‘SNL’: The one funny episode the show has had all season

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In 2005, “Saturday Night Live” resurrected the stoner-action hero of Saturday’s past with an adaptation of “MacGruber,” a Saturday Night Live-created spoof of a “Saturday Night Live” parody of a “Saturday Night Live” spoof. Written and directed by Jorma Taccone and Evan Goldberg, who had just made “Superbad,” “MacGruber” landed the two writers several movie deals, then continued into sequels, spin-offs and cartoon incarnations.

This week’s episode of “SNL” leaned hard into the many spin-offs of the movie, and again featured the latest movie incarnation of MacGruber. However, what seemed like a promising episode of “SNL” immediately went downhill after its curtain call.

Live sketches included a hilariously ridiculous rant about hiring a Chinese blogger as a sidekick for C-SPAN with MacGruber, followed by an even more ridiculous indictment of California brown people for their attention, followed by another grating repeat sketch about Mexican people not working hard.

Reruns: Weekend Update returned with the news that State of the Union Speaker Nancy Pelosi was miffed that the Democrats won’t be allowed to dump tax money on “insiders” despite having won the popular vote in last year’s midterms. “Is anyone surprised?” Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost asked as Jordan Peele slipped his SNL gold impression on to make the following light-hearted quip: “Now Democrats are being asked to donate the moneys they won to the people who actually have to pay taxes.”

A host that finds himself trapped inside the same political-comedic format year after year so often resorts to over-the-top dramatic parody and keeps some serious questions a secret. “SNL’s” Nick Kroll certainly played this recent round of mistakes to a tee. Kroll was hilarious as Rep. Ted Goehring in two appearances, but the first sketch seemed too earnest and comical and the second seemed out of gas as it stumbled from one premature conclusion to the next.

But Nick Kroll was in good company, as Taran Killam returned as Mike Pence and also as a president Donald Trump, while returning actors Tim Robinson and Rachel Dratch took on Pence’s father and daughter. There was actually one funny sketch that we can at least live with, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a dark moment of absolute freakout over immigration. The multi-episode hunt for him will probably be the one we lose ourselves in, but it’s worth a quick video while we wait to see if anything can spice up that terrible segment we call Weekend Update.

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