Saturday Night Live is coming off its most-watched season in decades. The show cleaned up at this year’s Emmy Awards, winning nine trophies, including Best Variety Sketch Series. And it’s rarely—if ever—been worse.
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kicks off its stretch of final shows of 2017 tomorrow night when Saoirse Ronan makes her hosting debut with musical guest U2, and the show released a round of promos this week to get you excited. In the above clip, Ronan and U2 are joined by cast member Kenan Thompson so that the promo includes an interesting accent, and in the below clip, Ronan and Cecily Strong enjoy the crowds of people who are definitely there to see Ronan and definitely not there to check out the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting. After Ronan’s episode, SNL will close out the year with two returning hosts when James Franco hosts on the 9th followed by Kevin Hart on the 16th.
Saturday Night Live released its new promo video late Thursday night for the forthcoming episode to be hosted by Saoirse Ronan this weekend. Her show, featuring musical guest U2, kicks off a stacked talent list for SNL in December.
Both of the short clips included jokes about both Ronan and U2 being Irish. In the first, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson gives his best shot at mimicking their accents while trying to find out who has him for secret Santa.
“Can you guys understand me? I’m saying secret,” says Thompson, eventually giving up at the effort.
In the second promo, he addresses the topic more head-on, asking, “Isn’t it insane that in this situation I’m the one with the accent?”
Ronan will be hosting the show as part of the promotion for her film, Lady Bird, which recently set a Rotten Tomatoes record as the best-reviewed film of all-time. U2 will be promoting Songs of Experience, the band’s most recent album in its illustrious career.
Granted, each episode of the legendary series, now in its 43rd season on NBC, contains one or two gems. Recent high points include Chance the Rapper’s “Come Back, Barack” music video and an ad for the DNC that highlighted the Democratic Party’s biggest problems. (Both of those bits were pre-taped, not coincidentally.) “Weekend Update” has also been remarkably consistent this fall, especially Michael Che’s no-holds-barred rants against President Trump.
But when it comes to the show’s bread and butter—the live cold open sketch—this season has been severely lacking. And it has a lot to do with what has become a tired portrayal of Trump by Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin didn’t think he’d be playing Trump past Election Day 2016, but there he was in the first cold open of the season two months ago, arguing on the phone with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz about FEMA relief for Puerto Rico. “Ma’am, I don’t know if you know this, but you’re on an island in the water, the ocean water,” Baldwin’s Trump told her. “Big ocean, with fishies and bubbles and turtles that bite. We want to help you, but we have to take care of America first.”