Well, one thing’s for certain. Kansas City native Heidi Gardner would be excited to see Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the building to host Saturday Night Live, which would make for at least one more cast member excited for this week’s episode than we saw last week for the lackluster Woody Harrelson experience. Would any SNL people be even a wee bit distracted by Chris Rock’s own live Netflix special happening between SNL’s dress rehearsal and their live telecast, tho? Let’s find out together!
What’s The Deal For The SNL Cold Open For Last Night (3/4/23)?
FOX & Friends finds Steve Doocy (Mikey Day), Ainsley Earhardt (Heidi Gardner) and Brian Kilmeade (Bowen Yang) dancing around their employer’s lawsuit against Dominion for defaming the company’s vote-counting capabilities. Kilmeade confuses Dominion for those Minions, while Earhardt confuses her boss Rupert Murdoch for newly convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh. They try to put those incriminating FOX News employee texts into proper context, but then they also invite MyPillow guy Mike Lindell (James Austin Johnson) onto the show, which doesn’t quite help their cause. Or their case.
How Did The SNL Guest Host Travis Kelce Do?
Athletes can bring a mixed bag to the show. Most football players have been quarterbacks, who already have the temperament and skills to call an audible (best case scenario: Peyton Manning). But NFL fans certainly saw Kelce’s uninhibited ability to call out haters and his willing to make a fool of himself on live television in post-game interviews. So why not put him in Studio 8H for a week and see what happens, right?
Manning wished Kelce luck.
But Kelce reminded those of us who aren’t avid E!-heads that he already was a reality star of sorts, even if Peacock said “nah, we good” when given the chance to stream his 2016 dating series, Chasing Kelce. That moment made his older brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce, chuckle. The bros would make each other laugh again before the night was through.
Kelce ran a great post route through creepy to find the comedy end zone in this American Girl Cafe sketch, playing a pink-suitted guy who just wants to enjoy lunch with his two dolls, despite the waiter (Mikey), the manager (Gardner), and the other adults there (Kenan Thompson, Sarah Sherman) with their own human kids wondering if Kelce is just a perv or a pedophile in disguise. The moment where he tilts the heads on his dolls and waves their hands at a boy doll at the next table? Priceless.
Kelce also plays a central role in this week’s “please don’t destroy” video, which finds the trio taking Kurt Lightning’s self-defense class so they can earn the respect of their SNL interns, who think they’re “bitch boys.” After a couple of KOs and an almost fatal run-in with a granny, did the boys prove their worth? Not exactly.
Kelce may have stood behind the podium at Miss Glenda’s funeral as nurse and lover to this mother and grandmother, but it’s the dearly departed Miss Glenda (Ego) who does all the lifting, heavy or otherwise, in this live sketch. After Dillon unveils Miss Glenda, revealing her to be taxidermied and sitting in a chair, her family also sees that she’s permanently holding a pack of menthol cigarettes in one hand, a 2-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper in the other, a cig in her mouth, all while wearing shades in her Tweety Bird nightgown. Dillon also can pull a string from her back to make her say a few of her “favorite” things, while hydraulics allow her to “dance.” Just how she wanted?
Cue the waterworks! Abby (Heidi) is with her friends (Ego, Sarah) at the bar when she sees her ex (Kelce). She bursts into tears first when she meets her ex’s new girlfriend, even more finding out she’s a bosun on Below Deck (“that’s my dream job!”), and it gets worse, and wetter, from there. A good old gag sketch. Plus a cameo from Jason Kelce!
And then there’s Sucre. Kelce’s delivery in this sketch gives off Channing Tatum vibes, minus the magical dance moves. But it’s all about Ego and JAJ, who play parents who’ve summoned their kids in to break the news to them. In song. What’s the news? They’ve drifted apart. She’s cheating on him. But it’s cool: “I watch from the corner,” JAJ sings, sounding more than a bit like Michael McDonald. The kids (Devon, Chloe, and Marcello) quickly figure out it’s Sucre (Kelce), the stranger sitting in a nearby chair playing “Streets of Rage 2.” This sketch is full of delightful little moments, from frustration over Sucre’s name spelling to explanations about why the three kids have three different skin colors, to, wait, is JAJ actually playing electric guitar on live TV? As he pauses to reflect: “Sucre this, Sucre that. What do you think of the guitar solo?” We love it!
Heidi finally got into bed with Kelce for this sketch, although doing so meant blowing off her date with Garrett from Hinge (Bowen), which wouldn’t be a problem except Garrett has broken into her apartment while they’re still in bed??! Uh oh. And he brought poison? They should really let him make it a throuple if they want to survive this, but in the meantime, they’re having a lot of fun based off little references to Garrett’s Stewie Griffin T-shirt.
How Relevant Was The Musical Guest Kelsea Ballerini?
Does it count as relevance that her first name sounds like the host’s last name? Anyhoo.
Kelsea Ballerini made her SNL debut, hot off of her new EP, “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,” and accompanying short film, released on Valentine’s Day. The 29-year-old has been celebrated in country music for a while now, but she’s made more headlines recently for her relationships. Her music and videos document her fallout from divorcing singer Morgan Evans, and she’s currently dating Chase Stokes from Netflix’s Outer Banks.
Both of her performances tonight, “Blindsided” and “Penthouse,” are off the new EP.
Which Sketch Will We Be Sharing: “Straight Male Friend”
Gay men may like having gal pals around, but they can bring a lot of drama and expect you to go along for the ride, no matter the cost. That’s why, for guys like Bowen (and his character), there’s now Straight Male Friend as a fake ad product! Straight Male Friend (embodied by Kelce) represents a low-effort, low-stakes relationship requiring no emotional and low financial investment. BONUS: Straight Male Friend exists in the Wing Pit Cinematic Universe (last seen in the Pedro Pascal episode). Fake ad includes some running disclaimer jokes in the bottom-third of the screen, from may induce significant weight gain to the highly-Northeastern-centric warning that three or more of these friends “may result in a trip to Atlantic City.” What about Vegas, baby!?
Who Stopped By Weekend Update?
Three guest slots for Update this week, up from the recent norm.
First we had Michael Longfellow in deep makeup to portray cartoon character “Dilbert” come to life and ready to testify on cartoonist Scott Adams, and it’s extra awkward funny that the humor doesn’t go over that well at first. But think about life from Dilbert’s perspective: “My hair is entirely skin, and it has been the great tragedy of my life.” Things are turning around, tho: Dilbert took a personal day, read up on Karl Marx and Stokely Carmichael, and is ready to fight alongside Michael Che in the race war!
Next up, Mikey and Punkie were supposed to preview the Oscars for us, but turns out Punkie doesn’t know any other entertainers? She mixed up Tony Hawk and Stephen Hawking, for example. Her excuse? “They both white men with wheels” she said. Good point. Mikey then has Colin Jost play a game, examining silhouettes with fake names attached: “Who Does Punkie Mean?”
We got to see the return of “Sarah News,” thanks to Sarah Sherman’s 30th birthday. Happy birthday, Sarah! Sock it to Colin, why dontcha!
What Sketch Filled The “10-to-1” Slot?
At 12:55 a.m. Eastern, we’re treated to a few minutes from a new episode of Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle, which even the voiceover narrator is surprised has lasted five seasons already on the streamer. This sketch, however, seems to rely too much on the cast showing off a wide variety of bad British accents, because the weirdness of Chloe’s Glenn is somehow not weird enough to make this go off the rails like a typical end-of-the-night sketch? Oh well. Sometimes you just have to run out the clock.
Who Was The Episode’s MVP?
You might’ve expected Heidi Gardner to rise to the occasion, and she certainly found herself in multiple relationship sketches with Kelce. And everyone found some extra fun in uncovering little details in sketches. But the most valuable work tonight came from James Austin Johnson and Ego Nwodim. Not only did they carry a sketch together singing (with JAJ also on guitar), but also had sketches where they were expected to do a lot with a little (JAJ in the cold open as Mike Lindell, Ego as a dead woman who could still somehow speak, dance and hold a cigarette in her mouth even with her hands full). All in all, a great recovery from last week’s debacle, and nobody seemed concerned at all that an SNL alum was doing live comedy this Saturday night on another network.
Next week, Jenna Ortega hosts with musical guest The 1975! Expect dancing and plenty of shenanigans.
Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; before that, for actual newspapers. Based in NYC but will travel anywhere for the scoop: Ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes with comedians revealing origin stories: The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First.
By: Ny Post