‘SNL’ recap: Megan Thee Stallion shows surprising comedy chops as host and musical guest
Saturday Night Live – Season 42
Happy Saturday, Conehead Nation! Once again, welcome to SNL in Review. Over the course of the show, 36 musicians have pulled double duty as host and musical guest. Tonight, a new artist joins them: Megan Thee Stallion.
She first appeared on the show on Oct. 26, 2019, during an episode hosted by Chance the Rapper (who was also the musical guest). They performed the song “Handsome.” She was a full on musical guest for the season 46 premiere on Oct. 3, 2020, hosted by Chris Rock where she performed “Savage” and “Don’t Stop” with Young Thug. So, she is familiar with 8H to say the least.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Megan Thee Stallion Episode 1829 — Pictured: Host Megan Thee Stallion during the Monologue on Saturday, October 15, 2022
Credit: Will Heath/NBC via Getty Images
Pulling double duty is a special feat — and a challenging gig. I recently spoke with former cast member Jerry Minor. Regarding tonight’s episode, he tells me: “I am interested to see what it’s going to be like. Usually, doing the dual hosting is pretty tough. I was there when Jennifer Lopez did it. It was tough! She was complaining the whole time. ‘Now I have to sing?! Now I have to be in another sketch?!’ Like, yeah, you’re the host of the show — we’d like you to be in another sketch!”
He adds, “It’s such a hard show to do, to do a live show. Just the wardrobe stuff, getting dressed in the hallway — you don’t know what the next sketch might be that’s coming up. You get out of a sketch, they’re taking something and putting something on you. Someone’s in front of you like, ‘Okay, here’s the cue cards for the next sketch.’ And you go, ‘Oh, that’s the next one?’ ‘Oh, that whole chunk’s gone now?’ It’s that fast.”
A fair point. I am curious to see how someone like Megan, who is not exactly known for her acting or comedy chops, rises to the occasion. Let’s dive headfirst into the deep end of the pool, and see how the show fares.
SNL jumps into the recent Jan. 6 hearing. Kenan Thompson is committee chairman Bennie Thompson, while Heidi Gardner plays outgoing Congresswoman Liz Cheney. Cheney acknowledges that Republicans aren’t watching, and Democrats are nodding their heads so hard. She has big Dick Cheney energy. (Fun fact: Before Darrell Hammond, Phil Hartman first played Dick on the show way back in 1991.)
Mikey Day’s Congressman Jamie Raskin, who represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, shares message board posts from QAnon traitors. The wig is not flattering.
He introduces the Nancy Pelosi footage that went viral, which gives Chloe Fineman an opportunity to shine. Sarah Sherman is playing Chuck Schumer — that is inspired casting. They both crush it. I could enjoy this becoming a recurring bit. We all remember Pelosi used to frequently be played by Kristen Wiig and then Kate McKinnon. She’s also been impersonated by Cameron Diaz and Amy Poehler.
James Austin Johnson returns as Donald Trump — it’s flawless as always. “Is Mike Pence dead yet?” he inquires. Of course, this kind of sketch resembles the kind of cold open that the season premiere sketch mocked. But I think it’s a little more coherent and inspired than much of the dreck we suffered through during the Alec Baldwin years. (They must quit the group LFNY though. Whatever NBC intern is reading this, please highlight and bold this in your clips!)
Megan struts out on stage and goes over her many aliases — including Tina Snow, the Hot Girl Coach, the a-show, and “Ugh, that bitch.”
There is more to her than meet’s the eye. After noting that she’s a pretty good actress, she tries out her British accent: “Put me in Bridgerton, bitch.” She then directs viewers to her mental health website: BADBITCHESHAVEBADDDAYSTOO.COM. Good energy.
Hot Girl Hospital
From Shonda Rimes and the top commenters Shade Room’s Instagram comes network TV’s latest smash: Hot Girl Hospital. When life is on the line, these are the women (Megan, Ego Nwodim, and Punkie Johnson) who will answer the call, say something rude, then hang up. “Hot Girl Summer” was Megan’s first big hit back in 2019. Funny — when A Black Lady Sketch Show premiered on HBO it used “Hot Girl” in the opening title sequence. Also funny: Megan loses an earring midway through the sketch and nonchalantly reattaches it.
The New York Times calls it both empowering and regressive at the same time. Agreed!
We Got Brought
The plus ones (Megan, Bowen Yang, and Ego Nwodim) find themselves having to interact awkwardly when the friends that brought them to the bar leave the table.
This is relatable and the raps are pretty funny and well done. “Where are our friends? Where have they gone?” spits Yang. I like this more than the average Pete Davidson-Chris Redd rap video from last season.
A group of friends are visiting Kenan Thompson’s cabin. They spot a cute deer eating in the woods, but Thompson, unfortunately, can’t see it. He grows frustrated, they grow frustrated.
The deer eventually taunts Thompson. “Everybody always messing with me,” he laments. The deer eventually sneaks inside and pulls down his pants. Cute.
Monique Money Monique Problems (Ego Nwodim) is kicking off a talk show for young Black women in need of advice. Kenan Thompson is DJ Willie. Megan is the first guest — she’s getting cheated on. Instead of actual words of wisdom, a bunch of “Girl” exchanges are had. It’s an unspoken, hilarious exchange.
Punkie Johnson is the next guest, she’s got anxiety about the world. This time, helpful subtitles are provided.
The final guest is Andrew Dismukes. He’s not getting it, so Megan intervenes. Another solid effort — I would love for Ego to bring this back.
Please Don’t Destroy: Wellness
The guys are feeling “fuego” and focusing on wellness, exchanging tips (and quips!). At this point, it’s got that familiar quick banter and camera work.
Megan Thee Stallion performs ‘Anxiety’
Bowen Yang introduces Megan leading a row of Miss America contestants as she performs the Go Grizzly-produced song off Traumazine, her second studio album released in August. “Anxiety” is the album’s eleventh track, spotlighting her candor and vulnerability in several verses concerning her struggles and well-earned wisdom about life.
Chloe Fineman and Heidi Gardner urge parents not to let their children watch the newly released Hocus Pocus 2 given its promotion of Satanism. This is a riff on Jamie Gooch, a mother living in Troy, Texas, who shared a deranged post on social media and told local news that families should not watch the film. Fineman gets possessed. It’s great to see Gardner back at the Update desk.
The past few episodes have allowed new cast members a chance to introduce themselves at the Update desk. Tonight is Devon Walker’s turn. He talks about moving to New York from Texas — and asks the audience if he looks like a catcaller. He also calls out straight culture, and points out the audience is not exactly catering to heterosexual men these days. He lands most of his punchlines, and the crowd seems to like him.
If you are looking to achieve “booty booty booty booty rockin’ everywhere,” Megan has the workout for you. But with a big ass, comes big responsibility.
Megan tells the students that if they need a modified version of the class, they should follow Chloe Fineman and Heidi Gardner — two instructors who have zero butts. “Any of you looking to not get a butt today, look our way,” says Heidi. Their lack of booty is “actually spooky,” remarks Bowen Yang. The contrast with Megan’s twerking is funny – Fineman and Gardner’s flat “paper plate” derrieres are like a drive in the Midwest. Some of the cues feel off here, but there’s a body positive message.
Megan Thee Stallion performs ‘NDA’ and ‘Plan B’
Kenan Thompson does the introduction this time. A hard guitar lick kicks things off as Megan performs “NDA”, the first track on Traumazine. Then she slides into “Plan B.” This beat samples the “Freek’n You” remix by Jodeci. She previewed the song during her performance at Coachella in April.
Important cause alarm! Millions of single, chilly women are sitting in their drafty apartments right now and they need your help. For only one dollar a day, you can provide giant, broken-in men’s sweatshirts for single girls who get cold easily. The designs are familiar: Patriots, Slipknot, and Dunder Mifflin. (One qualm: The show utilizing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen may, uh… always garner an arched eyebrow from me — as much as I enjoy Kenan Thompson’s rendition.)
Ego Nwodim is inspiring a group of underachieving students. It’s one of those Lean On Me-style speeches delivered to a group of “dumb” children “born the wrong color.” Turns out it’s a STEM class — they are honors kids who took a college admission test to take this course. Nwodim struggles. “Sometimes it is the teachers who are dumb,” she concedes. “Detention!”
Ego was such a star tonight.
—Thought this had a good energy! Despite being an amateur, Megan was more than capable, and anchored some goofy premises. What did you think? Sound off below or VOTE HERE NOW. Vote or die.
—Thank you to Jerry Minor for his thoughts!
—Not a ton of James Austin Johnson so far this season. I know he’s had some segments cut, but it would good to see him shine outside the occasional Trump impression.
—”Thank you to the hotties!”
Saturday Night Live – Season 42
Saturday Night Live
The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.
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