Zoe Kravitz SNL Sketches Ranked: TikTok Creators Give War Advice, Catwomen Reunion

From Black hesitance about Amazon's new grab-and-go shopping experience, to guys aggressively hitting on women, there was no shortage of social commentary on the season's best episode yet!

Out of nowhere, Zoë Kravitz appears to have completely revitalized the entire cast of “Saturday Night Live,” bringing us the most consistent and strongest episode of the season.

Everyone was fully committed to their performances, no matter how limited or ridiculous, and the writing was sharper than it’s been in a long time. Certainly this was a huge step up from last week’s disappointing outing with Oscar Isaac.

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In fact, the sketches were so strong this week, that we were absolutely stunned to find that both “Weekend Update” and the “Please Don’t Destroy” piece were among the weakest segments of the night. Aside from those, though, we got a Catwoman reunion in the monologue, the White House getting war advice from TikTok creators and an anatomy lesson about frogs.

There was a brilliantly sharp social satire about the new Amazon Go shopping concept and the surprising return of Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant’s horny prepubescent boys, this time working through a shockingly positive encounter with Zoë as one of the hottest chicks in their class.

But the premises and concepts almost didn’t matter this week. Zoë was all in with everything she did, breathing life fully into every character and making them even funnier in the process. And whether inspired by her or not, the cast was just as invested in their characterizations. It was as if every sketch was a fully immersive experience and we were here for every bit of it!

As usual, we’re ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Monologue, Cold Open, “Weekend Update” and any sketches that were cut for time but made their way online. We’ll skip the musical guests, because they’re not usually funny — unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.

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Please Don’t Destroy: We Got Her a Cat

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A rare misfire for the PDD boys, this was way more strange and random than it was funny. Honestly, were it not for the frantic pace keeping the momentum moving forward faster than we could even respond to the jokes that weren’t altogether funny, it might have been worse. We did appreciate the randomness of director Paul Dano being under the couch as they look for a cat gift for Zoë Kravitz, as well as his movie he’s making about the PDD boys, but the overall sketch was just too much nonsense and not enough actual humor.

Weekend Update

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Colin Jost and Michael Che got in some good jokes about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the various corporations that have stopped conducting business there. But while their McDonalds gag was on point, politically barbed and very funny, we can’t say the same for the one they made — and everyone else has made — about Starbucks. Come on guy, don’t go for the lowest hanging fruit! They also took on the Jussie Smollett sentencing, as well as the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill, with great jabs at both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney — as it should be.

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Alex Moffat brought back movie critic Terry Fink, but it took a while for him to really differentiate this character from the mannerisms and wordplay of Guy Who Just Bought a Boat. It just sounded like a different and faster vocal delivery. When he took a deeper dive into the LSD trip he was clearly still on, the character finally started to work for us. The descriptions of the movies/hallucinations were ridiculous and funny, but the overall character needs to be fine-tuned.

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It was a cavalcade of jokes about with Che getting in a good dig on Jost while talking “The Gilded Age,” while Arby’s took a licking from a story about human heads found on a truck. Not every joke landed, but we did appreciate Colin getting upset about Cracker Barrel and Che’s wildly sexist joke about International Women’s Day. That one got a huge audience reaction, too.

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Kyle Mooney was almost unrecognizable under heavy muscle prosthetics and with his voice knocked down several octaves. Unfortunately, the character didn’t really have anything to say and was just basically Kyle’s basic excited characterization. There was also that hint of signature sadness underneath it all. It seems like they liked this look — which is great — but weren’t quite sure what to do with it. It was a bit of a letdown, honestly.

The Princess and the Frog

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Other than a completely unnecessary and unfunny ending that had nothing to do with the rest of the sketch, this exploration of frog anatomy and human compatibility was hilarious, as was the overall commentary of how Disney downplays its first Black princess. The film is perhaps problematic for a lot of other reasons, but there’s still some cultural significance. Zoë Kravitz once again embodied a character so fully, and her reactions to Chris Redd’s Frog Prince revealing his anatomical differences were effortlessly funny. Kenan Thompson as the voodoo witch doctor no one remembers — including the Frog — was pretty funny, but he played it pretty much like Kenan. Overall, this was mostly funny, but we’re still scratching our heads at that tacked-on ending.

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Don’t Stop Believin’

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A very silly and simple premise for a sketch, with Bowen Yang in love with a marching band version of the titular Journey song — and that’s about it. He tries to convince his group of buddies to get on board, eventually playing it for them, but only one person goes for it. It works because Bowen is all in with this over-the-top enthusiasm for the piece, to the point he assaults Andrew Dismukes as their waiter, while Zoë Kravitz is giving her all opposite him. It’s silly and pointless, but still loads of fun based almost entirely on Bowen’s commitment.

Cold Open: White House TikTok Meeting

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Immediately, we loved this premise. With Facebook and Twitter shut down over there amid the war in Ukraine, TikTok is the primary social media source available, leading James Austin Johnson’s Biden to hold a national security briefing with TikTok influencers. For the most part, it did not disappoint with the incredibly stupid things each of the influencers did to make their fortunes online, and their equally terrible suggestions on how to win the war. We particularly liked Chloe just dancing and gesturing around, waiting for post to put in the answers in text boxes though Bowen Yang gets bonus points for fully committing to the nipple plunger bit. As for Chris Redd’s Jason Derulo, he did a great job of showing a range of emotions while only saying his name. Did you know his name is Jason Derulo?

Old Home Movies

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Kenan Thompson was clearly having a lot of fun as the father who recorded a video will for his family, which they found while he was on the toilet. The details of the video were funny enough, but the clear highlight was when they would fast-forward the clip. Kenan, who was performing live on a nearby set, acted out the fast-forward in real time, randomly shuffling about on the desk and gesticulating, getting a big audience reaction the whole time. Add to that the ridiculous reveals about his life (and film ideas) and you get a very funny slice-of-life piece carried again by strong ensemble performances from Kenan, Chris Redd and Ego Nwodim, alongside Zoë Kravitz

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Monologue: Zoë Kravitz

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This was a cute premise, with Zoë Kravitz talking about her role as Catwoman bringing in a whole litany of other cat women (and Katt Williams). When Ego Nwodim came out as Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman from the 1960s TV series, we were really hoping Punkie Johnson might represent Halle Berry’s ill-fated take (or vice-versa). That dud of a film would have brought more fun commentary than either Kitt or the ‘90s version a la Kate McKinnon. Instead, Aidy Bryant was a “cat lady,” before Chris Redd played Katt Williams. Still, the silliness was a lot of fun and their dramatic action pose at the end was just perfect. It was all played light and for laughs and it worked.

Cut for Time: Can I Talk to You

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What if toxic men refused to take the hint or a no. Oh wait, that happens all the time. While this piece exaggerated the awfulness of the men in question, the behavior wasn’t all that much of a stretch. Still, Chris Redd remains the master of this confident idiot persona and he was great here trying to pick up Ego Nwodim and Zoë Kravitz despite being an absolute mess of a human being. Things got even weird when his buddy Mikey Day showed up, just as pathetic and aggressive. Even the coda, where they turned it around to insult the women who rejected them, was apropos.

Maid of Honor

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This whole piece was held up by Zoë Kravitz’ performance as it was essentially her delivering the Maid of Honor speech, with one horrifying and tantalizing detail after another. Let’s just say there was apparently a lot about Cecily Strong’s bride that her new groom, Kyle Mooney, didn’t know. When he wasn’t being sweetly insulted, he was learning one more thing about his new wife that was shocking at best and downright terrifying at worst. Zoë never broke character, and the reactions from both Kyle and Cecily were perfect throughout. This one rode on performance and strong writing and it was a huge win.

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Word Crunch

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Obviously, the game cornhole has not yet made it to New York City, as it’s definitely a word that exists, and yet it wasn’t accepted in this game show format that has contestants shout out words they see on a seek-and-find puzzle board. Other than that, we were cracking up over Zoë Kravitz insisting that “momhole” is a thing and should be accepted, before it expanded into all sorts of “hole” discoveries including “gay4hole” — “there’s a number on the board?” — and “mmmhole.” Andrew Dismukes is pretty well cast as a game show host in a role Mikey Day would usually take on, doing a solid job of playing straight opposite Zoë and her commitment to the most awful word choices. Sarah Sherman has a fun bit part as the sound engineer who took over writing the puzzles after a writers’ strike.

Porch Scene

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We’ve seen these two before, but never as delightful as opposite Zoë Kravitz’s Cassie, a “modern” woman clearly smitten with Kate McKinnon’s prepubescent Josh. Once again, Josh called on bestie Jason (Aidy Bryant) to help him navigate the perils of middle school love and lust, with Jason’s high-brow commentary perfectly complimenting Josh’s anxious nerves. Zoë was perfect as the sweet and innocent girl, who wasn’t turned off by any of Josh’s moves, as coached by Jason. Once again, strong writing and character work by everyone involved had us smiling the whole way through.

Amazon Go

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Brilliant social commentary taking advantage of the larger number of Black cast members than usual. The Amazon Go store might say to just grab it and go, but you’re not going to fool these Black people into getting arrested. It’s a sad but accurate testament to ongoing racial profiling and stereotypes that happen during the shopping experience. It’s just another way to emphasize that like everything else, shopping while white is a wholly different experience than doing it while Black. We loved all of the different ways the cast and Zoë were hesitant about this whole thing as they tried desperately to avoid getting accosted for shoplifting. This was bleak commentary and hilarious at the same time.

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PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Before picking out our favorite of the week, we have to give a shout-out to the entire cast for the best collective performance we’ve seen in a long time. Everyone was so great across the night, with special mention for the incredible chemistry between Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon — which always elevates a sketch — as well as Bowen Yang and Ego Nwodim, who were all in every time we saw them.

Andrew Dismukes stepped up and showed himself the kind of utility “glue” performer that could hold down a sketch as needed in straight roles. But no one had a bigger or stronger night than Chris Redd. It’s not about quantity, though he dominated there as well, but the quality of his work.

From TikTok to Katt Williams, to a Frog with no penis and a son with future erectile dysfunction, Chris was fully invested in each performance, even his supporting roles. He absolutely slayed us, though, as one of the Black cast members very nervous about Amazon Go, and dominated the “Can I Talk to You” cut-for-time sketch, that turned out to be his strongest of the night.

It’s hard to dominate a night with so many in the cast — and many of the cast members only had one or two sketch appearances — but this was basically a showcase for what makes him a great addition to the show, and how he’s found his comedic voice.


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