The cold open
"How did you even get into The White House?"— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
"I won more votes." pic.twitter.com/boCAj5ZCIj
Beck Bennett played a deeply closeted Vice President Mike Pence receiving his COVID-19 vaccination on television, when he's interrupted by Maya Rudolph's Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris and, instead of Jim Carrey, Alex Moffatt's President Elect Joe Biden. After some back and forth about how Pence can redeem himself somehow, he encounters Kate McKinnon's Rudy Giuliani and Kenan Thompson's Dr. Ben Carson. More of a random parade of impressions than a sketch with any kind of coherent narrative, this wasn't particularly good but at least it moved along briskly.
Get in here, Joe. pic.twitter.com/U9EScBho5V— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
The loveable and great Kristen Wiig showed up shiny and silver and ready to host the show. Revealing that she had twins this year, Wiig suggested 2021 might be better and regaled us in a strange, initially baby-centric and then all-over-place nonsensical version of The Sound of Music's "My Favourite Things." Joining in to assist, Maya Rudolph also mangled the lyrics rather hilariously before Kate McKinnon also turned up but was accused of at least mild racism. Undeterred, the trio brought it home endearingly, and this was festive and fun.
These are definitely the words to this song. pic.twitter.com/oaqMGSGf0C— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Kenan Thompson played 1960s game show host, Grant Choad, who introduces us to Secret Word. As usual, this was all a showcase fo Wiig's clueless actress, Mindy Elise Grayson, whose vaguely Norma Desmond-esque delusions and scarred sexual candour prohibit her from knowing how to properly play the game. Though given Kate McKinnon as an eccentric actress foil, this was Wiig's show and she owned it.
Mindy Elise Grayson. pic.twitter.com/Ijc6n9ZkUm— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
In this amusing remote, a rudimentary rap song about Christmas morning suggests that almost everyone in the family made off like a gift bandit. Everyone, except for mom. Wiig was excellent in this, as a disappointed and resigned mother who is unappreciated by the rest of her excited clan. A bit heavy-handed at the end, this was otherwise really funny.
...and I got a robe pic.twitter.com/JFUTnmHDyT— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Christmas Eve 1944
In a show to entertain U.S. troops during WWII, Wiig's Aubra July and Bowen Yang's Private Garrett indulge in a contemporary pop music video-style narrative, which initially stuns the infantry but then, by the time Dua Lipa shows up, they're into this sordid yet amusing song.
MARJORIEEEE pic.twitter.com/uM6pVoUvHU— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
In this remote, Andrew Dismukes tries to hit on his teacher, as played by Ego Nwodim, but she shoots him down with a bazooka. When Kristen Wiig's principal shows up, things take a darker turn but Nwodim made all of this work.
The most stirring show of 2020. pic.twitter.com/JGrj0NO4NE— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
In a previously unreleased scene, Melissa Villaseñor's Kevin vaguely offers to help Wiig's unhoused "pigeon lady," when the film's two crooks show up to steal his credit card. This was more sad than funny before the big, gruesome payoff, and, even then, it was still pretty bleak.
Backed up by four dancers, Dua Lipa danced around the stage for a spirited version of "Don't Start Now," which was most notable for the choreography. She remains a fair singer but there's something less than compelling about her voice and presence. Still, she did everything to turn the stage into a party.
For "Levitating," Lipa was clad in a flowing white dress and a hat that resembled either a jellyfish or the ass of an ostrich. Another song where a chorus about dancing is surrounded by innocuous verses and even a rap bridge, Dua Lipa came across like a less aggressive but no less assertive Pitbull, singing hook-up club bangers with a kind of faux emotional connection. Hooks yes, but little to stay attached to, somehow.
Colin Jost began update with a greatest hits video package celebrating the buffoonery of Donald Trump. Michael Che made some jokes about Mike Pence being gay and also went after MAGA for being MAGA.
Chris Redd did a desk piece, as Smokey Robinson, who recently embarrassed himself by mispronouncing the word Chanukah. Redd played him, as a naïve person who doesn't know how to pronounce many words, which was kinda funny, thanks to Redd's commitment.
Smokey stopped by the Update desk after mispronouncing Chanukah. pic.twitter.com/BMW56cP6fN— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Jost had a good joke about the Cleveland Indians finally changing their name, but the crowd found it harsh and then Che told a funny bit about Chris Cuomo that also froze up the audience. Tough crowd. Kenan Thompson's cheerily disturbing Willy showed up to freak out Che and, again, it was pretty dark stuff that confused the studio audience.
Willie at the desk! pic.twitter.com/mQVKt1OD9n— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Che got in an excellent dig at Tom Cruise and introduced us to Heidi Gardner's Instagram influencer, Landice Trotter. Gardner, who's a comedic wonder, satirized the vapid, plastic world of influencers, product-placing in between all of the so-called emotional anecdotes before having a nervous breakdown. Ah, the annual tradition of Che and Jost reading jokes the other has written for the other — for the first time ever — on-air. As usual, Che supplied Jost with nothing but racist jokes, including an excellent burn on Jost's wife, Scarlett Johansson. A longer but satisfying Update this week.
There's no Christmas tradition like the Colin-and-Che-Joke-Swap tradition. pic.twitter.com/KEJ6aGujWJ— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Ménage a Grinch
The classic holiday story about the Grinch is sordidly transformed into a porn, where a mom and dad welcome him into their home and also their bed for a threesome. Look, we get it, everyone is horny because of the pandemic but c'mon, some of us have been watching the Grinch movies with our kids, wtf are you doing to us, man.
You're a mean one 😜 Mr. Grinch pic.twitter.com/YZeCWipqQD— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020
Wiig's unique creation, Sue (from her days on the cast), returned, and she still cannot handle keeping a secret about surprise parties. Wiig's such a genius and brought the big-time Sue energy here before exploding like some kind of spoiler neutron star. Good stuff.
oh...my....god.... pic.twitter.com/uv5DzT1ENq— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 20, 2020