Saturday Night Live: Dan Levy hosts a weird, wacky, and joyful show

Dan Levy (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Dan Levy (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) /

Dan Levy brought joyful energy to Saturday Night Live this weekend as he hosted one of the season’s silliest episodes.

In September 2020, Dan Levy made Emmy history as his hit sitcom Schitt’s Creek won all seven major awards on TV’s biggest night. Since then, his fame has skyrocketed, and it was only a matter of time before he graced the Saturday Night Live stage.

The Schitt’s Creek mania has died down somewhat, but perhaps that’s a good thing for Levy. He deserved to host Saturday Night Live because he’s an incredibly funny performer, not just because he’s promoting another show.

Perhaps the plan was to have Levy host SNL last season during the height of Schitt’s Creek‘s popularity. We know that the pandemic changed everything for SNL and all plans went out the window. In any case, Levy got his chance this past weekend.

The episode lacked any truly standout sketches, but the cast was clearly having a delightful time, and their joy emanated out of the TV screen. Here were the most enjoyable moments of the night.

Dan Levy’s monologue

To be honest, all I really want to mention about the monologue is Eugene Levy’s cameo (although “socially distanced Kenan” also deserves a shout-out).

Dan’s father is a comedy legend, but somewhat surprisingly, the elder Mr. Levy has never hosted Saturday Night Live.  He did, however, make a brief cameo appearance on the show in season 10, and SNL used that cameo as part of a cute promo for Dan’s episode.

Eugene made another cameo appearance this Saturday, and he was absolutely delightful. I couldn’t help but smile as Dan feigned surprise at seeing his father backstage in a glass isolation box. Things got even more adorable as Eugene asked two hazmat-suited employees to turn his box around so he could get a better view of Dan’s performance.

This cameo was important as a sign of things to come. This wasn’t the funniest show of the season, but everyone just seemed so happy to be there. When the cast is having funSaturday Night Live is always enjoyable.

Saturday Night Live with Dan Levy highlights: Universal Tram

I liked this sketch so much because I was expecting it to be very run-of-the-mill, but it turned out to be wonderfully weird.

The premise is simple. Two people are leading a tour of Universal Studios. One of them is a normal tour guide, and the other is weird. Classic stuff. Any fan of Saturday Night Live has seen this sketch a hundred times, and yet this one still managed to surprise me.

Dan Levy, Ego Nwodim, and Kenan Thompson all had some great lines, but the sketch truly won me over when Bowen Yang showed up dressed as Gru from Despicable Me. It came out of nowhere and made me snort. That’s what good comedy should do.

Saturday Night Live with Dan Levy highlights: Super Bowl Pod

This sketch started out with a very strong premise: as a group of friends gathers to watch the Super Bowl, they blame the worsening pandemic on other people breaking social distancing rules, despite clearly breaking those rules themselves.

This one would have been good if it was just a straightforward point-of-view piece. However, just like in “Universal Tram,” the sketch slowly unravels into absolute absurdity. Once again, Bowen Yang shows up in a ridiculous costume, this time as K-pop star Psy. I don’t really know why, but I don’t care. It was fun.

Saturday Night Live with Dan Levy highlights: Hot Damn

I think I sound like a broken record here, but this was another sketch that started out with a classic Saturday Night Live premise before slowly turning into a goofy disaster (I mean that in the best way possible).

Dan Levy and Cecily Strong play two Broadway-wannabes, who are stuck working as bartenders on Super Bowl Sunday. The two of them sing and dance their way through a terrific but nonsensical “football song” in front of a nonplussed bar crowd.

This time, the brilliant turn came when everyone in the bar suddenly joined in on the singing and dancing. Unlike Levy and Strong, Ego Nwodim, Beck Bennett, and Alex Moffat weren’t particularly good at the singing and dancing, but that just made it so much better. Everyone was having a wonderful time performing their hearts out, and that joy was contagious. This is one of those sketches that is almost impossible to watch without smiling.

Oh, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the phrase “football hole.” What??

Saturday Night Live with Dan Levy: This week’s MVP

Dan Levy deserves credit for the delightful energy he brought with him as host, but Kate McKinnon was the star performer of the night. She didn’t show up much until the end of the show, but she was gut-splittingly funny in the final two sketches of the night.

The “Wedding Friends” sketch didn’t have the best script, but Kate’s characterization was so strong that I loved it anyway. I think Kate is too often cast as loud weirdos when she’s actually much better as quieter weirdos.

Kate also carried the final sketch, “It Gets Better.” The whole thing was funny, and it was nice to see something focused on all the gay cast members, but Kate McKinnon stole the show as a suburban mom who is haunted by her children’s pet iguana.

Final thoughts on Saturday Night Live with Dan Levy

As I said, this episode was full to the brim with weird, wacky, and joyful moments, so there is no shortage of highlights.

  • Aidy Bryant playing both teams’ coaches in the cold open was excellent.
  • “Softeners” is a horrible term but I just can’t get it out of my head.
  • Cecily Strong’s character in the Zillow commercial parody deserves her own sketch. Honestly, I’d watch a whole sitcom about Donna Lazzarini.
  • “Weekend Update” was great this episode, and I’ll be thinking about O.J. Simpson saying “Did I do that?” for a long time.
  • Both sets of guests on “Weekend Update” were hilarious, and they also perfectly contrasted with one another. I love when “Weekend Update” feels like a coherent segment rather than just a bunch of mismatched jokes thrown together.

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What did you think of Saturday Night Live with host Dan Levy? What was your favorite sketch of the night? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.