‘SNL’ Cold Open Satirizes Donald Trump’s Bible Grift

Saturday Night Live returned from a brief hiatus with actor-comedian Ramy Youssef at the helm, alongside musical guest Travis Scott. Known for his Golden Globe-winning performance in “Ramy” and his thought-provoking stand-up special “Ramy Youssef: More Feelings,” Youssef brought his unique blend of spirituality and humor to the SNL stage. Despite his energetic hosting, the evening was somewhat let down by uninspired writing.

Opening with Tradition: A Trump-Easter Mashup

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The show kicked off with a cold open featuring James Austin Johnson’s acclaimed Donald Trump impersonation, set against an Easter backdrop. While Johnson’s portrayal remains a highlight, the sketch’s reliance on Trump humor felt redundant, struggling to deliver fresh laughs or incisive commentary.

A Monologue Bridging Spirituality and Social Commentary

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Youssef’s monologue skillfully navigated through themes of spirituality, politics, and social issues, from acknowledging the confluence of Ramadan, Easter, and a new Beyoncé album to expressing a desire for progressive political change. His heartfelt plea for peace and an end to suffering showcased his ability to weave humor with poignant messages.

A Familiar Sketch Formula Calls for Innovation

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One sketch, “Couple Goals,” revisited a concept from April 2023, with Youssef portraying a husband haunted by the fear of his wife’s bizarre accidental death. Despite its potential, the sketch was hindered by predictability and repetition, highlighting a need for more creative risks in the show’s writing.

Highlighting Cultural Humor with “Immigrant Dad Talk”

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“Immigrant Dad Talk,” a sketch that played to Youssef’s strengths, humorously depicted the generational and cultural gaps between immigrant fathers and their children. The authenticity of Youssef’s portrayal, based on his own experiences, stood out as a memorable moment of the night.

A Topical Take: Ozempic for Ramadan

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In a clever twist, SNL tackled the topic of Ozempic not just as a diet trend but through the lens of Ramadan practices, offering a satirical look at how cultural traditions intersect with modern health fads. This sketch demonstrated the show’s ability to deliver insightful humor when tapping into specific cultural contexts.

Wrapping Up

While Ramy Youssef’s hosting brought a refreshing energy to Saturday Night Live, the episode was a reminder of the challenges the show faces in balancing topical humor with innovative sketch writing. As SNL continues to navigate the evolving landscape of comedy, episodes like this underscore the importance of creativity and relevance in sketch comedy. For more insights and updates, check out HITPLAY.

Tags: Saturday Night Live, Ramy Youssef, Travis Scott, sketch comedy, TV recaps

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