Though the full-on Christmas episode ofSaturday Night Live won’t arrive until next weekend when Eddie Murphy makes his highly anticipated return to Studio 8H, this episode with host Scarlett Johansson was rather festive on its own. There were plenty of Christmas sketches to behold, and two of them were easily the best of the night. Otherwise, there was a little too much middling comedy tackling political topics, a poor retread of a previous sketch, and a major technical gaffe. See what we’re talking about by looking at the best and worst sketches from the Scarlett Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live.
Children’s Clothing Ad – I remember hating several sweaters that I had to wear during the holidays as a kid. Finally, SNL has captured the misery of those kids and the parents who have to endure all for the sake of cute pictures. This is classic juxtaposition of holiday cheer and parental terror, and it works so well. The best part is the abrupt cut back and forth when Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner are arguing while putting their kid’s boots on.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long for someone to take this approach to a holiday song that has kind of a creepy premise. This one takes it to another weird level by having the little girl singing the song seeing his father watching mommy kissing Santa Claus and playing out a weird fantasy with the help of a Craigslist Santa Claus. This is a great holiday parody, and it will very likely be one shown during SNL’s traditional holiday special clip shows in years to come.
Even though the latest 007 movie has been pushed to a release date in the fall, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, still hosted last night’s “Saturday Night Live.” It's actually been eight years since Craig last hosted “SNL,” and you know what? After this second time, while he may not be playing James Bond anymore, he can host any time he wants.
Host: Daniel Craig
If there's one thing Daniel Craig makes clear in his opening monologue, it's this: “I'm not a nerd. You're a nerd.” Fine, while he may not be a nerd, he's certainly not afraid to go all-in on a joke or, even better, be the butt of one. That is the key to this episode, and it's really amazing to realize while watching that this man's only hosted twice, despite how good he is at it.
It's always nice to see an “SNL” monologue step outside the box, and this one does, featuring pre-tape “footage” from the upcoming James Bond movie. It seems like it takes the live audience a moment to realize what's going on, as the first “SNL” cast member to show up in the sketch is Chloe Fineman, who still kind of blends in, as good as she is. Craig's “favorite scene” in the movie is apparently the one where Bond ends up becoming a craps guy and it's filled to the brim with the most un-Bondlike characters ever, on top of Fineman's progressively frustrated Bond girl. You've got Heidi Gardner and Beck Bennett as messy gamblers, old lady gambler Kate McKinnon, bachelor party boy Kenan Thompson “THIS GUY! HIM!”, and Mikey Day as the craps dealer-turned-villain.
It's simply a fun sketch to open things up with, with Bond getting way too into craps and becoming “Simba,” as he's the “king of the jungle.” In fact, Craig singing the opening music from “The Lion King” is arguably the best thing any James Bond movie has ever given us, even tangentially. Thompson showing up to do the “HIM!” bit in both the Bond entrance and live on stage then brings it all together. “SNL” also knows how good it is, as it’s provided a version of the scene without the monologue.
You can't go wrong with a pre-tape rap or otherwise from both Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd, and the live audience — who are pretty good this episode, other than the moment in the cold open with the “WOO!” for white chocolate — realizes that before it even really gets going. It's worrying at first that this is a hacky sketch about ending up “on the couch,” but it thankfully takes its first interesting turn when The Weeknd comes in. “We make dinner like lovers do / I pour wine / And I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.” That's...
If we weren’t in the darkest timeline right now, Marvel’s Black Widow would be arriving in theaters in a little under a month. Unfortunately, the globe is dealing with a dangerous pandemic, and the entire movie release calendar is being shuffled around every week as studios push back some of the biggest movies of the year following the closure of pretty much all movie theaters everywhere. Last week, Marvel Studios announced a new November release date for the movie starring Scarlett Johansson, and now a couple of new Black Widow photos have been released.
New Black Widow Photos
First up, we have Scarlett Johansson being cautious as other agents from the Red Room Academy are in pursuit. They’re decked out in the standard tactical catsuit while Natasha Romanoff appears to be caught off guard, wearing only her street clothes.
As the most recent trailer for Black Widow explained, the Red Room operatives are being controlled by the villain Taskmaster, who has manipulated them by somehow giving them full consciousness, but unable to make choices of their own free will.
Romanoff’s surrogate sister and fellow Red Room agent Yelena Belova Florence Pugh, above somehow escaped, and she’s getting their makeshift family back together, including David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov AKA Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff.
Together, they’ll try to take down Taskmaster, who is quite the formidable opponent due to the fact that he can mimic the fighting styles of the rest of The Avengers, such as Black Panther, Captain America and Spider-Man, not to mention Black Widow herself. Oh, and his identity is unknown too, so that’s fun.
Will any of them besides Natasha make it out alive? Let’s not forget that she said The Avengers were the only family she has left throughout the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Plus, she recently offered up this perspective in an interview with Total Film via sister site Games Radar:
“I think part of Kevin Feige’s genius is that he always thinks about what fans expect out of these films and then gives them something that they never could’ve dreamed of. The idea of Natasha Romanoff in a family drama is the least expected thing, and I had to wrap my head around what that was going to be because there’s such a big tonal shift.”
Directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Black Widow now hits theaters on November 6, 2020 after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The entire Marvel Studios release schedule has been shifted due to the new release date, and you can get the full new release calendar right here.
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her...