Saturday Night Live: Roy Moore gags, Taylor Swift and a return to surreal form

Tiffany Haddish was a winning host, Larry David-as-Bernie-Sanders made up a bit for his concentration camp gags and the weirdest sketches worked best

This week, the cold open takes place in the vice-presidents office. Roy Moore (Mikey Day) has come to visit Mike Pence (Beck Bennett).

Voters in Alabama will never elect someone whos had sexual relations with a minor, Pence says.

Youre sure about that? says Moore.

No, says Pence. Alabama is quite a place. But we cant take chances.

Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon, with prosthetic teeth that are funnier than usual) tumbles out of a sideboard.

Im usually the creepiest one in the room, but then I look at you and Im like: Oh my God, Sessions grins.

Im just kidding, says Moore. Kidding is the term I use for dating young ladies.

Live from New York, its Saturday night.

Tiffany Haddish is the first black female standup to host since 1975. Which means: the first one ever. Shes also one of the stars of Girls Trip, which made more than $100m. But wheres the money?

I havent seen it at all, she says. [The internet] said I was worth $2m, yall what do I gotta do to get this $2m? Do I gotta fake my own death?

Haddish loved SNL growing up in foster care, she says, but it was not easy to convince the other black and Hispanic kids she lived with that Dana Carvey was just as funny as Damon Wayans I got stabbed twice, yall, in a bunk bed. Thats why I dont mess with bunk beds to this day.

She goes on to discuss her white Alexander McQueen dress she wore it on the red carpet for the Girls Trip premiere and friends told her she couldnt wear it again, but shes not going to stop wearing a dress that cost more than her mortgage. Shes going to wear it to her next wedding, to your next wedding, to a party where the dress code is all-black. And when Im laying in that casket, guess whats going to be laying on top of my fat-ass body? This dress.

She cuts a rug, and theyre off.

Tiffany Haddish and her dress appear with Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che. Photograph: Will Heath/AP

First sketch: at Gamer Con, players are trying to select characters in a two-player fighting game. Kenan Thompson gets Haddish as Boo Boo Jeffries. Her strength? My relationship with my mom, shes my best friend. Her weakness? Fighting, and I get weird in groups.

Next, the players portray performers in screen tests for the Lion King. Haddish covers Cardi B and Mary J Blige but a stubble-faced Aidy Bryant as James Corden draws hilarity with a single, lizard-y grin.

A message from the Democratic National Committee follows, with cast members playing distinguished members of the party.

You havent seen us this confident since the day before Trump won! says Chuck Schumer.

We need mouthbreathers from Wisconsin, says McKinnon as Nancy Pelosi.

Larry David pops by to play Bernie Sanders again and decries comics who make jokes about concentration camps that guy should rot in hell! Nicely played, Larry.

The Dems are back, the group declares, in weary tones, and then Leslie Jones as Donna Brazile walks in front of them: I will destroy all of this! she says. On point.

In a long pre-filmed sketch, Beck Bennett reflects on his faded relationship with Kyle Mooney, whose heart has been stolen by Jones, culminating in a masquerade ball where everyone punches Colin Jost in the face. Its weird, and I kind of love it.

Taylor Swift! She sings Ready For It? from her new album, wearing black shorts and a cropped sweatshirt. Her four dancers look like they were all cool and interesting in high school.

Weekend Update! Donald Trumps trip to Asia kicks things off: he and Putin met in their best Hillary Clinton blouses, Jost says.

Its a good weekend to stay inside, he moves on, because its cold out, and also because everyone youve ever heard of is a sex monster.

Saturdays cold open.

Claire from HR (Cecily Strong) joins the anchors to discuss the issue. Shes stressed, and she has a sexual harassment prevention quiz. This is a new one that we need to do now, she says. When is it OK for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old?

Im pretty sure the answer is never, Jost says.

Yeah, says Claire, drinking Purell.

In closing, Michael Che goes from a joke about farmer-sheep sex to OJ Simpsons parole with considerable aplomb. Simpsons parole could end after an alleged drinking incident, Che says, but youd drink a lot, too, if your ex-wife was murdered.

The Last Black Unicorn is a fairytale: a trio of hapless white tourists encounter Haddish in a stunning sparkling unicorn costume. Get Woke with Tamika (Jones) is a talkshow sponsored by Breitbart and Russia, with Tamika being just as fake-woke as youd think Breitbart and Russia would want her to be.

The Dolphin Who Learned To Speak: a fake BBC documentary starring McKinnon and Bryant as distinguished lady scientists. Someone went to serious effort with the faux-vintage photography of the women in the pool with their dolphin friend, to whom they recall giving handjobs. Haddish plays a skeptical colleague in a grey wig, reading from her field notes: HELL NO.

Swift returns with a guitar and a cozy sweatshirt printed with snakes and space, and sings an acoustic version of Call It What You Want. Shes even a little sassy.

And now the final sketch: McKinnon and Haddish are two enthusiastic cat rescuers the funniest moments happen when the cats, which are very much alive, get a bit out of control, leaving the actors in unplanned fits of laughter. Its also weird.

Thank you to my social worker who got me into comedy! Haddish shouts in her farewell. Taylor Swift shouts wooooo! and thats a little awkward. But overall, this was a great Saturday night. Can Tiffany Haddish come back every week?

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Author: Billy Roland

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