January 30 will forever be a highlight for John Krasinski as it marks the day he made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut. Krasinski was originally supposed to host his first-ever SNL show all the way back in March 2020. This date was tied to the original release date for A Quiet Place Part II, which he wrote and directed. But, the release date delay of A Quiet Place Part II just a few weeks before Krasinski was set to host led to his SNL commitments gets pushed as well. Finally, The Office alum had the chance to tread the SNL boards at 30 Rock this past Saturday. We learned Krasinski was hosting earlier in the week, as is typical of SNL. We also learned Saturday’s musical guest would be Machine Gun Kelly and that the next two scheduled hosts will be Regina King and Dan Levy, in that order.
As for the actual January 30 show, there was a lot of material available for the cast and Krasinski to cover. The attempted coup in Washington, D.C., the GameStop stock boom, the Subway tuna scandal, the inauguration, and Georgia going blue after electing Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof to the U.S. Senate were among the biggest topics that became punchlines. Krasinski seemed down to do a variety of sketches and happily jumped into tons of different characters. He was also happy to work in plenty of jokes about his time as Jim on The Office, including one that involved kissing Pete Davidson which we have no time to unpack; just watch for yourself.
Not all of the sketches were winners (I’m looking at you, “Subway Pitch”), but when the right material came along, Krasinski absolutely won me over. Here are my picks for Krasinski’s best sketches of the night.
Opening Credits Songs
When it comes to jokes about Kransinki’s role on The Office, I’m going to choose his work in “Opening Credits Songs” every single time. This pre-recorded sketch is structured like a Now That’s What I Call Music commercial featuring previews of the various tracks. Those tracks are remixed opening credits songs sung by characters from each show. So, for The Mandalorian, we’ve got Baby Yoda (Kyle Mooney) rapping; for The Crown, we see Kate McKinnon-as-Gillian–Anderson-as-Margaret-Thatcher doing an overly breathy and brief song; for Bridgerton, Cecily Strong transforms into Julie Andrews to perform a swooning, operatic song. And, naturally, Krasinski appears to sing his own original take on The Office‘s iconic theme song, complete with his own lyrics and his own, uh, unique singing voice.
It was only a matter of time before the R-rated joke we’ve been making for years about a key Ratatouille plot point got turned into a full-length sketch. As you can see in the above clip image for this sketch, the big joke of “Ratatouille” is that a man (Krasinski) reveals that he is so good at sex thanks to the rat (Mooney) that is hidden by a ridiculous top hat and controls him by pulling different tufts of hair. Things get awkward quickly because this guy discloses his secret trick to the woman (Chloe Fineman) that he’s just slept with. I’m not sure what’s funnier: Krasinski performing through a sketch with a rat toy fused to the wig he’s wearing or the camera cutting to close-ups of Mooney doing all kinds of shenanigans but honestly? Sold.
SNL regulars McKinnon and Mikey Day are the true stars of “Twins,” but gosh darn it, Krasinski is really holding it down here. The premise of “Twins” is this: Krasinski plays a financial pundit who appears on an MSNBC segment. One of the show’s hosts (Strong) notices a deeply disturbing painting behind Krasinski and points it out, which gives Krasinski the opportunity to say it is art made by one of his twins. This leads to Krasinski whipping out an equally horrifying sculpture made by the other twin, which he seems very proud to put on display. Then, suddenly, his twins (McKinnon and Day) magically appear in the frame and it just gets freakier and freakier. As the madness increases over the course of the sketch, Krasinski holds it down as the straight man with marvelous results.
Pandemic Game Night
In “Pandemic Game Night,” a group of couples gets together for what should be a casual night of gaming and light conversation. The group’s plans veer wildly off course when round after round of FBI agents come to the door to arrest various members of their group for a number of heinous crimes. Beck Bennett‘s character is revealed to have stormed the Capitol building, Aidy Bryant‘s character admits to being a heinous racist, and John Krasinski‘s suburban schmuck character is also arrested and he opts to take the Capitol podium he stole with him. It was perhaps the least groan-inducing way last night’s SNL episode could comment on the absolutely surreal events from earlier in the month and every person involved in the sketch helped sell the heck out of it.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. The next episode airs Saturday, February 6, and is hosted by Regina King with musical guest Phoebe Bridgers. You can catch up on SNL Season 46 thanks to Hulu and Peacock. For more, see our picks for the best sketches from Timothée Chalamet‘s December 12, 2020 show.
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