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“Saturday Night Live” Total Recap: Benedict Cumberbatch and Solange

November 6th, 2016 by Liz Brown


WARNING: Complete spoilers for the entire episode ahead

Saturday Night Live” returned live November 5 with first-time host Benedict Cumberbatch and musical guest Solange. Promoting his new movie “Doctor Strange,” Cumberbatch wasn’t afraid to take on some very strange roles and poke fun at his own dreamboat image. The episode also featured some world champion guest stars and surprise appearances from two major SNL alums.

The show opened with one last showdown between Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression and Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton impression before Tuesday’s election. It started out as a roast of the media outlets who seem steadfastly determined to focus on the Hillary Clinton’s emails no matter what Donald Trump does. Baldwin smooched an FBI agent, a shirtless Vladimir Putin, and a KKK member, but the reporter grilling the two candidates just looked the other way.

Then, in a delightful fantasy montage, the two candidates buried the hatchet, joined hands and ran dizzily into Times Square to spread the love in an election that’s been pretty hate-filled. The cold open ended with Baldwin and McKinnon encouraging the audience to go out and vote. While they didn’t officially endorse a candidate, McKinnon did say it was time for Americans to “choose what kind of country we want to live in.”

For Cumberbatch’s monologue, the writers whipped out yet another musical number. Four of the female SNL cast members, led by a very sultry Leslie Jones, danced behind Cumberbatch in glittery dresses while he sang about his slightly creepy weird obsessive lady-fan following. As far as musical talent goes, Cumberbatch probably won’t be snagging a run in “Hamilton,” but we have a feeling the CumberBabes won’t care.

The commercial parody of the night was “The Koohl Toilet.” It’s a toilet that you sit on backwards with your arms casually draped over the tank. You know…COOLLY?

The game show parody of the night featured Beck Bennett, Vanessa Bayer, Aidy Bryant and Benedict Cumberbatch as themselves. This one was for every guy who’s ever been irritated when their partner started swooning over Cumberbatch’s looks and featured Bennett desperately attempting to prove that he was equally as, if not more hot than, da Batch. The best part came when Benedict himself said even he doesn’t get the attraction people have to him and compared his own looks to that of a hammerhead shark.

In tonight’s digital short, Cumberbatch played a closeted gay professor who couldn’t help but pour his heart out to a totes disinterested college sophomore bro, aptly played by Pete Davidson. Davidson’s one word responses to Cumberbatch’s soul baring monologues stole the show in this one.

It’s “Weekend at Bernie’s” meets “Bachelor Party” when an 83-year-old grandma (Aidy Bryant) dies of a heart attack when her gal pals throw her a surprise bachelorette party and no one realizes she’s dead. Male strippers played by Cumberbatch, Mikey Day and three Chicago Cubs players proceed to give her an up-close-and-personal exotic dance in spite of the fact that rigor mortis is setting in. This sketch probably won’t make a “Best of” compilation show, but we’re pretty sure we’ll never forget Cumberbatch and Day face-humping Aidy Bryant’s deceased cranium—and neither will she.

Then, it was time for Solange to take the stage with her first number “Cranes in the Sky.” We zoned out for a second at the beginning of the number just imaging how hard it’s got to be to step out on that stage with everyone comparing you to your older sister…Beyonce. Then we snapped back to attention, in part because of Solange’s gorgeous voice and, honestly, in part because we couldn’t take our eyes off of her mesmerizing headpiece. Well done, Solange.

This week’s fake newscast started with a run of pre-election jokes, but enough about that because:


Superstar “SNL” alum Dana Carvey showed up as his classic shame-loving 90s character to weigh in on the 2016 election. After a few smirks, raised eyebrows and a general castigation to the country for not putting Jesus on the ballot, she sang “What a Wonderful World” as a montage of disturbing photos from the election rolled by. Isn’t that special? Yes. It really is.

Dana Carvey wasn’t the only former cast member crashing the Update desk. A few moments later, co-hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost announced the winners of Update’s first ever “The Voice” competition and the top prize went to this week’s World Champion Chicago Cubs. Players Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, Dexter Fowler and former “Saturday Night Live” star and lifelong Cubs superfan Bill Murray delivered an unharmonious quarter version of “Go Cubs Go” in a rendition that was truly musically miserable but completely adorable and charming.

Here’s the rest of this week’s Weekend Update:


Cecily Strong brought back her delightfully weird British character Gemma for this sketch that sent her out on a date with Ricky Diamonds (Cumberbatch), a rock and roll magician who met Gemma when they were both getting breast implants. The sketch fell a little flat but we did enjoy seeing Cumberbatch rock a mullet wig.

This sketch offered Cumberbatch the chance to play the fast-talking, riddle-spewing, mayhem-threatening supervillain archetype who gives the good guys 60 seconds to disable a bomb or be blown to smithereens. Then it shows us what happens during that awkward 60 seconds when said supervillain is waiting around with his friends to hear back from them.

Solange returned for her second song “Don’t Touch My Hair.” We absolutely promise we won’t, but we do plan on copying the choreography from this number and performing it at every holiday party we attend for the rest of the year.

The final sketch of the night features Cumberbatch as the assistant to a very wealthy benefactor by the name of Mr. Shaw. When two hospital fundraising representatives show up at Shaw’s mansion to ask for a donation, we learn that Mr. Shaw is actually a very large mannequin with a golden eagle head. Cumberbatch swears he’s real and talks to him with the utmost respect. Sketches where the main character is completely divorced from reality can go either way, and this one went South.

On November 12, SNL returns with host (gasp!) Dave Chappelle and musical guest (double gasp!) A Tribe Called Quest. We can’t wait.