The final new “Saturday Night Live” episode of 2016 aired this weekend hosted by “Manchester by the Sea” star Casey Affleck with musical guest Chance the Rapper. Check out our full recap below.
WARNING: Complete spoilers for the entire episode ahead
Trump Christmas Cold Open
Alec Baldwin returned to play President-elect Trump once again. This time he was joined by special guest John Goodman playing Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson, who showed up after a shirtless Vladmir Putin (Beck Bennett) slid down the chimney Santa-style and gifted Trump an Elf on the Shelf that was clearly embedded with a surveillance camera. We can’t wait to see what “SNL” does with Trump’s inauguration next month.
Casey Affleck Christmas Monologue
Baldwin and Goodman also made cameos during Affleck’s monologue, which seemed a bit scattered all around. Affleck joked about how depressing his new movie “Manchester by the Sea” is and did a couple of song fakeouts before welcoming Black Santa to the stage for…well…we don’t know why. This monologue almost felt like something the writers put together at the last second when something more elaborate fell through.
Tonight’s commercial parody was Boston born and bred, featuring Casey Affleck as a faithful Bostonian local who lives for his Dunkies. We hope this sketch was as funny to the rest of the country as it was to those of us who spent our formative years in Beantown.
Fred Armisen guest starred in this sketch featuring Beck Bennett as a robot at the 2016 Microsoft Tech Expo. Oh, and he’s a gay robot. And he likes talking about sex with men. And how their bodies look. Casey Affleck played an audience member who questioned why the robot’s sexuality was such an important part of its identity, and then Affleck gets labeled as a homophobe.
Kenan Thompson and musical guest Chance the Rapper delivered a brilliant farewell to President Barack Obama with this music video “Jingle Ba-rack” which included Casey Affleck as a breakdancing Jesus. Among other things, the duo encouraged us all to injure ourselves while Obamacare is still in effect and exchange the very dope gift of legal weed this holiday season. A new classic “SNL” Christmas sketch is officially born.
Remember last year’s epic “Close Encounters” sketch about alien abductees including a chain smoking Kate McKinnon who had a less than spiritual experience with her kidnappers? She and her fellow “regular Americans” were back to discuss what it was like to come face to face with the real Santa Claus. Actually, Cecily Strong and Casey Affleck got to meet Santa and McKinnon was swept away by a terrifying mythical creature named Krinklemouse.
Chance the Rapper Performs “Finish Line/Drown”
We thought Chance nailed his performance, but we were also mesmerized by the utter festiveness of his bright red woolly overalls, so we’ll just let you decide.
Colin Jost and Michael Che clearly consider a Donald Trump Presidency to be a true holiday gift from the universe, as they continued to rip the soon-to-be Commander in Chief at every turn. Our favorite joke came when Jost announced that Trump had just appointed Kanye West to be Secretary of Humbleness.
Update Guests: Vladimir Putin’s Best Friends from Growing Up
Yes yes yes yes YES. We absolutely adore Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armisen’s “best friend” characters who praise their childhood buddies in one breath and then quietly gossip about them in the next. This time they were praising their longtime friend Vladimir Putin and then whispering about how cheap he was at his Christmas party this year.
New York Now
This talk show segment featured a spotlight on a local Christmas pageant called “Silent Night, Hilarious Night”—a retelling of the birth of Jesus jam-packed with super corny puns and prop comedy gags. We’ll admit that we did chuckle a few times during this sketch, but it also seemed like a way for the writers to just get away with writing really terrible Christmas jokes.
This takeoff on “Love, Actually” starred Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, begging one of the electoral college voters to cast her ballot for literally anyone except Donald Trump by showing up at her door and flashing her a series of posterboard messages. It was funny, actually.
Chance the Rapper Performs “Same Drugs”
For his second song, Chance the Rapper dazzled us with a tender and emotional piano performance. He was so relaxed and poised it made us forget the incredible pressure he was under to perform live for a few million people. Well done.
Mrs. Claus and the Elves
Mrs. Claus (Aidy Bryant) had to put up with some seriously naughty little elves (Kenan Thompson, Casey Affleck and Vanessa Bayer) who wanted to be sexually punished for forgetting to put her Christmas quiche in the oven. We hope these aren’t the same elves that put together our kids’ toys this year because we’re a little creeped out.
The last sketch of the night was about some very nice, fairly passive guys who got into a knife fight over Vanessa Bayer at a bar. The rest of the patrons proceeded to adopt their self-deprecating tone while they broke up the fight, called 911, and then treated Casey Affleck for his injuries. This was an attempt at a group character sketch that didn’t quite hit the mark, but hey—it’s the holidays—we still love these people and would have them over for eggnog.