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SNL at Home: A Hit or a Miss?

Saturday Night Live has been around for decades and when a show has been around for that long, there are many examples of downfalls the show has made. With the world going into quarantine, SNL had to halt production on its current season. However, it was decided that they would create three “at home” episodes. I watched all three, but I will be commenting on the first one they aired. 


The biggest miss of the SNL at Home episode is that there is no live audience. Without the laughter of the audience, the episode feels off. Tom Hanks opens the episode with a monologue that was delightful and comforting as Hanks expressed himself to be “America’s Dad.” He only makes an appearance at the beginning and end of the episode, but it was nice to see him after he had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus back in March. 


The at home sketches were a jumble of good comedy and cringiness. Most of the sketches got boring, in the sense of the joke going on for too long. This would be the case for Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsberg sketch, the Bernie Sanders Sketch, Heidi Gardner’s “Bailey at the movies” sketch and a few more. SNL is tricky because a lot of jokes can be catered towards people who know about the topic of the sketch. For example, Chloe Fineman’s “Masterclass: Quarantine Edition” sketch would only be funny to people who know the people she is impersonating. 


By far the best part of this SNL episode is the Weekend Update with Michael Che and Colin Jost. In this segment, they had people on the phone to serve as a “live audience” which helped make it feel normal. Again, the jokes would be difficult to understand if you are not up to date on current pop culture and news. I do follow news, so I found the jokes hilarious and they were all well delivered. 


The episode ends with an homage to Hal Willner, who worked behind the scenes at SNL. He had passed away that week and current and past SNL cast members used the last few minutes of the episode to share their love for him which was incredibly sweet and heartwarming. The episode had misses, but was entertaining, especially during these uncertain times. It was relatable to every person that is stuck at home and has to do Zoom calls or is bored out of their minds.