Some history was made this week on SNL, as Scarlett Johansson became the 17th member of Saturday Night Live’s Five-Timers Club. Johansson, who joins Candice Bergen, Drew Barrymore, and Tina Fey as the only female members of the club, seems like an unlikely five-timer if you look at her film resume. But since her first hosting appearance in 2006, Johansson has more than held her own over her four previous appearances, becoming a fan and cast favorite.
Whether it was Johansson, or a healthy dose of politically-focused sketches, SNL got back on its feet after a lackluster episode last week. Johansson was great once again and clearly not afraid to tackle anything thrown at her by the writers. This was one of the strongest episodes of the season, picking up quickly after a ho-hum cold open, and the laughs didn’t stop until the good-byes.
Cold Open: Donald Trump Alien Invasion Pep Talk
This week, Alec Baldwin told Extra that he’s not going to be doing Donald Trump on SNL for “much longer.” He didn’t give any specifics, but with the season finale only two months away, it would be surprising if Baldwin hung up the wig before May.
His latest appearance features Trump giving a pep talk during an alien invasion, and it may be the least memorable of the season. Seven weeks of the Trump administration and its constant barrage of jaw-droppingly, absurd news could be catching up with SNL and Baldwin.
Best Sketch: Complicit
For all of the time SNL has spent on Trump, his kids not named Eric or Donald Jr. have been left mostly alone, aside from a random Tiffany joke or a bad Barron tweet. But this week, SNL focused on Ivanka (Johansson) and her unwillingness to stop, or even disregard, her father’s bigoted presidency. If anything will be the focus of an early-morning Sunday tweetstorm from Trump, it will be this takedown of his favorite child.
Second-Best Sketch: Kyle and Beck Write A Sketch for International Women’s Day
Wednesday was International Women’s Day, and the women of SNL joined women across the country in making it “A Day Without a Woman” by not working on Wednesday.
The bad news is that most of the show’s writing for the week takes place on Wednesday. But the good news is that Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett gladly stepped in to write a sketch featuring all of the female cast members, along with Johansson. It goes about as well as you would expect a sketch about women from two white liberal males to go.
Weekend Update Moment: Jeff Sessions and Al Franken
Last week, I highlighted new cast member Alex Moffat in this spot for his boneheaded portrayal of Eric Trump. This week, he stood toe-to-toe with Kate McKinnon’s country bumpkin Jeff Sessions as Senator (and former cast member/writer) Al Franken. Moffat has made a really strong case to return next season, and if he nails a couple of strong impressions like he did with his subdued Franken, he could be an important cast member in the future.
Our Dog’s Thoughts: X5 Prototype
Do we really need to know what our pets are thinking? If this sketch is any indication, those thoughts are probably best left unknown. This sketch might be the most polarizing one of the night, with both sides of the aisle possibly reading different things into Max the dog’s political beliefs and the reactions to them.
** Pete Davidson shed some light on his disappearances this season when he revealed via Instagram that he has been fighting with drug abuse. Davidson credits his girlfriend, Cazzie David, along with the cast and Lorne Michaels for helping him be “happy and sober for the first time in eight years.”
Just wanted to let you guys know I’m okay. I know I’ve kinda been missing, on social media and on the show. I quit drugs and am happy and sober for the first time in 8 years. It wasn’t easy, but I got a great girl, great friends and I consider myself a lucky man. I’ll always be here for you guys, I promise. Remember to never give up hope because sometimes that’s all we got. We are a family and I appreciate all your love and support. It’s nice to be back in action ❤️
** Leslie Jones’ Shanice Goodwin Ninja and McKinnon’s Shud both made return appearances.
** The website from the “Good Day Denver” sketch, dannybangsanimals.com, redirects to SNL’s site.
** Lorde performed “Green Light” and “Liability.”
** Saturday Night Live returns on April 8 with host Louis C.K. and musical guest The Chainsmokers.