For a “Saturday Night Live” host, Regé-Jean Page (“Roots”) is a relative unknown. But that didn’t stop the actor — whose star is on the rise thanks to his role in Netflix period drama “Bridgerton” — from delivering a confident, funny performance on Saturday.
Page leaned into the requisite “Bridgerton” material, acknowledging his current heartthrob status in the opening monologue, and goofing on the show’s copious sex scenes later in the evening. But Page also played against type effectively throughout the episode,
The most glaring downside of the episode had nothing to do with Page, and instead fell on the show’s technical staff. There’s been a notable increase in cameras cutting at the wrong time or cutting to the wrong camera, ruining the visual punchline of a sketch at least six times. A lot of those mistakes can probably be chalked up to pandemic safety regulations, but this week the errors were especially noticeable. Still, those minor mistakes didn’t significantly detract from an overall well-rounded episode.
Here are the top moments and funniest sketches from Regé-Jean Page’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
Britney Spears Cold Open
Ted Cruz and his ill-timed Mexican vacation were the prime subject of derision not once, but twice on the most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
The dragging of Cruz began with the cold open, in which cast member Aidy Bryant played Cruz for the second straight week. This time, Bryant added vacation cornrows to her fake beard and mullet-style haircut, appearing as a guest on a talk show hosted by Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman) to apologize for abandoning Texans during a crisis.
“I am in a little bit of hot water, which I am told is a thing no one in Texas has,” Bryant (as Cruz) said.
Spears then grilled Cruz on whether he thought people labeling him a coward was a fair criticism.
“Yeah, coward is actually the nicest word I heard,” Bryant said. But let me ask you this: Would a coward have the cojones to blame his actions on his young daughters?”
Bryant then broke down how absurd it was that Cruz attempted to blame his daughters, who are 10 and 12.
“The whole trip was the girls’ idea. They love Cancun,” Bryant said. “There’s so much for kids to do. The topless beach, shots at Señor Frogs, swimming with sick dolphins, they love it.”
Regé-Jean Page Opening Monologue
Page’s monologue played off his reputation as a smoldering hunk thanks to his role on Netflix’s period drama “Bridgerton.” Page’s “show liaisons” (Chloe Fineman, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim) can barely contain themselves as he stares into a soft focus camera for one sensual soliloquy after another.
Page is one of many British actors who American audiences don’t necessarily realize are from England due to their American accents in major roles. In this sketch, a talk-show host (Ego Nwodim) fawns over Page and fellow Brit Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Redd) before talking to Ice Cube (Kenan Thompson) who decides he wants to be British too.
Ego Nwodim raps her way through “Loco,” playing a stir-crazy individual who imagines she’s out at nightclubs when she’s really been stuck at home on Zoom like the rest of us. Pete Davidson plays a fellow shut-in whose madness manifests in the form of understanding 100 percent of “Tenet,” and musical guest Bad Bunny has a brief cameo as Nwodim’s sentient houseplant.
A group of stereotypical tough guys playing a game of pool collectively lose their minds over Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Drivers License,” which has taken the country by storm in recent weeks, rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
Mr. Chicken Legs Pageant
In this bizarre beauty pageant sketch, three of the skinny white dudes in the cast (Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes) compete for the title of Mr. Chicken Legs, showing off their rail-thin gams.
The Job Interview
“SNL” excels when it takes a break from topical humor and leans into the absurd, and “Job Interview” delivers on that front. Starring Beck Bennett as the CEO of an ad agency that only produces horrible ideas and Page as a job candidate with an impressive portfolio of horrible pitches and slogans like “UPS: Go Fetch,” this was the best sketch of the night.
The Puerto Rican artist has experienced runaway success bringing his blend of pop, trap, and reggaeton to the U.S., and continued his ascendance on the Studio 8H stage with performances of “La Noche de Anoche” and “Te Deseo lo Mejor.”
Much like the cold open, “Weekend Update” was full of jokes mocking Ted Cruz.
“If you hate Ted Cruz, this was a pretty fun week,” Jost said. “And if you like Ted Cruz, then you’re Ted Cruz.”
With viral TikToks of sea shanties having a moment right now, there may be renewed interest in leading a seafarer’s life. As one new sailor (Dismukes) finds out, however, not every crew is worth joining — especially one full of talented singers who know nothing about boats.
Let’s Say Grace
What begins as a gathering of two families for an evening meal soon becomes a grace-off, as the two clans gather themselves, “Family Feud”-style, in an attempt to one-up the other’s pre-dinner prayer.
‘Bridgerton’ Intimacy Coordinator
Shows like “Bridgerton” require an intimacy coordinator in order to film sex scenes while keeping the actors comfortable and safe. Unfortunately for the stars of Netflix’s show (Page, Chloe Fineman) the substitute ICs (Mikey Day, Pete Davidson) are far from experts.
The Grocery Rap
A trio of white-boy rappers (Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Andrew Dismukes) try to film their latest viral hit in a grocery store, only for irate customers and employees to forcibly attempt to get them to wear masks.
This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com