SNL” Season 48 Episode 17 Review

Opinion/Story posted April 19, 2023 in

Last Saturday, “Saturday Night Live” needed some superstar energy, and they got it when one of the best to do it, Molly Shannon, returned to host.

Shannon was a cast member on “SNL” from 1995 to 2001 and has only hosted one other time in 2010. She is beloved by fans of the sketch show for her countless quotable moments and memorable characters.

The writers did a great job spinning Shannon’s iconic characters into relevant sketches for today, balancing honoring a legend and her legacy with putting on a solid and topical show.

As the first true alums to come back and host during this season, Shannon absolutely killed it.

“SNL” had a much stronger cold open than the week prior. Still discussing the Trump indictment, they used the Easter holiday to have Trump compare his arrest to Jesus’s persecution.

The sketch was intense due to James Austin Johnson’s performance. He sells this impression so well that it’s enjoyable to watch a Trump-central sketch again.

Shannon’s monologue was heartwarming to watch. She performed a rendition of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” along with some cast members.

It was perfectly brought home when Shannon asked Lorne Michaels what problems he had, which were none.

However, sitting next to him was Martin Short, who had joked that he recently ran out of Ozempic and then ravenously started eating a burger. It was so good it even got Michaels to start giggling on camera.

Shannon's impact on “SNL” can be seen when she hits her iconic superstar pose at the end of the monologue, and the cast behind her is obviously surprised and overjoyed by it.

The night started strong with the sketch “Valet.” Andrew Dismukes did a great job leading this sketch, and it was so fun watching Shannon and Keenan Thompson work together.

The two are some of the best sketch comedians ever, and watching them play off one another was fun.

All of the pre-tapes from the night were strong.

The “Netflix Live Promo: Jeannine Darcy” was the perfect way to bring in one of Shannon’s iconic characters into a modern sketch. It was a brilliant move by the writers.

Additionally, the Please Don’t Destroy boys used an old concept of theirs from before their “SNL” career, and it went exceptionally well with “Molly Shannon 2k23.”

The “Drug Commerical” and “Pregnant Co-Worker” sketches were weaker for the night, but Shannon’s energy made them entertaining.

All three features on “Weekend Update” from Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson and Bowen Yang were phenomenal. Colin Jost and Michael Che were somewhat forgettable compared to last week's antics.

“The Play” was such a homerun and fun sketch. Gardner and Devon Walker had great banter; again, Shannon and Thompson were captivating to watch together.

That sketch also had a cameo from Nick Jonas, and his brothers joined him later for “Sally O’Malley: Jonas Brothers.”

Again, great use of one of Shannon’s iconic characters was put at the perfect time in the night when the goofy, nonsensical nature of the character could shine.

This episode could’ve been better, but it made up for what it lacked in hilarious moments in its wholesome, homecoming energy.

The sketch show won't be able to rely on an alum or a seasoned sketch comic like Quinta Brunson next week, with Ana de Armas making her hosting debut.

“SNL” has had a great season in this rebuilding year. Hopefully, they can keep this restarted hot streak going.

Best Sketch of the Night: “Sally O’Malley: Jonas Brothers” or “The Play”

Worst Sketch of the Night: “Pregnant Co-Worker”

MVP(s): Molly Shannon and Heidi Gardner

Unsung Heroes: Bowen Yang, Keenan Thompson and the Jonas Brothers

A note for next week: No Marilyn Monroe jokes, please.

Rating: ⅘

Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email sgd5184@psu.edu.