SNL recap: Adam Driver
Adam Driver can’t tell you anything about the next Star Wars movie. Yet that’s exactly what cast members tried to get him to do in the Girls actor’s opening monologue — which came nearly an hour after Saturday Night Live‘s usual start time thanks to a football game (that was apparently pretty exciting for those who weren’t tuned into NBC only because they were waiting to see Driver take the stage) running late.
Driver’s a charming guy, and that was on full display when he started off by showing a picture of himself looking sweetly dorky from his military days “back when the Marines were accepting 12-year-olds.” But that charm couldn’t save the rest of the dull opener, one that included a joke about confusing Adam Driver with Minnie Driver and Bobby Moynihan dressed up as Driver’s Star Wars character. With an actor as talented as Driver onstage, it’s a bummer they didn’t have him do anything besides thwart some Star Wars fans’ attempts to get spoilers out of him.
The rest of the episode gave Driver more opportunities to shine though, and he added a bit of sparkle to even the more out-of-place sketches (Aladdin and Jasmine taking an especially dangerous carpet ride, anyone?). Here are the evening’s best moments:
Kylo Ren goes undercover as… Matt
The dark and twisty Kylo Ren goes incognito (or, rather, attempts to go incognito) as a nerdy guy named Matt in a special episode of Undercover Boss to check out what goes on behind the scenes with the stormtrooper crowd. The whole joke is that Kylo Ren can’t keep his intensity under wraps, which is basically perfect for Driver, an actor known for his intensity. “I’m 90 percent sure that Matt is Kylo Ren,” a lieutenant colonel (Taran Killam) admits soon after “Matt” throws a Kylo Ren-style hissy fit. It’s silly and relevant and never falls flat throughout its five-minute runtime.
Two French women hijack America’s Funniest Cats
America’s Funniest Cats is exactly what it sounds like: a version of America’s Funniest Home Videos replacing videos of humans with cats. Driver plays the host, gleefully narrating each video with sound effects and the kind of commentary anyone who has watched America’s Funniest has come to know and love. But then two French women (played by Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon, who collectively make the sketch) join him to show how they host their version of the show back in their home country — and it is… different. Very different.
Fred Armisen pays tribute to David Bowie
Former SNL cast member Fred Armisen made a surprise appearance to introduce a video of Bowie, who died Jan. 10 at the age of 69, performing “The Man Who Sold the World” on the show in 1979. “Watching him was, for me, a life-changing experience,” Armisen said of seeing Bowie on SNL that night in the ’70s. “David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me, he transformed a live television.”
Chris Stapleton brings some country flair to Studio 8H
Stapleton first made headlines back in November when he took the stage with Justin Timberlake at the Country Music Awards for a stunning duet, and his performance on SNL was similarly impressive — even without Timberlake’s assistance.
Liev Schreiber shows up to make some breakfast
You know how the winners at awards shows like to address their children and say, “If you’re watching this, go to bed!”? Well, in this wacky short, we get to see the awards show from those kids’ perspectives — as well as what the parents do after the show. For the kids, played adorably by Kyle Mooney and McKinnon, that means sadly waiting up for their parents. For the adults, played by Driver and Vanessa Bayer, that means having an embarrassingly wild night that ends with a mostly naked Schreiber fixing breakfast for their kids in the morning. Looks like they won more than just a Golden Globe.
Next week: Ronda Rousey with musical guest Selena Gomez