Amy Schumer returned to host the season’s next-to-last episode of Saturday Night Live, slipping into a range of characters, anchoring a sharp Handmaid’s Tale riff and tagging her opening standup set with a shoutout to her recent movie I Feel Pretty.
“If you’re not traumatized, you’re not watching TV,” the voiceover declares during a dry mashup of Sex and the City and A Handmaid’s Tale. In the show’s trademark robes and bonnets, Schumer, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant banter about their sex lives and appearance. The dark gag at the center of the bit, of course, is that in the dystopian world of A Handmaid’s Tale, they have no free will. It’s one-note, maybe, but the note is a resonant one.
Another winner contrasts brightly lit, Hallmark moments between Schumer and her pretend husband and son with the actual trauma of giving birth and all that comes after that. “I am so lucky to be your mommy,” she says, when her son brings her breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. “The day you were born was the best day of my life.” Her son wonders, “What was it like?” With a blissful look, she murmurs, “It was amazing.” Smash cut to the delivery room, labor pains and husband Mikey Day (who scored points repeatedly throughout the show) wondering in horror about the baby, “Why does he look like that?!”
During her opening monologue, which she turned into six-plus minutes of standup, Schumer hit on topics like her recent marriage and the various things you can get for free at gyms, like razors and tampons. She ended the set with a reference to her latest movie, which didn’t land well with a lot of critics and audiences. “I really hope, if you haven’t already, you see my film I Feel Pretty,” she said. So proud of it. But if you see it, bring tissues. Because you’re going to want to masturbate. I look so good!”
And of course, no SNL episode would be complete without a game-show parody. This GSN-“sponsored” setup, Mother Knows Best, sees Schumer in the host role. Most of the laughs come with other cast members trying (and often failing) to not crack up as Kate McKinnon makes the most of her way-beyond-helicopter mom, Ebisaleth, who shares an alarming degree of intimacy with her son, John-Christopher.