“The Office” star reveals the lost lyrics to the show’s theme, as well as a surprising sex aide, the value of standing up to bullies — and the most terrifying twins we’ve seen in a long, long time!
Just as “The Office” is surging in streaming views over at its new home on Peacock, John Krasinski introduced the “lost” lyrics to its theme song on the first “Saturday Night Live” of the new year.
It was an incredibly successful outing, with only one political figure showing up directly — we’re not counting Mike Lindell, he’s a pillow guy. And how could they not address Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, played to hilarious perfection by Cecily Strong.
This week, for the first time all season, saw the entire sprawling Season 46 cast converge on the stage, leading to a very balanced show as the writers managed to find a way to get every single one of them into a sketch … and not just as background players.
John was an incredible host, game and amiable for whatever they threw at home, whether it’s a look at what a blue-state Georgia looks like or what it’s like to be the father of the most terrifying twins on television.
Easily one of the strongest outings of the season, probably the biggest surprise was that they didn’t find a way to work Machine Gun Kelly into any sketches with his pal Pete Davidson, who was all over the place tonight. At least they got to share a special moment during the closing credits.
This also proved the week where newcomer Andrew Dismukes was given the most opportunity to prove himself, and he stepped up to the plate admirably. We’re still not sure how long Lorne Michaels will keep such a massive cast, so we’re still expecting a big turnover by the end of the year.
It’s nice to see that the future of the show looks to be in solid hands.
As usual, we’re ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Monologue, Cold Open, “Weekend Update” and any sketches that were cut for time but made their way online. We’ll skip the musical guests, because they’re not usually funny — unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.
Inspired by Nicole Kidman singing the theme song to “The Undoing,” “SNL” asked what if other series stars sand the theme songs to their shows, as well? In other words, it was the latest thinly-veiled premise to allow the cast to show off their celebrity impressions. They also got to play the fun game of putting words to wordless themes like those for “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Stranger Things” with very mixed results.
They even dipped into the archives for updated “Frasier” lyrics. But the obvious highlight has to be John Krasinski offering his own lyrics to “The Office” theme song. And unlike the other ones, he actually got through the entire (early season) music so this one’s ready for Peacock to drop his version into the streaming version.
How many times did John Krasinski and Beck Bennett practice their overly-long take on the classic Subway $5 foot long jingle? That was both incredible and a little disturbing. While the sketch was a little thin, we have to give it credit for keeping it short. Not the funniest bit we saw on the night, but it didn’t overstay its welcome and become an annoyance. At least Beck and John were funny into it, which helped sell the silliness of their characters.
Monologue: John Krasinski
Pete Davidson finally had to come out and explain to Jim that a year-long quarantine has people going a little stir crazy and watching too many “The Office” reruns. The only want to stop them bombarding him with questions about it is to give them what they want. “I think you gotta kiss Pam,” Pete told him.
The only Pam fill-in was Pete himself, and so they went for it. A little absurdist, yes, but a light-hearted way to poke fun at the absurdities of our daily lives as we slowly try to emerge from whatever 2020 truly was. John was pretty game, while Alex Moffat, Ego Nwodim and Kenan Thompson were definitely having fun harassing him.
This sketch served the dual role of allowing us to see Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon play off of one another as a gay couple in the ‘90s and a statement on just how the ‘90s weren’t quite ready to acknowledged — or even see — gay couples, even when they were right in front of them. We get that it would have been logistically challenging to do a full “Sweep” segment, but we’d have loved seeing this cast slamming into one another through a grocery store. Maybe we can get an updated version. We hear their new host knows a thing or two about this show (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
Ratatouille in the Bedroom
Someone’s not going to get invited to the “Ratatouille” sequel that isn’t happening, though John Krasinski and “SNL” certainly came up with an innovative premise. What if the rat mastered the art of the bedroom by reading Hustler magazine? Should we be surprised this last-of-the-night sketch featured Kyle Mooney and was very weird. No, we should not. But it still had a certain charm — plus, a fun cameo by Pete Davidson, who’s clearly having more fun this season than he ever has before.
Cold Open: What Still Works?
In lieu of the traditional political cold open we’ve gotten used to, Kate McKinnon hosts this fake talk show about looking at every aspect of American society and asking, “What still works?” Basically, it was a quick way for the show to catch up to the wildest stories by proving that government no longer works (Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene), the stock market is a joke (GameStop), social media has failed to effectively police extremism (Facebook and Twitter) and even the vaccine rollout is a huge fail by bringing out O.J. Simpson — who’s received it. At least Tom Brady still works!
While not as sharply funny as it could have been, Kate reacting to the absurdity of everything has been great in recent “Update” appearances, so she was well placed here to share the nation’s growing horror at its own dysfunction. Plus, we got some fun impressions after so long away from the cast.
Georgia may have flipped blue in the past election, but we suspect many of them might have been a little upset by just how blue “SNL” painted them in this sketch with avocado toast, gender-free bathrooms, metal straws and other super-liberal stereotypes. Andrew Dismikes even came out — doing a weird Jimmy Stewart impression, by the sound of it — to say how honored he was that Black Lives Matter protesters chose their town.
The challenge, of course, is that the implication is that Georgians would be against all of these things, in general. Or at least they would have been before the election. That’s how progressivism and conservatism works, right? One election, sweeping social change. They even booted a MAGA-wearing Alex Moffat and Kenan declared, “Science is real and love is love.” Surprisingly edgy and pointed commentary against the Southern states in general, but pretty funny. There is one place they still drew the line, though!
Turns out this was less about quarantine game night and more about Beck Bennett storming the Capitol to put Nancy Pelosi’s phone down his pants. “What else was I supposed to do? The guy I wanted to didn’t win!” That kind of sums up the pointlessness of the siege, with insurgents having no plan whatsoever other than to express their outrage.
Only Beck can pull off this level of smarmy while still making us kind of like him. He was even one of the most recognizable of those photographed there. But it didn’t stop there as the dumbest insurrection in the history of this country was fully explored and torn apart as more FBI agents kept showing up. But seriously, where was their pizza?
After poking fun at the GameStop stock surge and the insurrection, Colin Jost had a pretty reasoned response to Rand Paul calling impeachment proceedings unconstitutional, all the way to an epic potential Paul v Paul brawl that we know at least one of them would be down for today!
We weren’t even always sure what Beck Bennett’s Mike Lindell (the MyPillow guy) was even saying half the time — and we’re not sure he did, either — but it was delivered with such manic conviction that we were laughing anyway. Plus, we finally learned where he gets his political ideas and how he came up with his MyPillow idea!
The boys then tackled proposals to raise minimum wage and Amanda Gorman heading to the Super Bowl to perform alongside Rob Gronkowski, with his own original poem. There were two additional segments of “other news” in this super-sized “Update,” with Michael Che having particular fun with the oral sex crime-stopper.
Bowen Yang and Kyle Mooney (as Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese) offered the quintessentially New York response to the potential return of indoor dining to the Big Apple. This was another case of performer outperforming the material, as Kyle had us cracking up with every over-the-top reaction … which came in response to any- and everything! It was a struggle for Michael and Bowen to keep it together, too.
Finally, Cecily Strong’s Cathy Anne returned to talk about the insurrection at the Capitol. We’re proud of her and the writers for not leaning into stereotypes of the uneducated masses all being white supremacist (or at least racist). Turns out Cathy Anne is both incredibly stupid and reckless with her life, but never once thinks, “Score one for the master race!” Good for her. She even had the perfect solution for what to do about the insurrectionists.
All in all, it was a very playful and funny segment with all four special guests really giving it their all and delivering big laughs. It’s no wonder the show didn’t cut any of their segments to fit in the more traditional “Update” format.
Okay, we saw this premise coming a mile away, but it was still funny to hear John Krasinski coming to the aid and support of his little brother, Andrew Dismukes, getting bullied by a quartet of mean kids at high school. It was the treacly music accompanying John going into way too much detail about some of his brother’s awkwardness (practicing kissing with mom?) in that earnest voice that sold it.
That and the somewhat concerned short responses from the quartet as they learned every other reason they didn’t know to pick on this kid. Kudos to Andrew for stepping into a role and demeanor that’s been Kyle Mooney territory for so long and doing it convincingly and effortlessly. This was a flawlessly delivered PSA about bullying that left us extremely conflicted in the best way possible.
A part of our new normal, John Krasinski takes it to extremes as a father and economist on a Zoom call into MSNBC who’s super proud of his twins’ disturbing artwork on display which is … genuinely disturbing. The only thing more disturbing might be the twins themselves, Kate McKinnon and Mikey Day. But we mean disturbing in the most hilarious ‘70s-demonic-possession-film way. The voice modulator on “angry” was just perfect!
Honestly, the entire sketch was paced and executed perfectly, with Mikey and Kate embodying the twins to perfection. There was even a satisfying conclusion, making one of the most complete and satisfying whole sketches in recent memory. Nothing like a little creepiness to shake off the winter doldrums. Where’d they go?!
We never thought we’d have to acknowledge Pete Davidson as one of the most prolific stars of any particular episode — he always seemed half committed to the show — but he really dug in tonight, appearing as many times as workhorse Beck Bennett.
This week saw a lot of the veteran cast stepping up with more roles than earlier in the season. At the same time, Andrew came out of his shell with his biggest night yet, showing some strong comedic chops as John’s dweeby little brother amid several roles.
There was a lot of strong work on a very funny night, with Cecily coming on strong with Carrie Anne and a wacko Capitol insurgent, while Kate and Aidy were both clearly happy to have one another to play off of.
Beck was his usual consistent and prolific self, with his Mike Lindell had us giggling just by how crazy he was, while he was fully committed as a Subway ad goon, too, while Kyle showed more range and diversity than we’ve come to expect from his usual range of weirdos and awkward nerds. We’re still laughing with his unhinged Martin Scorsese.
The most balanced night we’ve seen yet, we have to declare a tie with Kate and Cecily. Each had two opportunities to really shine, with Kate as one of the creepiest twins we’ve seen in a long time and Aidy’s “Sweep” lover, while also serving as the voice of reason in the Cold Open. Hers has become a presence we’ve come to count on and rely on over the past decade, and she never fails to deliver.
Cecily, then, gave us a surprisingly enlightened and progressive Cathy Anne on “Weekend Update” and then twisted that character just enough as Rep. Greene. Plus, she was clearly enjoying hamming it up as one of way too many Capitol insurgents trying to play it cool with a low-key game night.
“Saturday Night Live” returns next week with host Dan Levy and musical guest Phoebe Bridgers.
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