“Saturday Night Live” bounced back last night with 4.3 million viewers after a desultory couple of outings. Lorne Michaels certainly looked at the woeful 3.9 from the Harry Styles episode and realized something had to be done. That show lacked Alec Baldwin as Trump and had almost no politics. That was a big mistake.
Last night, Baldwin was back, and Will Ferrell, a movie star who came from “SNL,” was the host. Guests included Ryan Reynolds, Woody Harrelson, Larry David and a bunch of “SNL” alumna including Tracy Morgan, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Rachel Dratch. All the surprise reveals set off a chain reaction, too. The show was funny, trenchant, and topical, which it had not been in the last couple of weeks.
There were also some terrific short films including a parody of “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Kate McKinnon as Dorothy trying to be PC with the Munchkins. It was excellent. There was also a final sketch with Will Ferrell as a puppeteer that was extremely edgy, almost something from the Mr. Mike era. Michael O’Donoghue, in heaven, must have been agape to see that in 2019.
It also helped that the musical guest, King Princess, who absolutely no one has ever heard of, was so good. She–they?– is Mikaela Mullaney Straus, a 20 year old who great grandparents founded Macy’s and died on the Titanic. She–they?–is gender fluid, and is signed to Mark Ronson’s imprint at Columbia Records. I would qualify her debut akin to that of HER, who is now a huge overnight star.
So, a very good night on “SNL.” And though I remain addicted to Kate McKinnon, I thought Cecily Strong was terrific as usual. I’m also a huge fan of Melissa Villasenor, who I don’t think gets enough credit.