Saturday Night Live: Lizzo fails to add juice to the dated and awful episode | Live Saturday Night

It being Easter weekend, Saturday Night Live opens with a message from the Easter Bunny (Bowen Yang). Almost immediately, the “weirdest” holiday characters turn everything into a random assortment of public figures.

Dr Anthony Fauci (Kate McKinnon) compares the Covid case to Jesus (“They have risen again!”), while Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong) worries that “between pastels and jellybeans this holiday is getting a little too LGQRST for me”. The mayor of New York City, Eric Adams (Chris Redd), brags about the arrest of the Brooklyn subway shooter, even though “it took 30 hours and the suspect turned himself in”, while Elon Musk (Mikey Day), tries to buy a vacation. Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman) does a lot of twists and Jared Leto (Kyle Mooney), begs people not to review his horrific new film Morbius.

Finally, former president Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) interrupts the proceedings to rant about Reese’s Eggs (“I love Reese, I’m good friends with Reese…”), Cap’n Crunch (“He was so rude to me at Countdown Birthdays.” 500th Chocula”) and Little Caesar (“I told him to say, ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ He used to say it once and I said we have to say it twice!”)

Aside from Trump’s Austin and Redd’s Adams, this is one of the worst, most annoying, and laziest impressions on the cast list. The writing sank to match them on several fronts, from the hypocrisy of railing against (however mild) Musk less than a year after the show handed over its entire platform to him, to softening up Taylor Greene by portraying him as a harmless kook, to attempts to possess both by showing how useless it is. New York law enforcement while simultaneously mimicking their “rising crime” talking points.

Tonight’s episode sees Lizzo do double duty as host and music guest. The singer-songwriter vows to “break the record for the number of times a bitch is spoken to on live TV”, before discussing a recent Ted Talk about the history of twerking (“I’m like if Einstein could make that ass clap”), quelling rumors about his love life. (“They think I round up One Direction like the Infinity Stones”) and encourage audiences to love themselves to make their dreams come true. That last part really raises some complaints — it’s supposed to be a comedy show, not an Affirmation Instagram post — but Lizzo shows a fine talent for comic delivery. He also seems serious about his earlier promise, with the Count of Bitch numbering eight at the end of the monologue.

Guess That is a gameshow where contestants have to answer quick trivia questions. Things start off normal enough, until contestant Lizzo spoils the questions and hijacks the show, refusing to admit he was wrong, accusing the host of turning on the gas and trying to oust him as “Mayor of Game Town”. This last move won the support of fellow contestants.

It’s a welcome spin on the gameshow’s usual narrative and a promising start to a proper episode, but things soon dive for the next vignette, the latest in the horribly gruesome TikTok roll. Instead of presenting something original, the show simply recreates – read: steals – the latest viral videos from social media platforms. Everyone involved in this should be ashamed to call themselves comedians.

Somehow, this was followed by an even worse sketch. We flashback to Interscope Records Studios in the spring of 2008, where the Black Eyed Peas recorded songs for their newest album. Their producer helped them brainstorm lyrics for several singles, including the very simple Boom Boom Pow, the wildly random party song Tonight, and the very troublesome Let’s Get Retarded, which would later be changed to Let’s Get It Started.

The problems with this sketch are many: from the lack of narrative cohesion (producers worry about confusing song lyrics one second, then rejoice about them the next), to Lizzo’s constant offense, to the cowardly attempts to have both by centering jokes around the offensive Let’s Get Retarded without actually pronounce the offending lyrics (thus placing the responsibility entirely on the audience). Beyond all this, this sketch speaks to how completely stuck in the past the show was. It’s not that SNL should refrain from joking about older pop culture — one of its biggest vignettes centered around the 24-year-old Blue yster Cult track — but it doesn’t bring anything original or fresh to the table. It just falls back on clear observation and tired impression 14 years past their sale date.

It seems the author’s mind is caught in the middle, as the next sketch finds the couple’s first date (Lizzo, Day) interrupted by a dancing geezer community “from a Six Flags commercial,” a pop culture ephemera piece that first appeared in 2004.

This was followed by a new segment Please Don’t Destroy. Ben, Martin, and John try to help Lizzo solve a writer’s block case by creating a “black women’s anthem” to sing on the show. All they could find was the pathetic “white national anthem,” The Sopranos theme, one of Lizzo’s old songs and a song about Martin’s Spongebob-like girlfriend. They were just about to give up when Lizzo realized that the sketch they had originally planned to do – about a horny zookeeper – actually turned out to be a great song. As it became increasingly clear, the more the PDD segment relied on guest stars, the less they worked, with this one being the most forgotten.

On the Weekend Update, the show continued to enjoy its cake and eat it too while simultaneously poking fun at/kissing Elon Musk’s ass, with Michael Che saying of his failed attempt to buy Twitter to reduce free speech rules, “that’s how much white people want it.” using the N-word”, Colin Jost questions why someone who “made electric cars [and] go to Mars” would even be a waste of time on such a trivial application. (A side dig on Meghan Markle is sure to get Jost a lot of angry comments on the platform, coming tomorrow.) If that’s not too obvious, whatever bona fide anti-establishment spooks the show once had is long gone.

Jost has finally welcomed the sole guest of this edition of Update, his personal driver, Cesar Perez (Melissa Villaseñor), who wants to try out some of his standup material. Perez fires a string of gusto about a nerd, a lizard, and his masturbating-obsessed nephew, Carlito, only to quickly succumb to regret. His tearful apology makes Latinos’ typical Catholic guilt delivery hilarious. That said, this segment of the character is dragged down by some very old-fashioned jokes – this time through persistent references to The Mind of Mencia.

Renew the sign with a tribute to the late, great alum Gilbert Gottfried, who died earlier this week.

Next, two party planners in ancient Egypt perform a rehearsal for the orgies they perform for their mad God-King (eventually revealed to be a child). Hired hedonistic acts include a “sensuous woman and her tender boy”, twinkish fire-eaters, “a laughing rotten tooth-dressed old woman”, a trio of handsome swingers, a rabid fanatic who is blessed, a goat wrangler (with real goats). ), and an older “puckish imp” than advertised. This feels like a half-formed idea to begin with, and the constant disconnection of players doesn’t help much. Goats live quite neatly.

Later, Lizzo auditioned the flutist for the first seat in the DeVry University symphony orchestra. His musical skills are second to none, but he can only perform while twerking. Just that. Given Lizzo’s association with dance moves, it makes sense that the show would sketch around it, but of course they could have come up with something better than this.

The final sketch of the night sees a group of friends celebrating one of their own (Andrew Dismukes) for quitting his job to cash in on his investment. Their moral support was quickly eroded once the investment was revealed to be his Beanie Babies collection. It makes sense that this episode would conclude with another tired premise centered around a cultural phenomenon several years — decades, for that matter — behind us.

Continuity aside, Lizzo makes an adequate host, but everything around her – from the chilly open air, to the downright gruesome midsection, to the outrageously old-school pop culture references stream – is unbearable. This is by far the worst episode of the season and possibly the worst since Musk hosted it almost a year ago. (It must be that she has to perform so much throughout tonight’s show).

It’s a good thing the show is turned off for the reminder of the month, though it’s doubtful the break will do much good. At this point, Saturday Night Live not only needs some corrections, but some really heavy soul searching.

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