SOUTHERN REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: There isn’t much to this sketch except for showing us which Republicans are running for President, but it’s certainly fun seeing all of their dance moves. I look forward to seeing how all these cast members handle their characters as the election heats up. GRADE: C+
MONOLOGUE: What a great idea for Mother’s Day, and what a refreshing monologue bit after quite a few average ones. We get to peer for a second into the lives of these cast members, and it’s both hilarious and sweet to see. The home videos at the end are fantastic as well. GRADE: A
BE SCENE IN L.A.: The best part of this sketch is easily the production team consisting of Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah. Their reactions are hilarious throughout, but the main bit with Witherspoon and Strong isn’t very funny. GRADE: C+
PICTURE PERFECT: This sketch rests on the “Prophet Muhammad” joke, and it builds from there. It’s a pretty fantastic set up in and of itself, and Moynihan and Thompson do a great job with their reactions to finding out what they have to draw. Witherspoon’s character somehow guessing it at the end is a nice capper. GRADE: A-
MR. WESTERBERG: This took a dark turn. It’s one of those things you laugh at, but are unsure about whether you should. Beck Bennett is pitch perfect in it as the oblivious worker taken advantage of by his boss, and the final closed door is as dark as the show’s been. GRADE: A
WEEKEND UPDATE: Jost and Che are playing off each other well by now, and I especially like the latter saying that he’ll take the former’s mom to dinner. There are some solid jokes like that throughout this Update, and the guests are pretty good as well. Leslie Jones shows up to read her various love letters, Strong and Witherspoon are two girls you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party, and Thompson is the most optimistic guy Che knows, Willie. As fun as the party girls are, they’re a bit overused by now, but I’m enjoying Willie a lot. GRADE: B+
STUDENT THEATRE SHOWCASE: I think this works better as a one-off sketch, but there are some fantastic jokes in here. I like the audience member bit, the “We were black!” line, and the reveal that this is dedicated to John Lennon and Shonda Rhimes. Once again, though: fantastic concept. GRADE: B+
ROBBING A HOUSE: The funniest part of this is probably the reveal that they’re all there to rob the house. Aside from that turn, however, it’s a pretty mediocre sketch, and the “out there” stuff they say just isn’t enough to carry the segment. GRADE: C+
WATER PARK: Blink and you’ll miss it. What a short sketch, and what a dumb one. There’s nothing of substance to this, and I have no idea how it made the cut. GRADE: D
WHISKERS R WE: Eh. Wasn’t a fan the first time round, and I’m not a huge fan this time. A few solid jokes, but nothing more. It’s a pretty weak stretch of sketches to end the episode. GRADE: C+
-Florence and The Machine were great, as always.
-Next week: LOUIS CK! Season finale, folks.
Photo credit: NBC, Saturday Night Live