Lizzo Shone on an Otherwise Weak 'SNL' April 16, 2022

Lizzo Shone on an Otherwise Weak 'SNL' April 16, 2022
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Lizzo gave her absolute all as a host and performer, determined to have fun and be a great guest — and, despite the writing and technical difficulties, she succeeded. The show itself? Not so much. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week, plus two pieces that were cut for time and posted online later.

The cold open
 
In a message from the Easter Bunny, Bowen Yang played the rabbit egg king, whom Yang tried to define in some way. Before we knew it, we encountered a string of people offering their Easter wishes, via impressions like Kate McKinnon's Dr. Anthony Fauci, who provided a frank holiday message. Following in quick succession, we got Cecily Strong's super idiotic Marjorie Taylor Green and Chris Redd's vain Mayor Eric Adams, Mikey Day's creepy Elon Musk, Chloe Fineman's image rehabilitated but still mentally unstable Britney Spears, and Kyle Mooney's strange Jesus lookalike Jared Leto. Before the Easter Bunny could conclude its presentation, they were interrupted by a comically incoherent Donald Trump, whom James Austin Johnson has been having a lot of fun with lately, even though Trump himself hasn't been so newsworthy of late. Anyway, this was a brisk and somewhat entertaining open.
 
The monologue

Dressed in sparkly attire, Lizzo said "bitch" a few times and then introduced her mother in the live studio audience. She then reminded us of her recent TED Talk on twerking and disputed rumours about her that she herself had started, and she ended this brief warm-up with a message of positive affirmation.
 
Guess That!

Kenan Thompson played game show host Clint Litoris and moderated a contest between characters played by Ego Nwodim, Lizzo and Chris Redd. Things were going smoothly until Lizzo's Nicole disputed being called on getting an answer close but not quite accurate. Lizzo proved herself a strong comedic performer in this bit of nonsense, getting laughs for repeatedly using the buzzer every time she spoke, and coining the phrase, "the Mayor of Gametown." Things took an even funnier turn when the other contestants joined in the anarchy.
 
TikTok

Repeating a concept the show has attempted before, this was not exactly a satire of TikTok but more of an excuse for virtually every single cast member to appear in one micro-sketch, mostly completely disconnected from one another but occasionally intersecting. Super quick, there was barely time for any one thing to register — but, again, this was less of a parody of TikTok than it was a sampler of how old people perceive the app.
 
Black Eyed Peas Recording Session (2008)

Bill Hader has told the story of successfully pitching a Vincent Price sketch just minutes before airtime, prompting Lorne Michaels to ask him, "Why now?" At a 2008 recording session, producers played by Aidy Bryant and Lizzo oversee a demo session by the Black Eyed Peas, as portrayed by Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Bowen Yang and Chris Redd. This was a reasonably funny take down of how vapid and simplistic this plastic, inconsequential group's songs really were. But, why now?
 
First Date with Grandpa

Arriving home from a first date, Lizzo played a character who must introduce Mikey Day's character to her grandfather, whom she lived with, and happened to be the mascot for Six Flags from those TV ads maybe 20 years ago. Sarah Sherman played the grandpa, while Ego Nwodim appeared to play her grandma, and they each danced up a storm the way mascots might have. Soon, other cast members appeared as lookalike Six Flags guys and also insinuated that Day's character had a small penis. This was rather dumb, dated and pointless. Why now?
 
Please Don't Destroy – Lizzo

The PDD boys wound up workshopping song ideas for Lizzo, who was suffering from writer's block, and things got very chaotic. After exhausting all manner of ideas, the four of them hit paydirt with a song about a horny zookeeper, all of which was rather amusing.
 
Lizzo
 
In a possible first, a host introduced their own musical performance as a playful Lizzo continue to wring as much fun as possible out of her double duty at SNL. Tapping into a Chic/Daft Punk vibe, Lizzo was flanked by four back-up dancers, a live drummer and bassist for a spirited and colourful run through of "About Damn Time," including Lizzo having herself a pretty strong flute solo. A fun feast for the senses here.

Introduced by her mother for the next performance, Lizzo was dressed glamorously and backed by a full band for the emotive, hip-hop-infused pop of "Special," which again continued her motivational music aesthetic, delivering empowering and upbeat songs with a rare, tuneful roar.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost began an uneven Update with jokes about President Joe Biden's declining approval ratings, before Michael Che made a joke about Ghostbusters. The pair then set their sights on Elon Musk's interest in buying Twitter, with Jost turning the joke on himself.
 
Che made a cheap weight joke about the NYC subway shooter before Jost took a dig at Peloton's penchant for causing some people to have heart attacks (which was a talking point almost two years ago). Jost made a sly observation about a man getting a dumbbell stuck in his anus, before Che made a pretty great cops-shooting-black-people joke. Melissa Villaseñor played Jost's driver, Cesar Perez, whom Jost drunkenly agreed to let do standup for the first time. After Perez made one little joke about his nephew, Carlitos, he crumbled with regret and shame. This seemed to be the core of this bit, with Perez making one joke after another about Carlitos, which was somewhat amusing and ended a rather short Update.
 
The Kingdom of Jeddah

At an ancient, cursed orgy, Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang played the event organizers going through the variety of activities and establishing who was in charge of each. Most of the cast appeared in this juvenile costume party, which broke Yang up pretty hard and culminated in Kate McKinnon making out with a goat and Kyle Mooney playing a puckish character. Silly, yes, but this was also poorly organized filler and possibly unrehearsed, based on some of the stilted direction and uncertainty on some cast members' faces.

The Devry Institute Symphony Orchestra

Mikey Day played the snooty conductor of a college orchestra, which is missing a flautist when Lizzo's Beverly Gas appeared to save the day. Unfortunately, Gas cannot play well unless she's twerking as she performs, which inspired the entire orchestra to do the same, which was a fun bit of group physical comedy involving ass.
 
Beanie Babies

At a dinner party for friends, Steve (Andrew Dismukes) has confidently quit his job. Steve lost his mind when his peers suggested that his plan to live off of selling his collection of Beanie Babies was not good, and then he and his partner (Lizzo) got into shouting match so ridiculous, Lizzo broke and could barely get through this last sketch of the night. This Beanie Babies concept really showed the writers' age. Why now?
 
Cut for broadcast:

Costco Glitter Revolution
 
"Sensual Evening In"