Hosted by “America’s voice of reason”, Dr Anthony Fauci (Kate McKinnon), So You Think You Can Get the Vaccine gives “everyday Americans a chance to vie for vaccine eligibility”.
The panel of judges is made up of embattled governors: California’s smarmy Gavin Newsom (Alex Moffat), New York’s scandal-ridden Andrew Cuomo (Pete Davidson), and Michigan’s constant would-be political hostage Gretchen Whitmer (Cecily Strong).
Contestants include an essential worker who’s not actually essential, a horny young woman pretending to be a senior, a nonsmoker pretending to be a smoker, national pariah/wanna-be stand-up comic Ted Cruz, and a feeble octogenarian. Unfortunately for all of them, none of the governors have any idea about how their states’ vaccine distribution actually works.
There aren’t many laughs to be found in the rolling walk-ons, nor the half-dozen CVS jokes, but the show gets a few good digs in at the embattled Cuomo. Davidson doesn’t usually excel at impressions, but he’s a good fit here.
Nick Jonas is pulling double duty as host and musical guest. His brother Kevin is in the audience cheering him on – even though he’s worried that Nick’s current solo act means their band might be breaking up.
Then Jonas, along with some of the cast, performs a rendition of Drink with Me in recognition of the approaching one-year anniversary of Covid. There’s a noticeably low energy to the proceedings, but Jonas certainly seems comfortable with his dual role.
Up first, two guys try to get in shape with the help of a workout mirror. The virtual instructors include a pair of jacked fitness coaches, as well as Shannon Del Gaudio (McKinnon), a housewife trapped in the mirror after being cursed by a fortune teller.
Tormented by the evil instructors and a demon named Azuzul, she eventually tricks one of the exercisers into taking her place. It’s a funny idea, but unfortunately the actual jokes fall flat.
Next, the female cast join together in a music video for the song Murder Show, all about the popularity of grisly documentary programs about homicide (the higher the body count, the better). Jonas shows up at the end, dressed as NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, to sing about his own love of cult shows.
The end of Cinderella sees Jonas playing Prince Charming, come to visit the Disney princess and her evil stepfamily. He presents them with a magic glass slipper, which he’s horrified to learn belongs not to Cinderella but one of the talking mice, who he “banged” the night before. This utterly interminable sketch finds everyone – but particularly Jonas – mugging to the nth degree.
After some strippers show up to a bachelor party, the group of bros sing an ode to the male tradition of “getting hard” with friends. It’s an admirably immature tribute to erections – or, as they’re referred to in the song: boners, woodies, hard-ons and stiffy ding dongs. Then, Jonas takes the stage performance of Spaceman.
On Weekend Update, Michael Che laments Democrats’ willingness to accept defeat, as opposed to right wingers, who never take no for an answer: “Say what you will about a guy in a Viking hat taking a dump on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, but he will not be ignored.”
Colin Jost sets his sights on Ted Cruz, mocking the Texas Republican’s cringe-inducing attempts at self-effacement during a recent speech at CPAC: “No – you are not in on the joke. It is not for you to enjoy.”
Their first guest is sports dad supreme, LaVar Ball (Kenan Thompson). He talks about getting five shots of both the first two US-approved coronavirus vaccines, brags about his sons’ successes in the NBA, and pitches the latest Big Baller shoe, which is made of chocolate and caramel.
It’s another high energy showcase for Thompson, even if it feels like a rehash of his David Ortiz impression, just minus the accent.
Later, they’re joined by Marjorie Taylor Greene, “Congresses” new It-Girl … It like the evil clown who eats the children.” She goes on an anti-transgender rant, telling people to listen to the science … except when it comes to climate change, the coronavirus or space lasers. There’s something seedy about the show turning as repulsive and dangerous a political figure as Greene into just another silly kook.
A group of high schoolers on their junior trip nervously pair up for an amusement park water ride. Kyle Mooney plays a fifth wheel forced to ride alongside a giant doll of “the guy from Soul” that he won at a ring toss booth. Another noticeably drawn-out and laugh-free slog, it all builds to a pointless sight gag.
Ego Nwodim reprises her winning impression of singer Dionne Warwick. On her talk show, the aloof diva asks The Weekend (Thompson) “why are you from Canada?”; demands Nick Jonas show his penis; makes Dua Lipa (Melissa Villaseñor) agree to egg Wendy Williams’s house; and welcomes back former guest Machine Gun Kelly (Davidson), only to immediately kick him off her set again. There’s also an awkward animal handler segment that’s thrown out of whack by a misbehaving parrot.
Jonas returns to the stage and performs This is Heaven, before the final sketch, in which he and McKinnon star as singles who hit it off at an upscale bar.
Rusty from a year of Covid quarantine, their awkward flirting is filled with bad pickup lines (“You have beautiful eyes – they’d look better on my floor”), magic tricks involving a kitten, prison tattoos and a slow dance set to a piano rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
Like several of the other sketches, it goes too long and suffers from awkward pacing, but at least the silly non-sequiturs and random gags finally land.
There were lots of stumbles throughout this mostly forgettable episode, but at least it picked up for the last couple of sketches.