Saturday Night Live Episode 42x05, Hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch

Starring: Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamina and I ran out of steam, so let's just say a whole bunch of people whose names I don't recognize.


A few years ago, I recapped an episode of SNL because it was hosted by Matthew Fox, whose movies I was recapping at the time. This despite hardly ever watching the show in recent years because I can no longer remember a time when it was actually funny. I still don't watch it, but I am desperate for a distraction today from the election that nearly caused me a total nervous breakdown and I'm too jittery and unfocused to write fic right now. So I'm going to try recapping Benedict's episode of SNL. Directly on Livejournal. Without Chrissy. This will probably be a disaster, but it beats spending the night fretting and researching a possible move to Canada.

Here goes nothing. And yes, I have already started drinking.

The cold open begins with a title card for a show called "Erin Burnett Out Front". I have no idea what that is, but apparently it's on CNN. I don't watch cable news. That's why I'm still (mostly) sane. The sound guys are apparently already having a bad night as she is most of the way through her introduction before we can actually hear anything she's saying. I know it's not a problem with the file I'm using because I can hear the audience laughing, but all I hear of her is "mmmmsshiwinvwopfppprrrrrrrr with us to make their case to voters one last time." Now that we can hear her, she finishes by introducing Hillary Clinton live from Florida and the Great Orange Terror from Colorado. We switch to a split screen of Alec Baldwin - who has achieved a Tina Fey as Palin level of greatness with his Trump impression - and Kate McKinnon.

"Erin" asks how they're doing this week. "Trump" says really great, actually, because "they're all still buying it". What, that you're actually human? "Hillary" says it's been a great week for her too and she especially found losing the big lead she used to have in the polls fun. But she says she's not worried because it may be the bottom of the ninth inning and raining, but she's still going to bring it home and has she mentioned she's a Cubs fan? Trump says no, she isn't. Because the polls that aren't rigged are so...they're VERY CLOSE. In fact, he took one himself moments ago of all the voices in his head.

Erin points out that he traveled to four states just today and how does he find the energy for that? He says in his really deep love for America. "And a really big handful of uppers that are meant for racehorses." Erin says oooooookay then. Let's get to the biggest story of the week. Hillary crosses her fingers and mutters "please be his taxes" over and over. No, of course it's the fucking emails again. Erin reminds everyone that the idiot running the FBI sent a rambling letter to congress about maybe POSSIBLY reopening the investigation for, like, three emails that had nothing to do with Hillary. Because this is the new "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim". Trump says he CALLED it and this is why he doesn't use email: it's too risky. Instead he uses a very private, secure site where he can write whatever brainfart he has at three in the morning and no one will ever read it. Erin is like yeah, um...EVERYONE can see your Tweets, Mr. Trump. Trump makes fish faces and says "...really? And I'm still in this thing?" Yeah. Apparently people find crazy, childish bullies entertaining. Or, he concludes, people must REALLY hate Hillary.

Erin points out that it's "highly unusual" for the FBI to announce something like this so close to the election. Hillary is like "yeah, no shit." She says it's almost like the FBI is TRYING to get Trump elected. Trump says that's ridiculous because the FBI hates him. In fact, he's not even sure what the FBI is. He might have to Google that later. An "FBI agent" appears next to him to say he's getting coffee and ask if Trump wants some. Trump says "no, thanks sweetie" and kisses him full on the lips. I'm going to say something I don't think I've ever said before: God bless Alec Baldwin.

Cut back to Hillary, her mouth hanging open. She raises her hand like she's calling for a teacher and says Erin saw that, right? RIGHT? Erin shrugs and says that doesn't seem like much of a story. Back to the email thing. Yep. Pretty good recap of the insanity that has been the news for the past year or so. Hillary makes a loud, frustrated noise and begs Mark Bennet to please just release one of those racist behind-the-scenes rants from "The Apprentice". Maybe one of him dropping the N-word. That would be nice right about now. Erin stubbornly says there's no evidence there is such a tape. Trump leans his mouth right next to his microphone and says there is. Hillary says SEE?! Somebody needs to RELEASE the shit they have on this guy because she has the whole goddamn Russian government - with the help of Julian Assange - airing out every SPECK of dirt they have on her (and a lot that they don't) while he gets a free pass. Trump is like 'here we go with the Russian government again. Even though I have praised him up and down the entire time the Kenyan Muslim was in office, I will still stubbornly claim to not even know who Putin is. Oops. Is that his name? I don't know. I've never met him.' Another guy...or possibly the same guy but now he's shirtless and made up to look like Putin, sidles up to him and announces that he's going to the store and does Trump need anything? Trump repeats the "no thanks, Sweetie" and kiss on the lips.

Hillary, flailing her hands, points out to Erin that he JUST KISSED PUTIN ON LIVE TELEVISION. Erin shrugs, says that could mean "anything" and she'd really like to get back to the email thing. Hillary makes the loud groaning noise again. Trump says yeah, these emails are a HUGE scandal. Even bigger than Whitewater! Erin says um...that's not quite true. Trump accuses her of "defending" Hillary and being gay for her. Erin points out that that doesn't even make sense. "It doesn't matter because I said it," he says. So now half the country believes it. And by the way, he totes loves the LB community. Erin asks if he means the LGBT community. He says no, just the lesbians and undecideds. The other two can fuck off. You know, the political stuff has always been the one thing this show has done well, even as almost everything else has turned to shit. Now I wonder if that's because it practically writes itself these days.

Hillary points out that this is what Trump does: he pretends to be pro gay even though his running mate is all about conversion therapy. He says he's not racist, but the KKK endorses him. This might have happened before the real Trump kicked a black guy out of his rally, calling him a "thug". Trump says no, he doesn't know the KKK. In fact, he has no idea what the KKK even is. Having set up the now predictable joke, a guy...probably the same damn guy a Klan robe and hood appears and says he's going for a run. Does Trump want to come with him? Trump says "no thanks, I'm good, sweetie" and lifts the hood just enough to kiss him on the lips.

Hillary, spluttering, asks if we can talk about this NOW. Erin says, they're almost out of time and they really have to get back to this email thing. Hillary takes a meditative stance, takes a deep breath and asks "what is happening?" Nobody knows, dear. Nobody fucking knows. "Is the whole world insane?" Well, America is. Which half of its people consider to be the whole world, so... She points out that Trump has spent the entire election shitting all over basic human kindness and decency. He's ruined red hats and the color orange for everyone. True story: I glared at some guy who was wearing a red hat before I realized that a) it had nothing to do with Trump and b) he was barely old enough to drive and probably not old enough to vote. I seriously hate this election. Why did I think this recap would help again? She says if people want to elect him president on Tuesday that's fine, but in four years they will come running back to her when they realize their mistake. Yeah. We wouldn't last four years. Please don't do this, America. [ETA: cries]

Trump says the bottom line is that Hillary is crooked and a liar and she should be in jail and all the other right-wing loon talking points his supporters have been spewing for months. Then he stops mid-sentence and Alec drops the act and says he's tired of yelling this nonsense at Kate. The camera pulls back to show that they're standing a few feet from each other in front of a split backdrop. Kate says yeah, I know, right? This election has been so HORRID. Alec says he feels dirty and asks the audience if they just feel "gross" over this whole thing. The audience cheers. Kate says she knows a way they can feel better about this, takes Alec's hand and runs down the center aisle all the way out of the building.

There's a little montage of them running down the streets of New York, hand in hand, hugging random supporters from the opposite side of the political aisle. So "Trump" is hugging a black guy and some Latinos and Hillary is hugging white guys with red hats and shirts that say "Trump that Bitch" (this latter one she does reluctantly). They share a pretzel from a street vendor, kiss babies and get a bunch of people to form a circle and hold hands in Times Square. Then the video stops and Alec and Kate stop running in circles backstage until they're out of breath (at least I hope that's what they were doing) and run back on stage. Alec urges people to get out and vote because "none of this will have mattered" if they don't. And on that high note, "live from New York, it's Saturday Night."

Well, that wasn't so bad. What do you mean I'm not even ten minutes in? Fuck.

Credits. Seriously, who are these people? Oh, wait... Kenan's still here. And my fast forward is broken, so I guess I have no option to skip any of this if it gets ugly. Awesome.

Benedict begins his monologue by saying that it's great to be here hosting on "the last week of America as we know it". Hahahaha[insert about five minutes of hysterical sobbing here]ha. He says he realizes things are really tense in America, so he's going to offer the solution the British have for when things get really bad and the whole world seems to have lost its fucking mind: "we drink". A lot. Way ahead of you, buddy. Also, does this mean you guys spent, like, two thirds of this past summer completely blitzed?

Benedict says this is the opening weekend of "Doctor Strange", which is exciting because he's playing the lead in a major Hollywood film so maybe people will start to recognize his name. Ha. Just kidding. He says they don't really know HIM though, so he's going to give the great American past time of "bragging" a try to introduce himself. All the sexier ladies of the cast come out in slinky black dresses and he starts singing some variation on "Shaft" or something.

Leslie Jones declares herself one of his "Cumberbitches", which is his cue to grumble about that name again like it's shameful even though it's not meant to be derogatory. He says they're a bunch of lovely people, really, and they've formed these online groups where they write fan fiction and it's all very "unsettling". Leslie asks if he's read her story about Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Underwear. Sigh. Can we please stop using him as ammunition against fans? It's very tiresome and insulting to the ones that aren't crazy to stereotype all of them as delusional, obsessive stalkers. In fact, why must we continue to perpetuate the idea that the only acceptable form of fan is a sports fan and anything else should be mocked?

MOVING ON. He admits that he always seems to be playing some sort of genius. Yeah, it's called typecasting and it's why you don't have an Oscar yet. You need to find your Forrest Gump. Leslie holds up her arm and asks if he can check this "lump" she has. He stops singing and says yeah, um...he's not a real doctor and that's not a lump. It's her breast. She holds up her other arm and asks if she can get a second opinion. "Maybe later," he deadpans and she steps aside while he goes back to singing about how much the ladies love him. Kate McKinnon reappears, dressed to look like Tilda Swinton's "Doctor Strange" character. Benedict asks how she got here. She says she opened a portal. Or, you know, took an Uber. She offers to do a "riff" with him, which apparently involves just shrieking into the microphone at glass shattering decibels. It just devolves from there. Or rather it devolves even more.

And we go to a commercial parodying the original Apple "1984" commercial, the best-remembered Super Bowl commercial since we made Super Bowl commercials a thing. Except everyone in the audience is sitting on toilets and the "Big Brother" on the screen is talking about how there has only ever been this one boring toilet design, which was made to make people look stupid. Pretty sure it was made to look like a chair, but what do I know? He says this is deliberate and the way things must. always. be.

The girl throwing a hammer into the screen has been replaced in this version of the ad by Benedict seemingly doing an impression of Neo. Except instead of throwing it at the screen, he uses the hammer to break open a box with another toilet. Big Brother raves that that is NOT an approved design and what the hell is it? Benedict says it's "the future" and takes his pants off and straddles it backward like maybe he's positioning himself to start humping the tank. I'm so glad I'm drunk right now. I know I've said this show has been circling the drain for a long time, but here we have it: they have resorted to literal toilet jokes.

He leans on the tank, arms crossed, while Big Brother squawks about how nobody has EVER looked cool while using a toilet and THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! He screams and the screen shorts out like in the original ad. The female announcer says "introducing the Khool Toilet, by Kholer" and raves about how cool you will look using it.

Benedict stands up again, puts his pants back on and lights a match. I really don't want to know where this is headed. Actually, apparently it's just supposed to look like he's illuminating the dazzled faces of the crowd that has broken free of Big Brother's screen. Or, in hindsight from the original ad, like a gullible Apple fanatic distracted by shiny objects. Then he walks away, picking a wedgie and totally ruining the look while the announcer says that the toilet is already available in Japan. Of course it is.

I am getting very drunk and I should probably be thinking about dinner, so I'll probably quit after this next one and start again tomorrow. Assuming I'm not halfway to Canada by this time tomorrow.

The next skit is a game show, hosted by a really good looking guy whose name I don't know because seriously, I don't know any of these people anymore. He says his name is Beck Bennett. Stupid name. Oh, wait...hang on, I have to go look something up. Okay, so it turns out this is actually the guy's real name. Sorry. Apparently everybody is playing themselves in this skit. Which is why the first "contestant" is Vanessa Bayer, the second is Aidy Bryant and the third is Benedict, who claims to not remember doing this skit in rehearsals. Beck says yeah, that's great, so let's jump right into the game, which is called "Why is Benedict Cumberbatch Hot?" Like, seriously, the women in the cast have been practically giddy all week and the guys have been trying to figure out what the deal is here. Okay, I reread my recap of the Matthew Fox episode where I complained that there were TWO sketches that boiled down to women throwing themselves at Matthew because he's so gorgeous. Do they literally have NO OTHER IDEAS?

He turns to Vanessa, gives her a thirty second clock and asks her to explain why women fawn over a guy who looks like an otter had sex with an alien. Vanessa is like 'what? You want me to say it right here in front of him?' Beck says yes. Yes, he does. Vanessa gives some rambling, hormonal, girly spew answer about how it has nothing to do with his face, but when she sees him she just wants to UGGHHHHHRRRR. I'm going to go ahead and give the more coherent version of this a friend of mine said recently: no, he's not what you would necessarily consider "attractive" by normal societal standards. But there is something about him that is sexy anyway. I think it's 30% accent, 30% manner and 70% just his personality in general. Math is not my strong suit when I'm drinking, by the way. I'll double check that later. MY POINT IS....actually, I forgot what my point is. Oh! Right! You know how some people are attractive and then they open their mouth and you find out that they're a racist, misogynist bigot who is totally supporting Trump? Yes, like whatshisface Chachi. This is like that, but in reverse. [Note to self: edit this into something coherent before posting it.]

Beck says okay, that was a lovely non-answer. Next! Aidy gets sixty seconds on the clock...or whatever...and she asks if her answer has to be in English because her feelings toward Benedict would be best described as a series of noises. She proceeds to pant, growl and shout "aoooooooga". The buzzer dings and Benedict is staring into space like 'why am I here? I was nominated for a fucking OSCAR.' Beck asks if they're even looking at the same guy here. No, probably not.

Beck turns to Benedict, restarts the clock and asks him the same question. Benedict says 'wait...what? How the hell would I know? I personally think I look like Sid from "Ice Age".' But, you know, Glamour magazine named him one of the sexiest men alive. I would be surprised if People hasn't at least given him an honorable mention there, but he's probably in the running for future years. Beck splutters and then says oh, wait...yeah, he thinks he knows what it is now. He just has one follow up question and he wants to whisper it, although since he's a guy it's pretty obvious what it's going to be (because it AWLAYS IS). He walks over and whispers in Benedict's ear. Benedict quickly says no, it's just average size. Beck whispers something else and he says yep, those too. Beck curses and goes back to his podium.

Round two. Beck says he's going to show them pictures of Benedict next to more "classically handsome" American men and ask them who is hotter. He starts with Vanessa and a picture of Benedict with his fluffy Sherlock hair mid-laugh appears on a screen behind him next to a picture of...Beck doing an impression of Ryan Gosling. She says yeah...Benedict. Beck invites her to take her time and really LOOK at the pictures. She says she doesn't have to. He grumbles and moves on to Aidy. This time he has a picture of Benedict during a ginger hair phase captured while he has a very goofy, unattractive expression on his face. The other picture is still Beck, but he's shirtless and showing off his arms in a mirror. Such as they are. He's also doing a duckface. Aidy says well, one of them is making a really weird face, so she's going to have to go with Benedict. Heh.

Benedict cuts in to say of those two pictures, Beck has the "hotter one". Beck blinks at him like "why are you making it so hard to hate you?" He says Beck's handsome, has great abs, his skin has a nice even tone and he's also funny and charming and he WAS really nice until this particular sketch and he's enjoyed hanging out with him this past week. Beck starts giggling and acting all fluttery and calls him "Benny", which I seem to recall him joking in an interview is something people who "don't live long" call him. He says Benedict is "striking" and "charming" and "when you look at me I feel...truly...seen." The "correct" bell dings and he declares himself the winner of his own game.

Well, that was...something. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sleep this off and start over again tomorrow. Or in a couple days. Or never if Trump wins because I'm serious: if that happens, I'm running for the border.


I have done a lot of thinking about whether I should continue this recap or whether I am even up to doing it at all. In the days after America elected a fascist who, by all indications, is the third antichrist the prophets warned us about, all comedians seemed to lose their ability to joke. Because it just isn't funny anymore. I was tempted to join them and stop writing recaps. I figured I could still write fic as, while recaps are grounded in the real world, fiction could still provide a form of escape. But after watching the latest cold open from SNL of "Hillary" singing "Hallelujah" and vowing not to give up as well as responses from Seth Meyer and Stephen Colbert, I have decided my initial instincts were wrong. I have to try. In the words of one of the lovely people who reviewed my story "Restoration": "if we stop writing, they win more. If we let them stop us from our work, they win." I can't promise this recap will be pretty. It may very well be the least funny recap I ever write. But I have to try to get through it. I have to prove to myself - if no one else - that I can still do this. That I haven't given up all hope or ability to fight.

And yes, I am still drinking.

We're at a fancy college somewhere in either England or New England, It's kind of hard to tell because Benedict seems to start the skit with his own accent and slowly morph into an American one. He is tutoring a dopey looking kid named Chad on literature and philosophy. Chad is obviously not really understanding what's going on and just repeating things he says. Benedict ends by saying he really enjoys their visits and hopes Chad continues to stop by his office. Then he moves toward Chad like he's going to kiss him and Chad leans away and says "no thanks". Benedict stammers an apology for his "unbelievably inappropriate" behavior. He "misread" the situation. Chad is like "meh, whatever dude. Sorry to be a cock tease."

Benedict keeps apologizing, pacing the office and saying he hasn't been himself lately. He's getting married this weekend but he feels NOTHING for the woman. He rants about how he's living the life his father expects him to. Become a teacher. Get tenure by forty. Marry a rich girl and settle down. God forbid he admit he's gay. He picks up a globe and hurls it into a wall. Chad is like 'uh-huh. yep. cool story bro'. Benedict theorizes that he was drawn to Chad because he envies the fact that he is so free of doubt and worry about his future. Yeah, that's because he's an idiot. Chad is like "okay, whatever you say." Benedict flops into a chair and bemoans how pathetic it is to have a twenty-eight year old TA pouring his heart out to a sophomore. Really stretching the boundaries of believability there, aren't we? He asks if he's boring Chad. Chad say uh, yeah. Basically. Benedict looks at the ceiling and says Chad is welcome to leave at any time, but he really welcomes having someone listen to him like th- and the door slams as Chad runs for the hills.

He jumps up and sticks his head out of the office door to find Chad skateboarding down the hall. He asks if Chad could maybe come back for a second because he has something else he wanted to say. Chad wanders back into the office and stares dopily while Benedict expresses the hope that they can forget about this little episode here. Chad is like "what episode?" Benedict says he hopes this hasn't "tainted" their friendship. Chad is like haha, that's another word for vagina, right? Benedict says he'd like to thank him because for a brief moment there "I wasn't a spectator to my own life. I was living it." Chad farts loudly. Yeah, I can see why you're attracted to him. He's quite a catch. Benedict says yes, Chad is right, he should laugh more. But really, he would appreciate it if Chad could keep this meeting secret.

Another dopey idiot sticks his head in to ask what's taking Chad so long. Chad says yeah, he'll be there in a minute. Mr. Buckley tried to kiss him. Other guy is like 'oh, okay. Whatever. Wanna get lunch?' They leave while Benedict stares out the window, crying and moaning that Chad is right and he really shouldn't be keeping secrets like this anymore. Chad skates right into a pile of garbage outside and he sniffles and says "thank you."

Yeah. Seriously, this is the kind of thing that will get him an Oscar one day. I mean, hopefully it will be better written, but...yeah.

At a house in a quiet suburban neighborhood, some women are preparing for a party. One announces that Heather just texted to say she and "Grammy" are outside. Everyone hides and turns off the lights and "Grammy", who is Aidy in a white wig, enters grumbling about how cold the restaurant was. The woman behind her - Heather obviously, loudly announces that they're all so happy about her getting remarried at age 83. Grammy asks why the hell she giving a speech right in her ear in the dark house. Heather says she knows Grammy didn't want a bachelorette party, but...

The lights come on and the other women jump out and yell surprise. She starts gasping and grabbing her chest and they sit her down in a chair where she promptly slumps over "dead". The completely clueless twits put sunglasses and a tiara on her and continue with the party. To answer the question of just how uncomfortable this sketch could get, the women call in the strippers they ordered, which are Benedict and a guy who looks like the lost Hemsworth brother dressed as construction workers delivering a large load of "wood".

This is the point where I took the headphones off and, because I still can't seem to fast forward through this episode because VLC player hates me, just let it play in the background while I continue typing. I can only imagine that this was actually written by Aidy because every time I check to see what's going on back there Benedict is licking her face or rubbing his crotch on her. But the only part that made me laugh instead of cringe was when I discovered that I can, in fact, fast forward through this but everyone will sound like a chipmunk.

I stop fast forwarding sometime after Aidy slides onto the floor and Benedict squats over her face in a teabagging motion. She is clearly struggling to keep a straight face and probably mentally cackling at all the women who are jealous of her. Three more guys come in dressed...well, half Chicago Cubs uniforms and the audience cheers. "Heather" says wait...those are the real Chicago Cubs. The black guy pops open his shirt to show off his pretty impressive abs and asks who wants to hit a Granny Slam. One of the other three makes a joke about pulling a "triple header" and totally fails to keep a straight face. They all start gyrating over her before mercifully cutting to commercial.

Jesus. There always has to be one.

When did the musical performances start coming with an ad for Apple tunes? No, fuck you. I refuse to go back to Apple products like a woman crawling back to an abuser because nobody else will ever love her like he did.

I would skip entirely over the Weekend Update because watching election coverage may never not be painful again, but that was before I realized they brought back Dana Carvey to play the Church Lady. "She" passive aggressively notes that instead of going to bed so their fresh for church in the morning, they're staying up late to "make jokes about Anthony's wiener". Well...they're not above ANY sort of wiener jokes, clearly. Have you seen the show lately? Colin - one of the hosts - notes that Jesus loves a good joke though. Church Lady says yes, he does. Got any? Again, have you seen the show lately?

Colin asks what she thinks of the election. She says it's a tough choice. A bitter android from the nineties or a fat, orange riverboat gambler. Colin says so she hasn't decided then. She says Jesus isn't on the ballot, And he's probably not part of Colin's life either because, like everyone in Hollywood, he's probably a homosexual. Colin lets the audience laugh for a second or two, then asks why they're laughing. Because it dispels the awkwardness? Church Lady tells him to just go ahead and stay in the cupboard and identifies the only three celebrities she is sure are not homosexual: Jim Parsons, Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Lane. Yeah. Colin has some bad news for her.

But let's get back to the election, shall we? Church Lady asks who Colin is going to support, guessing he'll just write in his usual favorite of Satan. Because he's just a late night comic with a "belly full of booze and a dressing room full of whores." She asks if he's drunk right now. He says no. Well...maybe a little buzzed. Nothing like what he's going to be on Wednesday. Church Lady concludes that he's smoking pot then and, indicating that maybe she saw that last sketch: "sucking on the devil's cigarette."

Colin asks if there's anything out there she DOES like right now. "Westworld," she says with a straight face. Colin is like 'wait...really?' She says yeah, what's not to like? "A land of naked cowboy robots fornicating. They should have called it West Hollywood." In the weak laughter that follows that joke, she asks "too soon?" No, just too not funny.

She says no, seriously, she never loses hope. And she really believes we have a lovely little country here. Sappy music starts playing as she says sometimes she looks around and thinks to herself "what a wonderful world." Colin says wait...she's not going to sing now, is she? Yep. She sings a refrain of "Wonderful World" while images from the election cycle flash over her shoulder.

The Weekend Update ends with a song - "Go Cubs, Go" - by the three Cubs players from earlier, joined by Bill Murray for some reason.

And on that note, I'm starting to get a bit buzzed myself, so I'm just going to go eat something to hopefully soak some of it up and maybe watch an episode of "Westworld" even though what I've seen so far is completely deranged and possibly represents the height of gratuitousness that cable is capable of.


It is now more than a week since the national disaster commonly referred to as Election 2016 and I have graduated from beer to Goldschlagger. Because fuck it, I just don't care anymore. I invited Chrissy to join me for this recap, but she declined, saying she just wasn't ready to laugh quite yet. I told her there wouldn't be much laughing involved because it was Saturday Night Live, but I think all that did was convince her I am insane.

We're in a restaurant called Bobby Flay's Steakhouse and Kenan Thompson - going by the name Gene - is on a date with a twit who admits that this restaurant has convinced her that Atlantic City isn't all "gross" because this restaurant sure is fancy. Gene non-sequiters that Bobby Flay is totally the girl's "celebrity hall pass", which I'm guessing is the new way to refer to people that your significant other would totally let you cheat on them with because who WOULDN'T want to get a leg up on Hugh Jackman. Or, you know, whoever. Gene says he's not judging because his is Mila Kunis. He could have just stopped right there, but he adds "as Meg from Family Guy" in an effort to make it funny. They make goo goo eyes at each other and then Benedict shows up dressed like a punk rock reject and calls Gene his "best bro" and congratulates him on the public action he's getting right now.

Hang on a second. [downs entire shot of Goldschlagger and pours another] Okay. I'm ready now.

Gene is like 'um...excuse me, sir? Do I know you?' Benedict is like 'oh, come on, hommie, tag a brother in.' The floozy standing next to him reminds him that she's RIGHT HERE and introduces herself as Gemma in a thick English accent. Gene says no, seriously, who are you? Benedict introduces himself as Ricky Diamonds and reminds Gene that they met in a "Male Body Acceptance workshop". Gene is like oooooohhhhhhh. Riiiiiight. Gene's...wife apparently... asks what a Male Body Acceptance workshop is and "Ricky" says he had to look at her husband's "junk" and tell him what he found beautiful about it. "And I'm Gemma," interjects the twit on his arm in a vain effort to diffuse the awkwardness.

Ricky shoves her into the booth next to the wife and slouches in after her. Wife protests that they were having sort of a date night here. Ricky says that's awesome because he's a Rock and Roll Mentalist, which means, like, he does magic tricks to music. Yeah, I know I'm already getting drunk but...was that supposed to make sense? He adds that this woman next to him is Gemma. She adds that she's British. Ricky notes the coolness of her accent by saying she sounds "like a GPS" and prompting her to say "recalculating". Gene is like uh-huh...sooooooo... Ricky suggests Gene is wondering how they met. Gemma gives the unsolicited answer: at a plastic surgeon's office. "We were both getting our tits done."

I don't...I just..[drinks]

Ricky says something about his show requiring him to show cleavage and grabs Wife's hand, forcing her to feel his chest while he brags about how real it feels. Then he shoves her hand onto Gemma's chest and she babbles that hers isn't paid for yet because she's trying to do a kickstarter. Wife takes her hand back uncomfortably and protests as Gene offers to chip in a little money.

Ricky asks if they want to see a trick. Only if it involves making yourself disappear. He pulls a deck of cards from his pants (hopefully the pocket specifically) and hands it to Wife, prompting her to pick a card and then put it back in the deck without showing him. "And then put the deck in your mouth." No, seriously, that was in your POCKET, right? Wife splutters, but follows the instructions. Ricky then hands Gene a gun and asks him to confirm that it's real. Gene is like um...yeah, and it's loaded. And the fact that you are waving it around in public and nobody is even slightly alarmed proves that we are in America right now.

Ricky prompts him to hand the gun to Gemma. Wife yelps something around the cards in her mouth and Gene assures her that she's not going to get shot because it's just a trick. Gemma pulls a napkin over her head and holds the gun at ready. Gene points out helpfully that she's aiming at HIM and she should aim one foot to the left. Wife yelps and he reassures her again that it's just a trick.

A waiter arrives to say that they can't have guns in this restaurant and take it from Gemma's hand. Second Amendment enthusiasts will be protesting the establishment within the week. Ricky says he's in the middle of an ILLUSION here and would they treat Chris Angel like this? Waiter says "who?" "Oh. My. God," says Ricky in his best Valley Girl impression. He declares the waiter a "dumb dork" for not knowing who Chris Angel is. Twice. Because his ability to come up with more clever insults has been impeded by years of drug abuse.

He apologizes to Gene as the waiter leaves, saying they can shoot his wife outside later. Wife says actually, it's been a long night and they really should go. She starts shoving Gene from the booth. Ricky protests that they're being buzzkills here and offers to have Gemma sing something. I down the rest of my second shot, spilling some on myself and am too distracted in the effort of dabbing at the stain to do much more than listen to the horrible combination of rap and off-key shrieking that follows.

Gene is staring at them with the blank, wide-eyed expression that little performance deserves. Ricky announces that that made him pop a boner and he can tell it did the same for Gene by the way he's squirming in his seat. Gene is like 'what? [nervous laughter] I am not!' Wife says yes, actually, he is and he's REARRANGING something. Gene tells her she should just be grateful he can still do that. Gemma takes this as a sign that her song worked its magic on them.

Wait..that's it? Seriously? Urgh.

As we begin the next sketch, my eyeballs are still floating in Goldschlagger. Hopefully that won't affect my recapping abilities too much.

Beck and some other guy enter a warehouse and uncover a very slapped together looking bomb. They are acting like they are in an action movie, spewing lines about the bomb "turning this place into the inside of a Cuisinart" and fretting about which wire to cut.

A phone rings. Beck answers. "Girls and boys come out to play. The moon doth shine as bright as day," Benedict voice overs. We cut to him on the other side of the stage (probably) as he introduces himself to "Slade" as "Jack" and spews a string of rhyming nonsense that I am far too drunk to follow that ends with "would you like to play a game, Slade?"

We pan out to show that "Jack" is surrounded by the chick that played Gemma in the last sketch and...some guy as he tells Slade that he is standing next to 600 grams of C4 and he's holding the detonator. If he wants it deactivated, he needs to answer a question. "If Johnny's mother had three children - one was April one was May - what was the name of the other child?" He gives them sixty seconds and hangs up. Then he and the two "henchmen" sit twiddling their thumbs awkwardly.

"You guys seen Stranger Things," the guy asks. "I hear it's actually based on a true story." Jack starts a threat about what he will do to the henchman if he brings up that fucking show ONE MORE TIME when the phone rings. Slade says the answer is "Johnny". Jesus fucking Christ, I'm so drunk I actually fell for the oldest trick question in the book. Jack congratulates him and says killing him will obviously be more difficult than he anticipated. But, you know, there's still that case of ammonium nitrate he left in Slade's car outside. Slade protests that he's parked outside a SCHOOL and there are KIDS in there! Wait... what time is it? Wasn't it dark outside? Oh, fuck it.

Jack gives him the second riddle: a six letter word that becomes twelve when one is taken away. He gives him sixty seconds again and hangs up. The female henchman says she has a question. "Don't get mad, you have to do the riddles?" Jack points out that he needs a THING or he's just a common thief. She says yeah, right, we really need them? The male henchman suggests it might be better if they You know, like those things where you have to guess how many jelly beans are in a jar. Jack shoots him a look like 'if I didn't owe your father a major debt, sharks would be playing tug of war with your kidneys right now'. The phone rings again.

"Dozens," Slade says. "Take away the s and you have dozen." Jack is like're pretty clever, aren't you? He covers the mouthpiece and says "he got it". Female henchman shrugs like 'I told you this was stupid.' He shakes it off, vowing that Slade can't possibly get THIS one, and turns back to the receiver to announce that the clicking noise they are about to hear is every door in the warehouse locking. They have ten minutes to live. Or one minute to answer one more riddle. Because if it works for James Bond's nemeses...oh, doesn't? Fuck.

"I am full of keys, but cannot open a door." Slade interrupts with "a piano" before he can hang up. Jack splutters and says um...yeah. He tries another one: I always come, but I never arrive today. "Tomorrow," says Slade. Jack is like 'fucking hell' and scrambles for another one. "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?" Seriously? Slade says Spongebob and Jack says that's it, he's blowing up the school. Slade protests that this game is fuuuuuun and begs for another one as he hangs up.

Wait. That's it? Is it just me or are all the skits ending on a weird note today? On a side note: if we do ever get Tom Hiddleston cast as James Bond, can Benedict play a villain in one of his movies? kthanksbye

[At this point, despite having told me she wasn't ready to joke, Chrissy left a note in the comment section on Livejournal to point out that I missed an opportunity with the "I always come" riddle and to drool over the idea of Benedict playing villain to Tom's James Bond.]

At a mansion somewhere, Benedict greets two men "from Mercy General". They are played by Kennan and possibly Beck. Don't quote me on that. A lot of white guys look interchangeable to me when I'm drunk. I once carried on a conversation with a guy I was convinced was my father for five minutes before he ran away in a cloud of embarrassment.

Beck introduces the both of them as David Hoff and Dan Fletcher. Not to be confused with Hasselhoff and Jessica, I'm sure. "Dan" (Kennan) says he was under the impression they would be meeting Mr. Shaw directly. Benedict says oh, no, Mr. Shaw's time is EXTREMELY precious, so he will evaluate their proposal first to determine whether it is worthwhile to bother Mr. Shaw with it.

They say okay, well...their hospital is looking for someone willing to make a sizeable donation because they've been falling on some really hard times lately. Benedict says well...Mr. Shaw does have a soft spot for philanthropic endeavors. He pushes an intercom button and asks "Carolina" to bring Mr. Shaw in. He warns David and Dan to not mention Mr. Shaw's "scar", whatever they do. "Carolina" wheels in a dummy dressed in a suit with an eagle statue for a head. Oh, this is going to go downhill very fast, isn't it?

Benedict asks how "Mr. Shaw's" golf game went this morning, pauses, and says that's why they call it a "dog leg". Then he laughs at his own joke. He introduces the two increasingly horrified looking men over there from Mercy General and invites them to do their pitch. Dan blinks and asks if this is a joke. Benedict asks if Mr. Shaw seems like the joking type. No, he seems like the type that would drop a live turtle on your head because he mistook you for a rock. David asks if they should be asking..."him" about the donation. Benedict says yes, well, Mr. Shaw might be a little embarrassed to talk about money  seeing as his face is on all of it.

Dan is like ooooookay, I'm just going to go along with this and hope somebody pops out from behind a door and announces that I'm on AFV at some point. Benedict interrupts him before he can launch into his speech to announce that Mr. Shaw would like to see his watch. Dan hands over his watch and Benedict waves it in front of "Mr. Shaw" while noting that it's very shiny and reminds Mr. Shaw of a fish in a stream. Dan and David gape at him in horror and Dan asks what the hell they're doing here, exactly. David notes that this seems to be a waste of their time. Benedict angrily points out that it wasn't a waste of time for the DAHLI LAMA when he spent his sixtieth birthday here. He points out the photoshop picture of said celebration, next to a picture of Richard Branson and both Nelson and Howie Mandela posing with Mr. Shaw. Okay, A) that's Howie ManDEL and b)...I don't know. See point A.

Dan says seriously now, they need money for their hospital. Benedict says fine, NOW they are getting somewhere, then turns to Mr. Shaw for a quick conference. He twitches and makes silent gestures as if Mr. Shaw is ranting at him and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Then he turns and says "very well, sir. Congratulations, gentlemen." Dan is like wait...really? Benedict says yes, $1.7 million dollars, and suggests maybe they could name a WING of the hospital after him. His face falls and he quickly adds that he meant it as a joke and intended no disrespect. "No, that was not my intention at all. What subtext? Sir, you can't mean that! After all I've given! Twenty-seven years!" He sobs that he missed his daughter's BIRTH in service to...him? And Mr. Shaw can't fire him because he QUITS.

He turns to Dan and David and expresses the hope that their hospital has a way to fix a broken heart. David starts crying sloppily. Dan looks at him sideways like 'are you seriously getting sucked into the craziness here? What is WRONG with you white people?!'

Benedict announces that he'd going to collect his things and reaches into a closet, emerging with a soccer ball and a pair of flippers. He wishes them luck with their hospital and leaves. I'm honestly not sure if that just happened or if I dreamed it in a drunken stupor.

Dan asks who is writing the check. Carolina comes back to announce that it's time for Mr. Shaw's bath. "What's that sir? Join you? Oh, Mr. Shaw!"

Oh thank god, we're done. If you'll excuse me, I need to go sleep off this hangover and hopefully forget I ever tried to do this recap in the first place. I will leave you with this conversation Chrissy and I had in the comment section of this final recap post.

Chrissy: What? You're not even going to question whether that invitation to join him in the bath extended to Benedict too? Have I taught you NOTHING?!
Diandra: You're embarrassing, Chris.
Chrissy: Oh, whatever. You know you love me.