A Wild and Rowdy D.C. Locker Room Party, Awkwafina Makes History

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Last week, Adam Driver hosted a rock-solid season opener of Saturday Night Live–with a headline-grabbing surprise appearance by Matt Damon. Tonight, Crazy Rich Asians scene-stealer Awkwafina hosted with musical guest Travis Scott on NBC.

First up was the night’s cold open, an all-out, spirited locker-room celebration following the Senate’s vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the 114th Supreme Court Justice. Kenan Thompson greeted us as CNN’s Don Lemon, then he sent us to D.C.’s winning team’s locker room, where Heidi Gardner‘s Dana Bash said the mood is “nothing short of euphoric,” and that a lot of pacemakers were being put to the test. Party goggles and many cans of beer were a part of the action. Kyle Mooney‘s John Kennedy was gung-ho to put it mildly. Beck Bennett‘s Mitch McConnell impression was oh-so on-point, in voice and in terms of information.

After getting “red as a tomato” last week, Kate McKinnon‘s terrific Lindsey Graham returned (clever, painful #MeToo joke here), but Cecily Strong‘s Susan Collins upstaged everyone, even though she insists that she doesn’t want this to be all about her! Aidy Bryant‘s “Female Prosecutor” danced a bit, and was really jazzed about her ride home on Southwest. Pete Davidson‘s Jeff Flake got a pie in the face.

We also spent some time with the losing team, namely a towel-draped Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat) and a prankster Joe Manchin (Mikey Day). The Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh today, meaning this six-minute cold open went from conception to live TV in a matter of hours. Pretty impressive.

Next up was Awkwafina’s opening monologue. The Ocean’s 8 star and Queens native is the first woman of Asian descent to host SNL in 18 years. Only five Asian-American performers have hosted in total, including Jackie ChanAziz Ansari and Kumail Nanjiani. Awkwafina definitely had some fun with her monologue, saying she’s not a crazy rich Asian but rather a “rebuilding my credit Asian,” and that she’s easy to relate to because she’s just your average Asian trumpet player-turned-rapper-turned-actress.

This one was from the heart, too. She dedicated tonight to her grandmother in Queens who thinks this show is called Comedy Central, and she told a touching story about waiting outside the building when Lucy Liu hosted 18 years ago, changing what young Awkwafina thought was possible for an Asian-American woman. Tonight, Awkwafina thanked her for opening the door.

Our host also said, for obvious reasons, that she was considering showing up dressed as a water bottle tonight– but somebody (Kanye West) did that last week!

In a bit of pure physical comedy, Awkwafina led a dance posse who are masters of their craft–their craft being dancing poorly to popular game show themes. Did you recognize the three music cues? They’re the themes from Family FeudMatch Game and The Price is Right. Tonight’s musical guest Travis Scott stepped in at the last minute to take the game-show dance-party fever up a few more degrees.

Beck Bennett got some of the biggest laughs of the night as Ted Cruz, whose rally just can’t seem to get off the ground. It feels like this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Bennett’s Cruz.

In a digital short, the ever-timely SNL had a lot of fun with the “Presidential Alert” that went out to U.S. cell users on Wednesday.  Ultimately, this was a Cricket Wireless commercial in disguise. Zing!

So You’re Willing to Date a Magician is about what it sounds like, a dating show where one lucky lady gets to date several men in a field. Leslie Jones had a hard time keeping a straight face as fellow cast members played everything up to a 12. Thompson can make anyone laugh with just a facial expression, the increasingly sad jokes at the expense of Mooney’s character really worked, and Moffat and Gardner were a high level of funny/gross.

On Weekend UpdateMichael Che and Colin Jost definitely didn’t hold back–which is always a good thing with these two. We got a Mario Kart reference and plenty about Kavanaugh. A mega-butchered, nine-second-long episode of Law & Order: SVU episode was a nice touch.

Also, within a long list of political “trigger terms” was The Last Jedi. Hilarious.

Che stood out tonight. His political analogy about horror movies was perfect. Also, he discovered his new favorite comedy line. He heard it on TV, and now he’s going to use it all the time! The Game of Thrones joke was equal parts funny and icky.

But the highlights of tonight’s Weekend Update, and among the very best parts of the night, were the guests. First, Alex Moffat and Mikey Day reprised their much-beloved and always-hilarious Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr./Patrick Bateman. As usual, Don Jr. smooth-talked while Eric struggled with self-control–from verbal slips to motor skills. He was enchanted, stunned, by a puppet!

Then, Pete Davidson upstaged everyone with a clap-back at last week’s musical guest Kanye West, who sort-of sabotaged that night’s curtain call after cameras stopped rolling. Among other things, Davidson makes a lot of jokes about his own mental health. Talk about a difficult topic–but the audience ate this up.

At a New York Film Festival actress roundtable called “Me Too, Year Two: How We Doin’, Hollywood?”, McKinnon brought back old-school Hollywood treasure Debette Goldry. This was Goldry’s darkest outing yet (“party murders?!”), and one of her best. Awkwafina played recent Emmy nominee Sandra Oh, saying “it’s an honor to play women who give long speeches after getting out of a shower.” Gardner’s Allison Janney is spot-on.

In a seasonal bit called The Pumpkin PatchMikey Day scolds Bennett, Awkwafina and Mooney for an American Pie tribute that went too far–like, way, way too far. The cast was so committed to this that it actually worked pretty well. Maybe the best touch was the music cue at the end, Family of the Year‘s “Hero.” It calls to mind Boyhood. A really dirty, weird, and wrong version of Boyhood.

In a sketch set at a baby shower, Strong was hilarious as an absolutely terrible, selfish and astonishingly immature person who brings her enabling, aggressive dog-walker (Awkwafina), who ruins everything, along.

One of the night’s pleasant surprises was a bizarre bit set in ancient Egypt. Cleopatra (Strong) got life-changing beauty tips from a beautician with an unfortunate name played by Awkwafina. This novelty was cute and weird–seemingly endless ancient Egypt puns and anachronisms galore!

As well as appearing in the game-show dance-off, musical guest Travis Scott first performed a mash-up of his songs “Skeletons” and “Astrothunder”, then he performed “Sicko Mode.”

Saturday Night Live returns Oct. 13 at 11:30 p.m. ET with host Seth Meyers and musical guest Paul Simon.

What was your favorite sketch of the night? Let us know in the comments!



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