Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Top highlights from season 48 of ‘Saturday Night Live’

Fan favorite moments from the latest season
Courtesy of IMDb.

Season 48 of “Saturday Night Live” came to an end on April 15, with the “Ana de Armas” episode. With massive cast turnover from season 47, I was unsure how this season would pan out. Despite getting off to a rocky start, the season picked up several episodes in and has only gotten better.

From David S. Pumpkins’ glorious return to April Ludgate and Leslie Knope visiting the Update desk to Woody Harrelson and Jack White joining the coveted five-times club in the same episode, this season has been one to remember.

Here are some of my favorite moments from this season.


S48 E2: Brendan Gleeson; Willow [Oct. 8, 2022]

This season saw the addition of four new cast members: Marcello Hernandez, Michael Longfellow, Devon Walker and Molly Kearney. One of my favorite sketches from this season was “New Cast Advice,” which featured the new cast members sharing advice that they’d been given. Longfellow and Walker got nice advice from previous cast members and showrunner Lorne Michaels while Hernandez was told to stay at home and not appear on the show. Kearney, however, was given slightly different advice, leading them to question what their role on “SNL” would look like. This sketch was a great introduction to the new cast members and allowed each of their comedic styles to shine.

Another memorable sketch from this season came later in the Gleeson episode with the sketch “Eyes.” Though Sarah Sherman has only been on the show for two seasons, she has made a big splash. Sherman specializes in body horror comedy, something the show has never seen before. She has been able to successfully adapt her comedy for the show and has received great praise from “SNL” audiences. Though her humor is not for everyone, her massive success on the show is undeniable. In this sketch, the focus of Sherman’s comedy is googly eyes that sit atop her real eyes. Her co-workers watch in confusion as Sherman’s predicament spirals downward. Before Sherman, I had never seen anything like this sketch, but her talent continues to amaze me, and she has become one of my favorite current cast members.


S48 E3: Megan Thee Stallion [Oct. 15, 2022]

The segment “Please Don’t Destroy” has become one of my favorite parts of SNL. The group, featuring Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy, consistently produces hilarious content for the show. Whenever I see the words “a please don’t destroy video,” I know it’s going to be good. One of my favorites from this season was “Please Don’t Destroy- Wellness.” These boys know how to raise the stakes and this sketch is no exception. They perfectly capture society’s collective mental state at the tail end of a global pandemic. I see myself represented a little too much in this sketch.


S48 E9: Austin Butler; Lizzo [Dec. 17, 2022]

This episode was the most emotional of the entire season. With Cecily Strong’s departure, feelings were strong, and you could feel it in each sketch. Strong had been with the show since the beginning of its 38th season, making her the longest tenured female cast member.

My favorite sketch from this episode was Strong’s goodbye, “Blue Christmas.” Host Austin Butler serenaded Strong with Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” along with other cast members such as Kenan Thompson and Colin Jost. This grand goodbye was comparable to Kristen Wiig’s goodbye in 2012. It was more than most cast members get, but it was incredibly well deserved.

Much like the last episode of season 47, which saw the departure of Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson (cast members who defined my childhood), I have yet to be able to rewatch any of the sketches from this episode.


S48 E12: Pedro Pascal; Coldplay [Feb. 4, 2023]

With the departure of many prominent female cast members, there was space for new cast members to rise and Ego Nwodim certainly rose to the occasion. Her ability to play clueless and stubborn characters really shined through in one of my favorite sketches from this season, “Lisa from Temecula.” Nwodim played the title character Lisa who, you guessed it, is visiting from Temecula. After complaining about her steak not being cooked enough, she finally receives one cooked to her liking. Nwodim then proceeds to cut into the steak as intensely as possible, shaking the table and spilling everything around her. My favorite moment in this sketch comes when Bowen Yang completely breaks from Nwodim’s commitment to her character. This sketch will no doubt go down as one of the most iconic “SNL” sketches ever; Lisa has already become a recurring character.


S48 E14: Travis Kelce; Kelsea Ballerini [March 4, 2023]

“SNL” does not have many athletes host, and expectations are often low when they do. Audiences often expect to see them having fun rather than hosting well. Travis Kelce rose above expectations, especially considering he is not a professional actor. Though not my favorite episode of the season, the sketch “Family Meeting” was one of my favorite sketches from this season. Ego Nwodim and James Austin Johnson host a family meeting to share news with their children Chloe Fineman, Devon Walker and Marcello Hernandez. The news, however, is hard for them to tell their children, so they sing it. The children learn troubling news about their parents’ relationship and their kids’ college funds through a very catchy song. My favorite line from the sketch is Nwodim’s line after Johnson’s long guitar solo “The money’s all gone now!” Nwodim and Johnson’s commitment to their characters elevate the sketch and their deliveries make it even funnier.


S48 E16: Quinta Brunson; Lil Yachty [April 1, 2023]

Quinta Brunson’s week at “SNL” was one of the season’s best. She was like another familiar cast member. One of my favorite sketches was “Traffic Altercation.” I haven’t seen “SNL” do many sketches like this one. The sketch is heavily visual and relies on the physicality of Brunson and cast members Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman and Ego Nwodim – and they all deliver. Brunson and Day capture the frustration we often feel when we get stuck in traffic, and interjections from Nwodim and Fineman elicit huge laughs from audience members.


S48 E18: Ana de Armas; Karol G [April 15, 2023]

Once again, Please Don’t Destroy makes it on the list with their sketch “Please Don’t Destroy- Hangxiety.” Their distinct style of fast pans and zooms allow for fast paced sketches that continually raise the stakes. This sketch is about the anxiety that comes the night after a party, a feeling that many college students can relate to. The awkwardness of the three PDD members mixed with the absurdity of the scenarios they found themselves in made for one of their best sketches of the season.

There was another episode of “SNL” scheduled for May 6 to be hosted by Pete Davidson, but due to the Writers Guild of America strike, the show will be halting production and airing reruns until further notice. Kieran Culkin and Jennifer Coolidge were scheduled to host the final two episodes of the season.

It is extremely important to support the writers during this strike. Their demands are completely reasonable and they do so much important work. Though you don’t always see them on screen, everything you have watched was written by someone. Without the writers of “SNL,” none of these amazing sketches would have been created. “SNL” runs like a well-oiled machine, and the writers put in incredible effort to make sure the show happens, writing up to the wire every single week.

Asha Baron can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ashajbaron.

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