Welcome to season 43 of Saturday Night Live! We keep our recaps short and sweet so you can get busy watching the videos we post weekly. SNL has added some new blood to its cast and writing team, including featured players Heidi Gardner (Adult Swim), comedian Luke Null, and Chris Redd (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping). Alec Baldwin continues his role as Trump. Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer, and Sasheer Zamata did not return to the series. And the show is being broadcast live in all four time zones within the contiguous United States. Kicking off the new season is Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z. The La La Land actor can’t keep a straight face per usual, but he pulls it off with lots of charm and enthusiasm. See how it all went down last night, below.
“The Chaos President Cold Open”
“FEMA Prime” is a definite laugh-cry.
Hilarious jab at the annoying aw-shucks-ism of HGTV’s basic bitch hosts.
“Another Close Encounter”
If you’ve read any of our SNL recaps for a hot minute, you know how we feel about their overuse of potty humor. At least here they push it to the extreme, with Kate McKinnon’s face planted firmly in Ryan Gosling’s tush.
Your editor is Italian and feels equally rage-y about Olive Garden commercials.
“Henrietta & The Fugitive”
Did anyone keep a straight face during this sketch? Somehow Aidy Bryant in a chicken costume fumbling with a gun is funny.
Something the Orange One would tweet angrily about. Praise to the editor who cut this one, too.
Something all designers and font nerds can relate to on a spiritual level.
Michael Che gets real about Donald Trump’s horrible response to Hurricane Maria.
Che’s horror jokes were probably only written for me.
Loving the American Psycho-esque narration where Alex Moffat and Gosling’s characters trash their own junk.
“Ryan Gosling Jazz Monologue”
And by monologue, they mean Gosling gets on stage and drones on about jazz. Emma Stone shows up. It’s kind of a weird welcome back that feels almost selfish (addressing the La La Land controversy) and was probably better suited for a mid-season episode.
Musical Guest: Jay-Z
“4:44” and “Bam”