Saturday Night Live: Regina King & Nathaniel Rateliff February 13, 2021

Saturday Night Live: Regina King & Nathaniel Rateliff February 13, 2021
Regina King was a great, engaged host with good writing to deal with and Nathaniel Rateliff surprised fans by bringing his beloved former backing band along with him for this special night in his career. Here's everything that happened on Saturday Night Live this week.

The cold open Alex Moffatt debuted his spot-on Tucker Carlson, as SNL began with his Fox News show reacting to the news that Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate earlier in the day. Kate McKinnon's Lindsey Graham stopped by to comment and got an applause break for invoking #FreeBritneySpears. Aidy Bryant appeared as Ted Cruz to further justify the GOP decision to acquit Trump. Then the thing shifted back into a flashback of the senate proceedings, which wasn't funny, before Beck Bennett's rather incredible Mitch McConnell appeared to mimic his wishy-washy, technicality-laden defense of voting "not guilty." Shaped by events that occurred only hours earlier, this was fine, if only to show off a new trick up Alex Moffatt's sleeve.
The monologue

Regina King made some funny, lightly racially charged jokes before Kenan Thompson appeared, dressed as a kind of 1980s rapper, and wound up being her hype man. Minimalist in its own way, King's monologue had its charms and laughs.
What's Your Type?

Cecily Strong played Tampa Bay Janae, the trendy host of a Love Connection-type game show whose competitor, Kendra, played by King, had a predilection for cringe-inducing dudes. Luckily, her three bachelors, as played by Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffatt, and Mikey Day, were total douche-y dumbasses. King too played a terrible person, and all of their behavioural tics were pretty amusing.


In this remote, Peloton users who don't fall for typical motivational platitudes were bombarded by insults and passive aggression, which actually got more amusing as it went.
Gorilla Glue Beauty Products

An in-studio fake ad for a law firm, led by Kenan Thompson and King as the Commodes, offered legal services to all of the idiots who mistakenly assumed they could use Gorilla Glue on their bodies and in their hair and other places too. Drawn from the headlines, this was fine and well-sold by Thompson's recurring, "Look! We are not stupid people!"
Women Who Drink a Lot

The women-drink-a-lotta-wine novelty sign biz was taken to a dark place at a friend's birthday party. Aidy Bryant played the woman of the hour, but as the signs got more severe and less joke-y, she began to rightly feel both depressed and attacked for what they insinuated. With a strong Baroness Von Sketch Show influence but less subtle without that troupe's touch, this was more sad than funny.
The Negotiator

Regina King played a conflict resolving police officer, called to address a situation, but was thrown off after eating an evidence bag full of weed gummy bears. With rapping gummies played by Pete Davidson and Aidy Bryant, a Satanic Marge Simpson played by Melissa Villaseñor, a talking sun played by Beck Bennett, and a game King, the hallucinations and musical aspects of this remote made this amusing.

Nathaniel Rateliff

With his soulful folk delivery, Nathaniel Rateliff and his seven-piece back-up band conjured a straight-ahead My Morning Jacket sound with "Redemption." Its repetitive, gospel-like mode and tone was pleasant and showcased Rateliff's even but big voice.

For his return, King introduced the ensemble as Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, a big treat for fans who miss his old band, and they dug into "A Little Honey," as though they were, in fact, the Band. Derivative, yes, but this was pleasant and earnest enough to earn a good mark for a SNL musical guest.

Weekend Update
Colin Jost opened up with a litany of mildly received jokes about the Trump acquittal, while Michael Che was permitted time for just one, forgettable joke. Throwing back to Jost, again, he went in on six or seven so-so jokes and then threw back to Che for a bit about NYC's COVID distribution plan. Kate McKinnon turned up at the desk as Stephanie Green, a QAnon believer who looked and sounded a lot like a wicked witch. In this funny bit, the witch was mostly interested in the 'children being eaten' part of the conspiracy theory, which got better the longer it went.
Jost and Che skated through more headlines before we met Mackenzie Taylor-Joy, a relationship expert played by featured player Lauren Holt. Though scheduled to discuss Valentine's Day planning, things went south when she was dumped during the segment, which was a joke but none of this was good.
From there Che and Jost took on a tough crowd with few weapons but hoped Beck Bennett might save them as Drunk Tom Brady. Playing the seven-time Super Bowl champ as a depressed, damaged drunk who knew how hated he was, this sad portrayal got the most laughs on this week's Update.

The Rider

In this period piece, a 1970s disco singer played by King is put out when none of the pre-arrangements she had asked for on her rider are present in the city her tour is stopping in. No idea where this one came, from but it was a slapstick thing that, for what it was, actually wasn't so bad, but also felt like an idiotic five-to-one sketch with almost 20 minutes still left in the show.

Fem Box

When a magician cancels on a high school assembly, an underground troupe who normally perform a Vagina Monologues-like production but, for age-appropriateness, substitute the word "elbow" for "vagina." With some cast members playing innocent kids and Mikey Day, as a flustered educator who booked the talent, this bit did well thanks to Kate McKinnon, King, and Aidy Bryant, playing the players with gusto.