Saturday Night Live: Three best sketches from host James McAvoy

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 15: James McAvoy attends the "Glass" New York Premiere at SVA Theater on January 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 15: James McAvoy attends the "Glass" New York Premiere at SVA Theater on January 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) /

James McAvoy helped keep Saturday Night Live on track with a second fantastic episode in 2019.

It’s looking like Saturday Night Live‘s month-long break was just what the show needed to recharge for 2019. Fans may not have been too please about waiting so long for new episodes but all can be forgiven if the rest of season 44 plays out like the past two shows.

It started last week when Rachel Brosnahan hosted. The show found some much-needed consistency from start to finish. We also got a good dose of variety in the sketches that made sure not to lean too much on the week’s political headlines.

While Saturday Night Live‘s parodies of President Trump will always attract attention, it has become important for the show to avoid “Trump fatigue” and find ways to incorporate more ideas that are not so dependent on what happens at the White House.

That strategy was on display again this week when Glass actor James McAvoy hosted the show. Here are the three best sketches of the night:

Air Traffic Control

Saturday Night Live loves to have a talented actor or actress host the show. Saturday Night Live REALLY loves to have a talented actor or actress with an accent host the show.

After his monologue highlighted the fact that he was Scottish (but not Ewan McGregor), James McAvoy payed homage to his homeland in the night’s best sketch. Kate McKinnon also held her own as McAvoy’s fellow Scottish air traffic controller.

We’ve seen a few sketches similar to this in the past. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan played a flight attendant aboard an Aer Lingus flight and used her accent to highlight some very specific aspects of her native culture. The incomprehensible accent was also played up in the sketch “Don’ You Go Rounin’ Roun to Re Ro” for a fake British crime drama.

Mikey Day continues to be the go-to cast member when a sketch calls for an overwhelmed and confused character. And Kenan Thompson can’t quite pull of the same cockpit rescue that he did in Snakes on a Plane.

Virgin Hunk

Saturday Night Live has used this setup a few times in the past. But as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants get more and more ridiculous each season, SNL has to keep pace. The show does that here with James McAvoy playing a version of current Bachelor contestant Colton.

Like a lot of show parodies, this sketch is only truly appreciated by those who watch The Bachelor. But even if you don’t tune into that reality show, the sketch is worth it for the performances and delivery by Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa Villasenor.

This sketch also gives featured player Ego Nwodim a chance to shine and get some of the biggest laughs of the bit. Also this is a great example of how comfortable McAvoy was all night save for a slip up in the monologue and a small break during “New Orleans Vacation.”

Tucker Carlson Cold Open

Yes, we spent most of this recap applauding Saturday Night Live for not relying too much on political jokes. But when a legend like Steve Martin shows up in a sketch, it would be a crime not to include it in the night’s best.

Alex Moffat does an outstanding job as Fox News host Tucker Carlson. If you’ve seen any screenshots or clips of his show, they you understand the “dog looking in the mirror” gaze that Moffat uses.

Kate McKinnon further cemented herself as the top choice to portray any old, creepy-looking man associated with President Trump. It seems to be in her wheelhouse, so we’re not complaining.

The cold open has been used for countless cameos in the past few seasons. Any time a new person makes headlines for something related to President Trump, Saturday Night Live calls in a big name to help start the show.

Steve Martin’s version of Roger Stone may be on the top of the list after just one appearance. Stone is already an eccentric character but Martin still nails the mannerisms and absurdity. Let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of Roger Stone (on Saturday Night Live, at least).

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Those are Last Night On’s picks for the best sketches from Saturday Night Live hosted by James McAvoy. It certainly wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just three. Let us know what you thought were the night’s best highlights and be sure to keep checking in for coverage of everything SNL!