Amy Schumer finally took her turn as the host of Saturday Night Live and, as typical of the show, it was uneven, but Schumer worked hard to get laughs. The sketches proper were a bit weak, but Schumer’s opening monologue, a fake ad for guns, and the cold open, a Fox and Friends parody that included the Planned Parenthood videos, were the show’s strongest moments.
The cold open had some funny-because-it’s-true moments. “Did you know that they’re selling baby parts on Snapchat?” Vanessa Bayer’s outraged Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked. Kate McKinnon also appeared in the cold open as DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who warns the GOP to stay away from women’s health care: “We’re organized, we’re pissed and we’re all looking for a Pap smear.”
Schumer didn’t appear in the cold open, but it was a nice prologue to her monologue. Her monologue (full video above) was typical Schumer, a series of self-depreciating jokes that took broader aim at the expectations of women in the entertainment industry. “We have to be a role model for these little girls, because who do they have?” Schumer rhetorically asked in the monologue. “All they have, literally, is the Kardashians. [They don’t have a] Malala poster hanging in her room. Is that a great message for little girls? A whole family who take the faces they were born with as a light suggestion?”
In the fake “Guns” ad, SNL parodied the gun lobby, inserting firearms into ostensibly tender life events, from engagement to the birth of a child. “They unite us, comfort us, bring us strength,” said the voice over. “Guns: we’re here to stay.” It was likely the best writing of the episode, especially compared to other sketches that weren’t quite ready for television (see, for example, the Delta sketch). There were other moments that had potential—like “Porn Teacher”—and Schumer worked hard to make them funny, but most of the sketches seemed to fall a bit flat.