Last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live was one of the best of the season, which is no surprise considering John Mulaney was the host. Mulaney cut his teeth as a writer on SNL for five years, working closely with folks like Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis during his tenure and co-creating the character of Stefon. After SNL, Mulaney has found great success in stand-up, so his hosting duties last night were a really touching “coming home” of sorts for the hilarious performer.
The episode was so good that even the politically tinged cold open was solid—which is saying something. Recently these cold opens have gotten somewhat staid and predictable, but last night’s brought out special guests Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro for a very funny Meet the Parents reunion. The open begins with Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions and Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence discussing the latest developments in “Stupid Watergate,” when Stiller arrives as Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Stiller actually gives a genuinely terrific performance here as Cohen, who is swiftly led into a room with a lie detector and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, played by De Niro. Even De Niro is on point here, and it’s clear the two actors are having a lot of fun. While the Meet the Parents references get a little too transparent at times (we didn’t exactly need them to repeat dialogue from the comedy in order to get the joke), it’s still a lot of fun to see these two together again.
You can check out the cold open as well as a couple of other standout sketches below, including Mulaney swell intro and an absolutely insane sketch involving a singing diner lobster and Les Miserables that Mulaney first wrote with Colin Jost back in 2010.