Saturday Night Live Season Recap


Madison Rojas

The 46th season of Saturday Night Live ended May 22, 2021. Above is a mixed material collage made by Madison Rojas ‘23

“Comedy is subjective,” said every single comedian ever but, the statement does hold true. The fluidity of comedy is what makes comedy shows like, Saturday Night Live, so popular. Some SNL years, the writing and cast are perfect, while others are forgettable. This season, the late-night comedy sketch show’s 46th, was perfectly… decent. Considering the circumstances of the show (a literal global pandemic), it did pretty well. The sketches and jokes weren’t all knee-slappers, but each cast member brought their own unique sense of humor and different characters.



As a huge comedy nerd (okay “huge” is an exaggeration but, Lorne Michaels, if you are reading this, please hire me) I spent most of my Saturdays sitting on my couch watching SNL with my family, and sometimes by myself when no one in my family cared about the host or musical guest. Personally, I had some complaints about this season of SNL — the writing could be improved — but overall, I really did enjoy the show. 

My favorite episode was hosted by actress Carey Mulligan. Mulligan’s commitment to the sketches was impressive, packing the episode with some of the best sketches of the season and some great Weekend Update bits. Mulligan’s “IBS Medicine Ad” (Mulligan plays a mother with IBS who has an explosive “accident” in the bathroom of her child’s school recital), “What’s Wrong with This Picture” (a classic SNL game-show sketch in which contestants struggle to figure out what is wrong with a picture), “Lesbian Period Drama” (a mock-trailer for an imaginary period drama about two closeted lesbians), and my personal favorite sketch of the entire season, “Study Buddy,” were all standouts.

Picture this, Kate McKinnon, who is dressed like your twelve year old little brother, plays a geeky middle school boy named Josh who desperately tries to woo his crush (played by Mulligan) while calling his best friend Jason (played by cast member Aidy Bryant, who is also wearing middle school boy attire) to ask him for advice. McKinnon’s talent for impressions does not go to waste in this hilariously adorable sketch as she perfectly captures the “accent” of a pre-teen boy. Both Mulligan and McKinnon embrace the awkwardness of middle school romance and Bryant’s “sauve” dating advice makes for a good laugh. The sketch may not have had the funniest jokes of the season, but “Study Buddy” made me smile. 

Another crucial aspect to the success of an SNL episode is Weekend Update. This season, my favorite Weekend Update segments included Bowen Yang’s “Iceberg from Titanic”, Kyle Mooney’s recurring “Baby Yoda”, and Andrew Dismukes discussing his great grandmother. Bowen Yang consistently brought his A-game and in “Iceberg from Titanic” he plays the iceberg that sank the Titanic who has just released an album.  Yang flawlessly worked in lots of comedy material, including an original “song”, to this sardonic bit mocking the “cancel culture” of today. 

After “The Mandalorian” craze on social media, Kyle Mooney brought to life his own version of the character “Baby Yoda” on Weekend Updates. Mooney turned the cute Baby Yoda into pure nightmare fuel and honestly, it was hilarious. 

Finally, Andrew Dismukes stole the show on May 15th with his stand-up-like stories of Texas and his great grandmother whom his family called “Old Mawmaw.” Dismukes channels John Mulaney and Pete Davidison in his recent Weekend Update appearance proving that he is a talented comedian. Hopefully, Dismukes will make more appearances next season. 

To continue my Andrew Dismukes train of thought, my favorite new cast member of this past season was by far Andrew Dismukes. Dismukes, who some compare to a young John Mulaney, was a writer on SNL for three years before becoming a featured cast member. His awkwardness completed the characters he played and I look forward to seeing what Dismukes will bring to the SNL writers’ table. 

After days of pondering, I finally decided that Kate McKinnon was my favorite overall cast member of the year. A girlboss and talented comedian, McKinnon consistently improved each sketch she was in. Her wacky characters and impressions make McKinnon a value to the SNL cast and I always enjoy watching her on screen. 



As an avid fan of sketch comedy, I love to watch SNL almost every Saturday. Overall, I think that this season of SNL was pretty good but I think that more of the cast needs to be included in the sketches. Cast members such as Punkie Johnson or Andrew Dismukes were notably absent in many sketches this season. My favorite new cast member was Andrew Dismukes because his awkward characters always make me laugh. The sketches that Dismukes wrote with fellow cast members Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney were also really funny, they had me laughing my head off. 

My overall favorite cast member was Aidy Bryant. At the beginning of the season, Aidy Bryant wasn’t on the because she was filming her show Shrill for Hulu. The show was not the same without Bryant’s fun characters. 

My favorite was the Regina King episode which had some of the funniest sketches this season. Sketches like “Gorilla Glue” (mocking the TikTok famous “Gorilla Glue Girl”), “The Negotiators” (A police negotiator accidently gets high after eating weed gummy bears and Pete Davidson plays a giant gummy bear hallucination), and “Birthday Gifts” (Aidy Bryant plays a woman who is gifted with numerous insultingly accurate home decor signs for her birthday) made me laugh my pants off, literally, my pants fell off because I was laughing so hard. Overall this season, my favorite sketch was Birthday Gifts with Aidy Bryant. This sketch perfectly matched my own humor and I was laughing the whole time. 

Weekend Update is either extremely funny or painfully awkward. You can quote me on that. Andrew Dismukes on Weekend Update was one of my favorite bits because I loved how he was partially making fun of himself while poking fun at his “Old Mawmaw” (aka great grandmother). I also enjoyed Bowen Yang’s iceberg from Titanic bit. His costume was really detailed and I think the overall concept was pretty hilarious. I was laughing my socks off. 

Hopefully next season will bring more laughs and new fun cast members. It will be interesting to see who leaves the show after this year and what they will continue to do in the future. This season also brought some great musical guests like The Strokes, Phoebe Bridgers, and Olivia Rodrigo. In the fall, we would love to see more girlboss hosts like Aubrey Plaza, Taylor Swift (she can do double duty, host and musical guest), and Amy Poehler. Also, SNL if you’re reading this, please give us more Andrew Dismukes content. 


Callie and Madison