Julia Louis-Dreyfus was host of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ returning for the third time, alongside musical guest Nick Jonas. The SNL alum’s return to the famed Studio 8H stage for the first time in nearly a decade was much anticipated. Now critics are weighting in and here’s a roundup of reviews plus video highlights!
Under ordinary circumstances, her return to SNL would be eagerly anticipated. This time around all the more so after last week’s show with host Russell Crowe, whom critics. The general sentiment was just hang on till next week. Something along the lines of not wanting serious actors dabbling in comedy when a true professional is needed!
Well, with a SNL alum, who’s also a former ‘Seinfeld’ star, and current star of HBO’s ‘Veep’ the comedic credentials are lining up quite nicely! And right from the cold open we were off, headlong into one of the better episode of the season. After all, with ‘Seinfeld”s Elaine Benes in the house, who else might we expect but Larry David’s reprise of his ever popular Sen. Bernie Sanders impression! And that’s just what we got in a spoof of the recent, and notably contentious Democratic debate in Brooklyn, with Kate McKinnon‘s Hillary Clinton.
And continuing the hoped-for cameos, in the midst of her monologue, who would happen to pop by but her ‘Veep’ co-star, Tony Hale. The monologue gave her an opportunity to showcase her decades of comedic influence dating all the way back to the early 1980s when she was an SNL cast member, and a history lesson for those too young to remember.
If anything, her return to SNL is long overdue. One might have expected it a couple years ago, that same year ‘Veep’ was becoming a hit show. Of course, it’s never ever too late! and she raised eyebrows with her Rolling Stone magazine cover which saw her wearing nothing but the U.S. Constitution or at least a tattooed facsimile thereof.
But this being the political season, the timing was just right, and we were in professional comedic hands throughout. As for the critics, they gave mostly favorable reviews both to he and to musical guest Nick Jonas who, by now is far into a solo career as the Jonas Brothers, heyday of the late Aughts is getting further and further into the rear-view mirror of pop culture.
Here’s a roundup of what’s being said.
“….After being hobbled by noted not-funnyman Russell Crowe last week, SNL hailed to the chief this week, building a solidly old school show around returning alum and comedy president Julia Louis-Dreyfus. […] Appearing in nine sketches (including the monologue and three filmed pieces), the fact that the show was all about Julia was evident in the “Who Works Here” game show sketch—hosts don’t often drive the bus by playing the game show host as well. None of this is a complaint, by the way—Louis-Dreyfus is comedy royalty at this point, and putting on the Julia show (although, sadly, not “The Julia Show”) was a most welcome parade of mostly successful professionalism in what’s been a rough season, host-wise, overall…..” — A.V. Club
“… The Veep funnywoman’s co-star, Tony Hale, popped up during the best part of her opening monologue — channeling fawning “bag man” Gary as her cue-card handler. Before that, she also had a chance to reunite with Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, who played Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Debate Cold Open, while Louis-Dreyfus, in a deliciously meta turn, revived her classic ’90s sitcom character (and New York primary voter) Elaine Benes. Good stuff!….” — TV Line
“…..In the end, it closes what we think was a really solid episode; there were few smash hits beyond the cold open, but we laughed almost throughout. Episode Grade: B+….” — CarterMatt
“…..The opening political sketch was a special moment. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes grilling Larry David’s Bernie Sanders was the mini-Seinfeld we didn’t realize we needed…..” — Refinery29
“…Louis-Dreyfus’ third hosting gig was admirably unpredictable. One missed opportunity: She didn’t bring her Selena Meyer character from “Veep” into the current political race. ….” — The Wrap
As week-by-week comparisons go, it’s clear the critics see this week as an upswing and not a downswing! While last week’s episode was much talked about for the shortcomings of the host Russell Crowe it’s quite a different story this time around. You can watch highlights and/or the full episode of last night’s SNL with host Julia Louis-Dreyfus and musical guest Nick Jonas!
Pictures: PR Photos