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Tina Fey and Candice Bergen welcome Emma Stone to “SNL” Five-Timers Club

And Grammy nominee Noah Kahan performs.

Why hello there Conehead nation – welcome back for a spellbinding edition of SNL in Review! Our favorite show has returned after the Thanksgiving break for a three-episode stretch to close out 2023, and up first is Emma Stone, who is poised to become the latest member of the Five-Timers Club.

Stone is starring both in the Nathan Fielder show The Curse on Showtime and the Oscar contender Poor Things. (The latest from Yorgos Lanthimos appears to be the awards-friendly equivalent to Frankenstein, as Shape of Water was for Creature from the Black Lagoon.) She is also married to Dave McCary, who served as a segment director for the show and was a member of the sketch comedy group Good Neighbor.

<p>Will Heath/NBC via Getty</p> Tina Fey and Candice Bergen welcome Emma Stone to 'SNL' Five-Timers Club

Will Heath/NBC via Getty

Tina Fey and Candice Bergen welcome Emma Stone to 'SNL' Five-Timers Club

Former SNL cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, whose movie Shelter in Shelter is out on streaming on December 14, said: “I think Emma Stone is fantastic. I first saw her in The Help. She deserves to be a five-timer!” Truth, and Stone already has some gems behind her, including my personal favorite, “Wells for Boys” by Julio Torres. (Her line delivery of “That's because it's not for you. Because you have everything. Everything is for you. And this one thing is for him” remains powerful, iconic and hilarious.)

Here we go — tonight’s musical guest is Noah Kahan. Scroll below for more… and click whatever you want! I am but a humble servant.

Cold Open

CNN is on, and Sarah Sherman is playing Wolf Blitzer. If he takes his glasses off, he’s beautiful. Previously the Situation Room anchor has been played by Mark McKinney, Chris Parnell, Darrell Hammond, Jason Sudeikis, and Jon Rudnitsky.

Naturally, they cut to George Santos’ press conference. He’s been expelled from Congress, so this could be Bowen Yang’s last opportunity to vamp (in this capacity). Plenty of silly hyperbole and random assertions from Santos — standard angle, he’s holding court in front of reporters, played by other cast members. “To hell with Congress,” claims Santos, before he breaks out in song. It’s a Candle in the Wind spoof, not “Hallelujah” (shout out Kate Mckinnon). He lived his life like an “evil Forrest Gump.”

Yang actually channels Elton nicely; the song is well-done, and clearly the show loves the ridiculous Santos. But your enjoyment of this will depend on how much you like Yang’s performance style.

Monologue

Lorne cameo alert! If nothing else, we should all appreciate Lorne’s brief appearance here.

Next appearance: Tina Fey! Candice Bergen! She started the women section of the Five-Timers club. They welcome Stone to the show’s “HERstory,” as the club’s youngest member; she gets her jacket. Well, someone’s jacket. As predictable as this was, always love seeing Fey and Bergen here – this monologue is comfort food vibes. (Complete with references to 30 Rock and Mean Girls.)

As Emma notes, she has a close relationship with the show and seems genuinely moved here.

"Question Quest"

Stone, Heidi Gardner, and Punkie Johnson are contestants on a game show. One of the prizes? A tortoise named Speedie that the host (Michael Longfellow) once owned. It seems his father cursed him with Speedie when he was six – giving the tortoise away liberated him forever, giving him a new lease on life. (Wow, I did not know that Charles Darwin's giant tortoise, known as Harriet, was owned by “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin.)

Nice to see Longfellow in this role – not exactly dominant mastermind Hader vibes. Not yet any way.

Fully Naked in New York

Bowen Yang is singing for the second time in 20 minutes, folks! He is close to giving up. Emma Stone is also feeling down. The only thing that assures them? Being naked on a garbage truck.

The song itself is pretty good! I like the instrumental/production and lyrics. Chloe Troast and Marcello Hernandez are fully naked at a construction site (well, it looks like the effects team missed a blurring of Troast!)

Pine River Lodge Tree Lighting

Kenan Thompson is singing at the annual holiday tree lighting. He needs Doan’s, cracking his back. The band is Charlie Darken (Yang) and Sheila Foods (Stone), who plays a rented trumpet. She’s lost all her morals after a night out. She gets a call – her ex Jerome has flooded their hotel room. Boots are ruined.

a please don't destroy video

AI technology has been used to help finish this video – corrupted shots of Emma Stone were replaced by a digitally distorted Punkie Johnson. John also gets Yassified! Martin and Punkie are the new Kyle Mooney and Leslie Jones!

What's in the kiln?

Where amateur potters shine! This feels like a vintage NPR/Delicious Dish-style segment. Chloe Fineman and Heidi Gardner do their best to channel Molly and Ana. Emma Stone pops up as a purportedly skilled guest.

“It never looks dirty because it never looks clean!” regarding a hideous homemade mug is pretty funny.

"Dial Drunk" by Noah Kahan

Siobhan Fallon Hogan's son Peter is a music supervisor and he shares: "I have been a big fan of Noah Kahan's, so great to see SNL giving him the exposure he deserves."

This is from the 2023 reloaded version of his third studio album, Stick Season. It's been a duet with Post Malone also. It definitely has a Counting Crows or Mumford & Sons vibe. “I’ll die for you SNL — or at least seriously injure myself!” he says during the performance.

Weekend Update

More George Santos humor! Other topics: Elon Musk, Rosalynn Carter, and “Orange Jesus."

An old-fashioned cigarette (Longfellow) appears to comment on vaping. He thinks it’s pretty dorky! Australia is trying to ban it. “Smoking makes you skinny and popular,” he winks into the camera. Cool people who smoke: Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Ron Jeremy. Vape fans? Hitler! Pretty funny commentary!

Another quickish Update, no?

Mama Cass

Los Angeles, 1969. Mama Cass is recording a song (“Make Your Own Kind of Music” ) when Midge comes on to say it’s a hit! Especially the kind of song that movies will use in a few decades to capture a certain sound. Stone gets to call out her own Zombieland role — essentially, her character riffs on the various ways '60s music gets repurposed in violent scenes. A slowed down version of the song will be used in the pretentious HBO imagining of Joan of Arc.

Really funny — Stone kills it, a tour-de-force performance. And Chloe Troast is great as Mama. Fun ending too. This one works.

"Stick Season" by Noah Kahan

"Stick Season" was the lead single from his album last year. Kahan wrote the song himself and co-produced it with Gabe Simon. Earlier this year, this ode to his home state of Vermont, and enjoying New England in the fall, went viral on TikTok.

Posters

Marcello falls asleep studying physics at his desk. His posters come alive to encourage him about the value of physics in real life: Mikey Day appears as David Beckham (Though the jokes about him not looking or sounding like the soccer star are appreciated). “Physics are everywhere,” says Ego Nwodim.

They’ve done this one a few times, or at least when Emma hosted in 2020 – pretty bad.

Olay commercial spoof

Diet Coke by Olay! Was this padding/placeholder? Feels inserted in, like the show was running short.

It is a little curious seeing Chloe Fineman and Ego Nwodim in this kind of parody these days – I think they both have paid product partnerships.

Final thoughts

  • What did you think? Vote here please!

  • Want more from me? To hear my voice? I recently guested on the top-notch SNL retrospective podcast, the Not Ready for Primetime podcast: the Early Years of SNL, to reflect on Jodie Foster’s season 2 hosting gig. It’s a fascinating time capsule, particularly since she is back now and so great in Nyad (which I just watched on Netflix). Check it out!

  • Thank you Siobhan Fallon Hogan! Remember to stream Shelter in Solitude later this month!

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