We've been waiting years (years!) for Aziz Ansari to host Saturday Night Live, and he did not disappoint. From a searing monologue that was just right for a post-Trump inauguration Saturday to a melancholy digital short about getting a five-star Uber rating, the writing and performances were sharp and fun. You like that pizza pizza?
The show kicked off with the Vladimir Putin cold open—where Putin went insult comic on Kellyanne Conway's Inauguration outfit—before Ansari's thoughtful and funny monologue about our crazy mixed up world. The first sketch with Ansari featured him in a game show called "Beat the Bookworm"—of course, he does have his weaknesses, like '90s pop culture.
Things got really good in an interrogation room sketch which saw two hardened cops (Beck Bennett and Cecily Strong) mercilessly questioning Ansari's character on why he didn't LOVE La-La Land. Next, Kate McKinnon brought back her impression of Conway, but this time she got to portray Conway's ease with untruths as a kind of Roxie Hart-style ambition. A skit about a personal injury law firm featured many happy clients with million-dollar payouts—and then Ansari's client, who was saddled with the incompetent attorney.
"Weekend Update" saw some good, day-after inauguration and day-of women's marches commentary, plus a nice Leslie Jones segment inspired by Hidden Numbers on how teaching everyone about more black achievements would inspire people. A bit about the difficulties of dirty talk (do not pretend to be a sixth grader) preceded the "Uber" digital short, which showed an Uber driver (Bobby Moynihan) and customer (Ansari) each trying to remedy their 3.9 ratings by impressing each other.
In the "David Pumpkins"/"Kevin Roberts" sketch of the night, Ansari played part of a pizza chain's animatronic band, whose presence interrupts a police bust.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) January 22, 2017
The final part of the show was a heartfelt rendition of "To Sir With Love" by Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata, dedicated to President Obama. Try not to tear up.
Big Sean was the musical guest, starting with an electric performance of "Sunday Morning Jetpack" and closing with a subdued "Bounce Back." Next week is a repeat (Kristen Wiig and the xx) and February 4 has Kristen Stewart as host and Alessia Cara as musical guest.