Saturday Night Live: Jonathan Majors & Taylor Swift November 13, 2021

Saturday Night Live: Jonathan Majors & Taylor Swift November 13, 2021
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Not for a lack of energy and effort on their part, Jonathan Majors and Taylor Swift found themselves on an uneven episode of Saturday Night Live, where the big laughs were huge but the half-baked stuff shouldn't have been served. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.

The cold open
 
On a fake network called Newsmax Kids, Aidy Bryant appeared as Ted Cruz for a new show called Cruz Street, a conservative response to Sesame Street, which has been advocating for vaccinations. Cecily Strong turned up as the reprehensible U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene and called a kid a pussy. Kyle Mooney's hampered Big Bird was interrupted by Pete Davidson's unhinged Joe Rogan, which soon led us to Alex Moffat and Mikey Day, who played out-and-proud life partners, Bert and Ernie. Despite some fun allusions and visual gags, even platforming some of these horrible people (not the bird or the ambiguously gay duo) felt lame and un-fun, so this was a slog (also Bryant's Cruz has long been a low-energy, half-hearted rendering of someone who is actually and inherently cartoonish).
 
The monologue

Jonathan Majors bounded out with huge energy and told some personal stories about his family life and ascent from homelessness to Hollywood. After a few jokes about/plugs for his appearance in the upcoming Ant-Man sequel, Majors' monologue was mostly pretty slight and uneventful but delivered well enough.
 
Forgotten Monarchs: The March of the Suitors

Chloe Fineman played an unmarried queen, meeting her potential suitors. After a couple of no-gos, Majors turned up as a guy named Dave pretending to be a Prince Hawee, but his ruse is almost immediately called out by his put upon wife, as played by Ego Nwodim, which was funny and the highlight of this bit.

Three Sad Virgins

The "please don't destroy" video boys were visited by Pete Davidson, who wanted to make a music video parody, which wound up hilariously making fun of the boys themselves. Great work by special guest, Taylor Swift, as well.
 
The Audacity in Advertising Awards

Majors and Heidi Gardner played Jake from State Farm Insurance and Flo from Progressive Insurance, respectively, and hosted an advertising awards show, celebrating the best in shameless, hypocritical, and opportunistic TV commercials. With so many big targets, disguising product promo in human-interest terms, this was easy and not bad.

Strange Kid Tales

Majors and Kenan Thompson played the reluctant hosts of a SyFy show about paranormal activity, as recounted by children. Aidy Bryant played a mom and a child who totally spook the hosts with a simple story, and are soon followed by Alex Moffat, playing a dad with his creepy-looking kid. For the last guests, Heidi Gardner played the mother of Coralline, who claimed that her late grandmother sings to her at night, which culminated in the manifestation of one of her visions, all of which was pretty good actually, thanks especially to Thompson and his always great expressive reactions to weirdness.

Man Park

In this remote, girlfriends and wives send their friendless men to a Man Park, where they can socialize and frolic in a field and talk about dumb shit. This was mildly amusing.
 
Taylor Swift

With a short film playing behind her and her seven-piece band, mostly enveloped by darkness, and the stage itself, a bed of roses, Taylor Swift led us through the epic "All Too Well," a 10-minute mini-opera complete with fake snow falling at its most melodramatic moment. The scale and attention to detail were undeniably great and moving and, for a guest who often brings drama to their SNL musical performances, this was likely her strongest showing ever.


Weekend Update

Colin Jost began Update with a reference to Swift's epic performance but then made hay of Steve Bannon's recent conviction for contempt of Congress. Michael Che went at Kyle Rittenhouse's tearful take on the stand and criticized the media for making Britney Spears upset. Jost made a funny QAnon joke and eventually, under-used new cast member, Sarah Sherman, showed up to provide feedback about the SNL season so far.
 
Sherman, who is amazing, criticized the show for being live and partially airing on Sundays, and went after Jost, with an amazing array of burns and fake headlines. Man, this was incredible.
 
Che made a great joke about sex on sand dunes and then another sex joke about climate change, before a great one about a hiker on the Appalachian Trail. The wonder that is new cast member, Aristotle Athari, played a robot stand-up comedian, Laughintosh 3000, which was rather remarkable.

An Evening with Blythe and Brick

Kyle Mooney and Aidy Bryant played a couple who brought their child to a benefit for Broadway theatre generally, starring Blythe and Brick. Played by Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang, respectively, these actors engage in a song that seems to be called "Everybody's Doing Drugs," which celebrated cocaine and speed and mortified some members of the audience, which was all fairly amusing, especially when Majors joined them.

Dog Bones-n-Melodies

In this relentless remote, Majors and Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, and Kenan Thompson played Bone Thugs-n-Harmony promoting their new dog bones business via soulful sorta-music video. I dunno, this seems like it was pitched late, in some kinda daze, someone wrote like five jokes, and then here it was, kinda something, kinda dumb, vaguely funny.

Church Romance

An elderly pastor and his wife, played by Majors and Ego Nwodim, addressed their congregation to announce they are opening up their marriage and wish to date certain members of their church. Bizarre, this middling thing did get some laughs and was a curious but apt, off-kilter five-to-one sketch.