Saoirse Ronan Hosts First SNL, While U2 Makes It’s (Sort of) Triumphant Return

Saoirse Ronan on SNL

Saturday Night Live Season 43, Episode 7: Saoirse Ronan (host), U2 (musical guest)

Written by Melissa Jouben & Mark Henely

Guest Host: Saoirse Ronan

Mark: I was very excited to see Saoirse Ronan get a change to host SNL. I really enjoyed her performance in 2015’s Brooklyn and I am currently trying to find a way to fit her new movie, Lady Bird into my schedule. Ronan is a great actress who is trying to become a star and getting the chance to host SNL can be a key step in the process.

Melissa: The monologue was a great opportunity for her to literally introduce herself to the American television audience, as well as clear up, definitively, how to pronounce her name. It was fun, although the amount of cast members who stepped in to interject tells you that they weren’t super confident about sticking her up there by herself.

I’m impressed with her mastery of accents and her commitment to characters is fun, even if early on in the episode her reliance on the cue cards was kind of obvious. I also think it was really smart of SNL to give her this hosting opportunity when they did, since her movie Lady Bird is currently the best reviewed movie of all-time on Rotten Tomatoes.

Worst Sketch of the Night: Bachelor Auction

Melissa: If you’re only interested in watching the highlights or the best sketches from this episode, you can absolutely skip this one. In it, it’s a bachelor auction and everyone bids excessively high on Pete Davidson’s character because he does a funny impression of The Grinch while otherwise being an unremarkable man. It’s got a good character and performance from Keenan, but if you want that out of Keenan, you can just watch literally any other sketch of the night, because he shines in his small, weird roles in just about all of them.

Best Sketch of the Night – The Race

Melissa: We all know I love a good Kyle Mooney piece, and we’ve gone a while without one, so this is a welcome return. In this, Kyle Mooney’s Evans is bullied at the office by Ian (Beck Bennett), who is constantly rubbing it in his nose that he’s the fastest runner in the office. Evans was, until he ripped his pants and stopped running, too scared about ripping his pants again. Saoirse Ronan plays a woman who convinces Evans to train with her so he can race Ian and prove he’s the fastest. Ronan gets an opportunity here to show off her acting talents without the cue cards to hold her back, and the twist ending is as fun and confusing as the whole short was.

Mark: This is a great sketch for fans of sketch comedy because it is weird in every way that a sketch can be weird. The premise is about office men who prize foot speed above everything; which is weird. From that point on, all of your expectations are subverted by the writers taking each detail and making it weird. You spend the whole sketch failing to figure out the rules of the universe that this sketch lives in. If you like unpredictability in a sketch, this is the one for you.

Musical guest – U2

Melissa: I kind of appreciate how hard they’re going to discuss social justice issues and inequality in the US, but is U2 the best band to do this? Bono is kind of enormously out of touch and, uh, privileged. In terms of the sound, it seemed like typical U2 fare, although the sound quality seemed kind of bad in terms of vocals.

Mark: I understand that I am supposed to like them, but I do not.

U2 on Saoirse Ronan's hosting gig on SNL
Photo Credit: Will Heath/NBC
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