As far as first-time Saturday Night Live hosts go, Amy Schumer is about as qualified as they come. Not only does she have her own sketch show (which actually beat out SNL at the Emmys this year), but she’s an accomplished standup — with an HBO special coming out next week, as she subtly reminded us during her monologue. So if Schumer was feeling any first-time show jitters, it certainly wasn’t obvious, as she delivered some solid sketches and standup that wouldn’t be out of place on Inside Amy Schumer.
Monologues by stand-up comedians are almost always solid (see: Louis C.K. and Chris Rock last season), and Schumer was no exception. SNL gave her more than eight minutes to talk about whether or not now is a good time for women in Hollywood, and she took the opportunity to riff on everything from the Kardashians to Jessica Alba’s soap company.
As far as the rest of the episode goes, here are the biggest moments from Schumer’s SNL debut:
Buzz Aldrin was great in Toy Story
Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade made their season 41 debut last night to talk about the new Speaker of the House and suggest names like Tim Tebow and Buzz Aldrin. (Just not Newt Gingrich… he’s the guy who stole Christmas.) Bobby Moynihan’s clueless Kilmeade impression is always hilarious (“I wish I had me some floor pizza!”), and Pete Davidson made his first appearance as a congressman, playing Utah’s Jason Chaffetz. But it was Kate McKinnon (as always) who stole the show as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, defending Planned Parenthood and looking like she wanted to rip out Hasselbeck’s throat with her teeth. After all, her “name sounds like a law firm.”
“Guns. We’re here to stay.”
Schumer’s been an outspoken advocate for gun control, teaming up with New York Senator Chuck Schumer (her cousin) to call for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting this summer during a screening of Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana. And this episode went all in on guns, tackling the topic no less than three times. Weekend Update and the city council sketch both touched on the issue, but the public service announcement went all in, promising, “Guns are there — in little moments and big ones. When things fall apart or it all comes together, they unite us, comfort us, bring us joy and strength — from first loves to new beginnings.”
Amy Merryweather Sherman returns
Later in the night, almost the entire cast trotted out some bizarre characters for the city council sketch, as Kyle Mooney championed the merits of the Dutch underground hip-hop scene and Leslie Jones treated the public forum as an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. At times, it felt a little like an underbaked Parks and Recreation public forum, until Schumer trotted out an Inside Amy Schumer character: 6-year-old Amy Merryweather Sherman. Sherman used to frequent child pageants and suffer from Fetal Red Bull Syndrome, but now, she apparently hangs around city council meetings and asks for legislation to allow her to bring her firearm to school.
There weren’t any cameos from Schumer’s Trainwreck costars (or her newfound BFF Jennifer Lawrence), but The Weeknd got a little help from Nicki Minaj, who showed up halfway through his performance of “The Hills” to rap a verse. An official remix of “The Hills” featuring Minaj, as well as anther one with Eminem, dropped on iTunes right before his performance.
While Kate McKinnon brought out her always-welcome crazy eyes to play Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the cold open and Colin’s neighbor Mrs. Santini on Weekend Update, this one goes to Schumer’s Trainwreck costar Vanessa Bayer. Not only did Bayer bring some cheery fearmongering to Fox & Friends as Elisabeth Hasselbeck (“They’re selling baby parts on Snapchat!”), but she also gave the Delta Airlines sketch her all, flailing around outside the plane.