** The latest Celebrity Family Feud featured a spot-on Casey Affleck from Alex Moffat, and a hilarious because it was terrible Samuel L. Jackson from Leslie Jones.
** Alessia Cara performed “Scars to Your Beautiful” and “River of Tears.”
**Saturday Night Live returns on Feb. 11 with host Alec Baldwin and musical guest Ed Sheeran.