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‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 40 Recap: Sarah Silverman Hosts and Maroon 5 Perform

This week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Sarah Silverman, was much stronger than last week’s. The jokes were funnier and Silverman proved herself to be a capable and confident performer.

Cold Open

Barack Obama (Jay Pharoah) is interviewed on 60 Minutes about ISIS and he goes on to talk about the terrorist group’s social media campaign, which he says is vastly superior to the White House’s. One of ISIS’ tweets states, “One day the Black Flag of ISIS will fly over the White House #TheVoiceisBack.” The sketch ends with Taran Killam running up to the president to tell him about the White House intruder. Rating: C-


One of the stronger introductions we’ve had on SNL and I was especially relieved that Silverman didn’t break out into a song. The intro began with Silverman talking about how she’s considered a “blue comedian” and therefore many of her jokes had to be censored by NBC. She ends up sitting on an audience member’s lap, which was definitely awkward but the funny sort of awkward because Silverman is able to pull it off. It ends with old footage from Silverman’s SNL days as a featured performer where she plays an audience member asking questions from the crowd. Silverman answers her younger self’s questions as though they were directed at her. Rating: A-

The Fault in Our Stars Parody

Killam and Silverman are the couple from The Fault in Our Stars but the catch is that Silverman’s character doesn’t have cancer – she has Ebola, which makes for a less romantic set-up. The parody trailer calls the sequel The Fault in Our Stars 2: The Ebola in Our Everything because “you can’t quarantine your heart.” Rating: B

Joan Rivers Tribute

Silverman plays late comedian Joan Rivers. Her impression is spot-on as Rivers roasts other late celebrities all gathered in heaven. Sasheer Zamata introduces the sketch as Eartha Kitt, with Jay Pharoah as Richard Pryor, Kyle Mooney as Steve Jobs, Cecily Strong as Ava Gardner, Bobby Moynihan as Benjamin Franklin, Adam Levine as Freddie Mercury, and Kate McKinnon as Lucille Ball. Unsurprisingly, Levine is the weakest of all the impersonators. Rating: B-

White People Commercial

It’s unclear if this is a parody of the “Republicans Are People Too” commercial. But the commercial features jokes about white people wanting to go camping. Rating: B

Supportive Women Soap Opera

“Isn’t that weird?” Kenan Thompson’s character asks when talking about the fictional Supportive Women soap opera. The sketch seems to be poking fun at the Real Housewives type shows where women are encouraged to fight with each other for drama and ratings. Instead, Supportive Women features women being nice and not hurting each other. Rating: B

Maroon 5 Perform “Animal”

It all depends if you like Maroon 5 or not because the performance was solid but “Animal” is just not my thing.

Weekend Update

This was the second week for co-head writer Colin Jost and Michael Che as co-anchors. Che fumbles a few times and Jost isn’t the strongest performer on SNL. The duo still have a lot of room for improvement. It doesn’t help that Weekend Update wasn’t that funny, either. Kenan Thompson showed up as Al Sharpton and Silverman and Kate McKinnon played a feminist music group called Garage & Her reacting to the announcement of a female Thor in the Marvel comics line-up. Jost and Che also had a bit about all the corny things white people say and whether it was appropriate for Jost to call his girlfriend “bae.” Rating: D

Tina Turner Cruise Ship Trio

Silverman, Sasheer Zamata, and Cecily Strong are three cruise ship Tina Turner impersonators who reveal through their musical number that they’re stuck on the cruise ship for one reason or another. Rating: F

Awkward Car Ride

Taran Killam picks up his sister Rebecca, played by Sarah Silverman, from the airport after a trip to Amsterdam. She tells him that she cheated on her boyfriend (Bobby Moynihan) and the aforementioned boyfriend pops up from the backseat with an engagement ring, leading to an awkward and uncomfortable car ride, made worse when they hit traffic and the only songs playing on the radio are about cheating (see: “Unfaithful” by Rihanna). Silverman’s parents also appear, along with Adam Levine as Himself. Rating: A-

Romantic Moment In the Park

Time for Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney to do one of their trademark weird sketches. Silverman is a woman reading a book in the park and Mooney comes over to her, recognizing the book. They start finishing each other’s sentences and seem to be having a romantic movie moment when Silverman’s boyfriend (Bennett) appears by her side on the bench. Hilarity ensues. Rating: C+

Maroon 5 Perform “Maps”

I like this song better than “Animals.” That’s… pretty much all I have to say.


Vanessa Bayer’s character buys an expensive food processor. Rating: C