‘SNL’ Recap: Woody Harrelson Stirs The COVID Conspiracy Plot With An Anti-Vaxx Rant On His Way Into The Five-Timers Club
Three weeks removed from an instant classic episode with Pedro Pascal, Saturday Night Live is back with not one, but two new inductees to the five-year club, with Woody Harrelson as host and Jack White as musical guest. So why was the episode so instantly forgotten? Let’s recap and see if jogging the memory makes us feel better about it all in hindsight.
What’s the deal on the SNL Cold Open for last night (2/25/23)?
The show can’t let go of Donald Trump like Trump can’t let go of us, so here it is James Austin Johnson once again, this time speaking to the chosen people of East Palestine, Ohio, scene of a toxic disaster in the wake of the derailment train there. The one thing that JAJ’s Trump has going for him and us is that his weird riffs always manage to land in some fun circles of logic, like bragging about Trump-branded water, while also managing to praise the residents of Ohio for the new rainbows that form in their discolored. waterways. When hearing farmers complain about how spilled chemicals have contaminated their dirt, JAJ’s Trump declares, “Don’t eat the dirt. You should eat the cold McDonald’s I brought you.”
There’s no good reason or explanation that would make him introduce the woman who is the outspoken foreman of the jury in a case against Trump, but the writers shoehorned her into the sketch anyway. I guess it’s a good sign of my sanity that I have no idea if Chloe Fineman’s impersonation is even remotely close to the real thing, nor do I want to know. But I know enough to know that’s not how you open a quality episode.
How did she SNL Host Woody Harrelson Do?
Woody Harrelson stars in the upcoming film Champions, in theaters March 10. In a meandering and sometimes pointless monologue, Woody reminded us that he loves smoking weed, tries not to drink as much as he used to, and is still vegan. I’m not sure I’d heard that Woody was anti-inflammatory, but he certainly wasn’t subtle about comparing the makers of the COVID vaccines to drug cartels that forced us into quarantine and only let us out if we took their drugs — supposedly was it a movie script he read in november 2019??? No wonder the SNL cast left him hanging at the end of the monologue when he asked about his 5-Timers Club jacket.
As for the night’s sketches, it all felt kind of innocent.
In “Jail Scene,” the first live skit after the monologue, Woody plays a prisoner who is visited by his mistress (Chloe), but their conversation through the glass is metaphorically shattered by running commentary from the two jailers (Ego Nwodim and Kenan). Thompson) contradicting them at every turn. They had a case, but they didn’t take it anywhere interesting. The “Slingshot” sketch suffered a similar fate, where Woody and Kenan and their dates (Ego and Heidi Gardner) wait for an amusement park ride, where the twist is that Kenan goes from cool and confident in line to to pass out immediately in the sling, while Woody goes from nervous before to giddy during and after. Then they just repeat the trick with Ego and Heidi. Kenan does try to make some revelations of some kind, but it’s all muddled, which dampens any real excitement in the game.
The Please Don’t Destroy trio are back for their first short video of 2023 (wait, really?) and it finds Ben Marshall wondering why John Higgins and Martin Herlihy don’t want to hang out with him anymore. Woody offers to help them learn through a stakeout, which leads them to a house in Connecticut where John and Martin have gone to great lengths to create their own lives without Ben. Ouch!
There are a lot of voices in this Navy submarine launch sketch, but that’s because it seems the US Navy didn’t learn anything from the UK’s 2016 #NameOurShip poll that led to Boaty McBoatface. This American ship was christened Mr. Dingleberry’s Goochballoon ASDFJKL. 6969. But not for long.
And this week’s winner for best branded content in the form of a “fake ad” that could also be an actual commercial short film goes to Cologuard! Tell them what they won. You’ve just earned some extra publicity in the form of making stool samples sound sexually suggestive. Congratulations, Cologuard! “This is sick.” “Yes, but not sick with colon cancer.”
How relevant was musical guest Jack White?
Jack White last appeared on SNL in October 2020 as a last-minute replacement for Morgan Wallen, making 2023 his fifth return appearance on the show and fourth outside of The White Stripes. So Woody paused during White’s first introduction to wonder aloud, “Does he get a jacket, too?”
For White’s first song, he went with a medley of “Taking Me Back/Fear of the Dawn,” the first two tracks from White’s 2022 rock album release, “Fear of the Dawn.”
His second song, “A Tip From You to Me,” is on White’s 2022 folk album, “Entering Heaven Alive.”
Which sketch will we share: “The Hippo”
It’s movie awards season, so this blatant riff The whale it’s so blatant, it’s a pivotal part of the premise and plot twists of the sketch.
If you thought a movie exploits fat people and praises Brendan Fraser but only allows him to return in a fat suit, then just wait until you laugh at the prospect of Woody’s character gaining 450 pounds of real weight in six months for his movie roll. , only to find out that it was all for nothing, and then find out that his teammates felt that their preparation for the movie was just as traumatic, but then remember that Woody is still just in a fat suit? So many layers. Four hundred and fifty layers?
Who stopped by the weekend update?
At least Colin Jost and Michael Che looked like they were having a blast tonight during their appearance on Update.
Since we’re fresh off the NBA All-Star break and a major record-breaking moment from LeBron James, we have JAJ as Bill Walton talking hoops. His Walton shares the same knack for silly rants as his Trump, only with more pot-fueled grunt and play-by-play basketball broadcast tangents.
Heidi Gardner also appeared as proud mom of five Gina Bianchi. Gina has four daughters and one son, and she clearly prefers her son to her daughters. A little too much, if you ask anyone.
At the end of the segment, they dropped a tribute card for Eugene Lee, who died earlier this month at age 83. Lee designed sets for Broadway shows which impressed Lorne Michaels so much that he not only hired Lee to design the original sets and direct Studio 8H, but kept him on staff from 1975 until this season! RIP
Which sketch filled the “10-to-1” slot?
At 12:52 am east, Steve Higgins informs us that we will see two men talking in the world’s most beautiful gym, which means Woody and Bowen Yang in suits or tuxedos, with Michael Longfellow also in formal clothes playing the piano. “This gym is so classy it should be named James.” Did this line from Bowen get the biggest laugh? For a final sketch of the night, it came off very bland and mild when we were all hoping for wacky and wild. Oh well.
Before the goodnights, the show also paused for a short tribute card for Richard Belzer, who died a week ago. Belzer was the original SNL warm-up in the 1970s and even appeared in a few sketches in those early seasons, and of course he was known to millions as Munch.
Who was the MVP of the episode?
For an episode where only a few cast members carried most of the load (JAJ, Chloe, Kenan, Ego, and Heidi), it was James Austin Johnson who had to do the most in terms of hair and makeup changes and character variety. So JAJ is our MVP for this week.
Next week, tight end Travis Kelce hosts the 2023 Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, with musical guest Kelsey Ballerini.
Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; before that, for real newspapers. He’s based in New York, but will travel anywhere for the scoop: Ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcast half-hour episodes featuring comedians revealing origin stories: Comic’s Comic presents the latest stuff first.