Lizzo has undoubtedly established herself as a star since her major label debut in 2019 Because I love youand this week SNL was the perfect showcase for all his talents at once. She might not have a lot of acting credits, but the person who sang “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” is probably pretty funny. And even in her limited acting work, it’s actually not the first time she’s worked alongside a SNL star: In 2016, she was the guest star of a few episodes of the cartoon Adult Swim Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio by Brad Neelynext to SNL announcer Darrell Hammond. She also recently honed her hosting chops with the Amazon show Watch out for big Grrrls, a reality series looking for backup dancers who look like her after finding none while she was on tour. Tonight she debuted not one but two songs while more than ably carrying out the hosting duties, proving to be the undisputed star of the show – but, really, how could she not be?
SNL opens with Bowen Yang as the Easter Bunny wishing us a Happy Easter. (“Unlike Santa Claus, I don’t use enslaved elves to make my Easter baskets. I buy them on Etsy because I support women and their little hobbies.”) As always, Bowen is a delight. , and it appears for a moment as SNL might try something different for its cold open. But then he assigns Dr. Fauci to launch Easter messages from celebrities and politicians, including Kate McKinnon as Dr. Fauci (“That’s right, I’m still here.”), Cecily Strong as the role of Marjorie Taylor Greene (“I’ve said aggressively to all my fellow Jews and Muslims: Happy Easter.”), and Kyle Mooney as Jared Leto (“My Easter message this year is positive. So if you see my new movie Morbius, please don’t revise it. ”) And of course, we can’t have a cold without James Johnson, so he interrupts the Easter Bunny as Donald Trump. (“Reese’s egg doesn’t look like an egg but I like Reese, I’m good friends with Reese.”) It’s a weak point in an otherwise very strong episode, and the problems stem from another subscribed premise. What’s interesting about the Easter Bunny wishing us a Happy Easter? The lack of originality here highlights that it is only a pretext for a parade of impressions, making them pass flat.
Lizzo comes out for her monologue and says she’s ready to break the record for most times “bitch” has been said on live TV. However, she hates swearing in front of her mother, who is in the audience (and will perform her second song later that night). Lizzo explains that at first her mother didn’t like it when she swore on stage, “but now I’m rich, so she’s like Bitch, insult me.” Lizzo then addresses “the rumors” that she is dating all the white boys in Hollywood. Apparently, she collects One Direction members like Infinity Stones, and is even rumored to be pregnant with Chris Evans’ baby. (“I have no idea where this one started. It could be the TikTok where I said I was pregnant with Chris Evans’ baby.”) Lizzo displays excellent stage presence here, a terrific comedic timing and a willingness to poke fun at herself – key ingredients for what will turn out to be a very funny episode.
I first rolled my eyes at SNL kicked off with his second consecutive Kenan Thompson-hosted post-monologue game show sketch, but was almost immediately proven wrong. Here, Kenan hosts a fairly basic game show with contestants Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, and Lizzo, which goes off the rails when Lizzo insists that JFK Airport is actually called Robert Kennedy Airport. (“I was just stuck there for five hours because I petted a bomb-sniffing dog and they said I ruined it.”) When Chris steps in to correctly answer that it’s JFK, Lizzo claims she just said that and Kenan knew what she meant. When Chris receives $100, Lizzo buzzes in asking what she gets for answering half the question. Right off the bat, Lizzo is phenomenal, making big faces and reacting quietly when other people respond. Kenan shows how good he can be as a straight guy with a quirky persona with a very clear point of view, hilariously throwing his hands up when Lizzo calls him “the mayor of Gametown.”
In a millennial throwback to the ‘More Cowbell’ sketch, we watch unearthed footage from a Black Eyed Peas recording session for their 2009 album The end In an inspired take, will.i.am. overwhelms producers Lizzo and Aidy Bryant with its lyrics. (“Gotta have that boom-boom-boom – yeah that’s what we have so far. They try to encourage the Peas to write more specific lyrics, but they’re overwhelmed, until Cecily as Fergie finally comes up with, “How about something like: People in the place! This kind of insane lack of originality morphs into heightened absurdity when approached with such laser-like focus, resulting in a skit that is sure to strike a chord with the millions of people who, willingly or not, have heard these songs non-stop over the years. 2000.
Lizzo invites her date, Mikey Day, to her house, but warns him that she lives with her grandfather. He’s okay with that, until he sees that his grandfather is the old dancer from the Six Flags commercials. For those unfamiliar with the campaign, 20 years ago Six Flags flooded the airwaves with an old man dancing to the 1999 Vengaboys hit “We Like to Party.” (The bus in the ad refers to the lyric “the Venga bus is coming,” but I digress.) Along with that reveal, we soon learn that Lizzo’s grandma is a Six Flags guy — not the Six Flags Guy, but merely one of a seemingly thriving community of Six Flags Guys, who continue to descend on the house until the inevitable finale. It’s such a weird sketch it almost pokes fun at sketch comedy itself, but Sarah Squirm sells it by engaging hard as Mr. Six, and Lizzo has plenty of funny responses to the growing disbelief of his date. (Mikey: “Are you still feeling it right now?” Lizzo: “Oh, trust me, baby, with you, I won’t feel a thing.”
Colin Jost: “A video has also gone viral of President Biden finishing a speech in North Carolina and apparently turning to shake hands with an unseen person. Hey, her name is Kamala.
Michael Che: “Mental health experts recommend children start getting screened for anxiety at age 8, because it can be quite stressful in that old iPhone factory.”
The studio audience seemed to balk at these and a few others, but they were very good jokes in a strong “weekend update.”
Colin claims he constantly turns down people who ask if they can do comedy on his show, but admits he drunkenly said yes to his limo driver, Melissa Villaseñor as Cesar Perez. Cesar immediately burns his nephew, before feeling bad and asking Colin if they can cut that part off. (“Carlitos, I’m so proud of you, amigo. You have a girlfriend whenever you’re ready.”) Cesar then agrees not to make jokes about his nephew before burning his sister for having purple hair , then accidentally turn against his nephew. . (“It’s the worst mistake since she gave birth to Carlitos.”) He’s a great character for Melissa, well-timed and playing to her strengths as a character actor.
Mikey is the conductor who cannot play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony without a flautist. Luckily for him, Chris is here as the manager of the greatest flautist of all time, played by Lizzo. (There’s a gag here on whether it’s flutist or flutist, but he’s actually a flutist in the US and a flautist in England.) Lizzo, who’s been playing the flute since she was 10, shows off her skills, and Alex Moffat is so thrilled with the physicality of her performance that he can’t even play his bassoon. Mikey tells her to sit down and play, but Lizzo explains that it’s a tall order because she learned she could do anything after hearing an ice cream truck, and ever since that day she’s kept her moving body? I don’t know, I couldn’t quite follow, but then Aidy stands up and asks “What if we were all twerking?” and that makes sense. It’s a really fun skit for the end of the night, and it’s always a treat to see Lizzo’s flute-twerking work.
A lot of things came together in this episode, and that’s because the writers kept it simple. You can’t fail with clear premises and specific jokes like the ones we got tonight, especially when they’re designed to showcase a personality like Lizzo’s. She couldn’t help but snap during the Beanie Babies skit, and Andrew Dismukes’ blank stare probably didn’t help. We also got a solid Please Don’t Destroy skit that incorporated the host, and some big skits like “Throne Room” that were able to involve a lot of people, including Aristotle Athari. All in all, it made for one of the best episodes of the season, if not the best. It’s so rare these days for an episode of SNL make it feel like an event, but the energy and commitment Lizzo brought to each sketch made it a party. It’s such a pleasure to see such pleasure SNL on an otherwise difficult week for New York.