Seth Meyers Returns to “Saturday Night Live”
By Christina Reavley
“Saturday Night Live” has launched the careers of numerous comedians and actors and allowed them to build careers. The long-running show has won numerous Primetime Emmys, more than any other show in the 72 years of the Emmys Award show. Seth Meyers left “Saturday Night Live” after working on the show for 13 seasons to host his own show “Late Nights With Seth Meyers.” He has returned to the show as a guest host, joining the ranks of celebrities such as Richard Pryor, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey. Meyers’ episode premiered on Oct. 13, joining with both former castmates and new members of the SNL cast. There was also a musical performance from Paul Simon. This was Simon’s 15th appearance as a musical guest and his 77th birthday. This episode was highly anticipated with fans excited for Meyers’ comedic return.
As with all guest hosts, the episode began with an opening monologue. In the past, the opening monologue is a time in the show for hosts to introduce themselves and to make jokes about trending topics and themselves. Meyers’ episode was no different. He opened by first reminiscing about his time on the show, making jokes about how he “literally took a job down the hall.” He also made references to his opinion on politics today. Starting with a joke about how he worked alongside Trump when he hosted in 2004 and felt no need to frame the photo of him and the current president. Then he told a funny anecdote about Kanye West, recounting a story almost identical to when Kanye infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s award acceptance speech, only Meyers’ story took place on the SNL stage two years before. Kanye’s constant interruptions were part of a skit when he was a musical guest on SNL, and Kanye later brought the skit alive at the MTV Awards.
During the episode, Meyers participated in numerous satirical skits. Some of the skits included “Jail Cellmate,” “Kanye West and ‘Donald Trump Cold Open” and the “Weekend Update.”
The “Weekend Update,” normally with Michael Che and Colin Jote, was the highlight of the episode. During this skit they joked about people's lack of response to the NASA report on climate change. Che jokingly said “Why don’t I care about this?” then proposing ideas to make people care; saying if NASA reported that Atlanta and yarn were in danger, blacks and white women will jump into action. Racially related, stereotypical jokes like these are a staple in the show and the actors tends to cross numerous barriers without thinking of the repercussions. At one point in the segment, Che explained that he had negotiated three N-Words into his contract then proceeded to use his first one of the season. Che and Jote then introduced Meyers into the skit with a section titled “Really!?! With Seth, Colin and Michael.” At this point Meyers seemed more comfortable with the content and appeared more energetic and excited than in previous skits. They begin by making jokes about West’s meeting with Trump, saying “Kanye prepared by learning every fact in the world backwards and Trump prepared by clearing his desk of any valuables.” The sketch ended with Che blaming Meyers’ continuous jokes about Trump as the reason Trump decided to run for the presidency in the first place.
The “Jail Cellmate” sketch focused on the sentencing of Bill Cosby (Kenan Thompson). Meyers played Cosby’s new cellmate in prison. During this sketch Cosby speaks in riddles quoting iconic Cosby episodes. Cosby’s banter included lack of knowledge and general confusion. Cosby doesn’t even acknowledge the severity of his crimes saying “they put me in jail for loving salty food.” The skit was filled with similar moments where Cosby seems completely disconnected from reality with quick switches between subjects. Meyers even joked that Cosby should just die.
Throughout the episode there was general feeling of confusion and overall it was not as funny as expected. There were constant moments of silence after jokes and multiple points where the audience was waiting for the joke and laughter to hit. The episode left fans feeling disappointed in Meyers’ performance and writing for this episode.