Saturday Night Live recap: Bill Burr hosts, with replacement musical guest Jack White
Welcome back, Coneheads, at SNL in Review! We continue our deep sea exploration of Saturday Night Live season 46. As always, what is happening in Studio 8H remains interesting. Due to New York's guidelines on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, television productions are not allowed to receive an audience unless they consist of staff. Last week's audience was apparently paid like they were hands on hired by NBC. Paid ... to laugh? Let's put this on the backburner ...
Meanwhile, country music star Morgan Wallen's debut on the show was canceled after videos surfaced of him partying with a large crowd and not wearing a mask. He was replaced by Jack White, who is making his fourth appearance on the show - three solo appearances and one appearance in 2002 as a member of The White Stripes with "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "We Going to Be Friends". "
Today's host is a stand-up comedian and the star of F Is For Family, Bill Burr. This should be a treat. I'm always a big fan of stand-up comics that adapt to the SNL format - that's why the golden age of 86 to 93 is sometimes my personal favorite. But Burr also starred in The King of Staten Island with actor Pete Davidson that summer. Davidson regards Burr as a mentor and friend.
Speaking of #BurrFriend, tonight comes former SNL actor Jeff Richards, who recently started a brilliant podcast, The Jeff Richards Show. In each episode, Richards is always mysteriously absent and is replaced by a celebrity "guest host" played by Richards. (Proof of Concept: Deep Fake Teasers with Jamie Kennedy and Bonnie McFarlane have already appeared.) In fact, one of Jeff's first guests is first year cast member Punkie Johnson, who is making his second appearance on the show this evening. So buckle up, everyone, let's see what the show has in store ... for them and us!
The meeting between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence on Wednesday has been billed as the most momentous vice presidential debate in recent times. The question is: how are you going to remember SNL's familiar take of Maya returning Rudolph as Harris and Beck Bennett as Pence?
"The thing that will change everyone's minds," scoffs the show before Kate McKinnon appears as Susan Page. "I speak," says Rudolph, reliving Harris' now famous reply to the Vice President. She pegs Harris' smile and the side eye of "Claire Huxtable" into place, even if the writing struggles to find perspective beyond exactly mimicking the events themselves. "There is nothing Maya can't and this is no exception. She is so good at Kamala that she should be our vice president," says Richards. Even her pronunciation of "Joebiden" and "Wiggles" elevates the material.
Then things take a strange turn - they cut into Fire Marshall Biden, I mean Jim Carrey. The most notable moment from the Harris Pence match was when a fly landed on the Vice President's head. The internet immediately exploded with merch and memes, including calls for Jeff Goldblum to repeat his classic role from David Cronenberg's The Fly. Carreys Biden teleports to the debate and lands like a fly. Which is funny and strange considering that Jim Carrey whines like an insect and then goes "full gold." Then he vomits ...
Kenan Thompson appears as the reborn Herman Cain; Thompson previously played six times against Cain during the 2012 presidential race. I'm not sure if the trampling on Cain, who died in July after testing positive for the coronavirus in late June, is particularly beautiful or even so sharply satirical, but the show gets a few points once it gets dark and gets weird.
(Let's not ignore Heidi Gardner's perfect Jill Biden. I didn't know I needed this and I want more.)
One thing aside when we start, it's been over six years since Darrell Hammond took over as the new announcer for the show, replacing the imitable Don Pardo. Richards says, Pardo “was a treat and a treasure. I honestly would tingle a little if I saw him on the show. Such a gentle, sweet man. However, the handover to Hammond, who turned 64 this week, went smoothly and retained a key component that is vital to the texture of the show. Richards agrees, "A perfect fit. From one ambassador to another, the same unified voice. ”(Also, FWIW: Hammond recently appeared on Jeff's new podcast. Check out her episode here.)
Burr comes out, picks up a handheld microphone, and continues the dark streak of the show. He discusses the benefits of the coronavirus and applauds two-time host Rick Moranis who recently got a sucker in NYC. "I'll probably get canceled for that joke."
It revolves around white women and their recent "waking" achievements. "The nerve ... I don't want to talk badly about my sluts." There are lots of bold attitudes here, which is classic burr. The audience flinches, but finally gives them applause. He has already brought up his culture break-off thoughts, but you can respect the audacity of criticizing Gay Pride Month. It's moody and extremely dangerous. We'll see how our friends react online - will Shane Gillis gather in his defense?
"It's all my time," he concludes, as if packing five in the basement.
“Bill Burr reminds me of Jackie Gleason. Honest and full of fire, but the next moment lovable and user-friendly. He's addicting and funny and a great actor too, ”says Richards.
Unparalleled - social distancing on the deck
Bill Burr and Kate McKinnon are a couple who have quarantined themselves for six months. They notice the "unpresided" times that lead them and their friends down a rabbit hole. The next interrogated COVID cliché that triggers them: noon normal. "We don't have a deck or outside lighting ... our money goes to drinks!" how they descend to madness. This is pretty lopsided and touches how stressful 2020 was for so many couples and their social networks.
I would have liked to see Heidi Gardner and Chloe Fineman play against Burr here. Kate can be so diverse in her comedy these days that it would have been interesting to see a more traditional performance style establishing the sketch.
Bill Burr is Gil Scott alongside Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim, all as football broadcasters. Burr's enthusiasm for a steak dinner, which he won without knowing that there was any sports coverage, was replaced by another death of an unarmed black man. There's just a hint here of Chappelle's show how Burr is set up. (You may recall that Burr appears in the classic Racial Draft sketch.) It's kind of flatlines, however, according to the original premise.
Pete Davidson, Burr's student and co-star, also appears as the Pepper Boy. He's not Adam Sandler or Dana Carvey, but who is that?
Enough is enough - song with a social impact
Beck Bennett is Benji, a self-serious black and white potential influencer. You know the guy. He posted a song on his account and tagged Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Momoa who came out as himself. "I couldn't sit anymore ... had to let my voice be heard." His friend Kevin calls and tells him to pick it up. His friend Chelsea too. "I'm not famous enough?" he notices. This is cute and a nice snapshot of Bennett's ability to play cluelessly.
First performance of Jack White - "Don't hurt yourself" and "Jesus is coming soon"
This begins with the chorus of the Beyoncé-Jack White Lemonade collaboration "Don't Hurt Yourself". Pretty high profile stuff - I love the medley that kills legendary Texan bluesman Blind Willie Johnson in "Jesus Is Coming" and the riff he plays on a guitar that Eddie Van Halen gave him. (RIP.) Such a perfect song for 2020 and the pandemic.
White was previously portrayed on the show by Jimmy Fallon on Valentine's Day in 2004 and then by Will Forte in the 2005 After the Grammys sketch.
Colin Jost compares Donald Trump's most recent self-promotion videos shot in the White House to cheesy commercials for Staten Island. In order not to be outdone, Michael Che compares him to a drunk driver who survived a fatal collision. For them, "Trump had a near-death experience and learned nothing from it." They don't pull punches.
Dr. Wayne Wenowdis (Kate McKinnon) appears to be disproving Trump's televised medical investigation. Under an Einstein wig, a mustache and a pipe, she mumbles: "We know that." A lot of. McKinnon gives Jost a blood pressure test and giggles. You are not socially distant. Then she breaks and explains that this character is just her way of dealing with it. Because nobody knows anything - about the elections, about COVID or the well-being of the world. Che shakes his head. This is a very Kate-heavy episode after being used sparingly during the season premiere.
Next up is Pete Davidson to talk about J.K. Rowling. Pete has a Harry Potter tattoo and, as a longtime fan, feels betrayed by her recent transphobic comments. He yells about the New York Giants and Alan Dershowitz.
"Vote for Biden!" he closes.
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