Saturday Night Live: John Mulaney proves he’s one of the best hosts

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: John Mulaney attends "Beetlejuice" Broadway opening night at Winter Garden Theatre on April 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: John Mulaney attends "Beetlejuice" Broadway opening night at Winter Garden Theatre on April 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) /

Stand-up comedian John Mulaney returned to Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live for the fourth time this past weekend.

John Mulaney is perhaps the most reliable host that Saturday Night Live can get. He’s a brilliant stand-up comedian, so his monologue is always going to be good. He’s a former SNL writer, so he knows exactly what he’s doing and never shows any growing pains. And finally, he’s an excellent comedy actor, so he can take almost any material he’s given and make it funnier.

Suffice to say, there were plenty of highlights from this week, so let’s get right to them.

Saturday Night Live highlights: The Monologue

While these days John Mulaney has a huge Netflix deal and can sell out Radio City Music Hall with ease, he still knows how to perform a perfect ten-minute set. He starts with a few funny one-liners, throws in some topical references, and tells an excellent story to finish it off.

The final joke of the monologue is perhaps the best, so you’ll want to watch it the whole way through.

Saturday Night Live highlights: Cinema Classics: The Birds

This was an all-around solid sketch that served as an excellent vehicle for Mulaney’s comic timing. The whole premise seemed like it could have been a John Mulaney stand-up bit, and the sheriff character that he played was just a surrogate for Mulaney himself. I can very clearly imagine Mulaney standing on a stage in his three-piece suit saying, “Has anyone said, like, ‘Shoo, get out of here bird,’ like with a hand wave?”

Kate McKinnon was very funny as a helpless woman trapped inside a phone booth to escape the birds and Beck Bennett deserves credit for the effort he put in as an innocent bystander under attack. Kenan Thompson played his recurring character Reese De’What and was hysterical as usual.

The premise was strong, the dialogue was hilarious, and the actors were fantastic. However, the sketch lacked energy and felt a little static, which keeps it from being an all-time great sketch in my opinion.

Saturday Night Live highlights: Strollin’

Overall, this was probably my favorite sketch of the night. It wasn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as some of the others, but it was very fun, entertaining, and well-produced. A musical sketch doesn’t need to be stuffed with jokes to be great.

Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Punkie Johnson all delivered infectiously charming performances, and the tune was in my head all night long. John Mulaney playing the election official at every single polling station was the icing on top of an excellent sketch.

Saturday Night Live highlights: Baby Yoda on Weekend Update

It’s pretty dumb and very weird, but Kyle Mooney’s Baby Yoda character is undeniably hilarious. I love Mooney so much, and I wish Saturday Night Live would let him experiment with his weird side a bit more.

The Baby Yoda appearance starts at 05:10, but I’d recommend watching all of “Weekend Update.” It was quite good this week.

Saturday Night Live highlights: Headless Horseman

To call this sketch crude would be putting it mildly. Still, it was a really funny premise that I definitely didn’t see coming, and it’s a sketch I’ll remember for quite a long time.

While the premise made me laugh out loud, I didn’t really know where the sketch could possibly go after that. To that end, John Mulaney, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, and Beck Bennett deserve credit for making the sketch funny the entire way through. Their performances allowed a one-joke sketch to last for five minutes.

However, I can’t write about this sketch without quickly pointing out the inappropriate way it ended. I’ll let you watch it and form your own opinion, but I want to make it clear that no matter the context, sexual assault should never be a punchline.

Based on how many highlights I included in this article, I think it’s pretty clear that I really enjoyed this episode. John Mulaney is a fantastic host, and I think his presence in the writer’s room improves everyone around him.

It’s a pretty solid bet that Mulaney will be joining the exclusive “five-timers club” sometime in the near future, and I can’t wait to watch when he does.

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What was your favorite sketch from John Mulaney’s fourth time as host? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night On for more from Saturday Night Live and the rest of late night television.