Paul Rudd – BoilingNews

The show must go on. In the midst of a COVID-19 wave, SNL sent the audience home and tried a show with a limited cast and crew. Sadly, that meant no live skits and no Charli XCX, which was one more game to run until she was told she couldn’t do her set at 3pm. A huge disappointment, but perhaps the most reasonable compromise other than canceling the show outright.

Tom Hanks, flanked by a lone saxophonist playing him somberly, enters to light applause, dressed in his Five-Timer garb. You may remember that Tom got his robe in his classic Five-Timer episode. After explaining the situation, he brings in Tina Fey, who admits this isn’t the smallest audience she’s performed for “because [she’s] done improv in a Macy’s.”

They introduce Paul Rudd, who is disappointed but still gets his Five-Timer garb from longest serving cast member Kenan Thompson. (“Congratulations on hosting four and a half times.”) Kenan surprises him with a recorded message from Steve Martin, who keeps accidentally calling him “Tom Hanks.” The presenters then explain that the show will consist of some recorded sketches and a few classic episodes, as Paul Rudd explains: “It will be a bit like that new Beatles documentary, lots of old footage, but plenty of new stuff that you are like okay, yeah, i’ll keep an eye out for that.

Paul Rudd is Kasey HomeGoods director, who got the job on merit. He films a HomeGoods commercial featuring ‘real mothers’ playing Aidy and Kate and asking them what they want for the holidays. Unfortunately for him, they want grandchildren. “How about something from HomeGoods?” “Grandchildren.” Aidy and Kate work well together here and the laughter from the audience is not completely missed. Paul asks them to tell him what gifts they would like for someone else, but Aidy and Kate still love babies. “I want her daughter to conceive.” “I want them to do the nude wedding dance.” They eventually convince Kasey that he should have children too, which ends with Kelsey calling and announcing that she is pregnant.

Paul Rudd introduces the following sketch, which he says was finished at 5am last night SNL gives us a glimpse of Pete Davidson in 2054. While this is supposed to refer to what the hell happened to Joe Piscopo’s career, Pete’s giant forehead is hysterical. Paul Rudd appears as Pete’s longtime writer Eddie Corman, who is fired by Pete after he takes his present. It turns out to be a bag of weed. Pete changes his mind and takes Eddie out to dinner. “I used to be a sex symbol for reasons no one could understand. This is the man who came up with it!” Pete ends the skit by singing “You know I’ll be here waiting for you, The Pete Davidson Show”, which could actually describe SNL for 2021.

Mike Myers’ hysterical Carl Sagan Christmas Special is a 1990 classic, with Tom Hanks killing him as drunken Dean Martin. This sketch has so many great moments: The audience loses it to Victoria Jackson’s Sally Struthers, Phil Hartman as tone-deaf Dr. Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan throwing paint on Crystal Gayle’s fur coat. We even get Dana Carvey as Paul McCartney. SNL has changed a lot over the years, but I don’t think we’ll ever see another moment like Carl Sagan and Dean Martin singing an ultra-scientific song about climate change.

Tina Fey joins Michael Che onstage to perform in front of an audience consisting of Paul Rudd, Kenan Thompson and Tom Hanks. Colin isn’t there, but Tina says, “It’s not what you think; he gets work done.” This is actually pretty cool. Rather than just trying to do an outright “Weekend Update” without a set or images, Tina and Michael make their way through a ton of jokes straight to the camera. “German police have broken up a plot by anti-vaxxers to kill a local official over vaccine mandates. It’s a classic conflict between Germany’s two favorite things: violence and rules.” I also love watching Tina hand out the COVID vaccine one year anniversary joke. “I messed up again!” It’s just extremely intimate in a way SNL can deliver, and in the midst of a difficult situation, Tina, Michael, Kenan, Paul and Tom give us a good time.

In our latest new sketch of the evening, Paul Rudd is a client behind Kyle Mooney as a little boy buying his mom Christmas stockings. Paul soon keeps the line up by asking Kyle way too many questions about his bird blowing away. Aidy as the mother eventually joins the song to say that Kyle’s bird, TJ Rocks, has started a band. Charli XCX eventually appears on the show as the talking bird. I hope they can get her back to perform later this season.

Paul Rudd said it best in his closing remarks: “I know it wasn’t the show you expected, but that’s the beauty of this place. Like life, it is unpredictable.” SNL doesn’t just work hard to make us laugh every week; it is a cultural mirror. You can watch every episode from the past nearly 50 years and know exactly what happened in the world that week. This week, it was the Omicron variant that wrecked their highly anticipated Christmas show, just as it threw a wrench into our lives. But like SNL, we all try to keep going and make the best of it. The effort was admirable and my thoughts are with the cast and crew as I wish a speedy recovery. Five stars. See you next year.

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