Saturday Night Live: The three best sketches with host Rachel Brosnahan

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Rachel Brosnahan attends the "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" New York Premiere at The Paris Theatre on November 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Rachel Brosnahan attends the "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" New York Premiere at The Paris Theatre on November 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) /

Rachel Brosnahan kicked off 2019 for Saturday Night Live with a solid episode from top to bottom.

After a month long shutdown, Saturday Night Live finally got back to work over the weekend. The show returned with a new episode for the first time since mid-December. Actress Rachel Brosnahan hosted and helped the show prove it didn’t have much rust after the break.

In Last Night On’s episode preview, we talked about how Saturday Night Live would make up for lost time. Would they try to cram a month’s worth of material in to one show? Or would they treat it like any other and focus on the news of the week?

The show mostly took the latter approach. It was aided by the fact that the government shutdown remains the biggest story in the news and has been going on for just as long as Saturday Night Live was on a break.

Overall, we saw some good signs about what the rest of season 44 could look like for the show. It didn’t rely too heavily on political sketches. As has been the trend this season, the cold open was used to address President Trump. A Weekend Update segment featuring Kate McKinnon as Senator Elizabeth Warren provided the only other political punchlines.

With that being said let’s look at the top three sketches from the night. Whether you’re seeing them for the first time or revisiting your favorite one, you’re going to get a laugh.

Deal or No Deal

This was a very clever way of setting up a cold open about the government shutdown. The writers could have easily went with Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump sitting at his desk in the Oval Office to get the jokes across. Instead they go with the Deal or No Deal parody which allows for the joke about Trump understanding game show and women with briefcases to land.

There may not be any real explanation for not having a cast member play Howie Mandel other than Kenan Thompson’s Steve Harvey being so oddly entertaining. As we have said before, any sketch that finds a way to give Thompson a major role is likely to end up in the top three of the night.

It also seems like Melissa Villasenor will be getting plenty of airtime thanks to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and deservedly so. Villasenor’s take on the congresswoman is spot on and Ocasio-Cortez certainly isn’t leaving the spotlight any time soon.

Weekend Update with John Mulaney and Pete Davidson

Whether it was intentional or not, there was a lot of Pete Davidson this week. It was perhaps the most we’ve seen him since the start of the season when his popularity was at an all-time high thanks to his relationship with Ariana Grande. Since then Davidson has addressed their breakup, made headlines for insulting a wounded veteran, and necessitated a wellness check after an unsettling social media post.

Davidson was front and center for a couple sketches last night but was put in a position to do his best work on Weekend Update. Typical for his sense of humor, he did make a joke about the suicide concerns from last month.

But taking out the feel-good aspect of seeing Davidson apparently healthier, his review of The Mule alongside John Mulaney was very entertaining. The friendship between Davidson and Mulaney looks to have personal and professional benefits for both.

Millennial Millions

Game shows remain a tried-and-true framework for Saturday Night Live. We’ve seen it plenty of times before as both parodies of existing shows like Jeopardy or Family Feud as well as the games SNL invents itself.

The “Millennial Millions” sketch probably landed a lot better with some of Saturday Night Live‘s older fans who enjoyed the mocking of 20-somethings. But millennial viewers probably also saw the sketch as taking aim at boomers. And then in the middle is Gen X like Kenan Thompson’s host.

This sketch is a nice example of just how comfortable Rachel Brosnahan looked all night. She had no problems with the live aspect of the show or keeping up with the experienced cast. Safe to say we haven’t seen the last of Brosnahan on Saturday Night Live.

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Saturday Night Live will return next week with another all-new episode. It will be hosted by actor James McAvoy and feature rapper Meek Mill as musical guest. Last Night On will have an episode preview up later this week followed by another recap of all the night’s best sketches.