Season 45 of “Saturday Night Live” is in full swing: While many (including myself) argue that the older seasons of the beloved late night comedy show are significantly better in quality, it is an undeniable fact that this current season has had some memorable musical guests, weekend updates, sketches and cold opens. Without further ado, here are some highlights from Season 45 so far.
The season started off with a bang as Woody Harrelson hosted and pop star Billie Eilish and her musical brother, Finneas O’Connell, performed as musical guests. Eilish wowed audiences live and watching from home as she took inspiration from the film “Royal Wedding” and sang her mega hit “Bad Guy” while inside a rotating room that made her appear to be defying gravity. In addition to an incredible performance by Eilish and O’Connell, the episode contained an unexpected mistake that made the sketch in which it occured even funnier: During the end of the “Inside The Beltway” sketch, a stagehand began Aidy Bryant’s costume change a little too soon, resulting in a now-comedic moment between the two.
Episode 2 of Season 45 was equally filled with marvelous musical moments. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the woman behind masterpieces “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve” hosted, while artist of the decade Taylor Swift was the musical guest. Swift delivered a stripped-down performance of her hit single “Lover” and a jazzy rendition of “False God,” another song from her most recent album.
In a similar vein, “Saturday Night Live” delivers fans original comedic songs, and every once in a while, they are actually hilarious. This season has provided viewers with two particularly creative and extremely amusing tunes. When Kristen Stewart hosted the fifth episode of the season, she and “Saturday Night Live” cast members Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney and Mikey Day starred as fed up employees in a song called “Corporate Nightmare Song,” which combined the woes of working in corporate America with all the Paramore and Sum 41 vibes, making for a catchy and humorous tune.
The cast of “Saturday Night Live” rose to the occasion again with a comical tune featuring player Aidy Bryant as host and musical guest Harry Styles. The song highlights individuals who are obsessed with their pets through the character of Joan (played by Bryant) and her dog, Doug (played by Styles). The song, simply titled “Joan Song,” makes a caricature of the crazy dog owner in a clever tune which, upon watching, will be stuck in your head all day.
The late night show has been known to tackle politics and current events in sketches, and this season has been no exception. While there are an abundance of satirical political sketches to choose from, there are two that stand out from the bunch and deserve to be recognized. The first political sketch that deserves a gold medal for spot-on impersonations and a full 12 minutes of comedic bliss is the “2020 Democratic Debate.” The sketch is full of cameos from former cast members Rachel Dratch, Fred Armisen, Maya Ruldolph and the episode’s host, Will Ferrell, along with fellow famous faces Larry David and Woody Harrelson. Each actor and actress portray their respective political candidates with ease and no hesitation all while throwing in comedic and relevant bits to spice things up.
“Saturday Night Live” put a spin on the NATO Conference that was held recently with the help of James Corden, Jimmy Fallon, Paul Rudd and, of course, Alec Baldwin. The sketch sees foreign leaders Emmanuel Macron (played by Rudd), Justin Trudeau (played by Fallon) and Boris Johnson (played by Corden) in what is supposedly the cafeteria at the conference. Things begin to take a comedic turn when Trump comes to join the table and is told off, forced to sit with other lesser-known leaders.
Every so often, “Saturday Night Live” creates a character specifically for its Weekend Update segment that just works. The characters are funny, well-performed and have that certain something that makes them stand out. Fortunately, this season has been blessed with that type of Weekend Update character thanks to cast member Melissa Villasenor. Villasenor played child genius Riley Jenson. Everything starts out fine as Riley tells Micheal Che about a spacecraft; the interview goes downhill, however, when Che asks Riley questions that she doesn’t know the answers to. The real star of the show becomes Riley’s mom (played by Hiedi Garner), who threatens to cancel Riley’s “Ellen” appearance, saying, “If you can’t handle Che, Ellen’s gonna eat you alive!”
A debatably great thing about “Saturday Night Live” is its ability to keep up with the trends and interests of the general public and use them as sketches in a way that can be seen as either relatable or just plain funny. The show has had a handful of sketches like that so far this season, including one sketch called “Father-Son Podcasting Microphone.” The sketch finds the solution to the issue of communication between a teen son (played by Kyle Mooney) and his father (played by host, David Harbour) by way of a podcasting microphone. It hilariously captures the essence of podcasts right down to the abrupt ads after a dramatic segment.
Another great relatable sketch is the “Hallmark Dating Show” that featured host Scarlett Johansson as a bachelorette and Beck Bennet, Alex Moffat and Kyle Mooney as eligible bachelors from various Hallmark movies. The sketch nailed the cheesy stereotypes as each eligible bachelor has a Christmas deadline, whether it be to get married or raise money to keep his Christmas tree farm.
Season 45 still has many more episodes left in the season, but it is safe to say that it has been off to a great start and on the right path to become a memorable part of “Saturday Night Live” history.