Saturday Night Live: Daniel Craig & the Weeknd

March 7, 2020

BY Vish KhannaPublished Mar 8, 2020

Daniel Craig was a great and engaged host and the Weeknd put on two excellent musical performances, and took part in a couple of sketches, too, on a solid Saturday Night Live. Here's everything that happened this week.
The cold open
Kate McKinnon reprised her take on racist Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who suggested that the coronavirus was a leftist hoax. Cecily Strong's Judge Jeanine Piro similarly spouted nonsense for a bit, before Ingraham threw to Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who were, as always, played gloriously by Alex Moffat and Mikey Day. Alumnus/Don Pardo replacement Darrell Hammond made a rare appearance to portray recently retired MSNBC host Chris Matthews, which was funny. The highlight here was the multi-talented McKinnon, who normally plays Senator Elizabeth Warren, getting to interact with the real deal: Senator Warren was warmly received and had some funny lines interacting with Ingraham, until McKinnon turned up in her own Warren get-up, for a warm and funny conclusion.

The monologue

Daniel Craig treated us to a sneak peek preview of No Time to Die, his final turn as James Bond. What seemed like it might be a legit scene soon devolved into anarchy, as 007 proceeded to go on a kind of gambling bender, which was kind of amusing.

The Sands of Modesto
A soap opera has had to take a few precautionary measures due to the coronavirus, which impacts its production and the way the actors touch and don't touch. All of the requisite intimacy and chemistry is neutralized by the application of sanitizers, glass screens and cheap props, which, in the hands Craig and Kate McKinnon, was all very funny.

On the Couch
Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd joined the Weeknd for a song about being dudes who get relegated to the couch after crossing their significant others in different ways. This catchy song misdirected us to think they'd done little to deserve it, but the song (and a character played by Craig) upended all of this in a surprisingly clever way.
The Deirdre Show      
A daytime talk show welcomes Chef Clyde, played by Daniel Craig, who is meant to teach us how to make tasty snacks. Unfortunately another guest, a singing diva named Cookie, who very much resembles Whitney Houston and was played by Ego Nwodim, is easily offended by one of his suggestions and won't let it go. This was short enough to work and was strong mostly because of Nwodim's stellar, legend-like indignation.
Debbie Downer and Covid-19
SNL alumnus (and, given how many times she's been on the show this season, new cast member?) Rachel Dratch reprised her classic Debbie Downer character, who appeared at a wedding in a gas mask. As she was once wont to do some 20 years ago, Downer made everything a drag, with depressing patter and conversational anecdotes about disease, death and other sad stuff. That said, it was kind of good to see Debbie again.

The Weeknd

Brandishing a band-aid on the bridge of his nose and a trickle of blood from the corner of his right eye, the Weeknd drove his After Hours audio and visual concept home, as he and his band tore through "Blinding Lights," a gigantic, synthesized pop song, bolstered by an elaborate light show.

Returning with slower new jam "Scared to Live," the Weeknd still looked all beat to hell, but his talent as a vocalist, raised on a steady diet of Michael Jackson, was on full display.
Weekend Update

Colin Jost made a number of age jokes about Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, while Michael Che made some jokes about how funny it is to see white people fight over those three. Jost also went in on Trump's lack of mental fitness for office and made a few more coronavirus jokes that were okay. Bowen Yang appeared as Bottle Boi, a homeless man who collects and advocates for plastic bags, and talks a bit like Adam Sandler's Waterboy, which must've been a nominal coincidence? In any case, Bottle Boi was a surprising bust; Yang normally destroys with his Update characters.

As he does whenever he's a musical guest on the show, the Weeknd gave us another brief Weeknd Update.

Cecily Strong's once-recurring, the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party, made a rare Update appearance, misspeaking and saying such vapid stuff that was actually pretty hilarious.
Southern Accent
Craig appeared at a meeting with film producers who want him to work on his Southern accent for a role, but they're all baffled by the acting coach he has accompany him. Beck Bennett played this strange character who's obsessed with hot butts and makes Craig do and say ridiculous things, including puking on command, which was all rather silly and likely a fun bit for Craig.
A friendly game night gets a bit weird and flirty when Heidi Gardner's character slyly suggests a new game of Quote, which prompts a one-on-one battle between her and someone else's husband, who's played by Craig. The pair soon turn each other on with their deep quote knowledge, which angers Craig's wife, played by Kate McKinnon, who broke Craig up with her feigned rage and was worth a few chuckles.
The Overnight Salad
In this colourful remote, Aidy Bryant plays a matriarch who stays up to prepare an overnight salad for her family. Unfortunately, it's made with some very gross ingredients and prompts her husband, played by Craig, to lose it on her in the morning. This was darkly absurd and worked well, as a 12:55 a.m. closer.

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