A mini-Office reunion (with Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms and Ellie Kemper) was one of the few highlights in an episode that began with yet another lackluster Laura Ingraham parody, then immediately followed the monologue with one of the weakest sketches of the night. Carell, however, was game for pretty much anything, including not one, but two sketches set in outer space, and some epic trolling at the expense of President Trump.
Lo and behold, my picks for best and worst sketches…
BEST: SPACE STATION BROADCAST
Carell was at his best as NASA captain Ed McGovern, whose livestream with grade school students was disrupted by an airlock breach in the bio lab, resulting in the death and disfiguration of several animals (R.I.P., Capooka!) and a poor, Russian cosmonaut named Svetlana.
BEST: MESSAGE FROM JEFF BEZOS
In this pre-taped skit, the Amazon CEO (played by Carell) responded to President Trump’s criticisms by doing everything in his power to overshadow and humiliate him. That included reminding POTUS that he’s 100x richer than him and introducing Amazon Caravan, a new delivery service exclusively for Trump-owned businesses that employs Honduran and Mexican immigrants. But best of all might have been the framed photo of Toad from Mario Kart.
This Thanksgiving-themed sketch was just weird enough to work. At first I thought the show was going for a Garth and Kat vibe, with Carell and Cecily Strong making up a ridiculous song on the spot. Instead it morphed into something much darker, as Strong’s criminal intentions were revealed.
HONORABLE MENTION: RBG RAP
Much like the Notorious RBG herself, Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a national treasure. That said, this digital short felt half-baked — as if everyone involved knew the audience would be amused by the very sight of McKinnon’s character and decided they didn’t have to work very hard for a laugh.
WORST: SPACE THANKSGIVING
The second holiday-themed skit straight-up bombed, as some intergalactic corn (yes, really) was revealed to be an extraterrestrial species held/eaten against its will. The entire cast — Carell included — could barely hold it together after Beck Bennett accidentally knocked over a prop at the 0:13 mark, which was the only real highlight here.
Carell played the clueless husband in one too many sketches last night. Even worse than “RV Life” (which Heidi Gardner tried her darnedest to make work) was this post-monologue segment, during which Carell woke his children to surprise them with a trip to Disney World, only for them to turn around and surprise him with some earth-shattering news regarding Mom.
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Watch all the highlights above, then grade Carell’s third hosting stint in our poll. (Next up: Claire Foy hosts on Saturday, Dec. 1.)