Morning Joe Cold Open
What’s this? No Alec Baldwin as Trump in sight? Nope, because Trump never visits or calls MSNBC’s Morning Joe … or does he? The Cold Open played off of the recent revelation that the morning show’s hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were secretly dating (they are now engaged), with the guests noticing an uncomfortable spark between the two. Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon did a terrific job portraying the pair, especially McKinnon as she aped Mika’s very short fuse when it comes to Trump. And speaking of Trump, his spokesman John Miller called in to the show to crow about the new health care bill and he sounded suspiciously familiar. It was a decent start to the evening.
Chris Pine Monologue
Pine made his entrance and mentioned how he’d been on the show once before, a walk-on during “Weekend Update” when the first Star Trek movie came out and it only took Lorne Michaels eight years to bring him back as host. Then he mentioned his new movie Guardians of the Galaxy … but that is a different Chris. Pine then launched into a pretty funny song about the Chrises he’s confused with including Pratt, Evans and Hemsworth, set to the tune of “Uptown Girl”. This won’t be the last time we hear Pine sing tonight.
Where in the World is Kellyanne Conway?
And, in fact, Pine gets to sing again right here, performing the game show’s theme song with other male cast members. This is probably one of the shortest first sketches the show has ever done thanks to the reaction of the two kids when asked to help find Kellyanne Conway. Kate McKinnon’s brief appearance in the game show’s titles was hilarious.
World Peace Rap
In a pre-taped music video, Beck Bennett plays eastern European hip hop artist Stav D rattling off a list of random words in some sort of anthem of peace but somehow it always seems to come back to his porn addiction. Kyle Mooney pops up here and there (suggesting this is another Bennett/Mooney piece of bizarreness) with a long-haired Pine … singing the chorus.
A complete bit of silliness as two cops keep an eye on a suspect before a raid of the apartment building is to take place. But the building isn’t empty. There are two guys right next door having some sort of cotton candy dance off, backpack fashion show, and something else with Leslie Jones in a Zoot suit eating the world’s largest gummy bear. And it all makes the cops wonder when they stopped having fun. Pine didn’t sing or speak in this one but he “slayed the runway” working that backpack.
Two female employees, and it turns out one is the president of the company and the other is the head of HR, summon Pine’s employee into an office to … force him to decide which one of them he likes better, the diabetic mother of two or the childless MILF, to the tune “The Boy Is Mine”. And guess what? Pine sings at the end too as he makes his choice. NOTE: NBC has not made this clip available, probably due to music rights issues.
It’s another episode of “The House” as three roomies run up against drama when Pine’s character makes plans with Beck Bennett’s character forgetting he already had plans with Kyle Mooney’s character (these two are all over the place this week). The best parts are the “confessionals” with the guys over-explaining what we’re already seeing, pretty much like you’d see on The Real World or Big Brother. It’s all pretty spot on if you watch any of those shows. The best part is when the announcers says this is season six. Thousand.
Colin Jost and Michael Che were on fire this week ripping on the Trump administration’s glee in passing a new health care bill that will do more harm than good, with Che saying the old white men celebrating in the Rose Garden looked like they just invented sickle cell and comparing Steve Bannon to the 240 pre-existing conditions not covered by the bill. They both landed some great jokes this week. There were also two special guests. Leslie Jones made an appearance and instead of her usual “I need a man, Colin you’re my sweet vanilla bean” schtick she related how she actually found a man while on vacation in Jamaica. She was toned down but funny. Vanessa Bayer introduced a new character, Dawn Lazarus, the new WU meteorologist. Poor Dawn was so nervous she could just ramble in gibberish with a few typical weather person lines like “in your neck of the woods” making it through. Bayer was amazing and this was one of the funniest moments of the entire show.
A stereotypical group of auto repair guys on a break start discussing the nuances of RuPaul’s Drag Race, name checking one of this season’s queens (Tiffany Taylor), while pretending they really had no idea what they were talking about … but they knew an awful lot about tucking. Then two of the guys played by Pine and Bobby Moynihan decided to see what it was like to “lip sync for your life.” But which one was told to “sashay away”?
The Handmaid’s Tale
This pre-taped bit will only make sense to anyone who’s ever read the book or has seen the new series on Hulu. It’s a society where women are stripped of their rights and are now handmaids to their husbands, forbidden to interact with other men. But a few bozos show up who seem to have no clue how serious the situation is for the women. There were a few chuckles but this one was more disturbing than funny.
Star Trek Lost Episode
Kenan Thompson’s Neil deGrasse Tyson introduces a never-before-seen episode of the classic Star Trek, “Spock’s Secret” which introduces Spock’s brother Spocko, played by Bobby Moynihan as a 1960’s nightclub comedian with catchphrases. Moynihan did what he could to steal the show, but Pine doing Shatner was hilarious. And who was the guy playing Sulu who could not keep a straight face?
Couples Game Night
A group of friends play a game in which they have to sing TV theme songs to see who can guess the show. Pine and Cecily Strong take things a bit further when they draw their card, pulling out a synthesizer and performing an entire musical number … that isn’t the TV show on their card. Yep, Pine gets to sing one last time this week, and atypical for a final sketch, this one was pretty funny.
LCD Soundsystem made their long-awaited debut on the show (the band formed in 2002) and … the first performance, “Call the Police”, seemed to be plagued by sound issues. Lead singer James Murphy used a tiny microphone that didn’t seem to have been sound checked before the show because he was barely audible over the band. The second song, “American Dream”, went better, but the music wasn’t quite as loud and raucous. The band has a decidedly late 80s / early 90s retro sound, but in the end it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Note that the two songs were making their national debut from the band’s as yet unreleased new album.
Chris Pine probably isn’t known for his comedic skills, but he really seemed to mesh well with the cast and the writers, game for anything they threw at him (like that cotton candy / backpack sketch). There weren’t really any real bombs this week although the Cold Open and “The Handmaid’s Tale” pieces may have gone over some heads. Overall, this was one of the more enjoyable shows of the season and Hollywood should start looking at Pine for musicals, comedies and musical comedies! (Yes, I know, he was in the film version of Into the Woods.)
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments below!