Saturday Night Live (Recap) | Donald Glover (S43 E19)

by Matthew Love | via Vulture

People who enjoy saying “stay in your lane” must hate Donald Glover. Glover is a multifarious talent, one who doesn’t rest on his laurels or stay comfortable for long. After making his name on Community, Glover bailed on it a bit early, tried his hand at stand-up and wrote raps as Childish Gambino; in recent years, he’s catapulted to the ranks of the creative elite as a musician, actor, and the creator-star of one of television’s most fascinating, funny, and unpredictable series, Atlanta. Tonight, SNL plays with the fact that Glover is young Lando Calrissian in the new Star Wars film Solo, but as Glover is a writer and sketch comedian, too, he brings his own ideas to the table.

Michael Cohen Wiretap Cold Open
A frightened Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller) calls his boss Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) after Giuliani’s surprise announcement about the Stormy Daniels hush money. From there, the sketch is a flurry of activity as Cohen calls (or accidentally dials) everyone in the Trump camp, one by one. It’s a star-studded lollapalooza of names and faces that would require two paragraphs just to list them all. Among the surprises: Ivanka Trump (Scarlett Johansson), Jared Kushner (Jimmy Fallon), Harold Bornstein (Martin Short), and the actual Stormy Daniels. Once Stormy gets on the line, Trump kicks Cohen off the call and gets to business. “I’ve never been so scared and horny at the same time,” he says after she demands his resignation. Not sure there’s a big point here, and the sketch panders to Stormy, but the bits featuring Short, Fallon, and Kate McKinnon as Rudy Giuliani are giggle-inducing.

Donald Glover Monologue
Glover auditioned for SNL twice and didn’t get cast. Though he tells the crowd he’s not bitter about his SNL rejection, he then wanders through the studio to show up the other cast members. Kyle Mooney did some kind of skateboard trick during his audition, so Glover grabs Mooney’s board and falls flat on his back. He drinks some weird punch Kenan Thompson is brewing up, and then he throws up while trying to play the clarinet. There are two competing ideas here — that Glover wants to top the current SNL crop to salve his old wounds, and that he “really can do anything.” If the monologue focused on one, it could really be great. As it is, it’s a muddle.

Courtroom
A plaintiff who visited Jurassic World with his friends (Mikey Day) takes the stand to talk about the dinosaurs that killed his friends and family. Seems like a clear-cut case, certain to go against the defendants, but it’s time for the Jurassic World lawyer (Glover) to cross-examine. The park is not responsible for lost or damaged items, as it clearly states on the back of a bloody name badge one of his family members wore. Also, the first few seconds of poor Mr. Miller’s Instagram story looks like everyone is having a good time. (The last few seconds, unfortunately, reveals a deadly dinosaur attack.) When the lawyer finally feels the tide is turning against him, he tries to adjourn the court on his own. The sketch isn’t sure whether to focus on the park or the lawyer, exactly, but Glover’s strutting, wide-eyed shyste is a treat to watch.

Friendos
This parody of a Migos video finds Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff (Glover, Chris Redd, and Thompson) deep in the club before announcing that they’re in therapy with a woman called Angela (Cecily Strong). Soon, they’re not just implying it, and the three of them are side-by-side on a couch making “I feel” statements while talking about how Quavo’s purchase of an ice cream Lambo (Lambo!) made Offset feel invisible. Soon, the trio reaffirms their friendship and makes a breakthrough (Breakthrough!), strolling out of the office like champs. In the lobby, they run into ASAP Rocky (the actual Rocky) and affirm their newfound connection. It’s all a fun what-if that shows Glover’s love for the band he helped find fame.

80’s Music Video
In the music video for a song called “I Watched You,” R&B crooner Raz B. Berry (Glover) sings about his cheating lady (Cecily Strong) and then follows her to a bar to confront her. Once there, he stops singing and starts confessing: He canceled all their credit cards, put all of her pricey jewelry up his ass, tried to cut off his penis, and so on. Once he gets to the part about pouring pee in his hair, his lady stops him to tell him something important: She isn’t his lady, literally. Raz is wearing dark glasses, and it’s night outside, so he didn’t notice he was following the wife of mild-mannered Dr. Reginald Saunders (Thompson). Whoops. It’s an amusingly weird backstory for an ’80s video, and funnier if you know the classic Oran “Juice” Jones hit “The Rain.”

A Kanye Place
In this take on A Quiet Place, the humans try to remain quiet in order to keep the monsters away, but Kanye seems to be losing his mind in real time online. With bated breath, the crew turns to the guy with the phone (Glover) as Kanye tweets about Trump, wears a MAGA hat, attends Chrissy Teigen’s baby shower, and drops a new track that just might say “poopity scoop.” One by one, the friends get picked off because they can’t take all of the insanity in and around Ye. The final holdout just can’t contain himself after witnessing Kanye’s TMZ appearance and his claim that “slavery was a choice.” It’s a solid parody, even if talking about Kanye has become exhausting.

Click HERE to read the rest of the recap, “SNL: Donald Glover.”

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