Dua Lipa's Enthusiasm and Jerry Seinfeld's Cameo Couldn't Redeem a Nonsensical 'SNL'

Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

BY Vish KhannaPublished May 5, 2024


Despite Dua Lipa's effervescence and enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live's schedule of sketches were particularly surreal and random this week, which led to varied results. Here's everything that happened on SNL.

The Cold Open

Michael Longfellow played the host of a community affairs show, featuring parents discussing the student protests at schools over the Gaza conflict. Kenan Thompson played a dad in a Columbia University sweatshirt, who supported the student protests just so long as his daughter wasn't the one protesting because she should be studying at the expensive school instead. Thompson was amusing in this iffy take on a significant historical moment.

The Monologue

Dua Lipa took centre stage and had some fun with her own name and Wendy Williams once mistakenly calling her "Dula Peep." She made a loving gesture to her parents who were in the audience and then engaged in a fake audience Q&A playing off her new album's title, Radical Optimism, which was all middling but did its job okay.

Producer Tags

An occasional recurring sketch idea, two people are brought in to overdub producer tags for a hip-hop producer named Spicy, who was played by Devon Walker. Lipa and Ego Nwodim played the voiceover artistsl, who frustrated Spicy with the embarrassing insinuations about him and his life. This had its moments.

The Anomalous Man

In this beautifully filmed remote period piece set in 19th-century England, Lipa played a theatre patron enamoured of a playwright named Peter's work. In meeting him, she discovered that Peter is physically deformed and was quite embarrassed by that. Sarah Sherman played Peter in full pig-man makeup, and then the piece took an odd anachronistic turn when Peter began texting other women on burner cell phones. This was rather elaborate for such a menial, nonsensical idea.

Good Morning Greenville

Heidi Gardner and Mikey Day played white morning show hosts in South Carolina who delved into the Kendrick/Drake beef. They called in Lipa's Wanda Weems, their culture critic, and together they fumbled their way through interpreting some of the rappers' lyrics. Devon Walker played an embarrassed Black meteorologist, which was the funniest part of this.

Sonny Angels

On a date, Marcello Hernández was weirded out by Lipa, who played a woman who collected hundreds of little naked dolls. Bowen Yang played one of the dolls that she was most interested in. It was soon clear that this was a slight riff on Challengers and its love triangle, but it was very hacky and odd.

Penne alla Vodka

In this remote, the omnipresence of big fat trays of penne alla vodka at different events was celebrated in a funny tribute.

Dua Lipa

After an introduction by Troye Sivan, Lipa turned the SNL stage into a club, complete with provocative dancers and a full band. Lipa couldn't have put on more of a spectacle with "Illusion," which the in-studio audience adored.

Jerry Seinfeld welcomed us back from commercial and introduced the second Lipa performance. With a gentler intro, Lipa's choir of singers conjured more of a gospel vibe for the relatively dynamic pop of "Happy for You."

Weekend Update

Colin Jost began Update ridiculing the dog-killing US Senator Kristi Noem, while Michael Che made a quick joke about the Trump trial. He also got a mixed reaction for a military aid jab at President Biden. Jost tied an abortion ban bit in with the mistreatment of migrants, before Che alluded to the brutality of the Kentucky Derby.

Marcello Hernández played one of Noem's other dogs and stopped by to comically defend her from the dog-killing allegations, while also begging for help.

Jost made some drug jokes about kids' cartoons and also about a teacher sexually assaulting one of her students. Chloe Fineman played the recently transformed child star Jojo Siwa, which sent up the obviously disingenuous reinvention, and was funny.

Che did a Sylvester Stallone impression twice, while Jost made fun of "sexsomnia." He then introduced A Man Who Did Too Much Press, who was Jerry Seinfeld, and was there to make fun of his own press tour to promote his film, Unfrosted and got laughs for his attitude more than anything he actually said.

Fat Daddy

Kenan Thompson played a former BBQ restaurant pit chief and now unqualified OBGYN, filling in for an actual OBGYN and treating a couple played by Ego Nwodim and Mikey Day. With some post-exam finger-licking, this was a tad graphic but also just playful enough to work.

Teeny Tiny Statement Pin

In this remote, celebrities laud a new pin they can wear to appear to be in solidarity with controversial causes but also do so as inconspicuously and cowardly as possible. A funny idea that worked well.

Carpet Jingle

Rehashing an old idea, James Austin Johnson and Andrew Dismukes played the duo Soulbooth — a pair of terrible lounge act musicians — hired to make a carpet company's phone number more memorable with a catchy jingle. Their white soul approach was not jiving until Lipa's character joined them, which brought this home.

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