Saturday Night Live S40 E17 Recap: Will You Play Batman With Us?

(Photo Courtesy of Fansided)

Two SNL enthusiasts, Zac Hirschbeck & Marci Buehler, recap the week’s host, musical guests and sketches.

Zac: Marci!

Although he had a tough act to follow after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson proved a very worthy host a week ago, I thought Michael Keaton performed admirably on this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. Much like The Rock, Keaton was must-see television throughout the entire night. Though there were a couple of sketches that weren’t particularly well-written, Keaton effortlessly embodied silly characters that made me laugh regardless of how much I liked the premise of the sketch itself. While Keaton may possess a far different personality than his wrestling predecessor, I think Keaton has the same likability about him. He was willing to take on a variety of characters, and for a man that hasn’t really taken on many funny roles over the last several years, Keaton’s comedic chops were as good as any host all season.

Here are some of the sketches that stood out for me this week:

Prom Queen

If I know your tastes by now Marci, I’m sure this sketch will be one of your favorites of the night as well. Each time Mike O’Brien pops up with a sketch we usually wind up loving it. In this sketch, O’Brien and Keaton act out the film classic She’s All That with O’Brien playing the cool high school jock, and Keaton hilariously playing the nerdy, unpopular math teacher turned love interest.

Speaking of She’s All That, whatever happened to Freddie Prinze Jr.? And did you know Paul Walker (R.I.P.), Usher, Lil’ Kim, and Anna Paquin were all in that movie?

Easter Candy

Although he was great throughout the night, I think this sketch might have been the hardest I laughed at anything Keaton did. Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan were enjoyable as well, but Keaton stole the show. I hope Keaton’s creepy persona becomes a yearly SNL Easter tradition.

Neurotology Music Video 

Upon first watch, I though little of this sketch. I knew that SNL was making reference to Alex Gibney’s recently aired Scientology documentary, but without much context for what it was mocking, I was in the dark a bit.

On Sunday I watched Gibney’s ‘Going Clear,’ and I now love this sketch. SNL further stoked the fire that is encapsulating the absurdity that is the Church of Scientology. I’d highly suggest watching the HBO documentary. It really opened my eyes to something I knew so little about.

Here is the trailer for the documentary:

And here is the sketch that SNL ran:

Although I could continue with a few other sketches I thought were highlights, I feel I’ve already rambled too much. What did you make of this week’s episode Marci? Did you like Michael Keaton as much as I did? What were some of the sketches that you liked? And were there any sketches that you weren’t too thrilled about?

 

Marci: Hey Zac! Hope you had a GOOD FRIDAY (can’t stop making that joke) and a wonderful holiday weekend. I thought this week’s show was alright, there were some good moments for sure – I’m not sure if it lived up to the hilarity of last week in my book, but it was enjoyable on the whole.

I agree that Michael Keaton was a great host; he did a great job and brought a different type of likability to the stage than the over-the-top muscly charisma of Dwayne Johnson. And like you, I thoroughly enjoyed Prom Queen and I absolutely loved the Neurotology Music Video. I’m not sure how I ended up feeling about the creepy Easter Candy sketch, but I did appreciate the idea behind it. I love creepy comedy!

Another sketch that I was feeling from Saturday’s show was Easter Hotline, where Sasheer Zamata stars in a fake commercial that seems like it’s gonna be for a weird sex telephone line, but ends up being about calling your grandma. I thought some of the interactions between grandchildren and their grandparents here were pretty spot on, so I enjoyed it.

I also giggled a bit at CNN Newsroom, where a slew of CNN reporters use various means of silly technology to recreate or reenact news stories that they lack footage for. The highlight of this sketch for me was the Muppets, because Muppets are hilarious.

There were, however, a few sketches I wasn’t so into. The Smart Home sketch didn’t quite hit for me, although I understand the premise and what they were shooting for. Another sketch that just fell short in my book was the Cold Open, which mostly hinged on a joke that the Duke men’s basketball team wouldn’t be starting their star forward Okafor in the NCAA championship game because he had a test the next day. Again, this was a case where I understood what they were going for, but I just don’t think the joke was strong enough to support an entire sketch – it could have done the same job in a single tweet.

But as a whole, I enjoyed this week’s episode as well, Zac. What did you think of Carly Rae Jepson? And do you have any other musings about your highlights and lowlights of the week?

 

Zac: I really liked the CNN Newsroom spoof as well. In addition to the Muppets, I also enjoyed the poorly produced re-creations. I’m surprised they didn’t attack Don Lemon more. It seems that every other week the CNN anchor is making headlines for the wrong reasons.

The other three sketches that you mentioned (Easter Hotline, Smart Home, and the Cold Open) all fell in the same territory for me. They certainly weren’t the best sketches of the night, but I wouldn’t go as far to say they were lowlights for me either. Zamata’s jeans, and the collection of elderly impressions were amusing in Easter Hotline. I once again was a sucker for Keaton’s weirdness, and his affinity for attaching googly eyes to objects to make them more lifelike in Smart Home. I also liked SNL briefly poking fun at the hypocrisy that is the NCAA in the Cold Open.

Two other sketches I think that are worth mentioning:

Michael Keaton Tribute Monologue

I think this was one of my favorite monologues in a while. Clearly I just liked this episode, and perhaps Michael Keaton a lot more than you.

Weekend Update: Pete Davidson on the Walking Dead Season Finale

Every time the writers allow Davidson to do a little stand up on Update, he always seems to deliver. And although I haven’t watched The Walking Dead in a few seasons, Norman Reedus portrayed my favorite character. I’m happy to see that he’s still living large in the fictional zombie apocalypse.

As far as this week’s musical performance, Carly Rae Jepsen was about what I expected. She appeared to lip-synch, or at the very least was singing along to a pre-recorded track. However, her first song (‘I Really Like You’) is certainly catchy. While I don’t think it’s reached quite the level of popularity that ‘Call Me Maybe’ did, Carly certainly knows her way around an addicting radio anthem. The music video also had American treasure Tom Hanks in it!

What did you think of Carly’s set? Do you think Mumford & Sons will top her next week? And will the ever-sassy Taraji B. Henson be a capable first-time host?

 

Marci: Like you, I love when Pete Davidson comes on Weekend Update and does a little quasi-stand up bit, and I enjoyed the opening monologue song – especially when they cut to video – that made me giggle. I also want to throw a SIDENOTE in here, since you mentioned that I was not a fan of Michael Keaton or this episode, which I don’t think is quite accurate – because I definitely enjoyed it! I think sometimes it’s hard for me to compare week to week, and it may come off like I’m not enjoying an episode, when I’m really just trying to CRITICALLY ANALYZE. Glurg! (::Pushes glasses up on her nose::)

I enjoyed Carly’s songs – that first song was catchy as helllllll! I really, really, really, really liked bopping my head along to the beat. The second one was good too, Carly slowing thangs down a bit, felt a little retro to me. But also catchy, although it seemed more like background music than the first song, which I thought was a superstar.

All that being said, I think Mumford & Sons will top her next week! I love banjo bands and harmonies and Mumford gives me those things in grand fashion. I’m also excited to see Taraji B. Henson host – except I’m a bit nervous that if they do a lot of Empire satire I won’t know what the heck they are talking about!

Until next week, have fun watching BASEBALL and the NCAA National Championship game! And as always, Go Bills.

 

Zac: My apologies for mistaking your analysis for a lack of enthusiasm.

I too am excited for Mumford & Sons. I’ve seen them twice in concert and they certainly put on a good show. I’ve heard quite a bit about how they are changing their style as well so it’ll be interesting to hear if they really are different. If they do change it up from their first two albums, I’ll be thrilled to hear the inevitable backlash that they have “sold out.” Here is the video for the first single off their upcoming album:

Go Badgers! Go Bills! One more loss Sabres! And perhaps most important of all… Game of Thrones this Sunday!

 

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