Capri Scarcelli | arts & entertainment editor
Saturday Night Live is back in full swing — and they aren’t behind in content, either.
Last week’s episode premiered on Jan. 30, hosted by former Office actor John Krasinski with featured performances by punk artist Machine Gun Kelly.
The show started off with a warm welcome from Krasinski, who was immediately teased for no longer resembling his Office character, Jim. With lots of audience upheaval for “Jim” not kissing “Pam” on air, actor Pete Davidson swoops in to seal the deal with a big smooch followed by a round of applause.
Many SNL lovers were concerned that there would be less political jabs on the set now that Donald Trump is out of office, though that is simply not the case.
In the first skit “What Still Works,” Kate McKinnon sits down with various political and pop culture figures to mockingly display everything that has gone wrong in the first month of 2021.
From representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s wacky conspiracy theories to the twist of fate brought to Reddit GameStop investors, McKinnon decided that the only thing that “works” properly in America is, well, Tom Brady. And is she wrong on that one?
The stock market was a consistent target throughout the episode, gaining its own skit called “Twins.” In this skit, Krasinski expresses his concerns for the market in a live Zoom interview, but his children in the background were even more concerning, as they resembled the sisters from “The Shining.”
More frightening, however, was SNL’s ease with poking fun at the storming of the Capitol.
In “Pandemic Game Night,” each character gets ready for some board games and wine in their “pod,” though one-by-one gets arrested by the FBI for being involved in the coup. Instead of throwing a fit, each character knowingly gets up to be handcuffed, though asks to bring their novelty rebellion gear with them, including a beast costume, a hat that says “Uncle Jam,” a podium from the Capitol and a mentioning of Nancy Pelosi’s phone being shoved down Krasinski’s pants. What was once a night gathering waiting for pizza turned into a “who done it?” round, with only one character being innocent — an FBI agent herself.
As always, SNL keeps it fair, making fun of the chaos as well as the everyday stuff, too.
With the presidential election placing a lot of dependency on the verdict of Georgia, the state reeling in mostly Democratic votes came as a shock to many Americans. So, of course, in “Blue Georgia,” the characters are set in a little diner, pretending to be a perfect utopia where all residents drink out of metal straws, never order meat and graciously use solar power for everything they can. Naturally, when a customer wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat strolls in, he is met with gasps and cries, where he is forced to leave the restaurant immediately for being on the “wrong side of the tracks.”
The “Weekend Update” didn’t hold much back either, going back and forth in a spit-fire of satire with fits of laughter about coronavirus, more stock market gags, Biden’s inauguration and policies and much more.
Unfortunately, when bringing up Biden’s repeal on the transgender military ban, SNL writers made the mistake of cracking the joke of “tucking,” which caused controversy and caused SNL to have to apologize for insensitivity. They didn’t have much to flub with, but this was a quick jab that made me reel back a little.
The other skits were quirky, poking at the “Ratatouille” faze that TikTok went under, as well as a spin-off of “Supermarket Sweep” with two “friends” stealing the show.
At the intermission point, Machine Gun Kelly debuted “Lonely” and “My Ex’s Best Friend” off of his 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall, which was truly exciting to see live.
His vocals were rich with passion and grit, pouring out with raw power just as he does on his recorded tracks.
The pink guitar and microphone paired with the painted nails really matched his energy, while the low-cut, all-white suit complemented his tattoos. For those who are not as familiar with MGK and his style, he truly represented his most authentic self on that stage and seemed to really enjoy the night with the cast and crew.
As Krasinski gave closing remarks and the ending cadence carried on in the background, MGK and Davidson took a tumble off the stage, which was, indeed, caught on camera. It was an impromptu, spazzed out moment, but it brought a final round of laughter to the audience as the credits rolled.
The next episode of SNL will air on Feb. 6, hosted by Dan Levy with a guest performance by indie artist Phoebe Bridgers.