There are episodes of Saturday Night Live where the host seamlessly fits in with the cast and what they already do (Harry Styles, Chance The Rapper), there are episodes when the show conforms to the strengths and uniqueness of the host (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Kristen Stewart), and then there are episodes like the one this weekend, when the show becomes wholly about the host. Jennifer Lopez is a superstar who is having a hell of a year (see her Monologue below), and if you are a J.Lo fan, then you probably really enjoyed the episode, which was full of sketches about how beautiful she is, how talented she is, how famous she is, and how great it must be to be J.Lo.
I guess I have to admit here that I did not enjoy this episode—the J.Lo charm offensive was overwhelming, with 2/3 of the sketches devoted to her greatness. It felt like a weird meta joke that the first half of the episode was just sketch-after-sketch of people fawning over Lopez with little actual comedy or depth to it—yes, J.Lo is great and powerful and fierce, but please come up with another premise once in awhile! It did work reasonably well the first time at least in Surprise Home Makeover, thanks in part to Mikey Day's character's Smurf obsession (and tramp stamp) that killed.
We got a rare Pete Davidson sighting in pre-taped sketch Chad & J.Lo, in which Lopez takes a break from preparing for a tour to seduce her new roadie, Chad. (A-Rod shows up for his only cameo of the night... though he also tweeted.) "Goodbye Jello" was a pretty hilarious final line at least.
Probably my favorite sketch of the night was Hoops, which actually gave J.Lo a character to play alongside Melissa Villaseñor, who advertise custom-made hoop earrings made of 100% metal. "When you look at your baby daughter, do you think, 'how could I ever respect you?'"
I also enjoyed PottyPM, which started out like any other fake commercial before a twist that brought out the best from Kyle Mooney.
I've been happy mostly ignoring the absolutely terrible cold opens this season, but I guess we should mention this week's NATO Cafeteria Cold Open, since it is what most people have been talking about. It was another political cold open that relied on guest stars, in this case Paul Rudd, Jimmy Fallon and James Corden as Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson, respectively (the weirdest thing was that Corden looked like a dead ringer for Chris Farley when he came out). The concept of the sketch worked—modern geopolitics really is like high school—but the second Alec Baldwin's Trump arrived the whole thing just puttered out.
Check out the rest of this week's sketches below: McKinnon and Aidy Bryant had to compete with their sister Lopez for the affection of The Corporal; Kenan Thompson plays Black Trump in the recurring sketch Them Trumps: Rally; Davidson showed up in the flesh (!) in the background of Hip-Hop Carolers; McKinnon, Cecily Strong and Lopez played Wisconsin Women in a flat sketch; and a bunch of the cast got to have some fun playing wacky exercise instructors in Barry's Bootcamp.
There were two guests on Weekend Update: Kate McKinnon turned up as Nancy Pelosi (McKinnon is an out-of-this-world impressionist who is equally good at playing Rudy Giuliani and Kellyanne Conway, but Pelosi is not one of her strongest impressions), and Beck Bennett brought back one of my favorite recent Weekend Update characters, the always charming Jules, Who Sees Things A Little Differently.
DaBaby continued his 2019 ascendancy with a pair of very fun, highly-choreographed performances of "BOP" and "Suge."
Marriage Story and JoJo Rabbit star Scarlett Johansson will return to host for the sixth time next week, with former One Direction member Niall Horan as the musical guest, making his solo debut.