SNL Ranked: Amy Schumer Absolutely Kills It, Obviously
Amy Schumer has had an incredible couple of years with her hit series Inside Amy Schumer, her collaboration with Judd Apatow for Trainwreck, and her upcoming HBO comedy special. When you’re this beloved, there’s one place you need to be: on the SNL stage. Schumer makes her SNL hosting debut tonight and absolutely kills it, delivering a complete 180 from whatever happened with last week's relentlessly humorless season premiere (can we just pretend this was the season premiere? OK). There’s so much to love in this consistently funny episode, where even the weakest sketch of the night is still quite delightful. Read on for this week’s sketches, ranked from best to worst.
Guns (Schumer, Ensemble)
Wow. It’s about damn time SNL tackled the gun issue. It always seems as though they’re avoiding it, and it’s not as if they’re particularly shy about hot button issues (see: ISIS), but this is one that hasn’t really been addressed. It’s simple but brazen, but what makes it work is how confident it feels. If SNL was hesitant about dealing with the gun issue, it doesn’t show now.
When was the last time a female comedian hosted SNL? As always, the best course of action is to let the comedian do what they do best during the monologue, and Schumer KILLS. Her brief digression into personal hygiene practices while explaining how she gave her niece a bath was that simple, hilarious and too, too real honesty that makes her comedy click. And we get a whole hour of this next week (assuming you’re not a cave mutant and you have HBO)!
Porn Teacher (Schumer, Mooney, Davidson, Bryant, Bayer)
I would almost prefer if this were more of a straight porn spoof without the interruptions from Aidy Bryant’s naive student, though there is a solid payoff involving her mom. Schumer’s slurry take on a porn star pretending to be a teacher inches right up to that uncanny line — it’s perfect. And Kyle Mooney does what Kyle Mooney does, which is fairly on-point in this context.
Delta (Schumer, Bayer, Thompson, Killam)
Bayer and Schumer play flight attendants on one of those elusive hell-flights where the crew tries way too hard to entertain the passengers — it always seems like they’re really doing this stuff to entertain themselves, right? The duo’s Spice Girls spoof is continuously interrupted by a faulty exit door, inspiring great reactions from Bayer and Schumer, and some very funny cutaways to Thompson’s easily pleased passenger.
Weekend Update (Jost, Che, Pharoah, McKinnon)
Once again, addressing the gun control issue! Thanks, SNL! This whole back and forth between Jost and Che about guns is really good — it might be the best thing they’ve done since Che joined the desk, even if Jost still feels a little stiff in the moment. The constitution bit with the accidental (?) cut over to Jost had me in tears, and by the end of the segment Jost is delivering some great material on Justin Bieber and his penis, along with an A+ American Apparel diss.
Pharoah debuts a new character, SNL’s travel correspondent Solomon and…he’s okay. I’m not sure the excuse-prone, down-on-his-luck character is really doing it for me. Bring me Olya.
Well, we don’t get Olya, but we do get McKinnon’s Mrs. Santini, Colin’s morbid downstairs neighbor. And she’s the next best thing.
Citizens Forum (Strong, Moynihan, Bryant, Mooney, Thompson, Schumer, Jones, Davidson)
Thanks to Parks and Recreation, we’re all well-aware of the weirdos and nut-jobs that city hall public forums attract, and this is quite the delightful, wacky assortment of characters: Bryant’s Jan Krang (KRANG!), Mooney’s white Dutch rapper (like, really), Thompson’s neighborly eccentric, Schumer’s little baby pageant queen, Leslie Jones’ alcoholic, etc. With only 20 minutes left in the show, it’s about time Strong and Jones showed up.
Hands-Free Selfie Stick (Bryant, Mooney, Bayer, Schumer)
Ever look at some goober with a selfie stick and think, “Ugh they should just shove that dumb thing up their ass”? Okay, this is that, in SNL commercial form. Enjoy your wish fulfillment!
Fox & Friends: Speaker of the House Cold Open (Killam, Bayer, Moynihan, Davidson, McKinnon)
I love these dummies, and Bobby Moynihan always makes Brian Kilmeade seem like an endearingly adorable moron. Obviously, the best part is the corrections (“SeaWorld is not a Kevin Costner movie”), but McKinnon really kills it as an exasperated defender of Planned Parenthood, and it’s nice to see resident young person Pete Davidson in a political sketch, which is somewhat rare.
Baby Shower (Schumer, Bayer, Zamata, Bryant, McKinnon, Strong)
The last sketch of the night always affords the opportunity to get really weird (which is why Mooney / Bennett stuff is usually tacked on to the end), but I’m surprised that this is the sketch they ran with instead of doing the porn star spokesmodels — it may have been a more obvious choice with Schumer hosting, but it would have been much more hilarious than this sketch, which, to be fair, does perfectly cast Schumer as a drama queen bartender. I’m not sure that too many men are going to see the humor in this one, which kind of makes it a teeny bit funnier?
Ford’s Theatre (Schumer, Killam, Mooney, Thompson)
Schumer’s character is a stand-in for the usual Mary Todd Lincoln at a museum tour, but — like every aspiring actor / narcissist who just learned about improv — she just can’t help but take over the show. Her whole attitude and style of talking here reminds me of Patrick Warburton. This might be one of the weakest of the night, but it’s still pretty good, which is a complete 180 from last week’s desperate grasp at anything resembling humor.