Saturday Night Live: Jake Gyllenhaal & Camila Cabello

April 9, 2022

BY Vish KhannaPublished Apr 10, 2022

Jake Gyllenhaal could not have been a more willing and affable host, while Camila Cabello's ambitious ideas for musical performances did not leave a lasting impression. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week.

The cold open

Beaming into the Oval Office, James Austin Johnson's President Biden was in conversation with newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson who, once Biden was called away, was able to confer with historical figures, including the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as played by Kate McKinnon. Next, Kenan Thompson appeared as Justice Thurgood Marshall, who assumed there must've been many other Black Justices since his tenure. Punkie Johnson played Harriet Tubman and Chris Redd appeared as Jackie Robinson to close out this bit that was more about making a socio-political point than having a real comedic point of view.

The monologue

Jake Gyllenhaal reflected upon his past at SNL, including a 2007 hosting stint and his penchant for method acting, which he claimed to have left behind. After declaring he was ready to have fun again, he broke into a spirited, somewhat satiric rendition of Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me" with back-up from Ego Nwodim, Chloe Fineman and Cecily Strong. This was all just fine, with the power ballad enabling Gyllenhaal to show off a generally strong singing voice.

Why'd You Like It?

Kenan Thompson played Denny Donegan, the host of a show where contestants must explain why they liked specific photos on Instagram. Gyllenhaal was the first contestant to face scrutiny for liking a photo of a woman and his ulterior motives. Chris Redd came up next and had to face the music for liking an artful pic posted by Megan Thee Stallion for nefarious reasons, while Chloe Fineman played a thirsty ex who admitted that that's what she was. We then got to a segment called Why Do You Follow Them?, all of which was meant to suggest we're all on social media looking to let people know we are up for having sex with them. Kind of amusing, with Redd's recurring "pass" being the funniest part of this.

The Dream Home Cousins

In this remote satire of an HGTV real estate reno show, Gyllenhaal and Mikey Day played the hosts who are struggling to make a dysfunctional couple and an eccentric mother-in-law happy. With Kate McKinnon playing the overbearing mother of James Austin Johnson's camera shy dude and Heidi Gardner as his put-upon wife, this was mostly a showcase for physical comedy, as everyone involved put the writing across with some manner of mugging, while sending up the usual dynamics on these oddly combative, tense kinds of shows, in a rather funny way.

The Singers Four

Gyllenhaal, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang took to the stage as the Singers Four, and sang a strange, inspirational cabaret song that seemed to be called "That's Enough for Me." With lyrics that were like a confessional airing of grievances, each singer got at least one well-deserved big laugh.

Spring Has Sprung

In Mr. Greenthumb's flowerbed, four happy flowers were accosted by various intruders. Gyllenhaal, Sarah Sherman, Cecily Strong and Chris Redd played the flowers whose joy is interrupted by a horny bee played hilariously by Bowen Yang, a weed played by Kyle Mooney and a dog named Mr. Peanut who peed on them. As it happened, there were worse scenarios in this funny bit.


In a remote, three work colleagues are in the bathroom gossiping about another one named Janet, whom they compare to Chucky. Unfortunately, they're overheard not by Janet herself, but by Chucky, as played maniacally by Sarah Sherman, and the violent encounter must be dealt with in an HR meeting, helmed by a boss played by Gyllenhaal. Absurd and dark, this was pretty good, thanks mostly to Sherman who always loves going for the throat with some gruesome comedy.

Camila Cabello

Backed up by four musicians and six colourfully dressed dancers, Camilla Cabello brought a kind of suggestive but Disney-fied vibe to SNL with "Bam Bam." The adult-oriented choreography was offset by the bright, vivid costumes, clever camera work and music that could've scored a scene from Encanto.

In more of a rock-pop mode, Cabello and Willow Smith attempted to make a spectacle of "Psychofreak " but, with its technologically topical lyrics and rudimentary music, it never really felt like much more than a vapid bit of confessional pop.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost opened with a Brett Kavanaugh joke in reference to Ketanji Brown Jackson's appointment to the Supreme Court, while Michael Che highlighted the racism involved in the proceedings. Jost highlighted how strange Will Smith's Oscar punishment was, while Che made a great joke about climate change and Bitcoin and got a grown applause break for a Lucky Charms pun.

Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang returned as Trend Forecasters and angrily told us what was in and out before occasionally joining cheek-to-cheek for tightly zoomed-in camera shots, to really dig into something that was out of fashion. Loud and chaotic, this was more about the inspired performances than the caustic writing, which seemed to wonder what Stefon might've been like had he made it through the Hunger Games.

Lights Camera Achoo!

Cecily Strong played the host of a film history program, which highlighted great moments in cinema where characters were deathly ill. She screened a scene from a western in which Gyllenhaal played Doc Holliday who was hacking and coughing up a storm. This prop-based, fluid-spraying bit was pretty good, and even accidentally included a shot of the crew member causing all of the blood and bile to soak Gylllenhaal's scene mates. For gross-out prop comedy, this wasn't bad.

Couples Therapy

Gyllenhaal and Melissa Villaseñor were struggling spouses visiting Punkie Johnson, playing a couples therapist who was clearly in conflict with her own violent partner whom she was texting and occasionally speaking to on the phone. As the session continued to get more volatile, Ego Nwodim appeared as the aforementioned partner and things went from wild to resolved, as Johnson and Gyllenhaal in particular played it loud for this intermittently amusing thing.

Truck You You Truckin' Truck

In this promo for a CD full of trucker songs, Aidy Bryant played the host of this infomercial, which threw to clips of Gyllenhaal, Cecily Strong and Andrew Dismukes singing ridiculous country songs about peeing in cups and bottles, ghost truckers, masturbation, tooting the airhorn, hitchhikers and El Chapo. This was actually pretty good.

Cut from Broadcast: Serious Night Live

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