Saturday Night Live‘s trio of newcomers – Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor – accomplished last night what few of the show’s past unknowns managed: They actually made good, strong impressions (in some cases literally). Granted, the bar is generally low – don’t F-bomb your way into SNL oblivion like Jenny Slate, and try to get at least as much screen time as a typical audience member, unlike Jon Rudnitsky.
But this year’s fresh crop went above and beyond, particularly Day, who scored in several of the highly anticipated debut episodes’s funniest skits.
In “Family Feud, Political Edition,” Day and Moffat made brief but crucial contributions as Trump scions Donald Jr. and Eric, casting the Donald’s boys with an American Psycho vibe that’s going to stick to the brothers like hairspray on a comb-over. (See the clip above).
The sketch was one of those well-designed SNL vehicles that made room for everybody, including, among others, the episode’s terrific guest host Margot Robbie (as a wind-blown, sexy, robotic Ivanka), Darrell Hammond with his ever-brilliant Bill Clinton, Larry David resurrecting Bernie Sanders, and Cecily Strong in what might be sketch comedy’s first take-off of Broadway’s Lin-Manuel (“love is love is love”) Miranda (he hosts next week’s episode, by the way).
The Feud bit – which pitted Trump and Hillary supporters against one another in the classic game show set-up – also gave newcomer Villaseñor a chance to unpack her spot-on Sarah Silverman impression (“I feel so much pride from my head to my vagina,” to which Kenan Thompson’s Steve Harvey gushed, “Oh, you that nasty kind of adorable.”)
Later in the show, the newcomers joined Robbie and some veteran cast in a likable if unsurprising Scooby-Doo parody, but Mikey Day really took his best shot for SNL all-purpose-player status as uber-nerd Matt Shatt. The premise: A local Florida news station is interviewing Shatt and his wife (Robbie), who are eyewitnesses to a massive sinkhole – but the reporter, news anchors, even the sports announcer (a very funny Leslie Jones) can’t get past the obvious What’s Wrong With This Picture: How did the geeky, Crocs & socks-wearing, unemployed, grossly named and sexually disadvantaged puppeteer Mr. Shatt land such a perfectly gorgeous wife?
Silly, no doubt, and totally without the political savvy that SNL nailed in last night’s Trump & Clinton sketches, the Matt Shatt bit was – yes – funny. Really funny. Unashamedly goofy and played to the hilt, the sketch made clear that even in this season of political lunacy and low-hanging satire bait, SNL – and, it would seem, its latest arrivals – can still go rewardingly puerile when that Shatt is called for.
Take a look: