Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lopez & DaBaby December 7, 2019

Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lopez & DaBaby December 7, 2019
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A celebrity-loaded cold open and a woman twerking while doing handstands popped the most on a mostly good episode of Saturday Night Live, helmed by beauty icon Jennifer Lopez and rabid rapper DaBaby. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.
The cold open
 
In a star-studded open spoofing the recent NATO gathering where foreign leaders were caught on a hot mic making fun of President Trump, Jimmy Fallon played Justin Trudeau, Paul Rudd played Emmanuel Macron and James Corden played Boris Johnson, all gathered together in a cafeteria. When Alec Baldwin's Trump showed up, it was clear this was more like a clique-y high school lunchroom, where Kate McKinnon's Angela Merkel moved up in the hierarchy above Trump. In a clever twist, Cecily Strong reprised her Melania Trump to make a hypocritical anti-bullying "be best" spiel, while adding a quick jab at the Peloton ad that made the rounds this past week. Other than that last thing confusing future viewers, this felt like a good and timeless cold open.
The monologue
 
Wearing a tuxedo that uncharacteristically covered up her famous curves (a sure sign that it was all going to come off pretty soon), Jennifer Lopez strode down the main stage steps. She recounted her successful year, which included her 50th birthday, and then sang "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" backed up by the Rockettes before (yup) stripping out of her tux and into a version of her iconic barely-there Grammys dress. This wasn't for comedy fans, really, but as a big production number, it came off without a hitch.
Surprise Home Makeover
 
Kenan Thompson played a HGTV host rewarding a lucky couple with a surprise home makeover, and is perplexed to meet Matt and Jacqueline Schatt. Played by Mikey Day and Lopez, the pair seems odd to the HGTV host and his collaborators, as she is physically attractive and he is a Smurf nerd who, as Bowen Yang's character discovers, has an average-sized penis. As Matt Schatt, Day has done this bit before and, as it often is, this edition was really funny.
 
J Lo and Chad
 
After missing yet another a week or two of shows, Pete Davidson showed up in this remote, as his dim-witted and oblivious dude Chad who, in this case, played a roadie that Lopez found irresistible. While she poured her impassioned heart out about her strange fixation on him, Chad simply farted, burped and made dumb sex jokes about her, which is kind of his whole thing. If you've seen Chad before (as Alex Rodriguez, playing himself in a cameo, clearly had not), you're familiar with this shtick and it didn't stray from its one-note, "he's monosyllabic" premise and this edition was half-decent at best.
What Do You Figure Is Going on in That House?
 
In another sketch seemingly written by Lopez's mother maybe, her "gorgeous" physicality was celebrated yet again, as two sisters, played by Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, feud about who among them is most beautiful. They're hoping to impress a visiting corporal and so try to keep their other, "hotter" sister, played by Lopez, hidden or else put her in unflattering situations, but with each suggestion, they realize they're just making her more appealing. Despite this already tired attempt to create a hornstorm for J Lo, this was actually well done. Annoying, but well done.
Them Trumps
 
The premise of this recurring remote — what would things be like if Trump behaved like Trump but he and his family were all Black — is still funny, even if the execution of this round of Them Trumps fell short of being much more than filler. That Kenan Thompson's Darius Trump's fans only realized he was Black when he said so pushed this towards Chappelle's Show absurdity levels, but it simply wasn't that good.
 
DaBaby

There was a woman twerking while doing a handstand and the Jabbawockeez appeared to dance and vamp too. This was all during DaBaby's first song, "BOP," and kind of stole the show from the try-hard rapper, who had dancers and musicians backing him up to put the song across, but really succeeded in burning the spectacle of it all into our memories more than any wordplay did (his vintage Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets jersey was a cool hometown nod).
 
The same spirited attack for a TV performance occurred again during "Suge," which made these two of the most frenetically action-packed and theatrical musical performances on the show in recent memory, even if the power of the songs themselves was slight at best — Twitter is talking more about that handstanding twerking woman today than almost anything else about DaBaby's appearances.

Weekend Update
Colin Jost kicked off Update with a slew of impeachment-related jokes and at least one big dig on Catholicism, and it all got big laughs in the room. Michael Che made a funny joke about Trump's tariffs being based on cultural stereotypes, which preceded Jost making a harsh joke about Justin Trudeau's blackface controversy. Trump's toilet talk from the past week couldn't be avoided and Che made a joke about the president voiding himself. Kate McKinnon showed up to play Nancy Pelosi, as if she was starring in Sunset Boulevard, and had the House Speaker tearing into the president but, in an open prayer, also making some moral points.
Che laughed hard at his own XFL joke, which led the crowd to do the same, but Jost rescued the moment with a couple of solid jokes, including one about Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln commericials. Beck Bennett reprised his character, Jules, who sees things a little differently — a pretentious, new-age hipster who wants to be woke even if his brain is often asleep. Bennett's a wonder and, every so often he gets a chance to show off what a truly remarkable performer he is. Jules is no exception.
 
Hip-Hop Carolling
 
This may have had potential but it came off awkward in its execution. Lopez, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, and Pete Davidson played (late '90s/early 2000s) hip-hop carollers who butcher classic rap and R&B songs to distract residents (in this case, played by Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney and Alex Moffatt) while DaBaby robs them. The song rewrites weren't great, and their performances were plagued by some tech issues and Davidson breaking the whole time. Not good.
 
Hoops
 
Lopez and Melissa Villaseñor hosted an infomercial for a business specializing in giant hoop earrings. Playing cousins whose creepy uncle, portrayed by Alex Moffatt (who is entering Phil Hartman utility territory for his charismatic multi-faceted character acting in bit parts), started this dodgy business, Lopez and Villaseñor dug into this vaguely loving tribute to these bygone accessories, which were once, inexplicably, omnipresent. Not enough Jody Watley references to really put these hoops across, but at least it gave us our lone glimpse at Villaseñor for the night. PottyPM
 
Following a terrible fake ad idea, this one, helmed by Kyle Mooney and Lopez, was terrific. After pitching an apparatus that allows him to pee into his toilet in the middle of the night without leaving his bed, Mooney's character is confronted by Lopez's, who cheerily and without judgement wonders how this equipment might work for women. What ensued was a pretty brilliant bit of man-child idiocy by Mooney, and amusingly game patience by Lopez.
 
Cidiots
 
Lopez, Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon played small-town Wisconsin hardware store employees who try to school some tourists, played by Heidi Gardner and Alex Moffatt, about the danger of black bears. Added to the mix, Chloe Fineman played the employees' odd charge, who, Nell-like, seems to have been kept from the outside world. Full of camera miscues and poor floor direction, this excuse to do goofy Midwestern accents was a waste of time, energy and bits about bears.
 
Barry's Bootcamp
 
A now recurring sketch, Barry's Bootcamp auditions new trainers who are each stranger than the last. Bowen Yang garnered some laughs by evoking some of our most famous murderous athletes in his motivational banter, while Lopez did not fare as well with her lines. Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett and Heidi Gardner did a bit better getting laughs in this relatively solid closing sketch.