Saturday Night Live: Will Forte & Måneskin

January 22, 2022

Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

BY Vish KhannaPublished Jan 23, 2022

One of the last cast members from a classic roster to finally host an episode, Will Forte was predictably great in everything he was in and Italian rock band Måneskin were loud in every possible sense of the word. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week.

The cold open

Kate McKinnon reprised her spot-on Laura Ingraham, a craven deceiver for Fox News, and led with some rather strong jokes. She introduced her first guest, Senator Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant), who continued to be a spineless sycophant. After some amusing D-list sponsor promos, Ingraham introduced Pete Davidson's take on disgraced tennis star Novak Djokovic, who addressed his recent deportation from Australia, which was decent. Then we heard from Ego Nwodim's Candace Owens, who continued to do a questionable job representing Black Americans, which was a small appetizer for James Austin Johnson's Donald Trump, who did a weird Wordle rundown to publicize his 2024 campaign run. And with that, this quick-fire cold open petered out.

The monologue

Beloved comedy surrealist and SNL alumnus Will Forte returned for his first ever hosting turn, a fact he highlighted with hilarious bitterness, faux lashing out at his class of castmates like Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg, each of whom has hosted since leaving the show. When Wiig appeared to steal his thunder, he let her know she was not welcome on-stage and so she departed (temporarily; she would be a welcome sight throughout the show).

Just as Forte was getting a bit emotional about being back, Lorne Michaels and Willem Dafoe appeared to suggest that there was a scheduling mix-up and Dafoe, who is actually hosting next week, was meant to be hosting tonight. All told, this was a very funny and eventful monologue.

MacGruber Pt. I

In a remote that immediately followed the monologue, Forte was joined by his MacGruber castmates, Wiig and Ryan Phillipe, for a funny and contemporary take on the old sketch (and new TV series) where MacGruber has become, of course, a very dumb anti-vaxxer.

Kid Klash

Forte played the host of a kids' game show and introduced a contestant named Tatum, played by Aidy Bryant, and then revealed the treacherous obstacle course she was meant to overcome. As she struggled with the first challenge of finding a flag in a giant cream pie, Forte's host got darker and angrier, insisting she would never move on with her life until she located the flag. Fortunately, this brief piece had a happy ending.

MacGruber Pt. II

A seemingly chastened MacGruber appeared to agree with the science about COVID-19, though it turned out he really, really didn't, leading to some very funny exchanges and physical comedy.

Cinema Classics

Kenan Tompson's Reese Da'what returned to host this PBS film show, which was a twist on the 1944 film Gaslight. Forte and Kate McKinnon played a couple in the film noir-y feature, in which she kept pointing out real facts and he kept misdirecting her and lying to her about things that were obviously lies, which was making her question her sanity. He was gaslighting her, you see, a joke this sketch thought was worth expanding upon for quite a while.


For her birthday, a husband agreed to his wife's birthday wish for a threesome with a stranger. Mikey Day's Tate and Heidi Gardner's Tracey waited expectantly for their orgy guy, whose name was like Ganner or something and, as played by Forte, he was truly a lot. A pretty perfect character for Forte, who sinks his teeth into sleazy delusion, this was amusing thanks to the three performers' interplay.


The winners of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, rock band Måneskin carried themselves like an invention from the On Cinema at the Cinema universe but, sartorially and aesthetically, were maybe even more over-the-top than something Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington would have conceived of. As it happened, they dug into a cover of the Four Seasons' hit "Beggin" with great gusto, shooting their shot for a huge, primarily American TV audience.

They returned with the more driving "I Wanna Be Your Slave," which was equal parts schlock-rock and post-punk, conjuring a 1980s Sunset Strip hair metal band meets Jane's Addiction, but with a higher budget for slick fashions. It was tamer than their music videos but still a bit bizarre and anachronistic. Still, they looked like they were having lots and lots of fun so, good for them.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost ridiculed President Joe Biden's two-hour press conference, while Michael Che made a case for Bowen Yang replacing Jost on Update. Speaking of which, Bowen Yang's incredible Chinese Trade Minister Chen Biao turned up to defend the country's plan to stage the Beijing Olympics despite the COVID outbreak there. Biao remains a remarkable creation, enabling Yang to explore the darkest recesses of comedy with an incredibly cheery, sardonic edge.

Che made a pretty remarkable joke about Batman and Jeffrey Epstein, and Jost did something similar with Kyle Rittenhouse and O.J. Simpson. Colourfully loud comedic force Sarah Sherman returned for a desk piece after destroying the last time, where she'd made fun of Jost incessantly. She repeated the gag here, antagonizing Jost and twisting his words and ideas with a news graphic bit, which was still good.

Che recalled Norm Macdonald with a deliberately sexist driving joke, and then Alex Moffat returned with his masterful douchebag bro, Guy Who Just Bought a Boat. The king of punny double entendres, the Boat guy was brought aboard to tie in the real-life news that Pete Davidson and Jost bought a de-commissioned Staten Island ferry and, with all three engaging in somewhat drunken chaos (Davidson appeared to be chugging a giant beer in a paper bag), this was kind of funny.

The Return of Clancy T. Bachleratt and Jackie Snad

Oh man, Forte and Wiig were incredible in this, resurrecting old characters for this strange infomercial, promoting their reconnection as country stars Clancy T. Bachleratt and Jackie Snad, whose trademark is to sing maniacal songs about toddlers, spaceships, model-T cars and jars of beer. Guided by Kenan Thompson's Jevner Keeblerelv, who hosted this ad, Forte and Wiig somehow kept it together, scream-singing a torrent of absurd lyrics for a real punk blast of musical satire that was virtually identical to a previous versions of this incredible sketch, which they use to perform as cast members. Two of the best at their absolute best here.

MacGruber Pt. III

While the theme song suggested MacGruber had finally and truly came to his senses, when we met our hero, he was dressed like the QAnon Shaman and spent time he should've spent defusing a bomb espousing crazy theories and inadvertently admitting he was an oath-keeping Proud Boy. Poor MacGruber, lucky us — this was funny.

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