Tracy Morgan came back to host SNL tonight, and the good news is he was just as energetic as ever in the skits. And it was one of the better episodes too, if only for the opening debate sketch, as you'll see below.
COLD OPEN: One of their best debate skits, lampooning Tuesday's democratic debate but bringing on Larry David of all people to do a brilliant and funny impression of Bernie Sanders. It's pretty awesome to see him on that stage and even funnier that you immediately buy him as Sanders. Love it. The best thing they've done in a while (Alec Baldwin shows up as an angry Jim Webb too).
MONOLOGUE: Tracy comes back! It's very sweet, because he's so grateful and happy to be there, and he also brings back his 30 Rock co-stars (so that's why Alec Baldwin was on earlier) to pay him a little scripted tribute from an "episode" that supposedly aired in 2012. It's more nice than funny.
FAMILY FEUD: A funny setup for this FF, which pits Leslie and her three kids against Tracy, her ex-husband with his new wife and stepkids he left her for. The setup is inherently funny, which carries it through. Kenan's Steve Harvey is good as always.
BRIAN FELLOWS: One of Tracy's old bits revived with a real camel brought on that kept getting in the way of the camera- that's the most memorable part of this, actually. That camel was huge!
FAKE COCAINE: An ad for fake cocaine to hide bowel movements at parties- Beck is the culprit who tries to hide his deeds. It's amusing.
UPDATE: Some more debate jokes and shots at outsiders Trump, Carson and Fiorina, then Tina Fey comes on to riff on the news of Playboy getting rid of their nude pictures- she's funny. Kenan's also funny as Willie the neighbor, waxing on about Halloween since there's no Halloween episode this year. A pretty good Update, which is rare.
MUSICAL: A weird, random skit that's set in the opening of a stage musical with Tracy interrupting the song to say inappropriate things. This one doesn't really work- I think the joke could have been executed better.
THE STANDOFF: Pre-taped bit with Tracy and Taran facing off in a bar, but Tracy wants to literally dance, not fight. Kinda funny, but not laugh out loud. Again, the execution could have made this work better.
WHERE JACKIE CHAN AT?: Kenan and Tracy host a show that asks where's Jackie Chan's been, a question no one seems to know the answer to. Not that funny either- the second half of the show has really gone downhill.
ASTRONAUT JONES: Another revived Tracy sketch that spoofs The Martian in a quick joke that mostly plays on the opening, as it always did in his old skits. Cute.
Well, the first half was much stronger than the second, but it was nice to see Tracy up and about, and hey, Larry David as Bernie Sanders pretty much made the episode no matter what came after it. I give tonight a B. That may be a little generous overall, but on the other hand I do think it's the best episode of the season so far. SNL's off for two weeks now, and it comes back on the 7th with Donald Trump (yikes) as host. I don't quite know how I'm going to stomach that (also not sure how the cast members will either) but I guess I'm going to have to try. It's going to be interesting. See you guys then!