Welcome back, dearest Coneheads, to SNL in Review: 2020 edition. It’s a new year, and a new decade. Well, in the latest nod towards history, technically this is the kickstart of Saturday Night Live’s sixth decade in existence! And who better to marshall in this new era than one of the most exciting actors right now, returning host Adam Driver.
Recently, Driver received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his work in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, costarring another frequent SNL host (and Colin Jost fiance) Scarlett Johannson. He also wrapped up his tour of duty in a big-budget tentpole franchise, with the release of the final Skywalker Star Wars last month. (Though, candidly, the poorly received The Rise of Skywalker — despite being released a little over 30 days ago — feels like it came out so long ago. The world has moved on, despite Driver being great as Kylo Ren.)
Driver has already appeared in (at least!) two classic sketches during his previous stints on the show: “Star Wars Undercover Boss” and his role as grizzled oil tycoon Abraham H. Parnassus in “Career Day” during Season 44’s season premiere. Let’s see what our capable comedy overlords — and dedicated writing staff — give him tonight!
I am joined tonight by former SNL alum, and pioneering FaceSwap comedian, Jeff Richards. Jeff claims to have enjoyed Rise of Skywalker more than most: “Easily the best Star Wars yet. Loved the stars in this one. Super bright, nighttime-like. Adam Driver displayed awesome emotion throughout. Caitlyn Jenner was extraordinary.”
Live from [wherever you watching, ya’ll], let’s get into it!
And we jump right in – cue applause – to SNL’s glimpse at the impeachment hearings. Beck Bennett is the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Cecily Strong’s Susan Collins returns.
“Jealous?” hisses Jon Lovitz, cameoing as Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz. (If you had an SNL alum popping up in the cold open on your bingo card, hats off to you! Shot!) Dershowitz is summoned to Hell, where Kate McKinnon’s podcast host Devil is a major fan. “I used to let nobodies into Hell, now it’s just influencers!” I like the goofy setting pivot. Lovitz is a legend – outside SNL40, I think his last appearance on the show came in 2011, during Dana Carvey’s monologue. (Fact check: their cast was the best.) People don’t give him enough credit — like Eddie Murphy, Lovitz was a singular talent on the show as it was facing cancellation. His brand of characters kept SNL afloat as it entered a second Golden Age — props.