Five-Timer Emma Stone Rescued 'SNL' from Some Clunkers

December 2, 2023

Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

BY Vish KhannaPublished Dec 3, 2023

Joining the Five-Timers Club, Emma Stone was a such a great host that she made up for a couple of clunkers on an otherwise strong week for Saturday Night Live, which the super-psyched folk pop singer Noah Kahan clearly enjoyed as well. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.

The Cold Open

Sarah Sherman appeared as Wolf Blitzer hosting the CNN program The Situation Room, reporting upon the expulsion of disgraced congressman George Santos. Bowen Yang reprised his remarkably funny take on Santos, who called for a press conference to both address the situation and lie a lot about everything. Yang has long played Santos as absurdly nefarious and, in what could be his final turn as this aggrieved news-cycle sucker, he cranked it up to 11, even tunefully singing a parody of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," which was funny. Yang's a multi-faceted treasure. 

The Monologue 

Emma Stone joined the Five-Timers Club and showed up appreciatively, citing the fact that she "met her husband" (cut to a sheepish Lorne Michaels) at the show. Fellow Five-Timers Tina Fey and Candice Bergen appeared to discuss the 5T's "women's club." Fey and Bergen riffed and made some self-deprecating jokes before fitting Stone with her club jacket, then all of them made some jokes at Woody Harrelson's expense, and a fun monologue was done. 

Question Quest

Michael Longfellow played the host of a game show, in which a contestant (played by Stone) won the host's 37-year-old tortoise, Speedy. Much to her confusion, the next contestant won three cars and the game seemed stacked against her and her desire to not claim the Speedy, which was rather amusing.

Fully Naked in New York

In this remote music video, Stone and various cast members sang a whimsical song about doing jobs like collecting garbage and working construction fully naked. Complete with a tech malfunction where the censorship blurring of Chloe Troast malfunctioned so that her skin toned coverings could be seen, this was a randomly juvenile bit that didn't really take. 

The Pine River Lodge Christmas Tree Lighting 2023 

Kenan Thompson played the leader of a three-piece lounge act, which included Stone and Bowen Yang. Ostensibly performing at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the band were clearly dysfunctional, and everything here in this distant half-cousin of "What Up with That?" was absurd and time-killer-y. 

please don't destroy: AI Emma Stone

In this funny premise, pdd's plans to have Stone appear in their weekly segment were thwarted by tech issues and so they had to rely on AI and body doubles, which was creepy and funny and good for Martin Herlihy and Punkie Johnson. We've got a good feeling about those two. 

What's in the Kiln?

Chloe Fineman and Heidi Gardner played a couple of type-A women who host a TV program about their interest in amateur pottery-making. As they showed off their wares, it became clear they supported each other despite being incompetent. Stone appeared as a guest and "pre-menopausal lady," who was more adept at clay creations, but was also equally intense and seemed a tad sad; one of her pieces depicted her own mother's vagina. Designed to skewer lame people, this was rather lame itself. 

Noah Kahan

Rising folk-pop singer Noah Kahan and his band, which prominently featured a banjo, were excitable, floating above cloud-like smoke and ripping through the accessible anthem "Dial Drunk." 

Recalling the early 2010s rise in earnest upbeat folk (i.e. Mumford & Sons, Dan Mangan, the Lumineers), Kahan and his band returned with "Stick Season," another feel-good stomper with wide smiles and clean, straight-ahead storytelling. 

Weekend Update

Colin Jost began Update with a few George Santos rips, while Michael Che used Melania to ridicule Donald Trump, and suggested that, given his success rate, Elon Musk should become the CEO of Hamas. Jost made a weird joke about Frozen sequels and a good one about "rizz."

Che had a great bit about a BLM leader supporting Trump, and then Jost introduced Michael Longfellow, who played an old-fashioned cigarette denouncing vaping, which led to some amusing back-and-forth with Jost.

Che reported on Sports Illustrated using AI to write articles with a funny in predictably male joke about the WNBA, while Jost made fun of his co-ownership of a Staten Island Ferry, and then a good Update was done. 


Chloe Troast played Mama Cass recording her solo single "Make Your Own Kind of Music" in 1969, as her producer, Mitch Lester, as played by Stone, made things weird by suggesting the song might better succeed if it scored cinematic violence, surrealism and horror. Stone was terrific in this, manic and dedicated to her performance, which may have been a subtle nod to her character in Poor Things. Either way, this was wild and compelling and had a clever twist. 

Poster Dreams 

Maybe Stone herself requested this reprisal of a sketch idea featuring her depiction of Krissy Knox, a poster bimbo who comes to life along with a young male character's other posters (often including athletes or wizards or a professional wrestler), to provide advice. Stone's grating "Ohhhh yeah!" as Knox is iconic in its own way, and she was great in this latest iteration of a funny premise. 

Diet Coke by Olay

In this remote ad, (which, without Stone's involvement, might have been a cast-only evergreen bit the show saved for 12:57 emergencies when the show's timing wasn't quite accurate enough to get them to 1:00 AM), women in the cast played actors touting the value of a skin moisturizer comprised of Diet Coke, splashing the soda in their faces and rubbing its bubbles into their pores. With some ridiculous visuals, this silly thing really worked. 

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