John Krasinski Hosted SNL, But Everyone Just Wanted to See Him Kiss Pam

The writers were wise to pair him with featured player Andrew Dismukes, particularly in a sketch about cool guy Krasinski wearing a letterman jacket and making things worse for his brother by standing up to his bullies. But it was Dismukes who scored the laughs (“alcohol, party time!”) rather than the big guy. What made the CNBC Dividend sketch so great was not Krasinski’s straight man Dad, but his psychotic twins, Jacob and Josephine. Our host always seemed to playing the same All-American former high school athlete, whether he turned up as game show host or a secret QAnon nut or a Ratatouille-controlled sex whiz. It made me want to rewatch A Quiet Place to remind myself of how compelling of a screen presence Krasinski can be.

The only time I found myself truly laughing out loud, to the point where I actually forgot for a bit about the mess we are all in, was during Bowen Yang and Kyle Mooney’s delicious take on Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese during Weekend Update. There to comment on the state of New York City, Yang delivered crisp bon mots in permed bangs and a big white blouse. Mooney gasped, he writhed, he pounded his table, he laughed without air coming out of his throat, he peeled off his eyebrows in glee. It was a perfect two minutes of physical comedy and much needed silliness.

And now, a quick kvetch on a bad Weekend Update joke. Referencing President Biden’s repeal of the transgender ban in the military, Che joked that the shorthand was “Don’t ask, don’t tuck.” He himself groaned. I can’t ever remember a transgender joke on SNL landing. I’m wondering if that might be because there’s nobody who identifies as transgender on staff laughing or cringing in the writer’s room. This isn’t about political correctness or being woke. It’s about being funny. Who are you trying to make laugh when you try out a joke about a marginalized and deeply vulnerable community? The people the joke is about, or those who prefer them on the margins?

It wasn’t a great episode, but there were some good laughs: Chloe Fineman playing Kim Cattrall. Moffat singing “Tik Tok salad and Twitter eggs,” to the tune of Frasier’s theme song. McKinnon playing a Unitarian minister in love with Aidy Bryant’s pug breeder. By the way: hooray, Bryant is back! Her comedy still works! But can we say the same for Machine Gun Kelly’s kneecaps after that very awkward fall he took with Davidson off the stage? We do not know this.

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