A silly chicken routine, a Pizza Hut hoax and a spot-on rip in HGTV’s programming fabric made for a welcome-back set of Saturday Night Live sketches last night, as the show returned for its 43rd season.
With guest host Ryan Gosling game to go, last night’s roster of live skits kept apace, slipping a bit towards the end with “Dive Bar,” a standard Kenan Thompson affair in which the longtime cast member plays a singer whose verbal onstage ramblings get too personal for his rock and roll flute player (Gosling). “Dive Bar” – really “What’s Up With That” by any name – seemed to crack up Gosling and Thompson, so there was that.
Check it out here:
Better, if stretched a bit, was “Italian Restaurant,” that had Gosling and Cecily Strong caught unaware in one of those Pizza Hut commercials designed to fool customers about their on-camera dining experience. Gosling and Strong play an angry Italian-American couple who take their pasta very seriously:
In “The Fliplets,” Gosling, Mikey Day and Alex Moffat do a pitch-perfect spin on HGTV’s Property Brothers, adding a triplet to the familiar mix, with cringe-worthy (or more cringe-worthy) results. As Day and Moffat ooze their way through the bro-tastic banter, Gosling’s dark sheep strays from formula. “I don’t think they ever fully grieved the death of our family,” Gosling’s prodigal says, “so rather than face the demons that they have, they go city to city trying to rebuild the home the never had.”
In the recurring “Another Close Encounter,” Gosling joins Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong as alien abductees being questioned by the CIA’s Aidy Bryant and Mikey Day. This is McKinnon’s bit all the way, fewer laughs now than when it was new but still offering some good moments as her been-through-the-mills character can’t understand the pleasant time had by the other UFO detainees:
And finally, the episode’s de rigueur spree through the outlandish, one of those get-it-or-don’t bits of bizarro. Gosling – and truth be told, myself – clearly got it – cracking up repeatedly at Aidy Bryant all done up in a supremely goofy chicken costume. A take-off on an old Hollywood gangster pic, “Henrietta & The Fugitive” had Gosling’s bad guy hiding in a farmhouse and trying to woo the feathers off Bryant’s hen so she won’t go squawking to the cops (Beck Bennett, Alex Moffat).
Bryant, for one, gets through the whole thing without cracking. Take a look up top.