Saturday Night Live: Simu Liu & Saweetie

November 20, 2021

BY Vish KhannaPublished Nov 21, 2021

Kim's Convenience and MCU star Simu Liu made history and was in some good sketches and Saweetie rapped about, sang about, and shook a lot of ass in a good week for Saturday Night Live. Here's everything that happened.

The cold open

Cecily Strong played the titular character in a send-up of Fox News' Justice w/ Judge Jeanine, which dealt with the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. After Mikey Day's trial judge departed, Jeanine welcomed a couple of left-leaning analysts, played by Chloe Fineman and Chris Redd, who got into a racially tinged exchange. As the show did with Judge Jeanine a few weeks ago, SNL found an excuse to break out James Austin Johnson's excellent Donald Trump impression, which was very funny, even it sucks to see even an impression of Trump on television again. Props to Strong for playing Judge Jeanine as very hot 'n' bothered whenever Trump turns up.

The monologue

MCU star Simu Liu told us how proud he was of his success and to host SNL. Short, sweet, and vaguely retributive towards a small child named Trevor, Liu's monologue was just fine.

Karaoke Recap

Live, from a bar called Bixby's in Wilmington, NC, this show recapped karaoke performances from the past week. Hosted by characters played by Kenan Thompson and an over-the-top Chloe Fineman, there were some funny bits here, like Ego Nwodim as an over-served singer; an unintentionally funny duo, played by Melissa Villaseñor and James Austin Johnson, singing like Marge and Homer Simpson; Heidi Gardner and Alex Moffat as a father and daughter singing an inappropriate grinder; and Cecily Strong falling into a pretty ace Whitney Houston. A parade of absurdity, this was fine.

Target Thanksgiving

This remote fake ad played up the hardships of American Thanksgiving family gatherings, offering customers a whole series of products to get dinner hosts through the festivities. A bit of tired and tiresome filler here, as the show put forth a rote parody.

Doghead Man

In a concept designed to make Cecily Strong break during a sketch, a military scientific operation unveiled its latest innovation, a Doghead Man, which starred an actual dog. Liu and Mikey Day played military personnel leading the presentation, designed to sway admin, played by Strong and James Austin Johnson. Clearly influenced by Dav Pilkey's popular Dog Man kids' comic series, this was rather amusing for its chaos and actually got Day and Johnson losing control, as much as it did Strong.

Republican or Not

Kenan Thompson played Benson DuBois, the host of this curious game show. Contestants played by Liu and Ego Nwodim had to guess whether subjects were Republicans or not based on stuff they said. After Kyle Mooney's Brady foiled them, Sarah Sherman also appeared to mind-eff the contestants with statements that were vague enough to fool them. Cecily Strong's Liz Cheney, an actual (though estranged) Republican, appeared to really hammer home how strange times are for impossibly polarized Americans these days, all of which was legitimately good satire.

"Walking in Staten"

In a remote music video, Pete Davidson celebrated his home borough by mimicking Marc Cohn's single "Walking in Memphis," which was rather amazing and elaborate. With an assist from Cohn himself, plus Method Man and Davidson's buddy Wet, Staten Island never sounded so appealingly weird.


With a refined vibe of sorts, including male band members in black ties and jackets, and back-up dancers made up to resemble ballerinas, Saweetie's performance of "Tap In / Best Friend" conjured a conceptually high-brow strip club. Not much more to ponder here.

For "Icy Chain," the ass rapping was more pronounced with a lot more twerking and verses, choruses and choreography celebrating ass. Will we ever stop hearing new raps about asses? It would seem no; ass rapping won't quit. Just a lotta ass, all the time. This is what life is now.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost made a joke of how uneventful a day America had while Joe Biden was incapacitated during a routine medical procedure, while Michael Che went in on Kyle Rittenhouse and the questionable aspects of his trial's outcome. Jost's running gag of making very specific jokes about people based on the images of them appearing on the screen was particularly good tonight, even getting an applause break at one point. Later, Che re-introduced us to Kyle Mooney's hip-hop-flavoured Baby Yoda. It's always a pity to dump on Kyle, but this bit has never been worth the time he's gotta spend in the make-up chair. Che made a rather incredible Lethal Weapon joke, while Jost was made to tell a racist Black Santa Claus joke, and then, to a huge roar, Che speculated whether or not Queen Elizabeth "entering a new health phase" really meant she was getting implants. Aidy Bryant appeared as Mother Earth to discuss climate change and flirt a bit with Jost. A rather clever way of telling jokes but putting forth a message about dumb we've been about dealing with ecological collapse, Bryant was amusing in this.

Thanksgiving Baking Championship

Alex Moffat played the host of a baking TV show, where several contestants presented disastrous cakes to judges played by Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Ego Nwodim. In a callback to sketches past, the vision presented by the contestants, as manifested in elaborate artwork, didn't align with the finished products, and in Liu's case, the cakes became sentient and evil. Again, this was a retread that couldn't match the impact of the original version(s), but it's still a funny idea and worked, as usual.

First Asian Man

In this brilliant remote, Liu and Bowen Yang engaged in a bit about how often their accomplishments are tracked by people highlighting the fact that they're Asian. This got increasingly absurd and funnier and funnier, as both men played up the premise with great relish.

Dead Man

Mikey Day played a man calling 911, claiming to be dead from a joint they smoked. It seemed that he was among a bunch of professors who had gathered for a Friendsgiving party and smoked some potent weed that a graduate student had provided them and the reefer made them so goddamn high, they assumed the sweet, sweet kush had rendered them dead, bewildering the 911 operator played by Ego Nwodim. This was charmingly funny.

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