Saturday Night Live Season 48 Episode 3: Megan Thee Stallion
Photo: NBC/Rosalind O’Connor/NBC
If Megan Thee Stallion can get out a whirlwind couple Hot Girl Summersduring which she became a superstar, lost his motherallegedly shot by Tory Lanez (sparking endless lawsuits both on Twitter and in court), and endured a strong conservative reaction to “WAP” – while going through the same pandemic that everyone else has been through – and then hosting Saturday Night Live should have been child’s play. However, just 24 hours before airtime, armed men would have burst into Megan’s house, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. Not exactly the kind of thing that puts a musician in the right frame of mind to be funny on live TV and for posterity. (Right after the news broke, she announcement an extended break imminent.)
Somehow, though, without knowing any of the above, the only evidence to be found of any turmoil in Megan’s mind during the episode was that she was tearing herself up while playing. the deeply personal track “Anxiety”. (Which she crushed.) Elsewhere, she performed like a total pro, disappointing any haters hoping for an exhibition of embarrassment.
With her debut as a host and musical guest, Megan Thee Stallion joined the ranks of SNL dual function fixtures like Lizzo, Harry Styles and, uh, Gary Busy. (1979 was, apparently, wild.) While his last appearance on SNL alludes to its depth, with a powerful performance dedicated to Breonna Taylor, this one marked his chance to give the fullest display of his comedy chops. Anyone who has analyzed Megan’s lyrics or watched her videos can see that she is a funny person. (The director behind “Thot Shit” give him all the credit for the humor in this video.) The closest to a sketch show so far, however, has been teaching She-Hulk how to twerk in an episode of She-Hulk: Lawyer last month, and teaching Sarah Cooper how to twerk in Sarah Cooper’s Netflix special, which exist. (2020 was, apparently, wild.)
Sure enough, Megan also teaches some people how to twerk on her SNL episode, but in a much less fancy way. This time, the instruction is framed in a skit about an unorthodox exercise class. (More on that later.) The writers did a great job of building sketches around Megan’s personality and what people know about her, without ever winking. to fans. His first sketch,Hot Girl Hospital», for example, sets the tone perfectly. It’s a little weirder than the Megan-referencing title suggests — its premise isn’t fully revealed until about halfway through — and with charisma to spare. Megan misses a line but doesn’t lose a step, and Ego Nwodim and Punkie Johnson seem more energized being peas in a pod with her.
Much of what follows throughout the episode also relies on her shoulders, but as Megan has demonstrated time and time again, her knees are strong as hell.
Where to even start here? How about Sarah Sherman’s Chuck Schumer impression, which is somehow as endearing as it is brutal. She plays him like a guy who you might not mind being briefly stuck at a family party, but who is totally unsuited to a position of immense power. Almost everyone in this skit, however, makes good jokes and performances at the expense of the January 6 committee, whose purpose may be noble but whose earnestness is excruciating to behold. As much as he mocks the centrist Democrats for the west wing the fantasy of bringing Donald Trump into a courtroom and asking him, “Who do you think you are, sir”, the sketch too, of course, angers Trump for simply being guilty of what the hearing alleges he did. It’s a nine-minute tour de force, and SNLis the best political chill open in ages.
This dismal musical ode to being part of a plus-one lump sum should resonate with anyone who’s ever been forced by friends to have prolonged small talk with strangers. It captures with raw honesty the kinds of doomed conversational gambits one might come up with when there doesn’t seem to be anything else to say. (“Did you know there’s only been 25 deaths at Disneyland since 1955?” Bowen Yang’s character asks, a line the self-styled Disney Gay likely wrote – and possibly lived – to him. (even.) That’s why they invented staying home on a Saturday night: to avoid situations like these, and to pick up skits like this as they air.
Megan Thee Stallion projects poise as a guest in this talk show skit, but Ego Nwodim deserves a special shoutout for the subtle variations in inflection and micro-nuances of facial expressions she incorporates into every utterance of the word “Girl”. Incredible stuff.
In this sketch, based on a real person, Heidi Gardner and Chloe Fineman play two Southern nuns with dirty names who hate dirty things with great fervor. Specifically, they find Disney’s long-awaited sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, has such satanic implications that looking at it could open a porthole to hell. Of course, in accordance with the statutes of Chekhov’s Hellmouth, at the end of the track, a demon has completely taken over Fineman’s Debbie Hole – and it’s unbelievable. Fineman drilled for the first time SNL in 2020 with her celebrity impersonations of everyone from Britney Spears to Nicole Kidman. She became so well known for her chameleon mimicry that she performed the understudy of the entire cast in a memorable skit from last season. Seeing how off-balance she is here, however, plagued by demonic possession, is a good reminder of her incredible range beyond impressions and her willingness to throw herself into it.
The DP guys are back in the office this week, full of bad ideas as always. In a likely unintended echo of the mental health message Megan Thee Stallion shared with her monologue, they are in search of well-being. Rather than poke fun at snake oil trends satirically, however, they simply address wellness as backwards as possible. It just goes to show that sometimes the simplest premise works just as well as the higher concepts.
• The website mentioned by Megan in her monologue, www.badbitcheshavebaddaystoo.comis very real – created by Megan as a buffet of resources for people going through this ordeal who otherwise might not think to seek help.
• This season is now three-for-three with new cast members who can do “Weekend Update” desk pieces. Now that Devon Walker mention itguys who call cats do appear to wear similar cuts.
• Speaking of clothes, the New England Patriots, Slipknot and Dunder Mifflin sweatshirts in the sketch Women’s Charity are a representative example of the three shades of the ex-boyfriend spectrum. Also, not to single out the guy in a skit about women, but Kenan Thompson’s unexplained switch from singing “Hallelujah” to “Gangsta’s Paradise” (RIP Coolio!) cracked me up.
• Michael Che’s scathing joke about Nancy Pelosi’s stock options on Weekend Update just reiterates the cold start subtext – that SNL is not the stronghold of resistance-lib comedy that many claim to be. (I’ll keep banging that drum here all season long.)
• The pacing is far too, shall we say, deliberate in this Class sketchwhich is a shame because the jokes get really funny towards the end.
• I would prefer to watch a feature length documentary on how this Deer sketch past the dress rehearsal than seeing the sketch again.
• I kinda like that if you watch the episode backwards, Heidi Garner’s arc shows off her “deflated whoopee cushion” ass in the exercise class sketch and end up with a Brazilian butt lift at Hot Girl Hospital.