Saturday Night Live just aired its worst episode of the season

Dua Lipa did what she could but this latest offering fell flat.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Saturday Night Live had been on a roll for much of season 49. Notable hosts like Sydney Sweeney, Shane Gillis and Ryan Gosling helped revive the interest fans had in the show, generating some of the highest rated and most acclaimed episodes in years. The Gosling episode was a particularly notable success, spawning a viral SNL sketch (the Beavis and Butt-head one) for the first time in what feels like years.

Then, the May 4 episode aired. Dua Lipa was the host and musical guest, which is always a tricky balance to strike. She did a fine job, and even impressed with some of her accent work, but the real issue with the episode was the writing. Lipa was saddled with some of the most toothless SNL skits in recent memory. The opener set the tone in this sense: the whole thing revolved around a roundtable discussion of students protesting Israel’s war on Gaza.

Dua Lipa was let down by the sketches

It seemed like fertile ground for commentary, or satire at the very least, but the sketch goes absolutely nowhere in its five minutes of airtime. By the time the cast members tell us that it's live from New York, the funny has been sucked out of the room. The room never really regains the funny, either.

Weekend Update was fine enough, poking fun at Jojo Siwa's edgy new look and Jerry Seinfeld's oversaturdated press tour (with help from Seinfeld himself), but the rest of the episode was either mediocre or bafflingly bad. The Penne a la Vodka and Teeny Tiny Statement Pins commercials were both funny in theory, but neither was fleshed out enough to generate any real quotables.

The Challengers sketch was an all-time misfire

The Challengers sketch, on the other hand, is one of the worst things SNL has run in years. Legitimately. Dua Lipa plays a woman who attempts to seduce her date with her collection of Sunny Angels figures. One of the Angels is played, in close up, by cast member Bowen Yang, and the whole thing ends with a bizarre tribute to the new Zendaya drama Challengers. None of the jokes land, and it feels niche in a way that's genuinely confusing, given SNL's tendency to be as broad as possible.

Fat Daddy is an OBGYN sketch that's even less funny than it sounds, and Jingle Pitch is a rehash of a concept that was done much better when Jenna Ortega was hosting. Hopefully SNL can get some of its momentum back with upcoming host Maya Rudolph, because this episode was a certified dud.

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