Leave it to Saturday Night Live to bring comedy into this controversial election. SNL took place on Saturday with comedian Dave Chappelle as host and Foo Fighters as the musical guest. Saturday was also the day when it was announced that Joe Biden would be the President-Elect. SNL is known for poking fun at politicians in their cold opens, and they were prepared for this news with the official Twitter sending out a message saying, “We’ll see you soon.”
The show began with a political cold open which showed CNN reporters announcing the news of Biden’s win. The skit then cut to Biden and Harris giving their victory speeches, which actually happened about 85 minutes before the actual show went live on Saturday.
Just like the cold open from the week before, Biden was played by Jim Carrey and Harris was played by Maya Rudolph. One remarkable thing about this skit was SNL’s costume department being able to replicate Harris’ suit down to the details in the short time frame. Alec Baldwin also made a cameo in the cold open by reprising his role of playing Donald Trump. In a refreshing turn of events, all three satirical politicians hugged each other and announced that it was Saturday night in New York to officially open the show.
The show continued with the host Dave Chappelle giving his monologue. I’m not sure if it was longer than most SNL monologues, but Chappelle’s seemed to have more time than most hosts I’ve seen on the show.
Chappelle’s monologue was serious and funny, and I think he found a tasteful balance between the two. He talked about his grandfather who was a slave, and how he wished he could have lived to see the day. He also took the time to talk about the end of Trump’s presidency and cracked a few jokes here and there. Some of his standup was cynical and some jokes got no laughs, but I commend Chappelle for hitting on some heavy topics.
Although some of his jokes fell flat among the audience, Chappelle kept going with his monologue and delivered some funny moments amongst the cynicism.
Some sketches were not political, but most had some talk about the election. Regardless of the topic, I thought all the sketches were really funny. I also enjoyed that the celebrities who made cameos in the cold open participated in other sketches. I particularly enjoyed the sketch titled “Uncle Ben.”
The “Uncle Ben” sketch was a board meeting in which fictional brand characters such as Aunt Jemima (Maya Rudolph) and Uncle Ben (Kenan Thompson) were being told they were being fired due to the changing social climate. Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben begin to argue with the company executives about the situation and told them if they’re being fired then the company should fire the “Allstate Guy” (Dave Chappelle), too. Chappelle’s character argues that he shouldn’t be fired either because he’s not a character and he makes white people feel safe.
The funniest thing about this skit, for me, was Pete Davidson coming out dressed as Count Chocula from the General Mills seasonal cereal. The business executives end up firing Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and Count Chocula and keep the Allstate Guy.
Another good sketch to watch is “DC Morning” which involves a highspeed chase similar to the one with O.J. Simpson, except Trump is in the back seat of the white Bronco, and his son, Don Jr., is the getaway driver. My other favorite was “Hailstorm,” which was not political at all and therefore a little refreshing.
Overall, I really liked this episode. I didn’t think I would because I usually don’t like political sketches, but I think everyone needed a good laugh after this election. I liked the cameos from other actors and past cast members, too. I think Chappelle did a good job of hosting and was very comfortable on the stage.
If any show can make light of the turbulent, political climate, it’s Saturday Night Live. I think it worked out perfectly that the election results came in on Saturday before the show went on air. This election was a historic one, and I think this SNL episode will go down in history, too.