Saturday Night Live: John Krasinski leads a consistently funny show

John Krasinski (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
John Krasinski (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images) /

Saturday Night Live returned with host John Krasinski who led a solid episode

And we’re back! Saturday Night Live returned this past weekend for the first episode of 2021. John Krasinski, who was previously scheduled to host in March of last year, finally got his chance to grace the Studio 8H stage.

It’s somewhat surprising that Krasinski hasn’t already hosted SNL. The show has done plenty of The Office parodies, and Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, and Ed Helms all hosted the show during the hit sitcom’s run. Krasinski’s wife Emily Blunt also hosted the show once, back in 2016. 

Last March, before Krasinski was originally set to host, Blunt was asked if she gave any advice to her husband prior to his Saturday Night Live debut. Unfortunately, all she told him was “It’s terrifying. It’s absolutely terrifying.

It was clear from Krasinski’s first entrance in the cold open that he was, in fact, a little nervous. His hands appeared to be shaking, and his Tom Brady impression was rather muted. However, it seems like Krasinski steadied his nerves after that opening performance, and he went on to appear in every single sketch of the night.

Without further ado, here are the most memorable moments from Krasinski’s show.

Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski highlights: The monologue

It was a matter of when, not if there would be a reference to The Office on this episode. However, the joke of this sketch wasn’t really The Office itself, but instead the intense fan culture that surrounds it. It actually worked quite well, and SNL found a way to make a relevant sketch about a show that premiered almost 16 years ago. As Pete Davidson put it, “Everyone’s been stuck inside for a year, watching The Office non-stop.”

Usually I don’t enjoy when the host monologues feature other cast members too heavily. It often feels like a cheap cop-out that the writers use when they can’t think of an actual monologue for the host to deliver. In this case, however, the “audience participation” made for a really great sketch.

Of course, everyone is talking about John Krasinski’s moment with Pete Davidson. But Alex Moffat, Ego Nwodim, and Kenan Thompson were all hysterical as weirdo audience members asking Krasinski non-sensical questions about The Office. Moffat’s delivery of, “Follow-up question: do The Office!” and Thompson saying, “I got a question: kiss Pam!” were some of the funniest moments of the night.

Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski highlights: Pandemic Game Night

This sketch succeeded thanks to a genius premise and dedicated performances by the entire cast. A group of friends in a “COVID bubble” together meet up for a game night, only to slowly find out that every single one of them secretly participated in the storming of the US Capitol.

The cast members do a wonderful job reacting as this unfolds. Each friend accepts their arrest with absolutely no resistance,  and no one in the group seems that bothered that their friends keep getting taken away. Krasinski’s line, “Well let’s start the game, shall we?” thirty seconds after his friend gets apprehended by the FBI was one of his best jokes of the episode.

However, the best line of the sketch belongs to Kyle Mooney, who bemoans that “One of them was my wife!” after two women get arrested. Which one Kyle? And why didn’t you say anything as she was being taken away? And why were you sitting so close to Heidi Gardner’s character for the whole sketch?

Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski highlights: Supermarket Sweep

This sketch was excellent on so many levels. Any sketch about Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant’s bizarre lesbian couple being mistaken for friends would be funny. An episode of Supermarket Sweep from the 90s is a perfect setting. And Bryant and McKinnon’s delightful friendship shines through in every scene they perform together.

The cherry on top was all the little jokes that weren’t directly connected to the main premise. The game shows coming up next on the channel are “Dogs vs Kids” and “The Great American Slime Race.” John Krasinski’s host asks the contestants to name “a breakfast oval,” and Ego Nwodim, playing a contest, chimes in with the answer (eggs, obviously) about thirty seconds too late.

Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski highlights: Ratatouille

This was barely a sketch. In fact, it probably could have been almost as funny as a tweet. I don’t mean that as criticism, however. This sketch was hilarious, and the writers knew to keep it short and sweet. Plus, they found ways to add some good jokes to surround the hilarious premise.

In fact, Chloe Fineman’s line “My expectations were really low considering you insisted on wearing your top hat the whole time, but seriously, that was amazing!” might have just been the funniest part of the whole sketch. Aidy Bryant’s character “Bugatouille” also got a big laugh out of me.

More thoughts after Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski

  • Could Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg become the new Eric and Don Jr. for Mikey Day and Alex Moffat?
  • Kenan Thompson calling Becoming by Michelle Obama “the good book” in “Blue Georgia” was great.
  • Beck Bennett, as usual, had so many great line deliveries. “I don’t know, maybe they’re homeschooled or something?” in “Twins” was my favorite from this episode.
  • The “Opening Credits Songs” sketch was a great vehicle for celebrity impressions, but the lyrics to most of the songs fell flat. However, I really liked “This is The Crown!” (to the tune of “This is The Voice!”) and Chloe Fineman’s Sex and the City song.
  • Krasinski wore a letterman jacket, a tight sheriff’s outfit, and an undershirt on tonight’s show. Something tells me the writers were just trying to find various ways they could put Krasinski in handsome costumes.

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What did you think of Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski? Do you think he’ll be back to host again? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.