1. Leslie Jones is the biggest star the show has had in the last few years. She has the most **sparkle** since Will Ferrell.
2. Kyle Mooney’s sense of humor is the most “millennial,” and was played up a lot last year. He’s also a surprisingly good character actor.
3. The show was playing a lot with absurdism in 2016, possibly to cater to millennials raised on Tim & Eric, but has now returned to satire, cuz Trump.
4. Overall, the show has been a lot better in the last year, relying less on repeated skits and taking more chances.
5. Monologues that involve half the cast are corny. I wish they would push more celebrities to do a mini-standup routine. Kristen Stewart was doing surprisingly well and then the cast members joined her and it went south.
6. Related: My favorite hosts are usually standup comedians (Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Dave Chappelle).
7. Larry David was a surprisingly awesome character actor when he was on last year. His Kevin Roberts “Can a bitch get a donut?” skit was so funny it made me wish they had cast him way back in the day. But my favorite skit in recent memory was this bizarre Michael Keaton ad agency skit.
8. The show underuses Bobby Moynihan, and overuses Cecily Strong.
9. I see why they’ve made Weekend Update so long—they are trying to compete with The Daily Show, et. al. That said, comparing it to those shows makes it seem extra bad. Colin Jost and Michael Che just aren’t funny or charismatic enough to compete with Stephen Colbert, John Stewart, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee or John Oliver.
10. Letting cast members like Pete Davidson do standup during Weekend Update does help us get to know them, but it feels out of context and odd. I want more Drunk Uncle, but also less repeat characters I don’t think are that compelling. I’m difficult.
11. Cast members who just left the show hosting it the next season is obnoxious. That’s way too soon for a victory lap.
12. Related: The Kristin Wiig/ Bill Hayder era was the most obsessed with repeating skits and inside jokes. That said, I do enjoy them as post-SNL actors, outside of SNL. Can they stop returning to host for awhile?
13. This season of SNL has been the best in a long time, thanks to Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy, and also our president giving them endless amounts of material. Playing Putin will cement Beck Bennett’s place on the show for a long time.
14. New cast member Mikey Day is super funny, although he seems to be used in place of Kyle Mooney now, which is sad.
15. There’s a lot of cast turnover lately, which makes it hard to get attached to new members. That said, I prefer that to keeping mediocre people on the show for years. New cast members bring new POVs and styles of comedy to the show, which it needs to stay relevant.