The cold open
Ted Cruz stopped by Britney's show to talk his recent trip to Cancun. pic.twitter.com/2NLPKvWbmq— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Chloe Fineman expertly portrayed Britney Spears, hosting an apology show called Oops, You Did it Again, and introduced her first guest, Aidy Bryant's Ted Cruz. Stealing more than a few jokes from Twitter about the Notes App being the new medium for forced apologies and Cruz returning from Cancun with beads in his hair, the illicit goods still got some laughs. Next up was Pete Davidson with a spot-on take on recently disgraced NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been accused of keeping nursing home deaths off of pandemic mortality stats reports. Finally, Cecily Strong played Gina Carano, the MMA actress from The Mandalorian who was recently fired by Disney for tweets about the Holocaust. Strong couldn't quite handle Bryant's Cruz, cracking up, and this good open ended well, after strong work by all involved.
Andrew Cuomo sat down with Britney Spears to talk the handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/M4p0bqFDUP— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page took to the stage to gales of screams from the audience, and soon played up his sex symbol image. Adding to the horniness, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim and Chloe Fineman turned up to woo him, as Page engaged in one-on-one cutaways, seducing the camera, as something pretty close to "Careless Whisper" soundtracked him being "extremely hot sex man," as Bryant called him at one point. This was all predictable and playful and at least less weird than when SNL does this bit with sexy hosts who aren't men.
Ego Nwodim played Pam Barrett, host of a TV show called Actors Spotlight. She is astonished to learn that actors from other countries play Americans. Page played Kingsley Ben-Adir and Chris Redd was Daniel Kaluuya, but it was Kenan Thompson's Ice Cube (who feigned being British to fit in) that was the crux here. A short, funny bit that worked well, thanks mostly to Thompson.
Just three British actors. Will not be taking questions at this time. pic.twitter.com/lQH4H9DtDA— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
In this remote music video, Ego Nwodim astonished with an acting and rapping tour de force, explaining how a year inside without human contact had left her very, very delusional. Great features by Pete Davidson and Bad Bunny too.
tbh we've all gone a little loco pic.twitter.com/7dQVo2SwV4— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
A bunch of burly dudes at a pool hall were thrown off when Page's character plays Olivia Rodrigo's song "Driver's License" on the jukebox. They soon perform a deep analysis of the song's meaning and what Rodrigo's role in pop culture really is (especially compared to Taylor Swift), and this was both unexpected and very well done.
this is all of us when drivers license comes on pic.twitter.com/kwFzd6Vgsp— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
DRIVERS LICENSE SNL SKETCH IS THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER IM SHAKING— Olivia Rodrigo (@Olivia_Rodrigo) February 21, 2021
Mr. Chicken Legs Pageant
After an explosive theme song performance by Cecily Strong's Denise Poots, Page (as the dynamic Troy Duggins) and Chloe Fineman (as the dim-witted Minnie Marko) were summoned to host this pageant, crowning the man with the skinniest legs in America. Various dudes from the cast showed off their skinny legs and, I dunno, maybe this began as some SNL office roasting among the staff or something, but it was really silly and still worked.
We stan Denise Poots. And these men with tiny skinny legs. pic.twitter.com/HJxm2l9bak— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
The Job Interview
In this remote, Beck Bennett played the odd owner of a dysfunctional and flailing ad agency who interviews a potential employee, played by Page. Rife with absurdist visuals and dialogue, plus crazed notes passed along by Bowen Yang's office assistant, this was pure ridiculousness and rather impressive, actually.
The Job Interview. pic.twitter.com/cIguvqQWpX— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Bad Bunny Rosalía, Bad Bunny brought us "La Noche de Anoche," which, thanks to a kind of awkward energy between the pair, felt rather stilted for a romantic slow-grinder. It wasn't until they began playing at sensuality and intimacy that the crowd went wild and some chemistry started a spark in the performance.
Later, for "Te Deseo Lo Mejor," Bad Bunny appeared alone, sitting on a stairway to nowhere and appearing to brandish a WWE 24/7 championship belt. That was about the only thing shimmering about this low-key, lacklustre performance by a rising star.
Bad Bunny! 💯 pic.twitter.com/AWYK1b6fT3— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Bad Bunny performed on SNL tonight with the WWE 24/7 Championship in hand.— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) February 21, 2021
What a wild sentence 🤯 pic.twitter.com/EcKTQXkeUn
Colin Jost began by laying into Ted Cruz and his idiotic decision to travel to Cancun while his home state was under siege by a devastating winter storm. Michael Che got in a good "snow" joke about cocaine and later did a bit about Andrew Cuomo hoping to legalize marijuana.
Pete Davidson did sit-down stand-up about Valentine's Day and finally moving out of the house he lives in with his mom, which was funny.
⬇️ Weekend Update ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fbOIQs6g5j— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Jost got in an amusing joke about the Mars Perseverance explorer creating a Twitter account and Che did a gentle ribbing of Kanye West getting divorced. Oh man, The Berenstain Bears kill Osama bin Laden joke was good. Heidi Gardner appeared as a community worker named Jessie Rauch who wished to discuss her Community Horizons program's initiatives but Che cannot get over the fact that she is dressed and acts a lot like Freddy Kruger. Very random, very funny — Gardner's a treasure.
Pete at the desk! pic.twitter.com/vQp3OQ4bUH— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
Songs of the Sea
Capitalizing on the popularity of sea shanties on TikTok, the History Channel takes us aboard the SS Gillenpool to learn more about ship life. A new traveller, played by Andrew Dismukes, is appalled to hear the crew's shanties, which indicate that everyone aboard the ship is highly inept at sailing and are all going to die. Even Bad Bunny got in on the act with a prominent role, and this was ultimately rather satisfying.
A family gathering, joining white evangelicals and a Black family steeped in gospel, becomes something of a food blessings grudge match that turned into a spirited song and dance piece, including Beck Bennett busting out the worm, which was a fun highlight.
GO DALE! GO DALE! pic.twitter.com/lpaiqVTTaf— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
We were brought into a production set for Bridgerton, just ahead of a sex scene, where things have gone awry because the regular intimacy coordinator was replaced by a pair of rough-around-the-edges dudes, as gleefully played by Mikey Day and Pete Davidson. Playing up the source material's reputation for being porn, this titillated the in-studio audience, and rightly so.
Every sex scene needs a good intimacy coordinator. And when a good intimacy coordinator can't make it, they bring in these guys. pic.twitter.com/MQ4pvy5fa6— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
"The Grocery Rap"
Initially riffing on the Beastie Boys early aesthetic and also the grocery store set of "Too Many Rappers," one of their last music videos, this remote found Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, and Andrew Dismukes playing a rapping trio of COVID deniers who will not wear masks while filming their comedy rap video. Page was the grocery store manager who kept asking them to just put on masks before getting physical, all of which was just amusing enough.