X

'Saturday Night Live' and Jack Harlow: 5 Most Memorable Sketches

Metacritic selects the five most memorable sketches of Jack Harlow's 'Saturday Night Live' episode.

Danielle Turchiano
nup-199663-00002

Cecily Strong and Jack Harlow in Studio 8H

NBC

After a week's hiatus, Saturday Night Live returned on Oct. 29 with the second host and musical guest pulling double duty of the season: Jack Harlow. It was also the Halloween episode for the year and the return of series cast member Cecily Strong who had to sit out the first few episodes of the season due to conflicts with her theater performances in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.

Harlow used his monologue to plug recent work, from his second album to shooting his first film (the White Men Can't Jump reboot), but also to call out how the internet roasts him and address some rumors about himself. His first example for the former was how people say he's the GOAT — "that one from Narnia," but also said he has been described as, "if you tried to draw Justin Timberlake from memory." And when it came to the latter, he covered everything from people "accusing me of being white" to "trying to romantically link me and Lil Nas X."

"I'm going to tell you right now: Everything that happened between us was casual and consensual and one of the best nights of my entire life," he said, only to clarify, "working with him."

When it was time to take the Studio 8H stage for his musical performances, Harlow sang a medley of "Lil Secret" and "First Class" and then "State Fair" from that aforementioned second album, Come Home the Kids Miss You.

See below for the most memorable sketches from Harlow's episode.


PBS NewsHour cold open

Kenan Thompson finally got a chance to play Herschel Walker on SNL, weeks after fans of him and the show were calling for that to happen. In the Oct. 29 cold open sketch, he appeared on a fictional version of PBS NewsHour alongside Mikey Day as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Strong as Kari Lake, three Republican candidates who have surged in pre-election polls in recent days. The three were on to discuss and defend why they are rising in popularity.

While a lot of the real-life candidates' lives, comments, and achievements were covered, the answer might have been summed up best at the start of the sketch when Thompson-as-Walker said, "The whole world is a mystery, ain't it?" 


Skechers ad

Taking aim at the real event of Ye, fka Kanye West, randomly showing up at the Skechers' corporate office in Los Angeles, SNL delivered a fictional commercial for the shoe company that began with Strong saying the company takes pride in two things: "making stylish, comfortable shoes" and rejecting anti-Semitism. While the sketch featured the facts of the company declining to work with him and escorting him out of the building, it also boasted about the fact that "out of all of the companies he could have been rejected by, he chose Skechers" and then parodied how "hip" the company is and what "heroes" the employees are.

"Two years ago, could you have imagined that line: 'Skechers, too good for Kanye'?" Bowen Yang said with a laugh.

"It took Adidas days to decide not to work with him. He walked in and we were like, 'Bye!'" Strong added. "I'm proud to work for Skechers. When was the last time I said that?"

But if you're still a Ye fan, don't worry, the sketch ended with a company who would work with the controversial rapper: MyPillow.


Democratic candidate scary movie ad

SNL may tend to lean more toward parodying right-wing politics, but it doesn't completely let Democrats off the hook, and this episode took a stab at whether the idea that Joe Biden running for re-election in two years is the most terrifying thing to come — or if any of the other potential candidates are. (The real horror, obviously, was that there is not one perfectly strong candidate.)

In a trailer for a scary movie titled 2020 Part 2: 2024, characters wondered if Biden could beat the Republican candidate, did some fast math on how old he will be during the election, and debated why they are worried when he has done so much, including student debt relief. When they relalized he might only be saying he's going to run in order to present a united front for the party, they cycled through other possibilities — with each one drawing more fear and outrage — before Bernie Sanders' name appeared in blood on the wall and a seemingly-possessed Day brought up Hillary Clinton's name.


The return of Drunk Uncle

And yes, that means Bobby Moynihan took a seat at the "Weekend Update" desk once again, reprising his beloved recurring character to comment on Halloween — or, as he put it, "You can't even call it All Hallow's Eve anymore, you've got to call it All Hallow's Steve." And with that his starting comment, you can image it only got worse, with him rolling his eyes over everything from the metaverse to BeReal to TikTok, complaining about quiet quitting, and loudly exclaiming both, "Tom was too good for Giselle!" and "Yeah, I was there on Jan. 6!"

But the real twist came when he was ready to comment on Ye. "I think he might be crazy. You know, that kind of talk doesn't fly anymore," he said. "I learned a lot during the pan-Demi Moore, OK? I did the work."


The return of David S. Pumpkins

A new scary movie ride took characters through different cells where they encountered popular horror film characters from Michael Myers and Annabelle to Pennywise, but the real attraction was David S. Pumpkins (Tom Hanks). 

It wasn't a surprise to see Hanks reprise this character because the show had him pop in for a cameo in an AA meeting sketch earlier in the episode, during which Harlow's character was pitching a new Pixar movie about lost luggage. But the characters in this sketch, played by Harlow, Ego Nwodim, and Andrew Dismukes were not as impressed with David S. Pumpkins as the in-studio audience, especially when he popped up in multiple cells, had no connection to the skeletons who were just "next to him," and was only known from "before," not a classic horror movie. But gradually, a couple of them got into it. And when he popped out of the infamous Cell 666, they all actually got a scare.


Saturday Night Live airs live coast to coast at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT Saturdays on NBC.