Saturday Night Live: host Rami Malek gets eclipsed by 007 himself

Macron: the repression against the Algerian demonstration of 1961 “unforgivable”

SOurday Night Live opens with a message from the National Football League. Universally despised commissioner Roger Goodell (Colin Jost) addresses the scandal that has enveloped the league following the leaked emails from Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, which contained numerous racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic. Goodell is horrified and offended by the content of the emails, not least because he takes it so much into account, with Gruden calling it “F word, P word, C word, R-word, F’ing-R word and the word F’ing-RP-word. And once, weirdly, I was called a DILF.

He then hands the mic to a series of speakers, including Gruden himself (James Austin Johnson), who plays the innocent (“I hope you won’t judge me on an email I sent there. ten years ago… or the 20 e-mails I sent last Tuesday ”); Raiders owner Mark Davis (Alex Moffat), aka “the botched circumcision”; New president of women’s relations for the NFL, a cheerleader for the Washington football team ([Heidi Gardner], “Me, like my team, I have no name”); a new mascot, Giuseppe, the Stinky Italian (Mikey Day); Colin Kaepernick (Chris Redd), who sarcastically wonders if anyone recently warned about racism in the NFL; and, finally, new Raiders head coach LaVar Burton singing everyone up with a new football-themed take on the Reading Rainbow theme.

Another week, another SNL cold open was built around a seemingly endless stream of brief knockoffs, most of which left us hungry for more. Still, there is some decent stuff to be found here – Johnson makes a good (if not particularly memorable) impression of Gruden, Day is funny as a consciousness-struck stereotype, and the show makes good use of Jost’s inherent intelligence in presenting him as Goodell.

Tonight’s host is Oscar-winning actor and new James Bond villain Rami Malek. Speaking of Bond: The last episode of Saturday Night Live before the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing, saw host Daniel Craig promote his latest (and final) entry in the 007 franchise, No Time to Die. Obviously, that movie would be put on hold for 19 months, during which time SNL would be on hiatus, before moving on to remote, limited-capacity recordings for an extended period of time. With the film finally released in theaters and the show pretty much back to normal, this episode marks a milestone for both institutions. The only question now is: Can Malek stand up to answer the occasion?

He readily admits that he’s not too used to comedy, his “villainous face at rest” making him gravitate towards the role of villains in serious dramas (although a quick read of the filmography of the filmmaker). actor denies this assertion). He proves his point by rushing into an annoying stand-up routine about how bad guys are always misunderstood: “Jaws is hungry; Dracula is thirsty, Frankenstein is excited… Darth Vader is just trying to reconnect with his son… Freddy Krueger is just encouraging children to dream.

Malek mostly sticks to the background in his first skit, playing one of the groups of goofy college kids disguised as insects for a gathering of insects. (“It’s kind of like Burning Man for weird kids,” their teacher explains.) That’s the whole spectacle of Bowen Yang, as he vamps him to the nth degree in his leggy daddy costume. , dancing to techno music and playing the diva (“I’m hot, I party, I walk into the room and I am respected – NO MORE QUESTIONS!”). Yang fans should find a lot to enjoy here, although there is a palpable energy for theater kids to all of it that many will likely find off-putting.

You thought SNL wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to satirize Netflix’s latest cultural juggernaut, and indeed, the show features a parody of the South Korean dystopian drama Squid Game, using a pop-country ballad. modern song sung by Davidson and Malek: “Yeah, I’m broke and that’s a shame / Guess I have to play the Squid Game. “

If (like me) you’re one of the handful of people who haven’t seen an episode, you’ll probably be lost by the very specific jokes and visual references (so specific that they seemingly spoil the entire arc of series), but there are some solid laughs to be had all the same – especially Malek and Davidson’s traumatized reactions to seeing their teammates take down by a giant robot schoolgirl and a fence dart aimed at the New York Jets.

The casting process for a new Prince biopic – to be directed by Jordan Peele – boils down between Malek and Kenan Thompson, resulting in a “Prince-off” (a series of brief twists and monosyllabic growls that are repeated far too many times. ). Ultimately, while Malek looks a lot more like Prince, the job goes to Thompson, since he’s black. “My parents are Egyptians! It’s in Africa, ”protests Malek, but the producers don’t bite. Before things are over, we are treated to a surprise appearance from Daniel Craig, who barges in demanding to audition for what he thinks is the role of a Prince Royal. His playing energy gives the sketch – and the show as a whole – a brief kick in the arm.

In the Celeb School game show, famous faces making up the guest panel include John Oliver (Mikey Day), Jennifer Coolidge (Chloe Fineman), Adam Driver (Johnson), Kristen Wiig (Melissa Villaseñor), George Takei (Yang) , Lil ‘Wayne (Redd) and the bug-eyed lookalikes Rami Malek and Pete Davidson (each playing the other).

Oliver spoils a question with one of his rants, Coolidge fights his way into a correct answer, Weezy the Ghost, Wiig blunders, Driver immediately goes into rage mode and Takei complains about his former co-star / rival of Star Trek William Shatner travels to space. The prints are all pretty accurate, including those of Malek and Davidson. It would have been easy enough for the show to just recognize their resemblance, but thanks to the two, they do a really good job of imitating each other.

During the weekend’s update, Jost shares a recent photo of Timothée Chalamet in a “twink Willy Wonka” costume for an upcoming prequel movie about the character. He then introduces – and accidentally leaves – his first guest, A Proud Gay Oompa Loompa (Yang). The green-haired, orange-skinned munchkin, who was planning to discuss an upcoming strike by workers at the Wonka Candy Factory, worries about what his family will think of him (“They live in Loompa Land. It’s not as progressive as it is here, they have just received Will & Grace. “), While using his newfound freedom to unload on his idiot boss:” At point blank range, the man does not know how to do chocolate ! He is a man of ideas who has never touched a machine. He just tumbles into the invention room and says something like, “Oh, what about a gumball that makes kids dream of silly dreams?” And it’s like, yeah, bitch, what about? Meanwhile, we are up all night rehearsing the little song and dance we do when a child DIES. Yang’s appearances on Update can often seem very straightforward, but this one avoids that by switching between two different and pleasant premises.

Next, Chris Redd joins Michael Che in responding to his controversial comments during his latest Very Important Unimportant News segment in February 2020, in which he signed off saying “Black people can’t catch the coronavirus!” Redd defends himself by noting that “I was just saying something crazy!” I’m not a scientist – I went to community college which is like high school, but you can have sex with your teacher! He also spends a few fun minutes questioning the existence of airships and defending “Superman’s son in the comics being a bisexual little boy now.” Redd is still good at Update, and hopefully he becomes a mainstay in the segment this year.

Next, a married couple buying a new mattress test out some of the models by simulating their nighttime routine: an ultra-venomous back-and-forth that sees Aidy Bryant’s wife lying viciously with Malek’s husband (“You stink of it.” vermouth and FUCKS! ”), as he angrily masturbates under the covers. A fun, psychosexual stage-inspired show like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – Yang’s horrified salesman even accuses the couple of “playing a little game” at one point – this skit sadly loses track, turning into a slapstick assault a lot less pleasant during its rear end.

In the evening’s final skit, Craig and Cecily Strong play a couple on a date at a nightclub. They’re there to see a musician named Angelo – newcomer Aristotle Athari, who gets his first big moment in the spotlight (literally) – improvises songs from words suggested by the audience. Craig’s suggestions – “bike,” “banana” and “road trip” – prompt the same confused question from the soft-spoken French singer: “Dites pour moi? “

Eventually, Angelo is joined by Malek’s equally enigmatic dancer, Todd, who awkwardly struggles on stage. The uniqueness of these bizarre characters makes audiences laugh, although Craig’s confused man and Strong’s increasingly annoyed date make the characters more endearing.

After a somewhat rough start, Malek eventually acquitted himself well as the host, although the contrast between him and the much more charismatic and comedic Craig did him a disservice. Hoping that Craig returns for another hosting gig in the near future.


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