Thanksgiving came early on Saturday Night Live this weekend with host Simu Liu and musical guest Saweetie. Liu, who rocketed to fame this year with his starring role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, was a fun and game host who played a number of different characters despite not quite being able to make you forget he's a muscly Marvel dude now. After a very strong four episode run, this was a slightly more forgettable week on SNL, with nothing really bad and only a few sketches that poked their heads above average.
However, I did really enjoy Simu & Bowen, in which Liu and Yang get competitive over all the awards they each have received for being the first Asian in various categories. Yang ultimately wins this one: "But just remember, Simu. Whatever first thing you do. I'll. Always. Be. Gay."
New Military Weapon unleashed comedy gold with Dog Head Man, a ridiculously adorable golden retriever who is a very good girl. Just about everyone broke in the sketch except for the dog. Did I get a bit nervous when the knife came out? Yes. Did the dog? Cool as a cucumber.
There were a pair of Thanksgiving sketches: first up was Target Thanksgiving Ad, a holiday commercial about the joys and tribulations of hosting giant Thanksgiving family meals. Then Thanksgiving Baking Championship was another Nailed It-style bake-off parody, the highlight of which was Liu's cakes-from-hell and Pete Davidson's commitment to being himself. As one YouTube commenter put it, "At first I thought Pete continuing to eat the cake was a comedic choice but after a while I think he was just hungry."
Republican Or Not was a solid new political game show, where contestants had to guess the guests' political affiliation (including Liz Cheney).
We got the second Jeanine Pirro Cold Open of the season, though this time it was a bit more of a mixed bag: Cecily Strong was amazing as ever as Pirro, and James Austin Johnson's jumbled, brilliantly incoherent Trump impression continues to impress, but the jokes about the Rittenhouse verdict all fell very flat.
Karaoke All-Stars was not my favorite sketch of the night, but it included one of the funniest moments of the night: when Melissa Villaseñor and James Austin Johnson played a couple singing "Islands In The Stream" in character as Marge and Homer Simpson.
Pete Davidson starred in an ode to his hometown of Staten Island in Walking In Staten, a takeoff of Marc Cohn's "Walking In Memphis." (Cohn makes a cameo here, along with Big Wet and Method Man.) And while it clearly comes from a sincere, knowing place, Davidson musical parodies just have not worked for me this season at all—they're devoid of laughs!—and this was no different.
Check out the rest of the sketches below: Liu gave a quick recap of his unlikely rise to Marvel stardom in the Monologue; and a bunch of old people think they're dying because of today's stronger marijuana on 911 Call.
Two guests on Weekend Update this week: Kyle Mooney's purposefully obnoxious, grotesquely hilarious celebrity brat Baby Yoda returns in Baby Yoda on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where he talks about becoming a Thanksgiving parade balloon, his upcoming pop-punk album (featuring single "Tenth Grade Is Hard"), and his dating life (he's currently dating Mama Bear from the Berenstain Bears, and he's really into it).
And then Aidy Bryant starred in Mother Earth on Climate Change as a single mom (she's in a casual hookup situation with Father Time) trying to get people to take the environment more seriously and the lack of innovations by humans: "I feel like all I see is divorced nerds trying to colonize Mars. And honestly, I know Mars. She's a hot, dry, windy whore."
Please Don’t Destroy's latest digital short Touch Up was cut-for-time, but it's another fun, quick surreal blast from the trio, highlighted by a very good Pan's Labyrinth joke and a Cronenbergian-finale. Should have made the episode!
Saweetie performed a medley of "Tap In/Best Friend" and new single "Icy Chain."
SNL is taking the next couple weekends off, and will return on December 11th with Billie Eilish pulling double duty as host and musical guest. On December 18th, Paul Rudd and Charli XCX will close out the year.