Friday, October 30, 2015

SNL 41.3 Review - Tracy Morgan, Demi Lovato

Original Airdate - 10/17/15

When the first batch of hosts for this season of Saturday Night Live was announced, everybody circled this date on their calendar as it marked the first hosting gig for SNL alum Tracy Morgan.  It was much bigger than that though.  It also was his first working appearance since a car crash last year that almost took his life.  This was to be the triumphal return of one of the show's most beloved characters.  It didn't disappoint.

Cold Opening

The show started with what could turn out to be the best sketch of the season.  The Democratic Debate was the topic of the day, which always has the potential to be a highlight thanks to Kate McKinnon's Hilary Clinton.  What made this sketch so good is who filled out the rest of the panel.  Alec Baldwin portrayed the overly-confident and annoyed Jim Webb, and in what may be the best casting decision the show has had (at least since Tina Fey became Sarah Palin), Larry David was brought in to play Bernie Sanders.  It was perfect.  All of a sudden, McKinnon's Clinton was the boring sidekick, which many think is the case in the real campaign.  Either way, this made for a classic sketch that will be replayed for years to come.


Now the moment everyone was waiting for.  Tracy Morgan took the stage.  There was a group of people who really wanted to welcome him back in a special way.  So they recreated a scene in 30 Rock, complete with Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Krakowski.  It was a great way to welcome back Morgan and start the show off as the celebration it was meant to be.

Weekend Update

Colin and Michael had their first hiccup this week.  When you work in comedy, every now and then a joke won't work.  However, these two had a bit that flamed out so impressively that it left the hosts chuckling to themselves, which is funny because they were the only ones laughing.  As far as the guests to the Update desk go, you can't pass up an opportunity to have Tina Fey visit when she is in the building.  The second guest was Michael's neighbor Willy, who gets better and better each time he shows up.

Best Sketch

I have two best sketches to showcase here.  First is an old classic Tracy Morgan sketch everyone knew would be coming back, but everybody was excited to see.  Brian Fellow's Safari Planet is possibly Tracy's most beloved sketch, and to see it back brought a collective smile to SNL fans everywhere.  The other best sketch brought a new definition to Family Feud as the two families competing had recently separated.

Worst Sketch

Every sketch in this episode had its moments.  Tracy Morgan has a tendency to do that.  However, this sketch was just a little too weird.  It was like the start to a classic Broadway musical, as everyone sings their good mornings to each other.  However, it starts to go very wrong as someone doesn't quite get it.  It's funny, but just a little too much.

Dark Horse Sketch

Again, here are two sketches; one from Tracy's past and one new one.  Astronaut Jones was the epitome of a Dark Horse Sketch, as it was just weird enough to be original and hilarious.  The other sketch seeks the answer to a very simple question, "Where is Jackie Chan at right now?"

As I said, this episode was more of a celebration that Tracy Morgan is back and ready to make us laugh again.  He definitely did that in this episode as he brought back some highlights of the past and found new ways also.  It is episodes like this that make you sad certain cast members had to move on.  The only thing that would have made this episode better would have been a Christmas song brought to us by Tracy, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Horatio Sans.  Oh well, maybe next time.


View the full episode here:

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