Ramy Youssef Charmed 'Saturday Night Live,' While Travis Scott Barely Showed Up

March 30, 2024

Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

BY Vish KhannaPublished Mar 31, 2024


Ramy Youssef was a wonderful and funny host, and, between his Auto-Tuned voice and darkly lit stage, Travis Scott was hiding in plain sight on a very solid episode of Saturday Night Live. Here''s everything that happened on SNL this week.

The Cold Open

Initially framed as an Easter scene depicting the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this quickly turned into a promotion for Donald Trump. James Austin Johnson played Trump in his usual deranged manner and presented Trump-centric adaptations of biblical stories. He went on a bit of a Destiny's Child tangent, too, for an amusing open.

The Monologue

Comedian and Poor Things co-star Ramy Youssef discussed Ramadan and the love Muslims share. He got into the presidential election and told a story about once being contacted by Joe Bide's campaign, which asked him to help sway Arab-American voters. He also did a run on praying on behalf of his friends and the people of Palestine in equal measure. Much of the monologue was drawn from his new HBO special, More Feelings, and was funny.

Couple Goals

James Austin Johnson played the host of a game show, in which two couples competed by answering questions about their partners' interests. Youssef and Ego Nwodim played one couple, and Heidi Gardner and Mikey Day played the other, and things didn't go well. With intimations of murder, infidelity, and confusion, this was rather hilarious.

please don't destroy: A Night Out with Travis

In this funny piece, Youssef invited pdd out for a "twisted rocking ball" with Travis Scott that turned into a Lonely Island-esque music video where they played fools and embarrassed Scott and themselves. Good stuff here.

Immigrant Dad Talk Show

Youssef and Marcello Hernández played immigrant dads who adored their daughters but didn't really love their sons and complained about them incessantly, even suggesting they beat them with belts. Mikey Day showed up as Kevin, a white dad who really loved his kids but maybe a bit too much. This was okay.

High School Halftime

Kenan Thompson played the coach of a high school basketball team losing badly when the captain, played by Youssef, tried to give them an inspirational halftime speech. The problem was, the game took place in the aftermath of salacious pictures and videos of the coach leaking, which deflated the Tigers, but also led to some good cat fetish jokes.

Ozempic for Ramadan

In this remote ad parody, Muslims provided testimonials about taking a new Ozempic product to aid them in fasting for Ramadan. Youssef had the most prominent role in this and it worked well.

Travis Scott

Drowned in Auto-Tune, Travis Scott was so low-energy during "MY EYES," he literally performed part of the song while lying flat on his back. When he rose, the energy ratcheted up, but the Auto-Tune made his rapping all but indecipherable because he was T-Paining too much.

In something of a cool but also confusingly filmed performance of "FE!N," Scott was shrouded in smoke and darkness, as jarring camera work further challenged our ability to decipher what was going on. By the time Playboi Carti joined him and added to the incomprehension, a questionable wide shot revealed that robotic arms were operating the two cameras that were making everything look all fucked up. Just kind of weird choices all around here that hamstrung the potential for this to be compelling.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost began Update with jokes about Trump selling a patriotic bible and then suggested the Baltimore bridge accident was partially caused by Boeing. Michael Che made a slight joke about NBC's bungled hiring of former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, and then acknowledged COWBOY CARTER but celebrated Hootie.

Chloe Fineman played Piper Dunster, a TikTok-er brought on to criticize those spreading Kate Middleton conspiracies. It turned out Dunster had a long history of making terrible predictions and sharing bad takes generally, which were worth a chuckle.

Che drew groans and one shriek for an Oppenheimer joke and got a warm laugh for one about pet experts. Flaco the late owl had a wife and she was played by Sarah Sherman, who was invited to discuss the recent revelation that Flaco suffered from pigeon herpes. Of course, this inspired a slew of dirty owl sex jokes, which was good.

DeSonti's Pizza

At a murder scene near a pizza place, police were gathered to investigate, but one of them, Sims, kept making a joke he thought was really cool but bombed with his colleagues. Andrew Dismukes played Sims, whose maniacal line delivery and David-Caruso-on-CSI-Miami-shades-move and look through the camera — which was undercut by a better line and look by Youssef's character — made this silly thing really work.

Elliott hates Tiny Desk Concerts

Youssef played an indie folk musician named Jonah Hughes, whose band performed a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR when their set was interrupted by a 35 year-old intern, Elliott, played by Bowen Yang. Elliott did not appreciate the band causing such a ruckus while he worked, which I'm rather certain was borrowed from a 2023 Roy Wood Jr. tweet.

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