‘SNL’ Recap: Daniel Kaluuya Does Accents, St. Vincent Gets Funky

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Are you ready for some sit-down comedy? Because we’ve got a lot of sketches this week and even one musical performance where everyone’s nice and comfortable, just like you are.

What’s The Deal With The SNL Cold Open for 4/3/21?

We definitely have left the era of political parodies behind us, as this is the second time this season that Saturday Night Live has chosen to open with the Britney Spears talk show that’s also an inquisition of bad actors, “Oops, You Did It Again.” Chloe Fineman anchors the sketch, talking us through the topics of hot topics throughout the week, from Lil Nas X (Chris Redd) and his Satanic Nikes, to Pepé Le Pew (Kate McKinnon) getting cut from Space Jam: A New Legacy, and finally Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (Pete Davidson), who has been implicated in all sorts of sexual misconduct and not necessarily defended himself that well about it. Having Spears describe Gaetz as a “sex pest” felt like an inside dig for hard-core fans of comedy beefs. When Davidson tries comparing Gaetz’s misdeeds to the Looney Tunes skunk, he gets skunked himself.

Lis Nas X, meanwhile, delivered his own verdict on the sketch after watching Redd’s impersonation of him giving “God” (aka “Gary,” aka Mikey Day) a lap dance: “snl going to hell.”

How Did The SNL Guest Host Daniel Kaluuya Do?



Daniel Kaluuya, who described himself to comedy fans tuning in to SNL as “basically I’m what the Royal Family was afraid the baby would look like,” already has won the Golden Globe for playing the late Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, and may take home the Oscar this year, too. The show replayed a clip of his muted Golden Globes acceptance speech during Kaluuya’s monologue, which ended with a shout-out to Kel Mitchell and SNL‘s Kenan Thompson, for their Nickelodeon show of the 1990s inspired a young Kaluuya.

The show gave current-day Kaluuya plenty of opportunities to show his range, as well as his Ugandan heritage in a sketch about “Proud Parents” who illustrate the practice of immigrants expecting their Americanized children to study hard and become doctors, no matter what.



He was great in a “Cut For Time” sketch that didn’t air but is available online, playing a U.S. Marine captain in Vietnam looking for “The Hero” to head up a rescue operation. He could be the boyfriend trying to play nice in board games such as “Scattergories” with his girlfriend’s parents. He could be the one guy in the Sigma Delta fraternity to want to invite everyone’s moms along to their “Frat Trip” to Tahoe (even if, fun fact, Sigma Delta is, in fact, a sorority at Dartmouth in real life?). He could jazz it up at the end of the night. He could be a doctor trying and failing to bribe his relatives into getting vaccinated for COVID-19.



Or he could even keep his British accent to give voice to dogs, even if it upsets the other owners at the dog park.



About the only thing he couldn’t do was find jokes and manufacture funny moments where none were written.

How Relevant Was The Musical Guest St. Vincent?

St. Vincent has two Grammys, and perhaps more to come once she releases her seventh album in May, called Daddy’s Home. She wore a jacket that said Daddy on the back, in honor of her father’s release from prison. And she performed the first two singles from the forthcoming album, the funky “Pay Your Way in Pain,” and later she slipped back into a comfy chair along with her backup singers for “The Melting Of The Sun.”





Which Sketch Will We Be Sharing: “Viral Apology Video”

Social media was all a-Twitter this week about Jensen Karp, the former rapper known as Hot Karl who was being called “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Tails Guy” until multiple women came forward to allege past abuse on his part. The YouTube community, meanwhile, has come for David Dobrik and his Vlog Squad about their own direct and indirect roles in alleged sexual assaults and more. Dobrik put out a video “03/22/21” to his 18.5 million subscribers. All of this somehow gets mashed up and made into mockery by Kyle Mooney as Marky Munro, having to apologize over and over again for his Prank Posse and its criminal conduct.



Why does MarkyMunro keep victimizing his poor friend J.P. (Kaluuya)? What happens when J.P. exacts his revenge prank on Marky? And will this “Viral Apology Video” sketch itself go viral?

Who Stopped By Weekend Update?

In case you forgot that it’s Easter Sunday, McKinnon and Aidy Bryant stopped by the Update desk as Wylene and Vaneta Starkie of Smokery Farms with some advice for people who are skittish about eating meat for the holiday, or any day. Simply put: “We only serve meat from animals that genuinely deserve to be killed!”

Any time Kate and Aidy team up for a sketch or video, it’s always great for laughs and fun, simply because they have such great chemistry, whether or not we know what relationship their characters are supposed to have to each other. Are Vaneta and Wylene sisters, sister-wives or wives? Why do they immediately begin to lose it when the basket of raw meat shows up in front of them? Is it the smell? The temperature? We may never know. All we do know for sure is that the basket, the basket was WET.



The Guy Who Just Bought A Boat (Alex Moffat) returned to share post-COVID dating tips, but mostly horribly unsubtle puns and innuendos, such as “Goodbye, FaceTime. Hello, sit on my face time.”



And then there were Jeff and Hattie Deeley (Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner), who stopped by Weekend Update to talk about their May-December marriage. He’s 26. She’s 106. And loaded. He claims he didn’t know she had so much money. To which Che retorts: “Dude, her maiden name is Exxon-Mobil.” I guess it’s supposed to be funnier because they switched the genders from stereotypical, but they’re not convincing anyone.



What Sketch Filled The “10-to-1” Slot?



At 12:55 a.m. Eastern, we’re invited to another sit-down sketch, this time in the home of a man played by Kenan Thompson celebrating his 69th birthday. If only Beck Bennett’s neighborly joke about that was the naughtiest thing happening in this house. Instead, it’s the birthday elder’s half-brother Lars (Kaluuya), who drove down from Canada with his partner Jolene (Cecily Strong) to deliver a very intimate gift, via upright bass jazz licks and spoken-word.

Who Was The Episode’s MVP?

By stinking up the joint in the cold open, by giggling up the joint as a smoker of bad meats, and by portraying two extremely different mothers, the star of this week’s episode undoubtedly was Kate McKinnon. But the unsung hero may have been Ego Nwodim, who served as a perfect foil for the week’s guest host, whether as his anti-vaxxer cousin, his meet-cute in the dog park, or his Ugandan wife pooh-poohing their son’s decision to ditch his pre-med plans for poetry.

Next week it’s Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan with musical guest Kid Cudi!

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.

Watch SNL Season 46, Episode 16 on YouTube

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