Saturday Night Live “John Krasinski, Machine Gun Kelly”

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Winston Clark, Staff Writer

Saturday Night Live began its first episode of 2021 on January 30th with host John Krasinski of The Office and Jack Ryan, with musical guest Machine Gun Kelly, promoting his album Tickets to My Downfall. 

The Cold Open featured Kate McKinnon playing herself, assessing in a talk show format, if America still works. The sketch, only 25 years late, lampooned O.J. Simpson (Kenan Thompson) under house arrest and his recent vaccination, and Alex Moffat as the ever-dehydrated-of-WD-40 Mark Zuckerberg. Pete Davidson mocked Gamestop employees, John Krasinski appeared as Tom Brady, and Marjorie Taylor Greene was played by Cecily Strong. The impressions were the highlight of this sketch, with Moffat’s Zuckerberg and Thompson’s Simpson being the best of the bunch.

The John Krasinski monologue was funny and included a spoof on the “Jim Look” right before Krasinski kissesd Pete Davidson, with many jokes on how The Office fans are unable to separate themselves from reality.

Blue Georgia”, a sketch about Georgia, where shortly following the election of Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, becomes as liberal as the Art District in Downtown LA, where Georgians (Thompson, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Krasinski, and Andrew Dismukes) state their pronouns before their names, welcoming New York native (Davidson) and ostracising Trump supporters (Moffat). Though the premise of the sketch was good, it failed at hitting any effective jokes, mostly parodying excessively liberal terms and stereotypes. As a Californian, I took offense.

“The Loser”, a theatrical, previously-filmed sketch, was definitely the best sketch of the show, making me laugh at lots of jokes I am unable to write into a school news website. The premise of the sketch was of an older brother (Krasinski) standing up for his younger, picked-on brother (Dismukes) while also revealing to the bullies (Kyle Mooney, Punkie Johnson, Mikey Day, Davidson) more embarrassing things about the kid.

Twins featured an economics show (featuring Bennett and Strong) preparing to talk about the GameStop hedge fund attack, while on a video call with another economy expert (Krasinski), who in the background had two Shining-like twins (McKinnon and Day), who meddled with the call, threatening Bennett. This sketch was funny, and although I did not laugh out loud, I acknowledge that some may find it funny.

Opening Credits Songs” was mostly an opportunity for the cast to impersonate fictional characters. The impressionists were Chloe Fineman, Bennett, Melissa Villasenor, Moffat, Mooney, Davidson, Strong, and Krasinski. If you like impressions, or are familiar with the characters they were playing, you may like this. 

Insurrectionist Bubble was a sketch where a group of people (Heidi Gardner, Krasinski, Mooney, Bryant, Bennett and Strong) anticipate a pizza delivery, but get arrested by the FBI one-by-one for storming the Capitol. This sketch, with clever twists and turns, was fun to watch but did not have many good jokes. Most jokes consisted of making fun of those who stormed the Capitol, but weren’t very clever jabs, more like references.

Weekend Update, always a highlight, was good this week, though there is not much of it, mostly taken up by the cast’s characters. The jokes Michael Che and Colin Jost did tell were, as they always are, very gruesome and dark. For example, they joked about the world’s tallest dog dying “from a ceiling fan.” To the delight of many closeted Trump fans, they did not joke much about Trump. Bennett impersonated Mike Lindell of MyPillow and conservative fame. Bowen Yang impersonated Fran Lebowitz and Mooney was a hysterically-laughing Martin Scorsese, poking fun at Netflix’s Pretend It’s a City, and Strong reprised her character of Cathy Ann, a New York rough-around-the-edges liberal. 

“Supermarket Sweep” was a sketch about the game show, where two straight couples (Ego Nwodim and Chris Redd, Lauren Holt and Dismukes) and one lesbian couple, (Bryant and McKinnon) competed in Supermarket Sweep. The lesbian couple destroyed the competition by using love and very public displays of it, while they themselves got engaged as friends. An oblivious host (Krasinski) watches, insisting they are just friends. This sketch feeds off of nervous and awkward reactions, so if you like comedy that makes you want to throw yourself out of the window and into social anxiety, you may like this.

“Subway Pitch” was a subpar sketch about salesmen (Krasinski and Bennett) who are angry that their place as idea men is being superseded by a young employee (Dismukes). They proceed to threaten suicide and the like to keep their jobs. This sketch mainly depicts the idea of men getting angry, without much else, so I did not find it very funny. 

The last sketch was of the characters from Pixar’s Ratatouille after intercourse. It had a funny premise, but overall would serve better as a one-liner on Weekend Update fourteen years ago when the movie was released. It would have been a funny joke, not a sketch, and the sketch seemed rushed and only half finished.

John Krasinski did not affect the show much considering he is a comedic actor. I had higher expectations for him, it stayed relatively similar to how it usually is with any actor.

Overall, if I were short on time and really wanted to watch SNL from this week only, I would only watch the monologue, Weekend Update, and “The Loser”. All else was passable, though some more than others.