SNL's second episode of its 42nd season featured the usual wealth of hot takes on current politics—but it also took shots at Netflix mega-hit Stranger Things and those who are still wishy-washy about their vote.
In the "Weekend Update" segment the dim-witted undecided voters were Philly housewives played by none other than former cast members Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon. Yes, we got to see Fallon lose it a little, because that's what Jimmy Fallon does.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the original star and creator of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton, made for a solid host. It was fun to see a nimble stage performer so easily slip into the Saturday Night Live "seat of the pants" style. Miranda was actually almost too good at his job—he seemed to blend in with the regular players as if he'd been doing the show for a few seasons. His opening monologue highlighted both his formidable skills as a rapper and his comedy chops.
An obvious plot hole from the first season of Stranger Things was exploited for laughs in a segment supposedly featuring a clip from season 2 of the Netflix series. Leslie Jones and Keenan Thompson played the previously unseen parents of "Lucas," the African American member of the group of kids who star in the show. Jones's turn as his mom proved there was one adult unintimidated by 11's (Kate McKinnon) telekinetic powers.
SNL isn't afraid to tackle weirdly niche comedy subjects, and the "Crucible Cast Party" digital short was a wickedly funny example of that. The segment of the venerable sketch show's audience that once eagerly plowed through high school theater productions just to get to the "epic" cast party after is undoubtedly tiny. Most of us, however, can relate to the ridiculous awkwardness that can come with being a teenager who doesn't actually know how to party yet.
With the elections just a month away, there's no way to get out of any episode of SNL without plenty of topical, political comedy. The cold open with Alec Baldwin playing an "apple-getic" Donald Trump in a CNN interview was a funny exploration of just how bad an "open mic" moment could get. Baldwin once again nailed Trump's unique way of navigating any controversy as if it's just another day at the office.
This was a solid outing, but we're truly looking forward to the Oct. 15 airing of SNL, which will be hosted by Emily Blunt.