Saturday Night Live: Dan Levy & Phoebe Bridgers February 6, 2021

Saturday Night Live: Dan Levy & Phoebe Bridgers February 6, 2021
Overcoming some early technical issues, Saturday Night Live bounced back thanks to spirited work by host Dan Levy and musical guest Phoebe Bridgers. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.

The cold open
An NFL Today broadcast opened up the Super Bowl LV broadcast, which began with a series of directorial and staging miscues, momentarily distracting us from how inside-joke-y this might be for non-NFL viewers. The first big laughs were drawn from a "progressive" ad for Cheez-Its and a "conservative" one for Papa John's Pizza. After a few more ads, the multi-dude panel interviewed the Chiefs and Buccaneers' coaches, both played by Aidy Bryant, which was a bit amusing but this generally seemed hastily thrown together and barely got up the field.
The monologue
Dan Levy hit the stage to ravenous applause, because people really love Schitt's Creek. He recounted the good and bad aspects of the past 12 months, which included some funny anecdotes. He then took us on a classic SNL studio walk around. Aidy Bryant played Doreen, an SNL safety manager, who obstructed Levy at every turn, often attacking him with a six-foot long pool noodle. Everything moved along in a rather stilted manner, eliciting silence from the audience, until Dan's father, Eugene Levy, appeared, suggesting he had just arrived after a flight from Los Angeles and was thus in quarantine. Seeing the elder Levy salvaged this monologue, which, in spite of Dan Levy's gusto, felt clumsy and awkward.
Universal Studios Tram Tour

Levy played Thoby, an over-caffeinated Universal Studios tour guide-in-training that says whatever he thinks, which isn't always the best for all involved. Thoby presented a disturbing theory about Back to the Future, said E.T. looked like a ball sack, and suggested Newman from Seinfeld was a good "softener." As unscripted Thoby, Levy was incredibly funny.

Presented as an adult-oriented singles ad, this rather ingenious remote satirized those in their late-30s who fetishize real estate listings. Super funny and fairly accurate based on conversations and Facebook posts these days.
Super Bowl Party

A group of five friends gathered together for a Super Bowl party and justified their decision by explaining how "responsible" they've been, in their daily activities leading up to the party. This farcical thing ended to reveal it was really a PSA led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, as played by Kate McKinnon, which made it somewhat admirable.
Lifting Our Voices

Kenan Thompson played the host of a Black History show, which delved into white allies. Punkie Johnson and Aidy Bryant played a student and her old high school teacher, respectively, which was awkward, followed by Chris Redd, who played an irritated friend to Levy, who played a tone deaf white man. Later, Ego Nwodim and Kyle Mooney played a married couple, and he sent up such a horrible douchebag, Nwodim could barely keep a straight face. The jokes here were that the white people were so clueless and entitled, they each exemplified those who "join" the Black struggle for all of the wrong reasons, which was a fair way for SNL to celebrate Black History Month.

Phoebe Bridgers

With her and her whole eight-piece band hilariously dressed in Halloween-style, skeleton onesies (which is something they often do), Phoebe Bridgers' witty and soaring indie-rock felt powerful in its songcraft and charming presentation, as she and her crew sailed through "Kyoto," like they were having a ball.

For the moodier, "I Know the End," Bridgers and her band made some compelling television, playing a song that kept building and building before a freak-out that led to Bridgers screaming and then trying like mad to smash her cool-looking Danelectro electric guitar over a stage monitor. Though the monitor won that battle, Phoebe Bridgers won the war.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost got in one of his good digs at Mitch McConnell's appearance, which was followed by a similar bit by Michael Che about Marjorie Taylor Greene. Jost got an applause break for introducing Trump as "former social media influencer" before begging him to testify at his senate trial. Che got in a great joke about Jeff Bezos resigning from his role at Amazon, and an even better one about Jost being a bad influence on racist country singer/recent SNL guest Morgan Wallen. Heidi Gardner and Mikey Day appeared at the desk as Janet Noonan and Loel Fitzroy, a pair of activists who spend time cancelling and doxxing children, whom they call pigs.
Following some more good headline jokes, TwinsthenewTrend, as played by Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd, appeared, which was a funny way of making fun of these reaction videos, where young people who have never heard of very old, once extremely popular things lose their minds over seeing them for the first time. Thompson and Redd were great in this, playing very exuberant people, and helped cap off a solid Update.
Football Songs

After a sports bar's TV broke down during the Super Bowl broadcast, two bartenders tried to keep their patrons entertained by singing them "football songs." Levy and Cecily Strong played the 'keeps and insisted that a song called "Hot Damn," was a gridiron classic. It soon become evident that this bar was near, or possibly even on, Broadway. Soon, all of the patrons were held in the song's sway, which made this unexpected musical pretty funny.

Carrie's Wedding

A wedding between Carrie and Mark, as played by Ego Nwodim and Mikey Day, was interrupted by objections from witnesses, played by Kate McKinnon and Levy. They didn't quite fully object but raise enough of a fuss to be disruptive. I dunno, this was aimless and random but everyone sold it with their performances, so it was still…something.
It Gets Better

The 2011 "It Gets Better" campaign was revisited, as a few people inspired by it, as young people, let us know that not everything actually gets better when you're an adult. Nice, funny performances by Bowen Yang, Kate McKinnon, Punkie Johnson, Levy, and an iguana made this remote work well.