After an impressive opener on Oct. 3, “Saturday Night Live” continued its 41st season with another strong episode last weekend.
The host for the evening was comedian Amy Schumer, who scored her biggest success yet in July with the well-received film “Trainwreck.” Schumer brought a strong sketch comedy background to the table, as she has presided over three seasons of the Emmy-nominated show “Inside Amy Schumer.”
Saturday’s episode succeeded when it brought Schumer to the forefront. Her excellent stand-up monologue evoked the great bits that fellow comedian Louis CK has done on the show, touching on mature topics with a deft, self-deprecating wit. An early skit that cast Schumer in a surreal pornography film with Kyle Mooney allowed her to smoothly land punchline after punchline.
Another skit imagined a staging of the fateful night at Ford’s Theatre, in which Schumer’s actress character took to her Mary Todd Lincoln role with an overeager zest. In moments like these where the “SNL” cast members played the ‘straight man’ to Schumer’s lunacy, the show shined where it might have failed under the leadership of a less experienced host.
Elsewhere, the show launched a satirical attack with an unexpected bite. The target was the topic of guns, which led to a pre-taped sketch that depicted various Americans cradling guns in everyday situations. A jogger fires her pistol off during a morning run; two partygoers play spin-the-bottle with a revolver; a pregnant woman comforts herself with a shotgun. It was both incisive and funny, a combination that “SNL” is always in search of.
Guns also helped drive a surprisingly good edition of “Weekend Update.” Co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che, who have struggled to create chemistry at times, connected to have an amusing back-and-forth discussion on gun control. Unfortunately, the momentum wasn’t enough to lift a pair of disappointing “Update” guests, but we’ll take whatever we can get when it comes to this segment.
They show didn’t land everything it tried, however. The first sketch after the monologue was a shockingly dull misfire, depicting a pair of flight attendants who continuously fell out of the plane. There were not many actual jokes present, other than loud yelling. A 12:55 effort at a baby shower was similarly unexciting.
In the end, “SNL” is two-for-two to start the year, and that’s a start to get excited about. Next weekend, Tracy Morgan will return to host the show as the season continues on.
Tyler Keating is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus, covering UConn women’s soccer. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.