The first Saturday Night Live of 2021, and of the Biden Administration, was hosted by John Krasinski this weekend. There were no sketches dedicated to President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris, as the show's post-Trump focus seems (so far) to not be on the White House, but on the broken-brained QAnon conspiracy theorists and their disinformation campaigns.
The cold open starred Kate McKinnon as herself, questioning What Still Works? McKinnon's guests included a GameStop investor (Pete Davidson), Jack Dorsey (Mikey Day), Mark Zuckerberg (Alex Moffat), O.J. Simpson (Kenan Thompson), Tom Brady (Krasinski) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong), a dangerous promoter of baseless QAnon theories. May we all speak in such a measured tone when asking anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists, "those are real things you believe, and tell other people about?"
First time host John Kransinki's Monologue was largely dedicated to his most famous character, Jim Halpert, who we have all gotten reacquainted with throughout the pandemic via a nationwide binge of The Office. Kenan Thompson, Alex Moffat, and Ego Nwodim play Office fans, and Pete Davidson steps into the role of Pam, delivering the pandemic-era kiss we never knew we wanted.
Twins was an SNL-at-its-best moment, bringing news anchors (Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett) into the eerie world of their guest’s (John Krasinski) home, featuring his unsettling twins (Kate McKinnon, Mikey Day).
In Blue Georgia, locals (John Krasinski, Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Andrew Dismukes) welcome a New Yorker (Pete Davidson) to the newest blue state, which is still working some things out. But when a red hat walks in, he's informed this is "Stacey Abrams country" now, and to go back to Florida.
Pandemic Game Night takes a turn when some of the friends in the pod (John Krasinski, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner) are slowly outed as insurrectionists. Even "sweet, racist Angela."
The highlight of Weekend Update was Bowen Yang's excellent Fran Lebowitz and Kyle Mooney's unhinged Martin Scorsese, though sadly they did not address the prompt, which was to offer their thoughts on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement to reopen indoor dining in NYC.
Mike Lindell, the My Pillow Guy (perfectly played by Beck Bennett), also dropped by to discuss getting banned from Twitter for (of course) spreading disinformation.
Cathy Anne (Cecily Strong) returned to the Update desk, this time to discuss life during COVID-19 and the Capitol Insurrection.
Here's Michael Che and Colin Jost with more of this week's top headlines:
Opening Credits Songs features TV show characters (John Krasinski, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, Chloe Fineman) performing unique renditions of their show’s opening credits songs, a tribute to Nicole Kidman's cover of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" for The Undoing.
Two best friends (Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant) absolutely crush the 1980s aesthetic and dominate on Supermarket Sweep.
Subway Pitch brought two employees (John Krasinski, Beck Bennett) together with a new hire (Andrew Dismukes), and — hear me out — a Bologna Bowl.
These two were the big misses for me this week.
A cool college kid (Krasinski) defends his Loser brother (Andrew Dismukes) from bullies. While Kyle Mooney would have normally taken on the little brother role here, we see him step into the bully shoes alongside Mikey Day, Pete Davidson, and Punkie Johnson.
And in the episode-closer Ratatouille, a man (Krasinski) reveals to his partner (Chloe Fineman) why he’s good at sex (it's Ratatouille, baby).
There would have been some moments when I absolutely, and privately, would have pumped up some Machine Gun Kelly in my Plymouth Reliant K Car as an angsty teen who was just going through some shit in my small rural hometown.
SNL returns this weekend, February 6th, with Dan Levy and Phoebe Bridger. And on February 13th, Regina King hosts with Nathaniel Rateliff as musical guest.