Saturday Night Live recap: Molly Shannon makes superstar return as host
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Hey there — it's SNL in Review time, and this week we have a special host. One of Saturday Night Live's happy graduates has come home. It's nearly impossible to consider the history of prominent female cast members without evoking Molly Shannon. From "Delicious Dish" to "Mary Katherine Gallagher" to "Dog Show," her character work represented a key contribution to SNL during a time when the show was finally beginning to give female voices more prominence.
I am joined tonight by former SNL cast member Robin Duke, who is co-starring in Shelved, which just premiered on CTV. On Shannon, she notes: "I love her I'm 50 character, Sally O'Malley. It's so true and great. It's out there, I like how bold she is with her characters. She's a good actress too, which helps really. As big as her characters can be, her acting grounds them. There's a truth there that is really identifiable."
Exactly! With Duke as an obvious precursor, there's an argument that Shannon's boldness, alongside the likes of Cheri Oteri, liberated future women in the cast to be as wild and brash as any of the male performers. Do you get Kristen Wiig or Kate McKinnon without Shannon paving the way? I do not see it. And since SNL, Shannon has carved a wonderful niche for herself on TV and in independent dramedies. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the only one in a similar lane. Right now she's appearing in the third season of The Other Two as well as in the Showtime comedy series I Love That for You alongside fellow former SNL alum Vanessa Bayer. She is also co-starring in A Good Person opposite Florence Pugh.
Yes, she is indeed a SUPERSTAR! Quite the range. Keep scrolling below and find out what's good for you.
In honor of Easter this weekend, we join Jesus at the Last Supper. The iconic painting comes alive with Mikey Day as Christ and Molly Kearney as Judas. "A famous, wonderful man arrested for no reason at all," interjects James Austin Johnson's Donald Trump. Ah, it's one of those cold opens. Again. Trump keeps comparing himself to "Jesus of Azkaban" with Ron DeSantis as his Judas. As he goes on to note the rest of the disciples are frozen behind him.
This sketch had a lot of potential, but even with JAJ's very amusing Trump take, not sure I can recommend it.
Shannon last hosted back in 2007, but she's since returned to the show a few times to cameo. "It's so great to be back," she says in her monologue, reflecting on her kids and the memoir she put out last year. It was a frank book about some of the troubles she's experienced throughout her life. This leads to an excellent Broadway rendition, in which Shannon calls on various cast members to air their issues. Kearney says they are not in the show much; Bowen Yang is attracted to his therapist; Kenan Thompson is addicted to buying rolexes; and Andrew Dismukes still dresses like a little boy.
Shannon goes beyond the cast for admissions from the audience. Lorne Michaels alert! Shannon calls on him but he does not have any problems. But Martin Short ran out Ozempic. Nice use of the cast, a Superstar call-out, and a fun guest cameo. Watch this!
Dismukes is coaching three new recruits (JAJ, Shannon, and Thompson) on the ideal way to retrieve a customer's keys. He has three core rules to follow: lil joke, lil bow, lil jog. You won't believe this, but the recruits just don't get it! JAJ makes a tiny penis joke. Shannon says she was catfished by a middle schooler. "Actually I'm in love with you," she keeps confessing. Thompson talks too low.
"Netflix Live Promo: Jeannie Darcy"
Oh hell yes, they brought back Jeannie Darcy! Debuting way back in 2000, Darcy was an uninspired stand up comedian with a mullet. Her catchphrase, in case you can't tell is: "Don't get me started, don't even get me started."
I love this. It's a fun, sly spoof, and worked perfectly in this context (riffing on Chris Rock's live special). Here she is back in 2007. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if Darcy became Shannon's Mr. Saturday Night style recurring character.
Susie is glowing in maternal instinct. She is excited to start maternity leave too – until a loud audible fart diffuses her womb. This is dark! Check it out.
Please Don't Destroy's "Molly Shannon 2K23"
Molly2k23 is a game about Shannon's life. Discovering this, the real deal falls into a rabbit hole.
I like this a lot! We have our second Superstar reference of the night.
Devon Walker is excited his girlfriend has published a play. But to his horror, the show, A Year of a Thousand Men, is about her extensive sexual history and true feelings about him. In her eyes, he's a dork. He was the 1000th man. Nick Jonas has a small role here.
Jonas Brothers - first musical performance
"Waffle House" is the second and final single from the Jonas Brothers' sixth studio album, The Album. The song "was born from a simple but powerful idea: When you sit down with the people that matter most, anything is possible. This song isn't about a restaurant, it's about coming together with the people you love," the group told Good Morning America.
Subjects include the Harlow Crow-Justice Clarence Thomas scandal, and Trump's arraignment. A bit muted tonight, though Michael Che is increasingly unhinged. This week, DeSantis has escalated his feud with Disney, threatening to impose taxes on its hotels and roads that lead to the theme park. To comment: Jafar from Aladdin (Yang). Turns out a lot of Disney characters are gay. He has pointed words for "the boy" DeSantis.
Earlier this week, Angel Reese (Punkie Johnson) said neither she, nor her team, would be visiting the White House after the Tigers defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 to win their first NCAA women's basketball national championship. Reese also made a gesture towards Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Your coworker who is busy doing nothing Crystal (Heidi Gardner) also appears. She is slammed but is on to discuss a recent Labor Department report regarding increased in-person work. "Hello Caesar," she frantically says, greeting her salad. First time she's eaten in a month! Very funny reveal on her job: she is Che's assistant!
A spoof of commercials that use euphemisms and upbeat settings/music to suggest they treat vaginal issues. Shannon is concerned that her costars' energy levels are "mid" while filming an ad for Vagerted. "This product sounds really awful," says Ego Nwodim. They were wrong in the monologue, there's actually lots of Kearney tonight!
Jonas Brothers - second musical performance
Another recently released song from their latest album, "Walls," is the last track. The Jonas Brothers previously appeared on the show in 2009 and 2019. (And "The Oldest Jonas" remains a classic.)
"Sally O'Malley: Jonas Brothers"
The Jonas Brothers want a new choreographer. They are not a teen band anymore and want a more mature stage act. Cue, to applause, Sally O'Malley. She's still kicking - literally!
"The grand canyon has nothing on me!" says O'Malley as she hikes up her outfit. Still proud after all these years. Oh boy, legacy act/victory lap time, the Jonas Brothers show up also dressed up as O'Malley. "Kick, stretch…"
Okay, I love Sally. But shoehorning this as a 10-to-1? This feels rushed and half assed.
People have based their entire personality around hating Trump. The anxiety over the indictment is too much. "In your mind he's already in jail," the app reassures.
I like Shannon as Maggie Haberman. And Sherman as Wolf Blitzer. I'm generally a bit underwhelmed by all this, but it is a funny concept.
-What did you think? Vote here or weigh in below!
-I feel underwhelmed. This never really got its footing, right?
-Go watch Shelved! Thanks again to Robin Duke. She noted to me that the transition from a sketch background to sitcom can be "difficult. I have to be very careful with this character [in Shelved]. I need to get the laughs out of an honest place. Not a judgmental or critical place – it must be identifiable. That kind of character on stage could be a wackadoo, but that's not what I'm doing on Shelved. I'm trying to find who that person is, and what if it was me? How would I be in that situation? I would want a sense of humor about where I was, but also defensive, which I think that character is. She doesn't want anyone to get close to her right now. She has a lot of walls up. There's a bit more history behind this character than I would do in a sketch."
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The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.