Saturday Night Live: Carey Mulligan & Kid Cudi

April 10, 2021

BY Vish KhannaPublished Apr 11, 2021

Carey Mulligan was rather understated as a dutiful host who often masked her British accent to play Americans, while Kid Cudi was effervescent, really owning his turn as musical guest on a show he clearly loves. Here's everything that happened on an uneven Saturday Night Live this week.

The cold open

On a Minnesota news show that gets into Derek Chauvin's murder trial, two white anchors and two Black anchors agreed that the evidence was overwhelmingly in the prosecution's favour, though the white anchors were surprisingly shocked by the Black news team's cynicism about justice actually being served. This all segued nicely into a short bit on the same-day passings of DMX and Prince Phillip this past Friday, which also highlighted differences in opinion and life experience. Ultimately, this was a nice, safe-for-NBC satire of the analysis of racism that goes on in media and among certain demographics.

The monologue

British dramatic actress Carey Mulligan performed a monologue about her time in quarantine in England with her family. This led to a cameo by her actual husband, Marcus Mumford from Mumford and Sons, and they exchanged some playful back-and-forth that was rather stilted — much like this entire monologue, really.

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Kenan Thompson played Elliott Pants, the host of a game show that is often played by three socially inept and idiotic contestants who can't string together a sentence or understand basic tells from graphics. Much to Pants's chagrin, the contestants tend to sexualize or otherwise find silliness and crassness in the pictures, where there isn't any. Some witty writing here and steadfast performances made this fine.


In a remote commercial for a drug to help control one's irritable bowel syndrome, things go sideways when a sufferer is forced to visit a bathroom during a children's music recital. As the traditional comforting music and voiceover play on, a whole ugly drama unfolds when a public bathroom is examined after the IBS-afflicted mom has finished in there. Kind of a gross and juvenile thing, this was also an amusing way of undercutting such overly dramatic drug ads.

Chrissie and Josh

After a homework sesh, two young people, Chrissie and Josh, are starting to get close when Josh calls a lifeline. As played by Mulligan and Kate McKinnon respectively, Chrissie and Josh are cute and nerdy but the nerd factor goes up when Josh calls Jason (Aidy Bryant), who tries to offer her friend romantic advice, in kind of a modern twist on Cyrano de Bergerac, which was a bit long but cute enough.

Weird Little Flute

A rap video, featuring Pete Davidson, Chris Redd and Kid Cudi, this was a funny and clever tribute to hip-hop production and its penchant for sampling flutes for primary hooks for songs. Featuring cameos by Timothée Chalamet and Mulligan, this was good.

Kid Cudi

Sporting an Eddie Murphy moustache and a Chris Farley T-shirt underneath a fuzzy green cardigan that recalled Kurt Cobain, Kid Cudi seemed to wear his SNL fandom on his sleeve during a spirited performance of "Tequila Shots."

For the moodier, almost grim-yet-motivational "Sad People," Cudi wore a classic dress and sang for all the sad people, which was simple, direct and compelling in its own right.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost launched Update with a slew of jokes about Matt Gaetz paying underage women for sex and also touting his strange character references, which was funny. Michael Che had a good joke about Donald Trump's call for a boycott of Coca-Cola and, later, made a CDC vaccine/sex sight gag, which was amusing. With the end of their podcast coming up, President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen appeared at the desk to showcase their camaraderie, which was a very funny showcase for amusing performances by Chris Redd and Beck Bennett, particularly Bennett's nuanced take on the Boss and his encouraging warmth.

After a string of good headline jokes, Punkie Johnson appeared as a stripper named Pineapple to defend Paul Pierce, after the ex-NBA player/analyst was fired by ESPN for posting a live IG stream featuring strippers. This was not good. Che made fun of's new line of masks and a news story about a naked woman who broke into a man's house, both of which hit their marks.

Oh man, with the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic's sinking approaching, comedy dynamo Bowen Yang appeared as the iceberg that sank the ship. Hoping to promote its new EDM album, the iceberg is blindsided by Jost's line of questioning about sinking the Titanic and bursts into tears about being connected to this historic tragedy. To the iceberg's point, it was really the boat manufacturer's and the water's fault, and they just wanted to move on with their career. When finally able to perform, we learned that the iceberg's new song, "Loverboy," was pretty hot.

Starcharter Andromeda

In this precedent to Star Trek, a space TV show featured a storyline derailed by entitled, woke millennials who can't take even the slightest bit of criticism or feedback without crying foul. Played by Mulligan, Mikey Day and Chloe Fineman, these wimpy, insufferable, "persecuted" kids seemed rather authentic, and this was an interesting take on contemporary office culture.

Lesbian Period Drama

In this mock trailer, Mulligan and Heidi Gardner played two actresses in a rote film about English women stuck in a house together in the 19th century, who experience the requisite sexual tension that modern cinema demands of such a circumstance. This was a rather sharp takedown of such filmmaking conventions.

The War in Words

As they've done with this concept in the past, an amusing sketch finds Mikey Day's forlorn WWII soldier, Bertie, writing earnest and inquiring letters home to his beloved wife Mary, in this case played by Mulligan, only to receive brief or strange messages back. Things took a turn when Mary sent Bertie drugs and implicated him (and herself) in at least one murder and callously mentioned that Bertie's parents aren't doing well, all of which astonished an alarmed and harried Bertie. A good idea, executed better in previous iterations.

Beat Buddies

A high school rap crew are having an after-school session when they're interrupted by two L'eggs pantyhose sales representatives. As played by Mulligan and Aidy Bryant, the hosiery saleswomen are convincing and somehow resonate with the young freestyle rappers. So strange, yet rather funny, actually.

Latest Coverage