Written by Melissa Jouben
Saturday Night Live: Jimmy Fallon (Host), Harry Styles (Musical Guest)
Host: Jimmy Fallon
This episode marks an historic moment for SNL, since it’s the first time in 42 years that the show has aired live coast to coast, in all time zones. If there was anyone in another time zone who was truly excited to watch the show live for the first time ever, I wish this episode would have given them a little bit more to be excited about. I think there’s a certain caliber of performance I expect from an SNL alum, and Jimmy Fallon was not delivering it last night.
His wordless appearance in the cold open couldn’t help but remind me of the much-maligned interview he did with Donald Trump on his show. Once I remembered that it immediately took all the teeth out of whatever hard-hitting Trump parody the SNL tries to do.
The monologue was straightforward and fun, but also a little boring. It set the tone for the episode and reminds you that Jimmy Fallon loves to sing and is probably going to do it a few more times. While that proves to be true – and that song really did have a big, fat hook – a lot of these sketches are forgettable and Jimmy Fallon just seemed exhausted the entire time.
Best Sketch – Basketball Scene
This is the only sketch that I didn’t roll my eyes at a single time, so I’m naming this as my favorite one of the night. The conceit is very simple: on the set of a dramatic movie where a serious conversation is taking place on a basketball court, two of the extras hired to play basketball in the background are doing a very bad and very distracting job. Some of the things Fallon and Mikey Day are doing were genuinely pretty entertaining and I was wrapped up in seeing what they were going to do next. It was a simple and silly and one of the more wholly enjoyable sketches of the evening.
Worst Sketch – Celebrity Family Feud: Time Travel Edition
We all know by now that I hate a Family Feud sketch and this one is maybe my least favorite of the season. These things are nothing more than a character parade for some lukewarm impressions, and there’s maybe nothing worse than pulling out some celebrity impressions that feel out of place to begin with. I mean, the 2017 team had Kristen Stewart, Gwen Stefani, David Blaine, and Jon Travolta. Are those the best celebrities we have here in 2017?
This sketch definitely started with Jimmy Fallon asking, “how about I do two Jon Travolta impressions at the same time?” Him pulling double duty doesn’t end up being impressive at all because the sketch is actually negatively impacted by it. The longer Keenan as Steve Harvey would talk to stall and buy time for Fallon’s frequent costume changes was jarring, and noticeable, and really boring. While I guess it is fun to see Jimmy Fallon running across the stage (you can actually see him running across the stage at some points) I wasn’t hooked in here.
Musical Guest – Harry Styles
I’m not at all familiar with One Direction or Harry Styles. I wasn’t excited for Harry Styles to perform, but I do know that he and Jimmy Fallon has some weird bromance going on, so I at least expected him to show up in sketches a lot. Anyway, I liked it a lot and pre-ordered his CD right after his second performance. That’s all I have to say.