Saturday Night Live was a little different this season, but for the most part, it gave us a taste of normalcy in what has otherwise been a very abnormal year. The pandemic caused so much uncertainty in our day-to-day lives, but SNL was still there for us on Saturday nights at 11:30 pm.
Since Saturday Night Live was one of the few constants during this hectic time, looking back on this season of SNL is a great way to reminisce about the year in general. So much time has passed and so much has changed since Chris Rock hosted the season premiere on October 3, 2020. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to write a brief refresher about every episode from season 46.
Saturday Night Live season 46 episode 1: “Chris Rock/Megan Thee Stallion”
Chris Rock was the first of three former cast members to host the show this season (Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph were the others). However, he didn’t actually appear in very many sketches. His standout performance was his monologue, which is unsurprising since Rock is such a great stand-up comic. Rock would later return in the season finale with some funny reflections on the season’s first episode.
The most noteworthy performer of the episode was Chloe Fineman, who established herself as a future SNL star with an incredible Drew Barrymore impression.
Most memorable sketch: The most memorable joke was definitely in “Future Ghost,” which had one of the funniest endings to a sketch that I’ve ever seen. However, the most memorable sketch overall was the silly “Superspreader Event,” which introduced us to characters like Edith Puthie and Mike Rodick. Get it?
Saturday Night Live season 46 episode 2: “Bill Burr/Jack White”
Another week, another stand-up comedian. Burr’s monologue stirred up some controversy online from both ends of the political spectrum, and Morgan Wallen caused even more controversy by ignoring COVID protocols, which led to him being replaced with Jack White at the last minute.
All the drama aside, this was a pretty typical episode of Saturday Night Live – entertaining throughout, but without too many exceptional moments
Saturday Night Live season 46 episode 3: “Issa Rae/Justin Bieber”
Issa Rae came on the show to very belatedly promote the “new” season of Insecure and her “new” movie Love Birds. Rae was supposed to host the show months earlier, but the pesky pandemic got in the way. And just as Issa Rae’s hosting appearance came a bit too late, the whole show felt like a bit of an afterthought. Rae is so charming and funny that the episode was still enjoyable, but it could have been a lot stronger if she had funnier material to work with.
Most memorable sketch: “First Date Exes” wasn’t the best sketch of the night, but it’s hard to forget Pete Davidson as “Karate Man” or Bowen Yang using the phrase “titty meat.”
Saturday Night Live season 46 episode 4: “Adele/H.E.R.”
I think it’s safe to say that everyone was a little surprised when Adele was announced as the host (and not the musical guest) for this episode. It was even more surprising when Adele demonstrated that she’s actually a pretty good actor. Despite Adele having no real acting credits to her name, someone at SNL clearly knew what they were doing with this one.
Most memorable sketch: “The Bachelor” sketch is one that I’ll be re-watching for years to come. They could have done this sketch without Adele and it still would have been pretty funny (I bet Kate can do a decent Adele impression), but it was so much better that the pop superstar was able to play herself.