Pulling double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live is both an honor and a curse—often more endurance test than a purely joyful performance. For every Justin Timberlake episode that audiences seem to love (sometimes inexplicably, to be honest), or Miley Cyrus episode that seems to cement the artist’s place in the SNL inner circle, there’s a Halsey episode that feels lucky to escape with a few stray highlights. Singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, actress, and flautist Lizzo seems like an inspired choice for this sometimes-thankless task; though she’s known mainly for music, she has the kind of poise and confidence that translates well to live comedy.
Throughout her episode of SNL, she hit her marks with clarity and energy—though the episode itself seemed stuck in Timberlake’s heyday: broad, silly stuff with cultural reference points from the late 2000s. Literally: There was a sketch that placed the inane lyrics of Black Eyed Peas songs from 2008 in its crosshairs. Later, a funnier bit inexplicably revived the dancing old man who appeared in Six Flags ads from 2004 until 2010. (At least then the inexplicable reference was part of the joke.) Another sketch that introduced elements of an Egyptian orgy seemed to be referring to visual cliches from a kind of movie (or… book? Pornography?) that hasn’t been in style in a long time, if ever. Even the weirdest, funniest sketch of the night focused on Beanie Babies. Throughout, Lizzo was a high-spirited host—so merry that she broke into giggles during multiple sketches. But who could really blame her for realizing the unflappable genius of Andrew Dismukes? Here are the highlights from this high-energy but mixed-bag episode.
Please Don’t Destroy: New Lizzo Songs
The boys from PDD often have their videos cut for time and uploaded to YouTube and, frankly, a lot of them work just fine there. They’re funny guys—they’ve written some of the best and funniest sketches of this season—but not really dynamic or range-y enough to stand out in an overcrowded ensemble of twenty-plus. That’s a polite way of saying a lot of their sketches feature a series of escalating screams around the theme of “what is happening?!?!” and “why would you do that?!?” That said, their rapid-fire brainstorming session with Lizzo is one of their best videos yet, as she presses them into service to come up with new singles to debut on SNL. Sometimes Lizzo throwing up into a wastebasket is just the spice your routine needs.